Little late on this considering the news came out Tuesday that the Redskins granted Buffalo permission to talk to offensive line coach Chris Foerster about a lateral move, but still wanted to weigh in for a minute:
You don't grant permission to interview one of your coaches if you really want him back. The Redskins can always keep him, but keep in mind that new Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman spent two years as an offensive line assistant to Foerster in Baltimore. And Jay Gruden inherited Foerster here. This season was a feeling-out one for Gruden and he has a much better idea of what he wants and needs in Washington. Now the trick is instituting that vision. That includes players and coaches.
Foerster has coached multiple blocking schemes, but is viewed as adept in the zone blocking system. I know there’s a chance the Redskins will incorporate more power.
A year ago the Redskins insisted they would keep the same run system because it had worked so well. But they added more power blocking schemes this season, which is why they wanted some bigger linemen (who could still move so they could run the outside zones). However, the Redskins are still formulating what direction they want to go after evaluating this past season. It’s an ongoing process. But Foerster has experience with multiple blocking styles so it's hard to imagine this is the only reason.
I know there’s frustration because the Redskins haven’t developed any young linemen into starters. You work with what you have: When Joe Bugel returned for Act II, he failed to do this as well. But I never just blame coaching; sometimes players develop but still aren’t good enough. Tom Compton, for example, has developed. He just might not be good enough. Still, of the eight linemen drafted by the Redskins since 2010, only Trent Williams has been a full-time starter. Compton became one midway through this past season, his fourth, but he struggled in protection and there's no guarantee he'll start next season. Five of the eight linemen were drafted in the fifth round or later (and four in the sixth or seventh rounds).
The current line has four starters who once were drafted within the first four rounds -- Williams (first), Chris Chester (second), Shawn Lauvao (third) and Kory Lichtensteiger (fourth). So it’s not as if they lack players once considered talented. Compton was a sixth-round choice. They selected two third-rounders last spring in guard Spencer Long and tackle Morgan Moses. It’s too early to say what direction their careers will take.
I’ve never considered Foerster a bad line coach by any means. I know about the sacks. That’s more than just the line play and Foerster’s had a big say in the run game, which was excellent the previous two seasons. But I do remember when he was hired several people saying he was just “OK,” and an executive with a team that once employed Foerster said he would let him leave.