On Down The Line, Geron Christian Provides Much Needed Depth
By Evan Redmon
July 11, 2018
Geron Christian is the answer.
The question must have been asked a dozen times by Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden and Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan.
Who the hell are we going to get to provide better depth along the offensive line?
Last season, every single starter along Washington’s front line missed significant time to a litany of injuries. The unit saw over 20 different combinations, and 11 linemen saw at least 140 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus’ rating of OLs in 2017.
Speak of that rating: it isn’t good.
Twenty-first? C’mon man! We all know the Redskins’ offensive line is better than that – much better than that – when healthy. Healthy is the one thing they were not in 2017.
That’s where Geron Christian comes in.
GERON CHRISTIAN IS JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams is recovering nicely from offseason knee surgery. Right tackle Morgan Moses is also coming off surgery on both of his ankles, and he too seems to be on pace to start the season. However, both players have not been able to participate in any of the offseason camps so far.
That’s been a blessing in disguise.
With both starting tackles out, Geron Christian has seen plenty of work with the first team offense. That means he’s already received a heaping portion of experience against the likes of Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith.
“He’s handled it really well” noted Callahan, who has been impressed with what Christian has shown so far. “It’s a learning curve for a rookie, so he’s gotta make that progress and carry it to training camp.”
Naturally, the hope is that Christian will never see the field in 2018. Until we see otherwise, we will assume the starters will be healthy and will kick all sorts of ass this season.
That’s nice when all the dominoes fall into place. But if last season’s horrific injury reports are any indication, Christian will be call upon at some point during the 2018 campaign, and right now, he’s ahead of the curve.
With Ty Nsekhe (also rehabbing from injury) listed as the other backup tackle, the Redskins seem much more prepared to handle that dreaded midseason adversity at the tackle position.
Let’s just not talk about guard right now.
Geron Christian in Action at the University of Louisville
CHRISTIAN USED TO BEING IN FLUX AT LOUISVILLE
Blocking for Lamar Jackson looks like fun. You just knock your man to the side a little bit and watch the magic happen. Right?
Well, no so much.
At Louisville, they have an odd tendency of switching the left tackle with the right tackle, and vice versa, several times during the game. The Cardinals coach, Bobby Petrino, has a philosophy of moving his tackles around, depending on the formations and play call. As a result, Geron Christian has taken plenty of snaps at both positions.
The 6′ 5″, 300-lb lineman will undoubtedly put that versatility to good use, And if there’s one thing offensive line coaches love, it’s versatility.
“Geron Christian…will really settle us down at the tackle position. He started every game last year as a true freshman.” – Bobby Petrino, 2016
REDSKINS SHOULD FEEL MORE CONFIDENT ABOUT O-LINE IN 2018
The Redskins re-signed LG Shawn Lauvao during the offseason, so logically he should be the starter there. But Lauvao hasn’t graded out very well on any evaluation we’ve seen, despite the fact that Jay Gruden and Callahan love him. Nevertheless, there’s a chance that Ty Nsekhe could eventually move inside.
Geron Christian’s arrival makes that a good “hard decision” to have. Christian can be the Skins’ swing tackle, freeing up Nsekhe to move to guard. A Williams-Nsekhe-Roullier-Scherff-Moses O-Line seems like the best combination, especially in the run blocking department.
With Derrius Guice on board, the Redskins are primed to have their best running game in years. That might be partly due to a man who might never see the field.