Predicting the likely winners of each Redskins position battle
Left Guard: Ereck Flowers
This answer isn’t going to be popular with many. But the fact of the matter is that Flowers played with the first team for almost the entire first half of Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Wes Martin played exclusively with the second team.
So, barring a change of heart based off Flowers’ poor performance, it seems that he will open the season as the team’s starting left guard.
Flowers had some bright spots against the Falcons, and he was particularly good as a run blocker early on in the contest. However, he made some critical mistakes in pass protection, which caused Keenum to get crushed, and was whistled for a key holding call on the one-yard-line when it looked like Derrius Guice had notched a touchdown. The negatives outweighed the positives during a rough night.
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I tend to agree with our own Ian Cummings’s recent take on Flowers’ ability as he discussed in a recent article.
"There are things to like with Flowers. He clearly has power and heavy hands, and his best reps are very bright. But his tallness in his stance prevents him from getting consistent leverage, and it forces him to make drive-killing mistakes. At worst, Flowers will be a sixth man on the offensive line, and if the snap distribution is any indication, he’ll be a starter. But Flowers needs to keep working on these issues, because they single-handedly killed a scoring drive on Thursday."
Flowers has upside, but he has only been playing this new position since a bit into training camp. He needs time to develop there, but the Redskins seem hell-bent on starting him. While Martin may have some nice traits and put forth some good reps, it looks like the team wants him to be a backup at least at the beginning of his career. But if Flowers struggles as the starter, Martin could easily overtake him.
This is the most unsettled of the major starting position battles. And in the last couple of weeks before the season, things could change. But for the time being, it seems that Flowers has the edge over Martin.