The Washington Redskins have been using a Chase Roullier/Tony Bergstrom tandem at center for the past couple of years. Can Ross Pierschbacher change that in 2020?
Do the Washington Redskins need center help? The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Some believe that Chase Roullier, who has started 30 of the last 32 games for the ‘Skins, does a fine job in the starting role. Others believe that he’s below-average and would be better served as a backup.
Either way though, there’s one thing that Redskins fans will agree on for the most part. The team needs another center, whether it’s one capable of serving as a starter or versatile backup.
For the past two and a half seasons, Tony Bergstrom has been the team’s top backup on the interior line. Bergstrom is a 33-year-old journeyman and Jay Gruden favorite who is set to hit free agency this offseason. And in each of the past two seasons, he wasn’t a very good option on the field. So, it’s time for Washington to replace him.
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The question after that becomes, how will the Redskins do that? Obviously, they could opt to sign a backup in free agency or spend up for a guy like Connor McGovern or Graham Glasgow and move Roullier to a backup spot. Or the team could look to draft an interior offensive lineman in the middle rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.
But there is another option on the roster who could get consideration. And that’s 2019 fifth-round pick Ross Pierschbacher. While the Alabama product didn’t get much playing time or buzz at any point last season, he may be better with a year of NFL experience. If so, that could give him a chance to at least challenge for a backup spot.
Pierschbacher has a 6-foot-4, 315-pound frame and was a sturdy blocker at Alabama. He was considered a prospect with a high floor as a backup that could potentially develop into a starter.
As a rookie, Pierschbacher mostly sat on the bench and developed under the watch of Bill Callahan. He played in just five games and only played 12 snaps, all on special teams. But maybe in 2020 with some extra time to adjust to the NFL, he’ll be better.
That said, if Pierschbacher hasn’t shown enough in 2020, the Redskins will likely need to add center help. They shouldn’t bring back Bergstrom but they will need a reliable backup center, unless they believe 2019 fourth-round pick Wes Martin can play that role (though it’s also possible he could start depending on what happens with Ereck Flowers and Brandon Scherff in free agency).
We’ll see what ends up happening with the Redskins but Pierschbacher will bear watching this offseason. If the team makes a move to grab a center, the could spell trouble for him as he enters his second NFL season.