Although he appeared in just three games for the Redskins in 2015, rookie guard
Despite appearing in just three games for the Redskins during the 2015 season, Arie Kouandjio is taking many positives away from his first season in the NFL.
After winning two national championships at Alabama, the rookie guard came to the team looking to replicate the success that he had in college. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged that Kouandjio was “well-coached at Alabama, obviously,” but admitted that “still there’s some fundamental things that he’s had to work on, and he’s improved on every part of his game.”
The “tight-knit” offensive line, as Kouandjio called it, was beneficial to his development over the course of the season.
“I mean even guys I was competing with all year, you know they were in there, chipping in helping me out with technique, helped my development out,” he said. “So, I think we’re a really close-knit group.”
In addition to his teammates, Kouandjio credited offensive line coach Bill Callahan, whom he said “has so much knowledge.” He added that Callahan shared “a lot of technique on pass blocking and outside zone running.”
Gruden sees the desire that Kouandjio has to improve, calling him “a detailed guy” who “loves football.”
“He practices hard,” said Gruden, who will enter his third season as the Redskins’ head coach in 2016. “He wants to hear every ounce of criticism, every ounce of coaching that he can get and he tries to translate that onto the next rep.”
Thanks to his helpful teammates and coaches, Kouandjio fully believes that he can compete for a starting spot in his sophomore season.
“I feel very good going into next year,” he said.
And even with a year of experience, he understands that winning a starting job will not be easy.
“It’ll take a little bit more technique. Anytime you go to the next level you got to change something,” he continued. “In order to be successful doing what you did more or less or lower level or at a higher level.”