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More Consistency Needed From Josh LeRibeus

Posted Nov 26, 2015

While he is in his first season as a center and injuries forced into a starter's role, the Redskins want Josh LeRibeus to be more consistent with his snaps and overall play.

While he is in his first season as a center and injuries forced into a starter's role, the Redskins want Josh LeRibeus to be more consistent with his snaps and overall play.

On any given play for an offense in football, the only player guaranteed to touch the football is the center.

The center is relied upon to be in-sync and deliver a crisp, perfectly-placed snap into the quarterback’s hands to be the catalyst of every play.

If the snap is off target or if it isn’t given to the quarterback at the exact time he wants it, it can create badly-timed problems.

Redskins center Josh LeRibeus has been learning these lessons on the fly the past few weeks after an injury to Kory Lichtensteiger forced LeRibeus into the starting role.

Yes, LeRibeus was a guard during his first three seasons with the team before transitioning over to center this year, and, yes, he has very limited work there outside of his starts this season, but the team wants more consistency from the SMU product moving forward.

“Yeah, we’re working on that and practicing every day,” said Jay Gruden of LeRibeus’ snapping, particularly while in shotgun formation last week. “But I think he had a few missed targets again Sunday against New Orleans. That’s something that we’ve just got to work through. It’s something that’s new to him.”

There have been moments over the last few weeks in which LeRibeus and quarterback Kirk Cousins have been off on their timing.

It has resulted in bad looking sacks and even some fumbles.

“It should never happen,” Gruden said. “Just like our defensive line should never jump offsides and we should never jump offsides on offense. The advantage is we see the ball on the defensive line, we don’t move until it moves. On offense, we have the advantage of the snap count and we need to utilize that. We haven’t been. Sometimes we’ve had false starts. Sometimes it’s the center, sometimes it's the guard or whoever. When it’s the center, it’s very magnified because nobody else is ready. Unfortunately we’ve had two or three too many.”

While the Panthers have one of the most opportunistic defense’s in the NFL – they capitalized on their pressure against the Redskins to the tune of five sacks – the Giants, the Redskins' opponent on Sunday, have offered little in terms of pass rush so far this season.

Jason Pierre-Paul recently returned following an offseason fireworks incident that left his right hand wounded, but has yet to record a sack in his first two games back on the field.

In total, the Giants are tied for the fewest sacks in the NFL this season with just 12.

If LeRibeus can settle down under center, staying on course with the snap count and giving the ball to Cousins when and where he wants it, it should help the offensive line gain a mental edge on a Giants defensive line they’re more talented than this season.

“It is tough with having a guy who isn’t a natural center, a guy who just moved over to center from guard,” Trent Williams said. “To be a center, you have to be wired a certain way. The miscommunication, it has come back and bit us in the tail a couple times, but, I mean, there’s no excuse – we’re all grown men. We’re all professionals. When you have an assignment, your only job is to get that assignment done.”

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