Chase Roullier’s NFL career has been all about making adjustments.
When starting center Spencer Long went down with an injury last season, the Wyoming product had to move from being a pupil in the offensive line to a key contributor to the Redskins up front.
After starting seven games for Washington in 2017, Roullier, who projects to start at center this year, has maintained the mindset of improving at every position along the offensive line in case he's needed.
"I was impressed with Chase last year,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “You know, you’re not sure what you’re going to get from a sixth-round draft pick, you know, from Wyoming. When Spencer [Long] went down, I think Chase had to fill that void, and he did a great job. You know, he broke his hand there for a little while missed some time too. You know, the center position is one of my biggest issues on this football [team] -- I can never have too many centers. You know, because you can’t function without one.
“Chase came in here and was a very important player for us, and he’s learning. Coach [Bill] Callahan has done a great job with him, and he’s just going to continue to get better. You know, he’s only in his second year, very limited playing time. I think with all these reps he’s getting out here leading up to game day, I think he’ll be a solid player for us."
Roullier played guard and center at Wyoming, which helped his transition last year being thrown into the starting center spot during the regular season. It was a change that he welcomed with open arms. What has benefited Roullier the most, however, is watching how his teammates in the group play his position, as well as other spots he could be put in, up front.
“Even though when you’re not in there, you’re still getting all those mental reps,” Roullier said. “So you really got to take advantage of that. We go through the script before, so you kind of get an idea of what plays those guys are running. You can obviously see what techniques they’re using. That always helps us and then it also helps the guys that are actually going as well. Any sort of insight you can give them from the bird’s eye view, that always helps them out, too.”
Roullier has been more prepared in training camp to execute everything while improving at center. While the 6-foot-4 lineman eyed his focus to playing that position last year, he has been committed to improving at guard by taking notes and listening to instruction during position meetings.
Roullier has transferred that attention to detail in meetings to the practice field at the Bon Secours Training Center when he is on the sidelines, taking mental reps of guys playing in spots similar to him.
“I’ll primarily watch what the interior three are doing, especially on the run plays,” Roullier said. “Then I can kind of see what calls they’re making and what techniques they’re using on each play. Pass, I’ll take a look at the defenses a little bit more. Start to try and recognize those, get more comfortable with that on every play."
The Washington Redskins conducted their fourth day of training camp practice Sunday, July 29, 2018 at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
With the offensive line having to overcome a plethora of injuries throughout the season, Roullier has dedicated his time in Richmond to being versatile. If everyone manages to stay healthy for the majority of the season, the center predicts a successful 2018 campaign.
“I don’t think there is a ceiling," Roullier said. "We have some of the most talented guys on our offensive line. Obviously, there’s multiple Pro Bowlers on our offensive line and when they’re all healthy, it’s a phenomenal group. I’m just excited to be a part of that and be able to learn from those guys and work with them every day.”