A week and a half into training camp, three of the Redskins’ five starting linemen are ailing.
For a journeyman such as Tony Moll, that means just one thing: Opportunity.
Moll, who signed with the Redskins on Saturday, said he’s able to play both sides of the line as well as all three interior positions. In his most recent stop – a three-game stint in San Diego last season – he played guard. The season before that, though, Moll said he lined up some as a tackle in Baltimore.
The 28-year-old has not practiced in Ashburn yet due to the three-day acclimation period mandated by the CBA, so it’s unclear where Moll will line up (though Coach Mike Shanahan hinted that he’ll play guard.)
It’s also not known whether the coaching staff will deem him prepared enough to suit up for Thursday’s preaseason opener in Buffalo.
But Moll made his position on that subject abundantly clear Tuesday morning.
“Are you kidding me? Of course I want to play,” he said, smiling. “Even if you barely know the playbook, you can still go a hundred miles an hour.”
When the Redskins face the Bills, it’s possible they’ll be without starting offensive linemen Kory Lichtensteiger (knee surgery), Jammal Brown (hip) and Chris Chester (ankle). That, alone, would seem to increase Moll’s chances of playing.
“You never want to see anyone get injured, but if it opens up a position for me to get into September with this team, that’s definitely the ultimate goal,” Moll said.
Moll said he had options as he and his agent fielded phone calls from interested teams. The Redskins, though, presented him with the best opportunity for two reasons: He played in an offense similar to Coach Mike Shanahan’s during his time at Nevada and, he said, liked the Washington’s potential on paper.
“I think this team definitely is on the upswing,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll fit in here, make the 53 and make a difference.”
“I also ran the zone offense all the way through college,” he said. “So that was definitely a huge [factor] for me.”
The opportunity Moll sought is now inches in front of him. But now comes the hard part.
“I feel like I’ve got a couple more miles in these legs,” he said.