- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ASHBURN — During the first three days of organized team activities, Washington Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses felt like he had been communicating on the field more with right guard Brandon Scherff than he had all season.

The best part about it, Moses added, is that they barely needed to audibly communicate at all to be aligned in what they were trying to execute.

“We’ve got to the point now, we really don’t even make calls,” Moses said on Wednesday after the team’s final session of mandatory minicamp. “We look at each other on the line and I know what he’s thinking [and] he knows what I’m thinking. We’re on the same page.”

Moses and Scherff started every game for the Redskins and anchored the right side of the offensive line. It was Moses’ first season as a full-time starter after his rookie season was cut short in 2014, when he was placed on injured reserve with a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot. Scherff, drafted fifth overall last year, emerged as the team’s starting right guard after playing left tackle during his final two seasons at Iowa.

The duo was forced to learn on the fly together and built a strong chemistry, something the Redskins’ right tackle is looking forward to continue improving when the team returns to training camp for its first practice on July 28 in Richmond.

“Last season was fun, just being able to be out there with Brandon,” Moses said. “We were pretty much in the same situation so we were able to learn together. Now, being out here, a season under our belt of starting and being able to play again, we’re growing together. Every day, we’re trying to get better, learning new techniques.”

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The strong communication between Moses and Scherff began to show during positional meetings and extends beyond the field, according to offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who’s entering his second season with the Redskins.

“I think it’s great that they’re working together,” Callahan said. “They’re in the classroom together. They sit right next to each other in the classroom, so their relationship on and off the field is imperative.

“To have a strong sense of what each other can do and how they can play off of each other, that bodes well for them, their communication, and just obviously, the nuances of the adjustments that they have to make during the course of a series or a play itself or the communication that’s got to get echoed out. That’s all important information, and obviously, they do a great job with it, and to have them for year two at the same spot on the right side, I think that bodes well for us.”

One thing that impressed coaches last season was the durability of Moses and Scherff as they made a transition into starting roles. Scherff played all but one of the Redskins’ offensive snaps and it was because one of his cleats fell off during a play against the Atlanta Falcons. Moses played 96.3 percent of the Redskins’ offensive snaps, and the ones that he missed occurred mostly in the team’s win against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15 when he sprained his left ankle and sat out most of the second half.

Their near-constant availability was valuable, especially after left guard Shawn Lauvao’s season-ending ankle injury in Week 3 and center Kory Lichtensteiger was placed on short-term injured reserve with a neck injury.

With Moses and Scherff able to experience so much in their first year as starters, Gruden is confident they will continue to progress this season.

“I think they are very dependable. That’s why you like them. You like them because they are dependable and they’re smart and they work hard,” Gruden said. “The first year and early on, they might have had some issues with communication and all that stuff, especially picking up some of the stunts, which is very tough for a first-year lineman at guard and a first-time starter at tackle.

“They’re not going to be perfect, but they’re two guys that are big, strong and physical, and they do stride forward. They have an excellent coach in-house in Coach Callahan. So, you just love the work ethic, their personalities and they’re just going to get better.”

Redskins hire NFL’s first female physician

The Redskins announced they have hired Dr. Robin West as their director of sports medicine, making her the first female lead physician in the NFL. West is currently the Washington Nationals’ lead physician and the medical director at Inova Sports Medicine and previously served as the team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

• Anthony Gulizia can be reached at agulizia@washingtontimes.com.

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