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Time to Bench Norwell and Start the Rookie | Washington Commanders

By Adam Aniba

Fans have voiced their disgust with guard Andrew Norwell on social media, after his latest performance. Norwell is another former Panthers castoff, that Rivera brought to Washington and it has been an epic disaster.

The veteran guard isn't only getting blown up by defenders this season, he's also killing drives with holding and false start penalties. Although there has been no public discussion from Rivera or the other Washington coaches about benching Norwell, the time is now.

Rookie 7th rounder Chris Paul (May '22 scouting report) should replace Norwell and could bring much needed energy with his background as a solid run blocker.

There's been minimal buzz in Ashburn regarding the Tulsa rookie, but coaches reportedly were impressed with his Paul's versatility during the draft evaluation process. Although Paul saw time at RT and LT, evaluators and coaches believe he's best suited to play guard.

During the Senior Bowl, Paul held his own, lining up at tackle and guard during drills.

"That group of guys was definitely stacked. It was great to utilize my technique and fundamentals against those guys. On Day 3, I was excited that I had the opportunity to move to the interior and take reps at guard. That felt really comfortable.”

As mentioned in Paul's scouting report, he's still developing at guard, but offers upside as an intelligent rookie prospect. Although Paul has some things to work on and more time to develop would be ideal, his skill set is exactly what Washington's offense needs to establish an effective run game. (Pros below highlighted from scouting report)

  • Versatility is key for Paul who played multiple positions on the O-line

  • Strong initial punch and utilizes effective hand placement

  • Effective run blocker who is a finisher

  • Displays an impressive push on goal line/short yardage

  • Impressive when blocking on the second level, seeks out contact

  • Intelligent with strong leadership qualities (aspires to be the U.S. Secretary of Defense)

Final Thought

Washington sits at 1-4 with a must win tonight in Chicago. Replacing Norwell will not solve all the o-lines issues, especially with their starting center out for the year. Benching Norwell and starting Paul in his place, could be the boost needed to give Wentz much needed time in the pocket though.

The QB is dealing with a sore throwing shoulder and has taken a beating this season. Another horrendous performance from the offensive line, could lead to Wentz going down for an extended period of time.

It's imperative that OC Scott Turner establishes the run game tonight, if he truly wants to establish effective playaction and keep the opposition guessing. Hopefully on Prime Time vs Chicago Washington wakes up and gets it together.

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