Josh LeRibeus, once seen as a future starter, will fight for a roster spot

Josh LeRibeus, drafted as a guard, snaps the ball to Robert Griffin III while working out at center during training camp in 2013. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Between now and training camp, Mike Jones takes a closer look at players who find themselves competing for key roles this season, or are in position battles this preseason.

The Redskins selected him in the third round of the 2012 draft with plans of developing him into a starter on the interior of their line for years to come. Josh LeRibeus showed some promise during relief duty as a rookie, and even played most of his team’s playoff game against Seattle.

But LeRibeus regressed last season when he reported for offseason workouts more than 30 pounds overweight. Instead of taking over at left guard, he spent the year trying to get back into shape, and didn’t dress for a single game.

Now as he enters his third NFL season, and what he describes as possibly his last chance with the team, LeRibeus is looking to make up for lost time and facing some stiff competition.

Washington this offseason signed free agent Shawn Lauvao, and he is penciled in as the starter at left guard. Then Washington drafted Spencer Long in the third round. Long is expected to eventually take over as the starting right guard, although incumbent Chris Chester could hold him off for this year.

For now, LeRibeus must prove himself as a capable backup. He opened the offseason program working as the second-team left guard, and in the following weeks, flip-flopped with Long at right guard. Coach Jay Gruden said it’s important that the young guards display an ability to play both guard positions because on game days, teams generally dress only the five starters and a backup swing guard and swing tackle.

LeRibeus reported for duty in better shape, and coaches say he is at a better place now than he was at this point last season. It’s important that he continues to do well in training camp, and show a strong sense of self-motivation. Otherwise, his time in the organization could end before it ever really got started.

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

More from The Post:

D.C. Sports Bog: McVay says Griffin looks like he did in 2012

Griffin watches Nats’ Gonzalez, says he could throw 90 mph

The Early Lead: Browns’ Gordon arrested again

How much will Orakpo benefit by being ‘turned loose?’

More NFL coverage: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Next Story
Mike Jones · July 4, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.