With Todd Herremans set to return to his starting role at left guard, Nick Cole will switch to the right side, Cole confirmed Friday afternoon.
Cole started the first five games of the season for Herremans, who underwent foot surgery Aug. 28. Lately, Max Jean-Gilles has been starting on the right side, with free agent signee Stacy Andrews apparently not completely recovered from offseason ACL surgery. Jean-Gilles had a fairly miserable day last Sunday at Oakland, when the Birds gave up six sacks, much of that pressure coming up the middle.
"I just have to change my sets up a little bit. It's cool," Cole said following Friday's practice for Monday night's visit to the Washington Redskins.
Cole started at right guard last season for the final five regular season games and all three postseason contests.
Earlier, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said his unit has "a lot of things to get accomplished" to be better Monday night against a Redskins defense that he feels is better than the one that held the Birds without a touchdown last Sunday at Oakland.
Mornhinweg said Herremans feels he can play the whole game, but Mornhinweg cautioned that the Birds have "some pretty good nicks," elsewhere along the line, including a knee injury that hasn't kept Cole from practicing. Left tackle Jason Peters is practicing with knee and ankle sprains suffered last week.
"There are several things that could happen there" if Peters is limited, Mornhinweg said, including Herremans sliding over to tackle.
Defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said this being the first game with Redskins offensive consultant Sherman Lewis calling plays is "a different challenge, an added dimension." Mornhinweg and head coach Andy Reid have worked with Lewis before, and McDermott said he had talked to them about what to expect. Presumably, there's a limit to how much of Washington's offense Lewis can change in a week.
McDermott reiterated that new middle linebacker Will Witherspoon will start and call the signals. He acknowledged he didn't know if that had ever been done, less than a week after joining a team, in midseason. McDermott said he saw Witherspoon as a "three down" linebacker, but he also said Jeremiah Trotter's role would not change.
That will be something to keep any eye on -- the previous plan had been to play Trotter on "running downs," but when Oakland turned a "running down" into an 86-yard touchdown-passing down to tight end Zach Miller, covered by Trotter, the former Pro Bowler seemed to pretty much disappear from everything but the shortest of short-yardage situations, until Omar Gaither suffered a Lisfranc sprain late in the game.