After establishing the Hogs 2.0 mentality in Houston this offseason, the offensive line is already seeing improvements on the field.
Trent Williams rallied the offensive line around the "Hogs 2.0" mantra in the offseason, and the new mentality is already paying dividends on the field.
Check out these photos of the legendary Redskins offensive line dubbed "The Hogs".
Williams has been a captain for each of the last four seasons and consistently been one of the best tackles in the NFL since being drafted in 2010. Like any great player trying to take the next step, Williams sought to make his teammates around him better, so he took it upon himself to gather the offensive line at his brand new training facility in Houston, for offseason workouts.
Quarterbacks often invite receivers to work out together in the offseason to fine-tune route running and timing patterns. Williams saw an opportunity for the offensive line to adopt the same tradition to find a way to relate with each other while also establishing a new mentality for the unit with Hogs 2.0.
"It's great, you know it's really the first time since I've been here that we've gotten together as a group like that for training or anything like that in the offseason and I think it's really good for unity and chemistry between the line which is something you need to be able to play together at the highest level," guard Spencer Long said.
The famed original Hogs group of Joe Jacoby, Mark May, George Starke, Russ Grimm and Jeff Bostic, among many others, paved the way to three Super Bowl victories in 1982, 1987 and 1991 and are considered one of the best offensive line units of all time.
"With us having that rich tradition, being Redskins and those guys, I figured there was a way we could channel that, pay our respects to them as well and also try to form my own path by adding a '2.0'because obviously we could never foresee us being as good as those guys, but we can obviously try," Williams said. "The thing we can take from them is playing with that camaraderie, that intensity, that nastiness they played with on a day to day basis."
Hogs 2.0 has impressed players and coaches throughout the team. Head coach Jay Gruden said it proved Williams has "really taken his leadership role to a new level." But the biggest supporter of the Hogs revitalization might be the Hogs themselves. Jeff Bostic, the center who anchored the original Hogs for three Super Bowls, was a huge fan of the decision and said this offensive line group reminds him of where the original Hogs group was when they came together.
"I thought it was great," Bostic said. "Number one, I think Trent Williams is showing a lot of leadership. Secondly, he's playing with a bunch of guys who haven't played with each other much and don't have that cohesive bond and this is a rallying call, wasn't that what we did in '82? We had a bunch of guys that hadn't played together, [Joe] Jacoby, [Russ] Grimm, Maybe in the their second year, I was in my third year, even the reserves. It was a rallying cry for all of them and then (offensive line coach Joe Bugel) made the t-shirt and if you don't have them on during the meeting you were getting fined five dollars. So I guess it was a great rallying call and the rest is history."
Now under the guidance of another gifted offensive line coach in Bill Callahan, the line has changed their technique and started training camp with more aggression. For the running backs, the aggressive attitude and physicality at the point of attack has been evident.
"When they clear up the lane and open it up, that makes it easier for me just to read out plays and when they're on people and they're putting body on the body, it's easier for a running back or any one of our guys to run through a hole," running back Matt Jones said.
The line's aggressiveness can be felt on defense, too. Defensive end Chris Baker said there was no question that the line is more physical this year, and that coach Callahan's technical work has led to significant improvements in the trenches.
"Our offensive line is really good," Baker said. "The right side of the line, with Moses and Scherff, it's their second year together and they're really starting to play well together, and their coach, coach Callahan, is one of the best coaches in the NFL...I think Moses has gotten a little bit more athletic, a lot stronger, and Scherff (has stood out). I play on the left side a lot and I see a lot of improvement and their understanding what's going on in the offense, they're making a lot of calls right now so those two guys are really stepping up."
While the improvements have already been noticeable in the run game and pass protection, the lineman are going to put their heads down (in the mud, of course) and continue building on the progress they have made together.
"(Offseason workouts) were a great experience, we went down there as a group and we got a lot of work done and it shows on the field now," tackle Ty Nsekhe said. "Hogs 2.0 is a mentality. We're trying to build on that and take it into the season with us."