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Redskins O-Line Makes Big Strides Together


In the Redskins only loss this preseason, the offensive line started two of the projected starters and suffered the consequences with three Bears' sacks and a fumble forced on Robert Griffin III.

After the game, the unit went back to the drawing board, seeking to find a solution to keep their quarterback intact.

"I feel like I need to be a leader, and protecting Robert [Griffin III] takes our collective effort," explained left tackle Trent Williams.  "It starts with us on the line, and includes the running backs and tight ends in protection. 

"The receivers have to get open and Robert has to do his job and have good pocket awareness.  It's a group effort, and it's something that we have to improve on."

In the final two preseason games, the Redskins pass protection shut out opposing defenses, not allowing a sack.  In those two games, the Redskins rushing attack also came alive, averaging 186 rushing yards per contest.

Part of that correction came with the return of right guard Chris Chester, who sat out the Bears game with a leg injury.  Chester provided a stabilizing force against the Colts before sitting out tonight's game with the starters.

"That's all you can really hope for is to get better with each game, especially at this time of year," he said.  "During the preseason, guys that haven't really gotten a chance to play a lot or have the game experiences are playing. 

"They played well as a unit, and I like to see their growth."

Chester said he is fully healthy and will be ready to play in Week 1 vs. the New Orleans Saints.  But as far as the line is concerned, the season should start and end in the Big Easy.

"Preseason games are important because they help us improve our total game," Chester said.  "We need to be good at everything to have a chance to champions. 

"I think we're making progress."

Rookie offensive guard Josh LeRibeus got his first start tonight, and described the difference between tonight and the Bills game as "night and day."

"Being out there in game situations allows us to practice our technique and cut-block defenders," LeRibeus explained.  "That's something that you can't do in practice, but it's a part of our line scheme. 

"To be able to do that in the game is amazing. The biggest thing that we've improved on is finishing hard to the whistle."

Relegated to the sideline tonight, both Chester and Williams praised their teammates' efforts, crediting them for carrying on standard of play that the line expects. 

The Redskins tallied nearly 500 yards of offense tonight, and score 30 points for the third-consecutive week.

"When the ball is snapped, it takes all 11 to win," Williams said.  "These games are important, even if they don't translate to the stats book or overall record.  I think we're ready for the regular season now.

His standard of excellence moving forward involves a trip to the playoffs, one win at a time.

"We'll be where we want to be, if at the end of the season we're in the playoffs and headed to the Super Bowl," he said.  "That's where we want to be, and until then it's an ongoing process of hard work to iron out the kinks."




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