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Williams, Teammates Have Griffin III's Back


Tight end Chris Cooley has seen his share of starting quarterbacks in Washington—exactly eight since he was selected by the Redskins in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Like most in Redskins Nation, Cooley is hoping that Griffin III is the team's answer at quarterback for the next decade.  Cooley spoke for his teammates when he said that no one on offense sees Griffin III as a rookie, but rather as their starting quarterback and leader.

"In my opinion, starting quarterback is the most important position in sports," he said.  "We have to step up and have his back."

Given the cost of acquiring Griffin III, the Redskins must protect their investment.  Redskins 2010 first-round pick, left tackle Trent Williams will be entrusted with protecting Griffin III's blindside.

For what it's worth, Williams is prepared to protect the dynamic athlete lining up under center.

"I like him," Williams said, matter-of-factly.  "I think he's everything he's hyped up to be."

But as pleased as Williams is to have Griffin III running the Redskins' offense immediately, he also understands there are ups and downs for any NFL rookie—especially at quarterback.

"He's still a rookie, so we don't want to put too much pressure on him," Williams said.  "We know there are going to be growing pains.  We're not expecting him to step in and be Aaron Rodgers right now, but he'll grow and we'll all grow together as a team."

Although Williams (6-5, 318) is regarded as one of the up-and-coming tackles in the NFL, he will have a difficult task against some of the better defenses in the NFL this season.

"We always want to keep our quarterback clean.  His rookie season will go by much easier if he's not on his back," Williams said with a smile.  "We understand that and we're going to do our best to keep him upright."

Some of the top pass rushers in the NFL are in the NFC East, giving Williams challenges in six of 16 games each season.  In 2011 alone, Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Ware had 19.5 sacks, New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul had 16.5 sacks, and Philadelphia Eagles' Trent Cole had 11 sacks.

Williams recognizes that he'll need help from other members of the offensive line, and for the group to work together as a cohesive unit to accomplish the goals that the team has set out to achieve this season.

"As long as we're out here working together, no task should be too big for us, he said."  I'm very confident in our offensive line.  We have all the tools we need to have a good line.

"The camaraderie will come and I really don't see anything holding us back."

With the addition of Griffin III and other complimentary pieces that were acquired during this past offseason, Williams is determined to reach the postseason for the first time in his career.

"For me personally, each year I want to get better," Williams explained.  "I just want to play at a Pro Bowl level from the beginning of the season to the end.  I feel like my success is going to be a direct reflection of the team's success.  I'm going to come with 100 percent every day."




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