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Long before Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson joining the Redskins was ever a possibility Carl Soderberg Jersey , Trent Williams made up Hogs 2.0 T-shirts for Washington's offensive linemen.
The original "Hogs" offensive line paved the way for three Super Bowl titles, so this group has a long way to go before they can be compared to that group.
But with Williams at left tackle, Shawn Lauvao at left guard, Chase Roullier at center, Brandon Scherff at right guard and Morgan Moses at right tackle, the Redskins have a group that could continue bulldozing the way to victories this season.
"Their versatility is the key," coach Jay Gruden said. "They can run, they can pull, they're strong at the point of attack and they're pretty athletic. You can have a lot of versatility there."
Versatility helped the Williams-led line bully the Arizona Cardinals in run-blocking and pass-protection, something it'll try to do again Sunday in the home opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Smith put up 255 yards passing in Week 1 and Peterson, Chris Thompson and the rest of Washington's ground game rushed for 182 yards in the kind of balanced showing Williams always believed could happen as long as all five starters are healthy.
"I've been saying the whole time that our biggest issue is just getting everybody on the field," Williams said. "I feel like when we have everybody on the field, we're more than confident that we can handle whatever job the coaches ask us to do.
"Obviously having everybody out there http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com...ice-jersey , when we've been out there in the past, we've done pretty good with a balanced offense, with running the ball and passing the ball."
The Redskins ran the ball 42 times and attempted to pass 33 times at Arizona, a balance Gruden would love to keep up. The offensive line's equal proportion of being good in the run and pass games makes that possible.
But no one's quite sure why the Redskins' line is almost equally good in each aspect. Offensive line coach Bill Callahan has linemen work a long time after practice, which gives them extra time to work together and improve any weakness.
"That just allows us to get little things polished up here or there," Roullier said. "Any little extra work you can get on your little fundamental techniques and whatnot, that's going to help you every day while you're out there."
Other than Roullier replacing Spencer Long in the middle, this is the same starting offensive line Washington had to begin last season. Lauvao was re-signed after the draft and plugged back in, and the unit's continuity has been on display.
Peterson said after one preseason game he can't wait to run behind this offensive line, and Smith has learned firsthand just what it can do to protect him and give him some room to run.
"I've been really impressed with those guys," Smith said. "I feel like they can do just about everything. They take a lot of pride in being able to do a lot. They don't get pigeonholed as a single player or as a group. They can do it all: They're good in space, they can pound it, they're good in pass pro. I think that's a strength not only of theirs but obviously ours as an offense and a team."
Of course Jason Spriggs Jersey , the line is only the start of the offense's success. Williams gives a lot of credit for Washington's balance to Peterson and Thompson for making linemen look good.
"It makes our job easy because you got two dynamic rushers who can really take the ball all the way no matter what part of the field you're on and are pretty prolific coming out of the backfield," Williams said. "Having those guys clicking like they were, it does make the O-line's job easier, it makes the quarterback's job easier and it makes the coaches' job easier."
NOTES: Gruden said WR Trey Quinn (ankle) was also placed on injured reserve along with Cam Sims. Each player had ankle surgery and could be healthy in six or seven weeks. ... WR Jehu Chesson was elevated from the practice squad to replace Quinn on the 53-man roster. ... WR Maurice Harris (concussion) could miss the Colts game, making recently signed Brian Quick more likely to be active.
Alex Ovechkin heard the chants loud and clear.
”We want 50! We want 50!”
He didn’t need that extra encouragement. Ovechkin scored twice to finish with an NHL-leading 49 goals and played almost the final two minutes of the Washington Capitals‘ 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night in each team’s regular-season finale trying to reach 50 for the eighth time in his career.
The Russian superstar will have to settle for his seventh Maurice ”Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal-scorer and hopes his recent run continues in the playoffs, where the Metropolitan Division-champion Capitals will open against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
”Effort was there, and you can see I’m ready for playoffs in pretty good shape,” Ovechkin said after a playing 6:04 of the final 8:10. ”Still have a pretty good chance at the end. It is what it is. Whatever. The most important thing ahead of us, and second season right now starts in a couple days.”
Washington won 12 of its final 15 games, and Ovechkin strengthened his Hart Trophy case with nine goals and six assists over that time. At 32, he’s the oldest player to lead the NHL in goals since Phil Esposito in 1974-75.
Ovechkin became the 13th player and first since Mike Gartner in 1990-91 to score exactly 49 goals in a season. His teammates did their best trying to get him to 50, and Ovechkin attempted 18 shots and got eight on net in pursuit of the milestone.
”We look for him a little bit more than usually, but I don’t know Noah Hanifin Jersey ,” said center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who assisted on Ovechkin’s 48th goal to reach 56 for the season. ”I don’t think he’s sad about he didn’t get 50, but 49 is still a good number.”
Losing in regulation sends New Jersey to the Atlantic bracket in the Eastern Conference to face the division champion: either the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s the Bruins if they beat Florida on Sunday night, and the Lightning if they don’t.
”We like our matchup against anybody,” Devils center Brian Boyle said. ”I think we match up well against anyone. We believe in what we got going on here. We earned the right to be in. It’s been a good season. The fun starts now.”
The Devils didn’t go all-out to try to move up in the standings, resting MVP front-runner Taylor Hall, first-line winger Kyle Palmieri, top-six center Travis Zajac, No. 1 defenseman Sami Vatanen and starting goaltender Keith Kinkaid with an eye toward the playoffs. Trade-deadline pickup Patrick Maroon had a goal and two assists, and rookie Nico Hischier and Miles Wood each scored for New Jersey.
”There’s a reason that you got here,” coach John Hynes said. ”You have to have a strong identity, which we do. You have to be able to play to that.”
The Capitals’ identity is coming into focus as they go into the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season feeling good about their game. Nicklas Backstrom, Michal Kempny and Andre Burakovsky also scored against New Jersey Leonard Floyd Jersey , and Braden Holtby stopped 23 of the 26 shots in his final chance to show he deserves to be Washington’s Game 1 starting goaltender over Philipp Grubauer.
Holtby is 14-2-2 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in his career against Columbus, which lost to Nashville in its final game while resting stars Artemi Panarin, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski and two-time Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
”They’re a good young team and they have a great goaltender, but for me it doesn’t matter against who you play,” Kuznetsov said. ”It’s just like a fun time. You prepare all year for this moments.”
NOTES: The Capitals rested RW T.J. Oshie, who has been dealing with a lower-body injury. C Jay Beagle missed his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury. … With the primary assist on Kempny’s goal, Capitals F Shane Gersich picked up his first NHL point in his third game. … Ovechkin, Capitals D Dmitry Orlov and John Carlson and Hischier played all 82 games this season.
UP NEXT
Devils: Open at the Bruins or Lightning in their first playoff appearance since 2012.
Capitals: Host the Blue Jackets to start the first round.

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