Trent Williams has high expectations for the Washington Redskins offensive line this season.
The veteran left tackle, who dubbed his group Hogs 2.0 earlier this month — an homage to the legendary Washington offensive line of the 1980s — said another strong offseason under offensive line coach Bill Callahan, plus the addition and development of valuable talent, has confidence levels rising.
“I mean, if you don’t have confidence, you might as well not step on the field…I feel like any team in the league should set their expectations high, and we’re no different,” Williams said Tuesday.
Callahan, who replaced Chris Foerster as the Redskins offensive line coach in 2015, is entering his second season at the unit’s helm.
An extra year of experience with the coach proved extremely beneficial, Williams explained.
“Another year in [Callahan]’s system, it helps everybody,” Williams said. “We understand more; the understanding is there. He continues to tweak his scheme onto our strength and we continue to tweak as players under his scheme. I think it’s finally starting to pay off.”
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Williams, a four-time pro-bowler, and the owner of the largest contract extension in NFL history for an offensive lineman after he signed a five-year, $66 million deal in 2015, is still working to improve. Callahan is helping that process.
“He never lets me settle,” Williams said. “No matter how good I play, no matter how bad I play, there is always going to be coaching tips. He always is going to push me to do better. So I respect that.”
Likely starters on the offensive line, in addition to the left tackle, include experienced center Kory Lichtensteiger, and a younger duo in right guard Brandon Schreff and right tackle Morgan Moses — someone Williams described as like a “little brother” to him.
Williams is impressed with the job Callahan has done in developing both Scherff and Moses, and believes each player has made noticeable strides in improving their game.
“I took [Moses] under my wing,” Williams said. “I see so much potential in him and so much talent in him, I’m just pleased to see how hard he works and how much he tries to continue to improve his game on and off the field…I definitely think that right side is going to emerge as one of the best right sides in this league in the next couple of years.”
The final starting spot at left guard remains unclear with the return of Shawn Lauvao.
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Lauvao left the Redskins’ Week 3 matchup against the New York Giants last year with a lateral fracture in his left leg and underwent multiple offseason surgeries.
After beginning training camp on the physically unable to perform list, he participated in practice Monday.
Lauvao will now compete for the starting position with Spencer Long, who filled in for Lauvao, and excelled, last season.
Williams sees their competition, as well as the continual growth of backup linemen Josh LeRibeus and Arie Kouandjio, as evidence of the depth the Redskins currently possess.
“Obviously before Shawn [Lauvao] left, he was playing some of his best football that we’ve seen,” Williams said. “Hopefully getting him back he can get back on the same track. Just having those guys ready to come in at any time just makes us stronger as a unit.”