- Apr 11, 2009
- Reaction score
- Montclair, VA
I think you'll enjoy this ... a former player's inside look at not just Williams' debut but the entire Skins OL. It's the kind of breakdown you wish you could find more of.
CLICK HERE for lots moreWORD OF MUTH: TRENT WILLIAMS DEBUT
(Ed. Note: Word of Muth is our new column where former Stanford left tackle Ben Muth will look at offensive line play, rotating his coverage between Dallas, Washington, and Arizona. If you missed the introduction that explored these teams and the goals of the column, you can read it here.)
Sunday night's Dallas-Washington opener was a defensive battle that ended up in a 13-7 Washington victory, but the Redskins' line played much better than the final score might indicate. Perhaps the biggest surprise was rookie left tackle Trent Williams and his very solid performance against DeMarcus Ware.
Williams did a lot of things very well. He was great at the second level, and in space. He seems to have a very a natural talent of locking onto defenders off the line of scrimmage, a skill that very few offensive lineman really have. The most obvious example of this was on the screen pass to Chris Cooley in the first quarter where he pulled outside, locked onto a safety and drove him straight to the sideline. For the most part, he also did a tremendous job in pass protection. He gave up a hit on an inside up-and-under move early in the game, and he gave up the sack to Ware in the second half, but the sack actually wasn't as bad of a play as it probably seemed. Donovan McNabb was in the shotgun, and then took a FULL five-step drop. His back foot hit at 11 yards deep in the backfield. That is really deep, and usually, as a quarterback, when you get that deep you either let the ball go as soon as the back foot hits, or you step up (or climb) in the pocket. On this play however, the Cowboys sent both linebackers inside and got a great push up the middle, collapsing the pocket. Because of that, McNabb couldn't step up and was a sitting duck for DeMarcus Ware. So, while Williams did get his hands knocked down and actually give up the sack, it wasn't a one-man effort from Ware.
Otherwise, Williams was very impressive in not only containing Ware, but doing so within the offensive scheme without needing any extra help, such as running back chips or protections where the tight end stayed in to double-team. He wasn't as effective run blocking against the Cowboys' down defensive linemen or Ware, but he certainly wasn't liability in that department by any means. He didn't really get beat in these situations, but he also didn't get any real movement, usually stalemating with a defender on the line of scrimmage. The false start on Washington's final drive was poor timing and a drive-killer, but luckily for Williams, another dumb penalty by a different player would overshadow it. Overall, Washington fans have to be really excited about what they saw.