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Oklahoma football: Former Sooners Chris Chester, Trent Williams clearing way for Redskins revival

OKLAHOMANS IN THE NFL — With Robert Griffin III leading the way, the Washington Redskins are back in the playoff hunt. Two former University of Oklahoma offensive lineman are playing an important role in a dynamic Washington offense.
By MIKE BALDWIN Published: December 22, 2012

Chris Chester and Trent Williams weren't at Oklahoma at the same time but share more than “Sooner days” stories.

Starters on a dynamic offense that keyed the Washington Redskins' playoff run, Chester and Williams are modern generation “Hogs” who protect standout rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Led by Griffin, last year's Heisman Trophy winner, the Redskins have won five consecutive games to charge into a three-way tie atop the NFC East.

“This season is a glimpse of what we can be as an organization,” said Chester, a veteran right guard. “We have a great deal of potential. I'm excited about what we could be. The sky is the limit.”

The Redskins play at 1 p.m. game at Philadelphia on Sunday. Win their final two games and the they are in the playoffs for the first time in five years — and only third time in 13 seasons.

“This is the first time I've played in meaningful games in December that have playoff implications,” said Williams, a left tackle who was the No. 4 overall pick in 2010. “It's a very important time in my career.

“We've won five in a row but we have no time to sit back and marvel at what we've accomplished. We're still in a one-game season. For the last month it's like every game was almost the playoffs.”

Chester, 29, signed a five-year deal with the Redskins last season. His career NFL 77 starts include 30 consecutive starts in Washington. He's one of a handful of Redskins players with playoff experience, having played eight post-season games with Baltimore, including the 2008 AFC title game.

“We're maturing as a group,” Chester said. “Coach (Mike) Shanahan has had a great deal of success. There's a collective pool of knowledge and experience. Hopefully those of us who have been part of playoff runs can impose that on some of the guys new to this experience.”

The Redskins' long-term outlook looks bright because of Griffin. Williams and Chester see on film every week that if they protect Griffin, he can make plays with his legs and his arm.

“It's not common to do some of the things he's done as a rookie,” Chester said. “Sometimes you just have to say, ‘Wow.' He's a tremendous talent but for being such a young guy he has a lot of confidence and leadership.

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