Polumbus draws the task of fending off Tuck and Pierre-Paul, who at times lines up at left end.
The Giants enter Monday night’s game seeking to extend their lead in the NFC East.
Washington aims to continue its recent surge and move a game closer to the Giants.
Fully aware of what’s at stake, Williams intends to play despite a sprained ankle and deep thigh bruise that have hobbled him for the past week.
He missed three straight days of practice, took part in a limited capacity on Friday and Saturday and is officially listed as questionable.
But Williams said Wednesday that he expected to play, and that’s exactly what his quarterback wanted to hear.
“I already told him that if he needs me in the training room with him, I’ll be there,” Griffin said earlier in the week. “I’ll rub on his leg, whatever he needs me to do. It’s paramount. He’s one of our leaders. He brings a certain attitude to the game as well and it completes that offensive line that’s played pretty well all year.”
An important role
Williams, however, didn’t need Griffin to tell him how badly he was needed — or to rub his leg, he said with a grin. He already understood that with the Redskins trying to become only the fourth team since 1990 to make the playoffs after opening a season 3-6, he has no choice but to play. He also knows that to achieve his goal of becoming a Pro Bowl tackle, the Redskins must win games.
This year Williams has fully grasped what is expected of a franchise left tackle, that in the NFL, there’s more to it than floating through the practice week, lining up on game day and blocking a guy.
As a standout in college, Williams said he relied almost exclusively on his ability. He had the size and speed (a 4.75-second time in the 40-yard dash) and didn’t need much more. Williams said he never really dedicated himself in the weight room until it was time to prepare for the NFL Combine. Pre-draft scouting reports praised Williams’s physical gifts but questioned his intangibles.
“He had the reputation coming up, but he’s very talented,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “In fact, [Oklahoma] Coach [Bob] Stoops says he’s probably the best athlete he’s ever had at Oklahoma as an offensive or defensive lineman. He could play either one. The question was work ethic.”
The answer to that question came this year, when Williams rebounded from the drug suspension, which taught him that on-field production was only part of the equation, dedicated himself to studying opponents and elevated his play. He understands that there is no room for complacency. Achieving greatness requires constant drive.