More Success with Maurice Hurt

Tyler's Polumbus's status is uncertain today. If he can't go or looks shaky we'll be seeing next man up Maurice Hurt.

In RG3's recent interview the conversation turned to concussed Tyler Polumbus's replacement at right tackle, 2nd year man Maurice Hurt. Robert beamed, raised his voice and proclaimed, "Mo Hurt!"

Maurice played every O snap in last week's victory over Philly. He settled down and seemed to become more comfortable and confident as the game progressed. Taken as a whole, he played admirably. The crazy thing, at least to me, is that "Mo Hurt":
(1) has practiced at guard his entire career up until last week, and
(2) even when he did play last season (at guard, not tackle), he played on the opposite side.

Moving from left guard to left tackle would be an improbable transition over the course of a full off-season. Successfully transitioning in one to two weeks from left guard to right tackle is the immortal words of Vizzini in Princess Bride...inconceivable.

(BTW, even Hurt's college days were invested in learning and playing guard, not tackle.)

Last season Mo played every snap of the Skins final 9 games, with the exception of missing, coincidentally enough, Dallas. Last season, playing Guard, his natural position, Maurice's pass and run blocking admittedly was inconsistent. But last week Mo's run blocking seemed to improve as the day went on, and when it came to his pass blocking, the stats speak for themselves. The big man allowed no sacks, no hits and no hurries. That's particularly impressive when you consider that up until that game Philly DE Brandon Graham had been a highly effective pass rusher. Before that game DE Graham had 7 sacks, 6 hits and 28 QB hurries this season. Somehow, left guard Maurice Hurt, playing at right tackle with a little help, found a way to neutralize previously effective pass rusher Brandon Graham.

Today: Enter Dallas OLB Demarcus Ware, who some may expect will manhandle our new right tackle Maurice Hurt. Sorry, won't happen. Honestly, Demarcus's "wares" aren't what they used to be. Not by a long shot. Consider, in last week's loss to the Saints Demarcus Ware was more of a liability than an asset. Demarcus made no tackles, not even so much as an assisted tackle. And his pass rush? Over the past 5 games Demarcus Ware has a paltry 1.5 sacks.

Worse, Demarcus missed the entire 4th quarter of last week's game due to a new shoulder injury. Before last week Ware was already limited by a hyperextended elbow and nagging injuries to his ankle and hamstring. Today he'll be adding a shoulder brace to prevent his shoulder from popping out when he extends his arm. All I can say is, I hope Demarcus plans on getting shot up with plenty of painkillers before he steps on that field.

Admittedly, Demarcus Ware is only one of Maurice Hurt's potential nemeses today. OK, fair enough. Now consider this. Dallas DE Jason Hatcher is sporting a thigh injury, LB Victor Butler is suffering a groin injury and LB Alex Albright is nursing his knee. Former Pro Bowl Nose Tackle Jay Ratliff is out along with LBs Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, safety Barry Church and DE Kenyon Coleman.

It's going to be cold and a bit breezy at Fedex tonight. Our running game will be critical to our success. Last Sunday with RT Mo Hurt RBs Alfred Morris and Evan Royster picked up 105 yards and a TD. That was a highly encouraging considering the Eagles' defenders in their previous games had been quite stout against the run since scrapping their "Wide 9" D. Dallas's rushing defense hasn't been close to that stout this season. They're middle of the pack in running yardage allowed. But that mediocre ranking is overstated when you realize how much teams have been throwing against that D this season. Big D's passing D has given up big yards this season, the league's 12th most in fact. We can expect to pick up major yardage on the ground tonight. In the Redskins first meeting this season against a healthier Dallas D the Skins ground game pounded Dallas for 150 yards (Only 29 of those were by Robert Griffin III.)

But that doesn't mean we won't see a terrific passing game against Dallas's previously mentioned poor passing defense. In last season's late November game (final score: 27 to 24) against the Cowboys the Skins' passing game, led by Rex, put up 292 yards, 2 TDs and 1 pick. In the earlier 2011 game (final score: 18 to 16) the Skins' passing game, led by Rex, put up 250 yards with 1 TD and 1 pick.Now, we've got RG3 guiding the ball.

Expect Mo Hurt to play another successful game at right tackle in another Redskins victory.

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