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Hurt Liking Chemistry Along O-Line

Posted by Andrew Walker on June 1, 2012 – 10:08 am

Redskins’ second-year offensive lineman Maurice Hurt knows how a close-knit offensive line can lead to success on the field.

And after more than half of the team’s organized team activities have come and gone for the 2012 season, Hurt said he’s been encouraged by the strong bond along the Redskins’ offensive front.

“As far as the O-line, we’re a tight-knit group,” Hurt said after Thursday’s round of OTAs at Redskins Park. “You can ask anybody for help. The older guys – Trent (Williams), J.B. (Jammal Brown) – the same guys that helped me last year whenever I needed something. Same with Kory (Lichtensteiger). Everybody’s always helping each other, so it’s a real good group.”

Hurt — the seventh round (217th overall) selection of the Redskins in the 2011 NFL Draft — got a quick introduction to the National Football League in his rookie season. He spent the first six weeks of the regular season on the Redskins’ practice squad before a season-ending injury to guard Kory Lichtensteiger boosted Hurt to the 53-man roster.

Hurt’s first-ever action in an NFL game in 2011 was also his first career start Week 9 against the San Francisco 49ers. He went on to start at guard the rest of the season, earning praise from head coach Mike Shanahan after that initial game against the 49ers.

“I thought he did an excellent job for his first game in the NFL against a very good football player (in defensive end Justin Smith),” Shanahan said. “I thought he did a pretty good job run blocking, a pretty good job against pass protection against guys that were very talented – a very experienced group, at least the defensive end was very experienced. He went against a guy who knows all of the tricks.”

As for the 2012 season, Hurt said he’s been getting some practice reps at tackle, a position he said he played several times his senior year in college and last preseason with the Redskins.

“It’s just about learning all the new things, understanding the position as a whole,” Hurt said. “Playing tackle means more space, more athletic guys. It’s a challenge, but like I said, just like anything else you have to work hard and work on your technique and everything, and then everything falls into place.”

Hurt also knows what championship football looks like. The 6-3, 320-pound Milledgeville, Ga., native started 17-of-41 games from 2006-10 at the University of Florida and helped the Gators win the 2006 and 2008 BCS National Championships.

Hurt said he has a simple approach to the game of football.

“It’s just about working hard, really,” he said. “Just bettering myself every day.”

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