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Dockery, Lichtensteiger In Competition At Left Guard


There's a changing of the guard on the Redskins' offensive line.

And it's happening mid-game.

Redskins coaches have rotated Derrick Dockery and Kory Lichtensteiger at left guard in the first two games of the regular season.

Head coach Mike Shanahan said on Wednesday that Dockery and Lichtensteiger are in a "very tight race" for the left guard job.

Coaches continue to evaluate both players in practice as well as games.

"It has been very close," he said. "We want to give both guys a chance to win that position."

Asked how long the rotation would continue and if it impacted continuity, Shanahan replied: "No, it doesn't matter. Both guys can play. But if one guy wins the position, then that guy will start and keep on playing the whole game."

For their part, Dockery and Lichtensteiger say they have to be ready when called upon.

"If you're a professional, if you're called on to do a job, then you have to be ready, whatever the situation is," Dockery said. "I think Kory and I have done an excellent job when it's our turn to go on the field."

Said Lichtensteiger: "We practice together all week so it's not like there's anything new when you go in there. The tempo may have already been established and you kind of have to catch up to the speed.

"The guys I'm playing next to – Casey Rabach and Trent Williams and maybe Stephon Heyer if he's out there – do a good job of not missing a beat so we know what we're doing when we come in."

Dockery joined the Redskins as a third-round draft pick in 2003. He spent the 2007-08 seasons with the Buffalo Bills, then re-signed with the Redskins last year.

He has started 111-of-114 games – including both games this year – in his 8-year career.

Dockery admitted he was surprised when he learned about the rotation prior to Week 1.

"At the same time, what are you going to do about?" he said. "You can cry about it, you can pout about it, or you can just go out and work hard and try to get better each and every day."

He added: "It's the nature of the game. I think Coach Shanahan is doing what's best for the team, and that's what it's about."

Lichtensteiger entered the NFL as a 2008 fourth-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos. The Broncos were coached by Shanahan at the time.

Lichtensteiger played in 16 games as a reserve in his rookie season. After Shanahan was fired by the Broncos, Lichtensteiger failed to impress the new coaching staff and was released.

One of Shanahan's first moves as Redskins head coach was to bring aboard Lichtensteiger, who spent the 2009 season out of football.

Lichtensteiger earned a Redskins roster spot in preseason.

His goal is to eventually earn a starting job in the NFL, but for now he is getting valuable playing time as part of his rotation with Dockery.

"I just have to prepare for the situation like I'm going to be playing the whole game," he said. "You never know when you're going in and what the situation calls for."

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