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For Heyer, Williams, 'Interview Process' Begins Again


When you're working to establish yourself in the NFL, every day can be like a job interview.

Just ask Stephon Heyer and Edwin Williams, the Redskins' two offensive linemen out Maryland.

They joined the Redskins as undrafted rookies--Heyer in 2007 and Williams in 2009--and earned playing time on the offensive line last year.

This was under former head coach Jim Zorn and retired offensive line coach Joe Bugel, though.

Now there is a new coaching staff in town. And there are new coaches to impress, specifically head coach Mike Shanahan, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and offensive line coach Chris Foerster.

Heyer and Williams won't be dressing up in a suit and necktie for their job interviews for 2010.

Their interview starts next Monday, March 15, when the Redskins are scheduled to begin their off-season strength and conditioning program.

Heyer and Williams hope that their body of work last season gives them an opportunity.

Heyer, the 6-6, 330-pound offensive tackle, has started 28-of-37 games since that time, alternating at both left and right tackle.

"It's an interview process," Heyer said prior to the Redskins' season finale against San Diego. "You have to show [the new coaches] that you're ready to play."

Williams signed with the Redskins last April. He played in three games as a rookie, with two starts at right guard.

Said Williams, also prior to the season finale: "Obviously the season did not go the way we wanted it to go and we're in kind of an interview process again, but you just want to go out there and give your best, leave it all out there on the field."

Heyer admitted to an up-and-down 2009 campaign.

He opened at right tackle, shifted to left tackle for three games midseason to replace the injured Chris Samuels, and then went back to right tackle at season's end.

Through it all, Heyer played with a lingering knee injury.

Versatility has proven to be a good quality for Heyer, and that's something he hopes the new coaches take note of in their evaluation.

"I'll play wherever they want to put me," Heyer said.

Williams joined the Redskins as a center, but Bugel quickly got him up to speed at guard.

The newfound versatility helped earn the Washington, D.C., native and lifelong Redskins fan a roster spot coming out of preseason.

Williams saw his first NFL action at right guard in Week 11 at Dallas after Chad Rinehart suffered a fractured fibula.

He started in Week 12 at Philadelphia and Week 17 at San Diego, gaining valuable experience.

"It has helped me out, to become a better player, especially playing against the Eagles," Williams said. "I was definitely nervous, but I think I adjusted to the play of the game. At the beginning of each game, it's kind of like that. Everybody is hyped up, and then after a while it comes down to playing football."

He has turned to Heyer and center Casey Rabach for leadership.

"I think Casey does a really good job getting us ready on the line and Stephon has always been kind of a leader to me and someone I've always looked up to," Williams said.

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