The longest standing member of the Redskins' defense, nine-year veteran Kedric Golston understands that his importance goes far beyond the gridiron, as he serves as a mentor for many of the younger players in the locker room.
"I think that's a responsibility I have, to help guys when they have questions but show them in the locker rooms, in the meeting rooms, out there on there on the field, how to be a professional," he said last week. "We're all good football players, we all know how to go out there and do that. But it's the professionalism; we all have to learn how to be professional football players."
A countdown of the top-10 images of defensive lineman Kedric Golston during the 2014 season.
Golston was drafted by the Redskins in the 196th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of the University of Georgia.
In his nine seasons, Golston has racked up 212 tackles for seven sacks and two forced fumbles.
Early on, as he was transitioning from life as a student-athlete to that of a professional football player, he learned directly under seasoned veterans like Cornelius Griffin, Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn, along with wide receiver James Thrash.
As their approach saturated into how he handles his daily business, Golston learned that not everything will go your way and oftentimes you just have to roll with the punches and find ways to improve.
For the Redskins, the last two seasons haven't gone as planned, as they've accumulated a 7-25 regular season record during that span.
"We have a great fan base and it's frustrating when you fix one thing and another thing pops up," he said. "So not being able to be consistent throughout the game, throughout the season -- there's nothing wrong losing a game or two, but you cannot continue to have the slides we've had here in the past years where we can't right the ship. …That just speaks to consistency. Not doing it for a quarter, not doing it for a game, for a 16 game season and four quarters.
In the coming days, weeks and months during the offseason, Golston said that his teammates and he must brush off any problems and "fix those things."
"I've been in this business long enough to know that as soon as you think you've figured it out, it will throw you a curveball," he said. "These are guys that you have relationships with, that you care about with, that you went out there and fought hard for, and all you can do is go out there and prove yourself in the offseason.
Golston also said that all of the players need to reassess everything they do and eliminate anything that may stand in the way of success.
"Look at yourself in the mirror and take a long hard look at the things you did bad and the things you did good," he said. "And try to fix those things and those are the only you can to try and fix this football team."