After the last day of the season, when Redskins players convened one final time to clear out their lockers, left guard Shawn Lauvao, who missed significant time in 2015 due to an ankle injury, invited reporters over and explained what the last couple of months had been like.
"In this game man, people, it's not like the movies, man," he said. "It's not a feel good story obviously in the end."
Lauvao had just come off two major surgeries and five total procedures, cleaning up some extra pains he had collected in his career that began with the Browns. The moral of his soapboxing was that he's played through a lot bumps and bruises, that being a professional football player is difficult work on your body, that he's gained a lot of perspective throughout this time off the field.
Now, a few months later, he's back to working out, with the help of "O-Line Performance," the world's first invitation-only training club designed solely around the needs of NFL offensive linemen and started by former offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley.
Based in Chandler, Ariz., OLP believes that "offensive line isn't just a position, but a way of living. The intensive focus and training required to develop the necessary skill sets to play this position is second to none. Everything about offensive line is learned, and that learning needs to be nurtured in an intensive environment surrounded by likeminded individuals."
Lauvao, in a recent profile by OLP, described more about his experience, growing up wanting to play football and eventually getting to play next to greats such as Joe Thomas and Trent Williams.
"That's where the whole genesis began, this whole journey, just connecting with LeCharles," Lauvao said. "I wasn't focused on so much the look or what it meant being a football player. I was still trying to figure out how do I go about that."
Lauvao said that OLP has helped provide a better perspective of himself as an NFL athlete.
"It was just more the belief in me as a player that I might not have seen in myself that was so empowering," he said. "Playing the game has meant a lot to me and it's definitely been a blessing."
Lauvao said in January that the expected rehab was three to six months, and he'd ideally like to be back by OTA's.
"You learn to play hurt in this league," he said. "I think the one thing that's real humbling is to actually play without pain. That'll be something new. I'm kind of curious to see how that plays out."