- The Washington Times - Monday, August 10, 2009

As a player who has participated in all of his team’s games since he was a college sophomore - a span of 134 contests - it makes sense that Derrick Dockery is the only starting offensive lineman to participate in every practice this training camp for the Washington Redskins.

Teammates around him have been forced to sit out because of injuries, but Dockery has been the constant at left guard. His reward has been daily matchups against defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.

“I’m working against I believe the best [defensive tackle] in the NFL every day, and the other guys come in and give me a different tempo and speed,” Dockery said. “It’s all an added benefit for me.”

Dockery’s durability - he has started every game since Week 4 of his rookie year of 2003 - was a plus for the Redskins when they made the decision to replace 36-year-old Pete Kendall even though the veteran hadn’t missed a snap in two years with the Redskins.

The knee-jerk reaction is that the Redskins didn’t get a lot better at left guard. Kendall was serviceable, and Dockery’s performance fell off so much in Buffalo last year that the Bills tried to trade him to Detroit before releasing him. The Redskins reunited with Dockery hours later for $8.2 million guaranteed.

The Redskins answer that an aging offensive line got younger with Dockery, who will turn 28 on Sept. 7 and brings a road-grater mentality to the running game.

“He can practice every day,” said offensive line coach Joe Bugel, who pounded fist into hand for emphasis. “Since I’ve been here with him, he’s never missed a practice.”

With Bugel as his position coach, Dockery steadily improved from 2004 to 2006 before departing for the Bills in free agency. The Redskins tried to convert tackle Todd Wade into a guard, and when that experiment failed, they gave up two draft picks to acquire Kendall.

Dockery returns to play between the same left tackle (Chris Samuels) and center (Casey Rabach), and the run game and pass protections haven’t changed much.

“Training camp is a little more difficult here, and we do a lot more hitting here than we did in Buffalo,” Dockery said. “The weather is obviously different, but for the most part the faces are familiar with Randy, Chris, Casey and Coach Bugel, so it doesn’t feel like I’ve left.”

Said coach Jim Zorn: “He had some really good plays [Saturday] where he stoned some guys and some plays when he turned his shoulders and let a guy through. He’s a work in progress. I’m very excited about how he’s improving and how he’s going to fit in.”

Kicker plan TBA

Shaun Suisham and Dave Rayner will kick Tuesday in practice before a plan for Thursday’s preseason game at Baltimore is finalized.

“We’re going to kick them both in every game because I want them to both think the entire game that they could actually have the shot to kick a critical field goal, a long field goal, an extra point that seems easy but takes tremendous concentration and technique,” Zorn said.

Special teams coach Danny Smith said the goal is to make the competition fair and that both kickers have opportunities to perform. As for the other special teams, Smith will mix and match depending on what personnel is available.

“I play off them, and we haven’t talked about who’s playing or how long they’re playing,” he said. “When they get out of the game, I try to get them off special teams, even a field goal or extra-point unit. If Chris Samuels comes out after five snaps but the rest of the first offense is still out there, I won’t make him go back if we call for a field goal or point after.”

Rogers returns

Receiver Santana Moss (right hamstring), right tackle Jeremy Bridges (right ankle), guard Rueben Riley (ankle), cornerback Kevin Barnes (hyperextended left knee) and running back Anthony Alridge (toe) missed practice Sunday.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers (left calf) returned to limited work after missing a week. Right guard Randy Thomas (right knee) and right tackle Mike Williams (groin) also did some individual work.

Some positive things

Zorn spent Saturday night reviewing video of the scrimmage.

“For the most part, both sides had some real positive things,” he said. “Our offense moved the ball on both defenses. … We saw some good individual effort and some opportunities to get better. We’re going to use that film as a real learning tool that will take us into these preseason games.”

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