- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Washington Redskins decided to go young and healthy.

Guard Pete Kendall has ailing knees and is four months from his 36th birthday. Cornerback Shawn Springs turns 34 next week and missed 16 games the past three years.

So the Redskins went out and signed their replacements: 28-year-old guard Derrick Dockery and 25-year-old cornerback DeAngelo Hall. Dockery and Hall, who were officially reintroduced Tuesday at Redskin Park, are younger, healthier and offer value.

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“You need some young blood,” offensive line coach Joe Bugel said.

Bugel and left tackle Chris Samuels recruited Dockery to return to the Redskins. Dockery signed a five-year, $26.5 million deal Friday night.

Hall, who signed with Washington on Nov. 8 after Oakland cut him, intercepted two passes in seven games with the Redskins last season.

“This is definitely the place I wanted to be,” said Hall, who first visited with the Redskins before the 2004 draft. “I don’t think probably since college did a situation feel as good as it did here. It’s not only the right situation, it’s the right scheme. This was my first and only choice.”

Hall, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, feels he has something to prove after signing a six-year, $54 million deal with the Redskins - in addition to the $8 million he made in just eight games with Raiders.

“That whole Oakland experience kinda opened my eyes that’s it’s more than running to the bucks, [which] I did because I was so eager to run out of Atlanta,” Hall said. “I got nothing but stuff on my chest, stuff on my shoulders I gotta get off. Wait and see.”

Dockery’s return reunites the offensive line that helped power the Redskins to the playoffs with a 5-0 finish in 2005 and that produced the NFL’s fourth-ranked ground game in 2006.

“I’m very elated and thankful to be back,” said Dockery, who never sold his Northern Virginia home when he left the Redskins for the Bills. “You don’t know how much I missed playing here. When I left, there was still a piece of me here. This is our home. My heart is here. The gang was still here.”

Dockery had a solid first year in Buffalo after signing a seven-year, $49 million deal in March 2007, but he slumped in 2008. If Buffalo had filed the necessary paperwork on a trade with Detroit last Thursday on the eve of the opening of free agency, Dockery would be with the Lions.

But for the trade to have gone through, Dockery needed to agree to push back a $1.75 million roster bonus - due at 12:01 a.m. Friday - until after he had passed the Lions’ physical. By the time Buffalo and Detroit agreed on the price for Dockery - a seventh-rounder in 2010 - it was almost 4 p.m., the NFL deadline to make a move. The Bills said they couldn’t file the paperwork in time, but they managed to submit the paperwork to cut Dockery and avoid paying him the bonus.

So Dockery, who has never missed a game during his six seasons, rejoined the Redskins with a more chiseled body than when he left thanks to a rigorous offseason program.

“I was shocked that [they] could cut him,” Bugel said. “We came in Saturday and watched 12 tapes of him and said he has to come back here. I treated him as tough as I ever treated anybody in my life, and he begged for more. He comes early and leaves late. That fourth year, he became a man. He gives us 6-foot-6, 325 pounds. You need some beef inside.”

Notes - Asked about the holes at left end and strongside linebacker, coach Jim Zorn said the Redskins “have some needs that we definitely have to take care of.”

Executive vice president Vinny Cerrato said the club could wait until the draft and beyond to do so. …

Zorn plans to ask Kendall about returning as a backup guard/center.

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