First he was a backup to left guard Derrick Dockery. Then he rotated with Dockery early in the season. By Week 3, he was the starter.
It took Lichtensteiger almost half the season to settle in at left guard and find his groove on the offensive line. He displayed good quickness and footwork, two attributes needed in the Redskins’ scheme.
Now it appears he has solidified the position heading into training camp.
Lichtensteiger isn’t satisfied, though.
Even when he thought he had a good game last season, he turned on the game film afterwards and saw room for improvement.
He’s always striving for perfection.
“Run game, pass game – I’m never going to be satisfied with it,” Lichtensteiger said during an interview last season. “There are so many things I can work on. Even the good players in the NFL, they’re never happy with what they do.”
Lichtensteiger made his biggest strides in pass protection last season.
“I was pretty good in the running game, that was definitely my strong point,” he said. “I would say, from day one, the most noticeable improvement I made was in pass protection.”
Lichtensteiger, 6-2 and 290 pounds, learned to withstand pass rush moves from defensive tackles who were 20 pounds heavier than him.
He had to compete against some of the game’s top defensive tackles late in the season, including Dallas’s Jay Ratliff and Minnesota’s Kevin Williams.
Lichtensetiger is beginning his second season with the Redskins.
He was a 2008 fourth-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos when Mike Shanahan was head coach there. One of Shanahan’s first moves as Redskins head coach in 2010 was to sign Lichtensteiger, who had been released by the Broncos.
Redskins coaches could consider playing Lichtensteiger at center at some point. That was the position he played in college at Bowling Green.