Late last season, Derrick Dockery was in surprisingly good spirits, even though an offseason of uncertainty was looming for the 8-year veteran guard.
Dockery saw limited playing time in 2010 after opening as the Week 1 starter at left guard.
Still, Dockery preferred to draw positives out of the situation.
"I'm just enjoying this time, with new guys, young guys, and my teammates," he said. "I've built some great relationships with the guys here on this O-line and with [offensive line coach] Chris Foerster. That's my main thing – the time I've spent with these guys helping them has been good for me."
Dockery, 30, is one of the Redskins' offensive line success stories of the last decade. He joined the club as a third-round draft pick in 2003 and quickly emerged as a starter.
Now in his second stint in Washington, Dockery knows his future with the Redskins is in doubt.
Coaches appear committed to developing third-year lineman Kory Lichtensteiger, who started the final 13 games at left guard.
That left Dockery, who does not play any other position on the offensive line, on the sidelines.
He was declared inactive for nine of the Redskins' last 11 games, including the season finale against New York. That could end up being his final game as a Redskin.
"This offseason, I'm going to take some time and get away for a little bit," Dockery said. "Then I'll come back, get myself ready for whatever the future might hold. I could be here, I could be someplace else. Who knows? I'm just taking it day by day."
He admitted it was tough to lose his starting job.
He had played in 116 consecutive games and started 111 consecutive games before he was benched in Week 3.
"The main thing is I'm staying committed to the team and doing whatever I can do to help the guys out," he said. "Of course I want to be out there, but you have to do what you can do to help the team.
"It was something that [was] disappointing, but at the same time you take it for what it is and you move on. You can't let it deter you from the goals you set for yourself as far as individually and as a team.
"I'm going to do what I can to make sure this never happens again."