When the Redskins transitioned to the 3-4 defensive scheme in 2010, an emphasis was placed on finding the right personnel for the system.
While a number of players have come and gone, one player that made a successful transition is defensive end Kedric Golston.
Golston was a regular part of the defensive line rotation last season, until a torn MCL ended his season in Week 9 against Miami. Golston remained a regular at the team facility, and was re-signed as a free agent in April.
Headed into mini-camp, his diligent rehab and conditioning hava him in great shape.
"I don't even notice the knee at all. I feel as good as I've felt in a long time," he said. "I've been very pleased on how the knee is responding. My elbows are feeling good, so I haven't felt this healthy in probably three years."
The Redskins will benefit not only from his work on defense but also his presence on special teams. With Kory Lichtensteiger joining Golston on injured reserve last season, inexperienced players played the guard positions on the field goal unit, leading to blocked kicks.
"You look at those guard spots, sometimes you have 1200 pounds with four guys pushing on you there," Golston explained. "It's a lot of timing involved in it, with the snapper and the tackles.
"Those guys did a good job, but when you're kind of thrown in that position in the middle of the season you haven't had the reps at, it and it kind of puts you in a bind."
Going into mini-camp, there are 11 defensive linemen competing for a spot on the team, including eight that appeared in games for the Redskins last year.
Golston is ready to compete, but understands the importance of depth over a 16-game season.
"To have the depth is good, not only to keep guys fresh, but if a guy does go down somebody else can step up and play at a high level."