Tony Bergstrom enters his second season with the Washington Redskins looking to prove the offensive line with an experienced voice within the room.
Bergstrom signed with the Redskins midway through the 2017 season while Washington's offensive line dealt with a rash of injuries. In total, Bergstrom appeared in four games with the Redskins before being re-signed this offseason.
With the offensive line returning to health this season, Bergstrom figures to have a key role in helping develop second-year center Chase Roullier with Alex Smith now under center.
"I've been around, and the nice thing is the faster you can get guys in the faster you can start to get some cohesion as a team," Bergstrom said during Washington's minicamp with the 90-man roster. "Even though it's always kind of an awkward spot and that everyone is not going to be here, it's one of those times where you have a good chance to form a relationship with a lot of new guys. So it's nothing new it's just taking the time to go out of your way to learn somebody's name and get to know them, joke around with them a little bit."
The Utah product, like the rest of the Redskins roster, has left the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va., for the six-week break prior to training camp.
Bergstrom said that OTAs and minicamp are important to him because of the small work that is put in during the programs, an opportunity he didn't have in Washington last year. During the break, though, Bergstrom will have time to actually process these details and put himself in a position to stand out in late July.
"I think this is the time to really solidify those little things and make sure you have a broad understanding of the offense," Bergstrom said. "All of the minutiae of the offense will come in training camp and throughout the season, but you need to just make sure you understand the big picture items."
The big picture that Bergstrom alludes to is getting the entire line on the same page with the entirety of Washington's offense. That starts with Smith, who was acquired this offseason following his third trip to the Pro Bowl.
"The quarterback play has been phenomenal," Bergstrom said. "Alex and Colt [McCoy] have just been dropping in dimes out there. That's always encouraging when you see that. As an offensive lineman, you always see that. The running backs, dudes have been hitting their holes. As an offensive lineman, you always think we're doing well. You always think the offensive line is looking good but when you can look in there and see the backs are seeing the holes and they're catching the right holes and the quarterbacks are doing something with the time we're giving, that's always really encouraging. You always feel really happy about that."