During the offseason, the Washington Redskins signed veteran offensive tackle Sean Locklear, who had spent the majority of the previous seven seasons starting at right tackle for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Redskins envisioned Locklear as a backup to both left tackle Trent Williams and right tackle Jammal Brown, and when Williams went down with a high ankle sprain three games ago, Locklear took his place.
Locklear has started the last two games at left tackle, and this week spent time preparing to play left guard in the event that Williams is able to return and coaches decide to keep Locklear as a starter.
The subject of today’s Gameday Q&A, Locklear discusses his versatility, growing up a Redskins fan in Lumberton, N.C., and more:
You signed with the Redskins during training camp. What about this team appealed to you?
“I liked their style of offense. We ran a different offense in Seattle when Mike Holmgren was there, but the last two years there, we were running the zone scheme. And knowing Mike Shanahan’s history, that was something that appealed to me. When I took the trip, I knew what kind of linemen he liked. He likes athletic linemen that can move, not bigger guys, but guys that can move. I thought it’d be a great fit for me, and knowing his history, I expected him, since he’s won the Super Bowl and put out 1,500-, 1,600-yard rushers, so he knows what he’s doing.”
Did it take you a while to adjust to this version?
“Not long at all. Day 1, the first day I put on pads, Jammal [Brown] was gone for an absence and so first practice, I was out there, so that lets you know what I knew about the offense, being here the first day. But watching those guys through the preseason, Kory [Lichtensteiger], Trent [Williams] and Jammal, I just picked up more things and I’m still learning, but I’m comfortable with knowing how they run this thing.”
Is this version of the zone blocking scheme as similar as you expected?
“I was surprised because they said similar, but it is really quite the same with the play-calling and the way they want things to run. There’s a little more emphasis on certain points of how things are to be done, and I think that’s because with him being the guru of the zone scheme, you’re not going to get some of those details from other guys that you would from the guy that invented it.”
How does your versatility help you and your team?
“It helps out a lot just with the experience level. I think it gives coaches confidence that they’ve got a guy that’s played a lot of games and seen a lot of situations and played at a high level. I consider myself the sixth man, but I consider myself a starter too. I’ve started a lot of games in my career and[a] couple here and played well. But there’s always room to get better.”
What was it like going from guard in college to tackle in the NFL?
“In college, I played one year at right guard and the last year I played right tackle and left tackle, so it was a learning curve throughout those two years. When I was coming out, all the scouts were telling me I’d be a guard/center basically, and I got to camp at Seattle and they said ‘We’re going to play you at tackle.’ So it was learning on the run because I only played two years of offense [after playing defensive line initially for N.C. State]. With more snaps and the more plays I got, the better it came.”
How do you like being back on this side of the country after being out West for all those years?
“It’s good. The time zone was the biggest thing. Being back close to family and friends where everything’s not a five-hour flight. I’m not complaining about it, you just have to do it. But now rather than a five-hour flight, it’s a five-hour drive and family can come up and visit, and when you get ready to do it, you’re not planning months in advance for a plane ticket to get out here.”
What was your favorite football team growing up?
“I grew up a Skins fan, and a 49ers fan. It’s weird. Steve Young, Joe Montana and those guys. It’s kinda ironic, my mom reminded me of a story when I first got here. I was probably in the fifth grade and Starter was big back then and she bought me a Starter hat, and it was a Redskins hat. I wore it to school and someone stole it from me. I remember I got home off of the bus and we went back to the school looking for it but we never found it. It was like $20 bucks and she still remembers that. I still remember it too. That kind of stuck in my mind. But I was always a huge Redskins fan.”
So was that your dream to play for the Redskins?
“I’m sure it was. I was a tight end, but I was out there running routes saying I was Art Monk and those guys back in the day. And there’s a huge Redskins fan base where I’m from [in Lumberton, N.C.]. It’s either you’re a Redskins fan, or you’re a Cowboys fan. There’s no in between.
You’re a member of the Lumbee Tribe. What was that like growing up?
“Growing up in a tribe – I’m half Native American – you don’t think about it at the time, but looking back and coming of age, you start to think and that very well may be why there is such a large Redskins following down there because we’re Native Americans and you know what the symbol of the Redskins is.”
Did you experience a lot of cultural differences as a Native American?
“Yes, and no. No because where I’m from there was a very diverse area. It was about 30-30-30 as far as percentage of Whites, Native Americans and Blacks, with a few Hispanics sprinkled in. So it was a really diverse area and culture. So, there were some cultural differences, but at the same time no just because of the diversity of the area.”
When you’re not playing football, what do you like to do?
“Golf. I have never broke 80, but I’ve shot low 90s a couple times before. I like golf and basketball. When I came out here, I was driving around and looking at all the golf courses, but it was training camp and so you don’t have any time. And then once the season started, I was like, ‘Well I’m not really playing, my body’s not sore. Maybe I’ll play on Tuesdays.’ But then it’s raining every day. So I’ve still never gotten a chance to play. I brought my clubs and everything, so that’s kinda sad. And now I’m looking and thinking, ‘Where was this weather when I had the chance to play?’ But I’ll get my chance in the offseason.”
Any other hobbies or little-known facts about Sean Locklear?
“I love kids. It’s kind of a funny thing. Any time there’s a new family member, I’m always sending gear. That’s my thing. I get a card or something and they say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a new one,’ that’s my thing. Even when I’m back home, I just stay home mostly, so I’ll have aunts and uncles over, bringing their kids and they’re getting in the pool in the summer, and I’m there just like a big uncle. I don’t have any kids so I spoil everybody else’s and then when they misbehave, I can call their parents. You can always send them home at the end of the night!”