While there was some question as to whether Jammal Brown or Sean Locklear would be charged with protecting John Beck’s blind side Sunday at Carolina, Locklear says he’s practicing exclusively at left tackle this week.
Locklear has spent most of his career playing the right side in Seattle but has spent most of this season on the Redskins’ bench. With Trent Williams out with a high ankle sprain, Locklear will get his first start of the season this Sunday.
“I played a lot over there during the preseason, mainly left,” Locklear said. “Going in there and playing last week for about three quarters, I felt pretty comfortable there. Coming in with a full week’s practice, I feel pretty good about myself.”
Locklear is plenty familiar with the Redskins’ zone-blocking scheme. In Seattle, he worked last season under Alex Gibbs and Jeremy Bates, two of Mike Shanahan’s former coaches in Denver.
Seattle picked Locklear in the third round in 2004 out of N.C. State. He made 51 starts at right tackle through 2008. But injuries moved Locklear to the left tackle spot for stretches of the past two seasons. He says even when he was playing exclusively on the right side, he still saw some work on the left.
“Even when I was in Seattle, I’d do right and then take a few snaps at left, knowing I was going to play right the majority of the time,” he said. “And I actually have a year at left. To actually come here and get more reps at left, I’m feeling pretty comfortable.”
The starting five at Carolina likely will be Locklear, Will Montgomery at left guard, Erik Cook making his first career start at center, Chris Chester at right guard and Brown at right tackle. It’s a combination of linemen that did not work together as a unit until injuries to Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger last Sunday.
“It’s different, just the fact we’re all three guys at new spots. That’s the job we play,” Locklear said, “that’s what we have to handle every year. Guys get hurt, so we have to be able to step up.”