Shawn Lauvao seems to have an odd relationship with the Washington Redskins’ fan base, but the coaching staff is thrilled to have him back at guard.
There was no wave of momentum to re-sign the 30-year-old when he seemed poised to leave via free agency in the spring. The team was ready to move on, as both coach Jay Gruden and Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams said backup Arie Kouandjio was prepared to step up. Concerns remained, however, when a guard wasn’t added in free agency or the draft and Lauvao came back on a one-year, $1.5 million deal in early May.
Lauvao was back at left guard with the No. 1 unit during organized team activities and minicamp — a spot he’s held for the past four seasons. Despite the odd situation, offensive line coach Bill Callahan was ecstatic to have Lauvao back in burgundy and gold.
“It’s not what I like [about him], it’s [what] I love,” Callahan said. “I love him. He’s a warrior, he’s a veteran. He’s well prepared. More than that, in the room, in the locker room, in the weight room, you watch him practice and he’s a very contentious pro. He’s a pro’s pro. He’s a consummate pro in that respect. He does everything you want him to do. He works hard. He studies. He knows the game. He can teach the young guys.
“We really benefited from him coming back.”
The ninth-year veteran has struggled to stay on the field, missing a combined 20 games in 2015 and 2017, and has yet to play a full 16-game season with the Redskins. Lauvao accomplished that feat twice in Cleveland before coming to Washington.
Of the two relatively healthy years, Lauvao had his best season in Washington in 2014, according to Pro Football Focus. He played 15 games and was tied as the 34th-best guard in the league among those that played at least 50 percent of the snaps. Lauvao ranked 51st in 2016 when he played 14 games.
The return of Lauvao puts four-fifths of the team’s starting line from 2017 back together, once Trent Williams and Morgan Moses recover. They’ll frame center Chase Roullier, who saw significant time last season after starter Spencer Long went down with injury. Both Williams and Moses are expected to be ready for training camp in July.
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