When the 2011 preseason began, cornerback Kevin Barnes was penciled in as Washington's No. 2 starter opposite DeAngelo Hall.
The former Maryland Terrapin was so excited that he made a sly comment on radio about the departure of locker-room cancer Albert Haynesworth.
Unfortunately for Barnes, he got erased from the starter's sheet before he could sharpen up.
Washington's coaching staff certainly liked what they saw in the 2009 third-round choice, but felt compelled to replace San Francisco-bound Carlos Rogers with an experienced veteran.
In typical Redskins fashion, they got one in late July, in the form of Josh Wilson. Wilson, who is also a Maryland alumnus, had the resume to boot, with three seasons as a starter under his belt. Originally drafted by Seattle in 2007, Josh started two out of his three years with the Seahawks and in his lone season in Baltimore.
So, Wilson got handed the job, and Barnes got put on hold.
Some youngsters would call that a raw deal, but Barnes refused to waver from his quest to improve.
“I’m still a young guy. I’m only 24,” Barnes told writer Stephen Wynos in an interview with the Washington Times. “I have a lot left in me. I don’t think I’ve reached halfway as far as my potential.”
That potential could eventually lead to a starter's role, but the No. 2 spot is still Wilson's to lose. Could Barnes start for another team? Possibly, if Washington were to release him.
But look for the Redskins to keep Kevin around for his versatility. In return, Barnes will do his best to provide competition for veteran newcomer Cedric Griffin at the nickleback position.