Devin Thomas got his named called last time he played the Washington Redskins with a punt block and consistently put the Giants in good field position returning kickoffs and punts.
Every year teams around the NFL cut, trade and sign new players. Veteran or rookie, no one is safe in a sport where winning now is the No. 1 goal.
Unlike MLB and the currently inactive NBA, the NFL only has 16 games to get things going in the right direction, whereas MLB has 162 games, and the NBA has 82. With such a short amount of time to improve, NFL coaches feel the pressure more than any other sport.
With every transaction, some players leave on good terms while others...not so much. If they are lucky, at some point in their careers they will get the opportunity to come back and show their previous team what they are missing.
Throughout the preseason, the Washington Redskins were praised for not being like their old selves and signing the big-name free agents—instead bringing in key pieces who they believe can help them win both now and in the future.
In the process of making these moves, they had to let go of some players who they will have to face this season. Some players needed to go, and others just weren’t a fit but that long road of deja vu starts this weekend as the San Francisco 49ers come to town with a stout defense that includes ex-Washington Redskin Carlos Rogers.
The potential nightmare doesn’t end there, as three more ex-players return to see the Redskins with hopes of wreaking havoc and coming out with a win.
Coming in at No. 4 is Donovan McNabb. He was brought in as the quarterback of the future as the team shipped Jason Campbell off to Oakland. McNabb was pegged as the quarterback savior for the Washington Redskins. As all Redskins fans already know, that didn’t happen.
He left Washington after multiple rumors surfaced about him not being in shape, having a bad work ethic and even not knowing the plays. Just as quickly as his five-year, $78 million contract was signed, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for a sixth-round pick, with a conditional 2013 sixth-round pick, but the incentives are unlikely to be met.
Though McNabb has already been benched by the Vikings, I’m sure he will be chomping at the bit to at least see some plays when he makes his return to FedEx Field, and with his limited action you better believe he will be looking to make a huge impact.
At No. 3 we have Andre Carter. Carter was a long-time Redskin who made huge contributions while he in Washington, averaging over 50 tackles and nine sacks per season. As time went on he seemed to improve. But after just one season in the new 3-4 scheme, the coaches no longer saw him as a fit and decided to move on without him.
In August he was signed by the New England Patriots where he was been playing well. So far this season he has 27 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
The Patriots visit FedEx Field in Week 14 where Carter will continue to show fans from both franchises that he still has what it takes to play in the NFL at age 32.
Next on the list is possibly the most disliked Washington Redskin ever, Albert Haynesworth. He came to the Redskins via free agency in 2009 and signed the infamous $100 million contract.
Things quickly became sour when Haynesworth began to question (then defensive coordinator) Greg Blache’s scheme and proclaimed that he couldn’t survive another season in it.
Mike Shanahan was having none of this, and after virtually an entire second season of Haynesworth complaining, not participating and hibernating on the field while Michael Vick collected touchdowns, he was suspended for the rest of the season in December of that year. He was traded for a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Nothing much has changed with Haynesworth, as he has barely been able to play in games and has been injured for most of the season. To this point he has a total of three—yes, three—tackles, no sacks and no forced fumbles. Who knows, maybe he is still hibernating.
But you can bet your kid's college savings that when he returns to meet his biggest financial makers, he will be on fire. He could possibly record his most tackles in a game and the only sack of his season in Week 14. You can guarantee there will be no lying down on the job that Sunday.
Finally, the No. 1 player who could make the biggest impact is Carlos Rogers. This year, Rogers has looked like an entirely new person than what Redskin fans remember. A change of scenery has apparently been very beneficial in rejuvenating his play.
Redskins fans knew Rogers was a good tackler, they knew he had good cover skills but they could not stand his brick hands—in his time in Washington, that’s predominantly what fans remember about Carlos “Brick Hands” Rogers.
This year he must have gone to Costco to stock up on baby oil because his hands sure do seem a lot softer now. This season he already has a new career high in interceptions in one season with three, and he returned one of them for a touchdown for only the second time in his seven-year
So far with the 49ers, he has 19 combined tackles, nine batted passes (which also could have been attempted interceptions) and has looked better than ever in coverage going against good offenses.
Rogers will return home to the team that drafted him this Sunday with hopes of showing all the fans his new tricks and treating them to a loss. You can be assured Rogers will want to show off his new hands with a pick and will jump as many routes as he can.
If he is unable to get his hands on the ball, you better believe that he will be looking to shut down any WR that comes to his side. Out of all of the players listed, Carlos Rogers is certain to make the biggest impact come Sunday.