Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield was a bit quieter last season than he was in New York.
With the Giants, Cofield was a respected locker room leader. In 2010, New York media named him the most helpful player to reporters. He tried to be more of an observer with the Redskins, though, because he wanted to earn his respect in Washington first.
After a quality first season at nose tackle in 2011, Cofield on Saturday declared himself ready to assume a leadership role with the Redskins.
“I think that had changed by the end of last year,” Cofield said. “I actually spoke to the team when we played that second Giants game, and I felt like right then, the words I said, the positive response I got from the guys, I think they wanted to hear more from me.
“It’s just about earning your respect. This league is all about what have you done for me lately. Nothing I had done prior to coming here warranted anybody respecting me or treating me like anything more than another guy trying to make the team. With my play last year, leading by example and doing the right things on and off the field, you gain that respect. And then you can assert yourself, and I feel like I am in a position where guys respect me and look up to me at this point.”