Wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe on Thursday, the day before final cuts, received a phone call from Paul Kelly, Redskins director of football operations. Coach Mike Shanahan wanted to see him. This can’t be good, Briscoe thought.
“Calm down,” Briscoe recalled Kelly saying. “It’s not one of them.”
Shanahan brought Briscoe in to get to know him better on a personal level. That helped calm Briscoe’s nerves entering Friday.
“He calls you in, that means he likes you,” Briscoe said. “That helps your self esteem…knowing the caches wants to get to know you better.”
Briscoe, who turned 23 on cut-down day, received the only birthday present he wanted. Now that he is one of seven receivers to make the final roster, he realizes his work is not finished. He’s behind Joshua Morgan and Leonard Hankerson at ‘Z’ receiver on the Redskins’ depth chart, so he’ll have to fight just to be active on game days.
“Don’t slack off,” he said. “Nothing is given. It can easily be taken away.”
That’s a mindset Briscoe developed this summer. Tampa Bay waived him despite his team-leading six touchdown catches last season. He failed a conditioning test at the start of camp after missing some offseason workouts.
“Getting let go from Tampa was a humbling feeling,” Briscoe said. “It brought me back to reality that any day you can get released and what you did last year doesn’t really matter. I wanted to come in and prove to the coaches that I’m in shape and ready to go to work.”
Briscoe did that with a team-leading two touchdown receptions in the preseason. His 117 receiving yards were second to Aldrick Robinson’s 132.
Briscoe, who is 6-2, 210, stood out during preseason games for his good hands and size.
“Size and the ability to shield defenders [with] my body and catch everything that comes my way,” he said. “I’ve got good hands, but my body helps a lot.”