- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 7, 2006

Reed Doughty’s situation is all a matter of perspective.

As the third player drafted by the Washington Redskins last weekend, there are only three veteran safeties ahead of Doughty on the roster. The coaches gush when they talk about the 23-year-old, a Division II All-American both on the field and in the classroom.

“Reed has been good around the ball [in college],” assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams said of Doughty, who’s in the top five in Northern Colorado history in tackles and interceptions. “He has been productive around the ball. I don’t care about his level of competition. There have been a lot of guys at that level able to play this level. The things that will give him a chance are his intelligence and his toughness. If I can trust him and [safeties coach] Steve Jackson can trust him and he’s tough enough to play, we have ways to hide weaknesses. He’s a nice prospect.”

But Doughty doesn’t think he has it made. He sees himself as the kid who had one scholarship offer coming out of tiny Johnstown, Colo., and who saw 172 players drafted before him last weekend.

“Coming out of high school, I was very realistic,” Doughty said. “I love football and I just wanted to play it as long as I could. I thought I might make it on special teams as a freshman and just go from there. A lot of people dream about playing in the NFL, but you have to put in the work that realizing that dream entails.”

And Doughty’s workload isn’t going to decrease now that he has worn an NFL uniform, even if it’s only in a rookie minicamp.

“Nothing is going to be given to me just because I’m a draft pick,” said the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Doughty. “This isn’t a joke to me. My wife is back home and I’ll hardly see her for a while because I’ve got to do everything I can to learn the defense. I feel confident with what we’ve put in so far, but that’s maybe 3 percent of the scheme. I might not get it right the first time, but the second time, I won’t mess up again.”

Starting safeties Sean Taylor and Adam Archuleta and backup Pierson Prioleau don’t have to worry about Doughty taking their jobs, but they might not beat him when it comes to work ethic.

“I don’t run 4.2, but I’m going to run 4.5 every time,” Doughty said. “I’m going to try to win every sprint we run. I’m going to put everything I have into special teams and keep working on my man-to-man [coverage], which I didn’t play much in college. I think I have the skill set to do it, but I don’t have the technique right now.”

Notes — Defensive tackle Anthony Montgomery, Washington’s fifth-round pick, sat out after pulling a hamstring. Cornerback Chris Hawkins strained a shoulder during special teams work and didn’t return. Neither figures to practice today. … Maryland safety Milton Harris and Howard running back Jamar Smith were among the 17 players not invited back from Friday’s session. … Maryland receiver Derrick Fenner returned after missing Friday’s drills. Running backs Mike Imoh (Robinson High, Virginia Tech) and Mario Merrils (Maryland) and safety Dennard Wilson (Maryland) are the remaining area players.

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