The Washington Redskins welcomed four new faces to their locker room Wednesday as they prepare for Sunday’s game at the Miami Dolphins.
Defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer, wide receiver David Anderson, cornerback Domonique “D.J.” Johnson and offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus joined the team Wednesday, replacing tight end Dominique Byrd, linebacker Darrion Scott, cornerback Brandyn Thompson and wide receiver Donte Stallworth.
Balmer is a former first-round draft pick, selected 29th overall by San Francisco in 2008, and spent two seasons with the 49ers before being traded to Seattle last year for a sixth-round pick. The Seahawks cut him this summer, and he also spent time with the Carolina Panthers during the preseason before being dropped again.
“I’m thankful to the Redskins for having me here, and I’m just looking to make the best of this opportunity,” Balmer said. “With my name comes a lot of baggage. A lot of it I brought on myself. The time off was really humbling. It made me realize what my priorities were.”
Balmer declined to elaborate on his past mistakes beyond admitting that he “didn’t have his priorities straight.” He says his new approach is to take a professional attitude to the game at all times. He has experience playing in a 3-4 defense, and says his strength is his versatility.
Anderson knows the Redskins offense, having spent six years with Houston when Kyle Shanahan was the Texans’ offensive coordinator. He expects to be used as a slot receiver.
“There’s about three words that are different from what I learned in Houston and probably four or five new routes, which is just like any weekly install so I should be fine,” he said.
Johnson, meanwhile, spent his rookie season in Denver and said he’s heard a lot of good things about Mike Shanahan.
“I wish I could say I’ll pick it up today,” Johnson said of his ability to lean the new system. “It’s going to come with getting on the field, getting the reps and staying in the playbook. When it comes, it comes. I’d like to say I do everything well, but I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot with that one.”
Beck: Miami return no biggie
Spare quarterback John Beck the storyline about him returning to Miami this Sunday to face the team that drafted him and cast him aside. He has bigger problems.
“Right now, I’m just trying to do the best I can so we can win a football game,” he said.
Beck started four games as a rookie for the 1-15 Dolphins in 2007 and didn’t get another opportunity until now. He’s still looking for his first victory.
Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor recalled that horrific 2007 season during a teleconference Wednesday.
“Things weren’t always great around here, and he was thrown to the wolves, kind of in that season - thrown out there and told, ‘Go make something happen. You’re a second-round pick, and everyone wants to see what you have, so go do it,’ “” Taylor said. “I think he was kind of put into an unfair position a little bit and not really given all the tools he needed to succeed, and that started from the top down.”
• Seven Redskins sat out Wednesday’s practice with various ailments. Receivers Santana Moss (hand) and Niles Paul (sprained toe) were ruled out for Sunday’s game.
• Right tackle Jammal Brown (left groin) might be sidelined against Miami after missing last week’s second half. “Jammal is normally a pretty tough guy,” Shanahan said. “If he misses plays during a game, you know it’s fairly serious.”
• Strong safety LaRon Landry sat out because his left Achilles’ tendon is sore. That’s the injury that cost him all of training camp and the preseason. Free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (knee/toe), linebacker Keyaron Fox (skin infection), and linebacker Markus White (illness) also sat out. Recently signed running back Tashard Choice (hamstring) fully participated.