RICHMOND — Eight days after he was released by the Buffalo Bills, his employer for most of the last four seasons, Mike Caussin had a smile on his face Thursday morning as he walked off the practice field wearing burgundy and gold.
A native of Springfield, Virginia, who went on to play at James Madison University, Caussin grew up a Redskins fan. And don’t get him wrong, the tight end would be thrilled to be in camp with any NFL team — there are only so many landing spots out there, after all. But being here?
“It’s definitely a dream come true to play for my hometown team,” he said. “It’s a little sentiment to it and it makes you want it that much more.”
Caussin, who signed on Tuesday as a free agent, hasn’t played in an NFL game since the 2011 season. He made six appearances and got a pair of starts for the Bills that year, and those games were responsible for his career totals of five receptions for 41 yards.
Most important was what happened at the end of that season. He suffered a torn ACL in a December game against the Broncos that ended up costing him the entire 2012 season. Then a hip injury early in training camp last summer ended up keeping him out through 2013.
Caussin was caught in a numbers game in Buffalo this summer, released last week when the Bills needed to add another linebacker after Kiko Alonso tore his ACL. Now he’s left to make an impression on a new team, having already missed OTAs and other offseason opportunities to catch the coaches’ attention.
That doesn’t worry the 27-year-old. He just wants a chance to stay on the field.
“I’ve always been good at picking things up quick,” he said. “I am a veteran, this is my fifth year, so I know the game, I know the business, I know what needs to be done. I’m a fringe guy again, but I’m going to earn my spot and do what needs to be done — special teams, offense, whatever it takes. I’m ready to do that.”