- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 24, 2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C. | Nehemiah Broughton played his first game with the Washington Redskins three years ago in the same stadium where he might have played his last with the team Saturday night.

In 2005, the seventh-round draft choice hoped to make the roster.

Today, he’s still a long shot to win a job after spending most of his rookie year on the inactive list, the majority of 2006 on the practice squad and all last season on injured reserve.

But the Redskins wouldn’t have re-signed the 25-year-old in April if they didn’t think he had a chance of sticking around for a fourth season.

“It’s been a tough road,” Broughton said. “The hardest part was coming back from [a torn right ACL suffered during organized team activities in the spring of 2007] and not having a contract. I don’t really have much film. No one has really had a chance to see me. If the Redskins didn’t re-sign me, I knew it was going to be tough.”

But with no backup to starting fullback Mike Sellers, the Redskins picked him up.

Broughton has outlasted the rest of his draft class with the team, except for first-rounders Carlos Rogers and Jason Campbell.

“I kinda take pride that I’m still toughing it out,” said Broughton, who had three carries for 16 yards along with a 3-yard catch in Washington’s three preseason games before Saturday night’s game against the Carolina Panthers. “I figure if I’m still here, it’s for a reason. I’ve had a pretty good camp. I just go out and do what they ask me to.

“If something happens and I’m not here, and I’m somewhere else, I’ll just continue to play ball.”

Odds are that won’t be with the Redskins, who figure to keep only Sellers at fullback since they have an excess of talent at other positions.

“Nemo’s doing well, but it’s still going to be tough for him,” running backs coach Stump Mitchell said. “He’s got some ability as a runner. He can do well in short yardage, which was an issue for us last year. But Nemo needs to work on his blocking technique.”

Holloway confident

Linebacker David Holloway said he is better prepared to make an NFL team after spending last season with Arizona Cardinals.

Holloway, who joined the Redskins on Monday, spent 16 weeks on Arizona’s practice squad and the final week on the 53-man roster but didn’t play in any games.

“Getting that year of experience, seeing how things work and how people operate, being a pro rather than a collegian is a huge difference,” Holloway said. “Even in my offseason training, it helped a lot.”

Holloway, a three-year starter at Maryland, is related to two notable former athletes.

His father, Brian Holloway, is a former All-Pro offensive tackle for the New England Patriots. His maternal grandfather, John McKenzie, played right wing for 20 seasons in the NHL and WHA, most famously with the 1970 and 1972 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Holloway believes there’s enough time for him to win a spot. It doesn’t hurt that backup linebacker Matt Sinclair is battling back spasms and that starters Marcus Washington and Rocky McIntosh and reserve H.B. Blades also aren’t 100 percent.

“It only takes one or two plays for me,” Holloway said. “If … the situation’s right … it will only take a game to show what I can do and what I can bring to the team.”

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache said Tuesday he knew virtually nothing about his newest player but agreed that Holloway had a chance.

“He can introduce himself to me quickly and introduce himself to [special teams coach Danny Smith] by making some plays on specialty teams,” Blache said. “At worst - he’s a young guy - he can find a job on the practice squad. Any man only wants an opportunity and come Saturday night, he’s going to have an opportunity [under] the lights.”

Holloway said: “My goal is to work as hard as I can and get better every day,” Holloway said. “Beyond that, I’ll leave it in God’s hands.”

Holloway is one of four former Terrapins with the Redskins, joining second-year offensive tackle Stephon Heyer and rookie free agents Jason Goode and Andrew Crummey.

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