- The Washington Times - Monday, September 1, 2014

Driving out of Chicago back toward his home state of Oklahoma with his wife, Brianna, Tress Way hoped what Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman said was true.

Trestman had called Way into his office Aug. 18 to tell him he was cut. That was the bad news. But, he also told Way other teams were interested in giving him a shot after a solid preseason with the Bears.

The next afternoon, Way heard from the Redskins. They gave him 10 days to come in and make the team. He did just that. He’ll be the punter Sunday when the Redskins open at the Houston Texans.

Way, an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma, views all this as a bit of kismet. He played at Tulsa’s Union High School. Their mascot? The Redskins.

Way and his high school teammates would run out of a tepee set up by the baseball team. They would chant, “All my life, I wanted to be a Redskin!” That would be followed by, “Work, work, baby, work, work.”

Once he made it through cuts and was part of the team — the Redskins released Robert Malone Aug. 29 — his phone began to buzz with the Redskins chant. He copied and pasted the “Work, work, baby, work, work” callback into each reply.

“I must have got 65, ‘All my life I wanted to be a Redskin,’” Way said.

Way is a left-footed punter. He does everything else from the right — throwing a baseball, eating, whatever. Way said his left-footedness comes from playing soccer as a kid. He was so convinced that’s the proper side to kick from, he converted his younger brother, Cole, to kick with his left foot.

Cole is an oddity in himself. Tress is the second-tallest person in his family, officially listed at 6-foot-1. His “little” brother is a 6-foot-10 left-handed pitcher in the Kansas City Royals’ system.

“That dude’s like staring into the sun when he’s on the mound,” Tress said.

With the Redskins, Way’s focus will be directional punting. He wants to push kicks toward the hashmarks. He carries goals of at least 4.8 seconds in the air and 45-50 yards per punt.

“I had a really good 10 days,” Way said. “I really like it here a lot. I can’t really explain it, but I feel comfortable. I’m excited for Sunday now.”

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