Shortly after his first morning walkthrough with the Washington Redskins, newly-added wide receiver David Anderson already felt pretty much at home.
Having played for Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan when Shanahan held the same position with the Houston Texans in 2008 and 2009, Anderson was pleased to learn Washington’s schemes are nearly identical to Houston’s.
“I think there’s about three words that are different from what I knew in Houston, and probably about four or five new routes, which is like any weekly install, you’re always going to have to learn some new things,” said Anderson, a sixth-year pro out of Colorado State who signed with Washington late Monday night. “I [like] my familiarity with the terminology and the system, and I know both quarterbacks. That will be helpful. I have some familiarity with [receivers] Jabar [Gaffney] and Santana [Moss], so it’s nice to have some familiarity in a place that you’ve never been.”
Anderson will try to help an offense that has struggled mightily this season, mustering only 11 points in the last two games. At 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, Anderson isn’t the biggest receiver, but he has a reputation as a precise route runner, and he believes those skills, along with his knowledge of the system, will enable him to make an impact for Washington.
“I think just a knowledge of the offense, where to get open, how to get open, do what they ask of me and play that,” Anderson said when asked what he could offer the Redskins. “Whatever they ask, I’m down for it. I know we’ve got a big eight games, and nothing’s too far out of reach.”
Anderson, who spent the last six seasons with Houston, had just one catch for nine yards for the Texans. He had his best two seasons under Kyle Shanahan.
In 32 games (nine starts), he served primarily as the third receiver. During those two seasons he had 57 of his career’s 82 catches for 611 of his 895 yards.
But once Shanahan left for the Redskins, Anderson tallied only 12 catches for 126 yards in 13 games.
“The system was a little bit different when he was there – a little more three-receiver based,” Anderson said. “When [Shanahan] left, they wanted to run the ball a little bit more, as you can tell by their offense. They did a lot of two and three tight ends, which eliminated my role. You just play the cards you’re dealt and that’s the way things were in Houston. And now I’m just glad to be here.”