A big part of Derek Schouman wanted to stay at home with his newborn son. But Schouman also wanted the NFL lockout to quickly end so he would have an idea where his family would move.
Schouman got both over time.
“The lockout turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I got to spend quality time with him, but it was just tough being away from the game for so long.” Schouman said. “I enjoyed adjusting to family life and working out.”
Last Tuesday the Redskins signed Schouman, who left his family in Eagle, Idaho, and landed in the nation’s capital after midnight on Wednesday. In an attempt to digest the offensive playbook, he barely slept before joining Mike Sellers, Joe Torchia, Fred Davis and Chris Cooley at tight end on the practice field on Wednesday morning, two days before Friday’s first preseason game.
“It’s tough coming in late, not knowing anybody or not knowing anything,” Schouman said. “I spent all today and will spend the rest of the night getting into the books trying to learn the offense. Everyone’s been helping, but the vast majority of learning is going to come on my end.”
Schouman, who was drafted in the seventh round in 2007 by the Buffalo Bills, enters his fifth season in the NFL. The 6-foot-2 tight end spent three seasons in Buffalo, where he caught 27 passes for 275 yards and one touchdown. The Bills placed him on injured reserve in 2009 and again in 2010 before the team waived him last September. Schouman later signed with St. Louis, appearing in four games. He became a free agent after the season, suddenly expecting his son and hoping for a phone call from an NFL team.
“I was just waiting for a call and an opportunity,” said Schouman, who worked out at Boise State in the offseason. “Fortunately Washington came along and hopefully I can play well and make a home here.”