Each week on game day, we’ll share a talk with a member of the Washington Redskins, talking football and a little bit of life away from the field as well.
This week’s Q&A is with starting running back Tim Hightower, who grew up in the D.C. area and starred at Episcopal High School in Alexandria and the University of Richmond before he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals.
In three seasons with the Cardinals, Hightower shared rushing duties, but after he was acquired by the Redskins this summer, he became the workhorse in Mike Shanahan’s offense.
Hightower has shined this preseason. In three games, he had 23 carries for 170 yards and three touchdowns. He looks to get off to a strong start today against the Giants.
What’s Sunday’s game going to be like for you, having grown up here, cheering for the Redskins?
It’s going to be emotional. I think it’s going to be emotional for all of us because it’s the first game, and the first chance for us to all play together. But it’s going to be real emotional, and for me personally, getting a fresh start, and the chance to play in front of a lot of coaches I played for and people I know. It’s going to be real emotional.
Did you ever imagine as a kid that you actually would be here some day?
I did actually. I did. But you can imagine, but it’s not real until it’s real. You can think about something. And I’ve driven by the stadium so many times, trying to avoid all the traffic of the game and getting so upset. But now, to actually be a part of that, all these people coming to see me? It’s a dream come true. It’s a blessing, really.
Do you feel that there’s pressure on you because of all that?
Yeah. It’s a good pressure. I love that. I love that kind of pressure. A lot of people have high expectations, but that’s good. If they don’t have any expectations, it means I haven’t been doing anything. So it’s a great pressure for me.
How have you been able to fit so well into this system so quickly?
Just working at it. Practice makes perfect, so just working at it. They put a good group of guys around me. I’m the one in the spotlight, and I get to be in the end zone, but those guys up front, and the tight ends, fullback, those guys work. If you watch on film, you can see O-linemen running up to the next level and running downfield. They make my job so much easier. We’re still working at it, but it’s coming together.
When you’re not on the field, what do you like to do?
Relax and sleep. No hobbies for me during the season. During the offseason, I try to get into everything, playing instruments, going here, going there. But in season, I’m in football mode. Chill with my family, relax a little bit, write a little bit. But that’s it. I’m a homebody, really.
What will be playing on your iPod pregame?
Most recently some gospel. Gospel more than anything. Some William McDowell, some Kirk Franklin, all that good stuff. I’ve got to set the tone right. Gotta get the mind right.