Jordan Black, the Washington Redskins’ newly signed offensive tackle, said Tuesday he’s glad to be back with an NFL team after a year away from the game but he’s not concerning himself too much yet with how he might fit into the club’s regular-season plans.
“My expectation is to expect nothing, hope for nothing, just to compete,” Black said after participating in the Redskins’ morning walk-through in their indoor practice facility at Redskins Park.
Black, 32, cannot practice with the Redskins until later this week because of a provision in the sport’s collective bargaining agreement requiring players to begin camp with one day of no on-field activities followed by two days without being in pads.
The Redskins, with injuries piling up on their offensive line, signed Black on Monday. Jammal Brown, the team’s starter at right tackle, is sidelined by an ailing hip. Starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Monday.
Black has spent eight NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has made 40 starts, including 10 in 2005 and 15 in 2006 for the Chiefs. He made nine starts for the Jaguars in 2010 but was out of the league last season after being released by the New Orleans Saints early last September.
He said he was close to signing with the Chicago Bears last November. But then Chicago’s starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, suffered a broken thumb and the Bears signed a quarterback, Josh McCown, instead. Black came to believe he wouldn’t get another chance in the NFL, he said.
“I just moved on,” he said.
He was preparing to open some fitness franchises in the Houston area, he said, when the Redskins called. So he put his other business plans on hold.
“I’m thrilled,” Black said. “I still have football in me.”
One issue now is that Black must return to his playing weight. He is listed on the Redskins’ roster at 305 pounds. But he said his weight actually has fallen to somewhere between 275 and 280 pounds. He is going on a 7,000-calorie-per-day diet, he said, to try to reach 290 pounds before the season. The Redskins’ offensive system will help, he said.
“This is probably the only scheme in the NFL that will allow an offensive lineman to be a little undersized,” Black said.
Black potentially gives the Redskins another option at right tackle. Tyler Polumbus has been practicing with the starting offense in place of Brown, who is scheduled to have his hip examined Tuesday by a specialist.
Black doesn’t anticipate any problems learning the Redskins’ system or getting comfortable with playing in the NFL again, he said.
“Two days ago, I was in full-time dad mode,” Black said. “Now you step on the field and you’re in football mode.”
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