When Crezdon Butler reported to Redskins Park for his first practice after the team claimed him on waivers Saturday, he was happy to see a familiar face in former Clemson teammate Jarvis Jenkins.
When the cornerback sat in on his first meeting, he had a good deal of familiarity with the defensive schemes as well. Butler played in very similar systems as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and the Arizona Cardinals the last two preseasons.
The Redskins’ terminology is different, but Butler hopes his experience in his last two stops helps him catch on quickly in Washington.
Butler was cut by Pittsburgh during the preseason of 2011 and claimed by Arizona shortly after. He appeared in three preseason games for the Cardinals, recording 12 tackles and an interception, which he returned 95 yards for a touchdown. He made the Cardinals’ 53-man roster, but dislocated his ankle.
“It was very difficult, because playing the position I play, I need my speed, and that was the first thing that went when I broke my ankle. I didn’t have that speed no more. But I rehabbed, and it took me a year to get fully back, and I’m ready.
Butler returned to the field after nearly a year-long recovery, but was released by Arizona last Friday and claimed by Washington the next day.
“It was a great feeling to be wanted,” said the 6-0, 191-pound Butler. “Arizona wanted me to come back and be on the practice squad. I really was kind of disappointed with that, but it’s always a blessing to have a job.”
Butler admittedly has some catching up to do in a secondary that features DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson as the starters ahead of Cedric Griffin, a seventh-year veteran, and rookie Richard Crawford, who just had a strong preseason.
“Hopefully, first I’m going to start some special teams and then work my way onto the defense once they get comfortable with me,” Butler said.