RICHMOND – Jeremy Towns had waited three-plus months for the call from an NFL team wanting to enlist his services, and when the call finally did come, the former Samford defensive end didn’t even have access to a phone.
Redskins director of pro personnel Alex Santos tried Towns’s cell phone but got no answer. He left a message. Meanwhile, Towns was on a mission trip to the island of Dominica, giving shoes to the needy and building houses.
He got back to the states and heard the voicemail Santos had left one week earlier. Towns – who went undrafted out of Samford and received only a minicamp invite from the Jets and no contract offer afterwards – thought he had missed his opportunity.
“You know how the NFL works, they move onto the next guy,” Towns said. “But it was good. Santos worked with me. God is good.”
The Redskins remained interested in the 6-foot-3, 303-pound Towns, and when a roster spot came available because of the season-ending injury to wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr., Washington signed Towns. The defensive lineman reported for his first practice Monday morning and had next to no idea what he was doing.
He now joins a defensive line position that features a good deal of experience with Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker and Jarvis Jenkins leading the way. But the Redskins also see a need for young, developmental talent at that position and have signed two ends – Jake McDonough and Towns – in the last week.
Towns has to play catch-up, and he planned to spend Monday evening with defensive line coach Jacob Burney so he could begin to learn the system.
He played in a 4-3 system in college, but his unit also used some 3-4 fronts here and there as well. Towns also got another introduction to the 3-4 defense while taking part in the Jets’ minicamp.
Although he didn’t yet know much about Washington’s system, he did know the coaches want him to play end, which was just fine.
“Wherever they’ll play me, I’ll stay here forever,” he said before describing his style of play and his goal with Washington. “I’m more of a power guy. Tenacious. I’ll try to fit in wherever a team needs me.”
Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.
The Redskins’ joint practice with the New England Patriots on Tuesday is at 1:35 p.m. Here’s our camp guide.
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