This past offseason, Rocky McIntosh was a free agent, coming off of a career year despite having to learn a new position on the fly as the Washington Redskins switched to the 3-4 defense.
And despite the uncertainty caused by the NFL’s labor dispute, the Miami product always maintained a desire to remain with the team that drafted him in the second round of the 2006 draft.
After the new CBA was reached and free agency began, McIntosh had to wait eight days before the Redskins signed him to a one-year deal, but once his signing was complete, he promptly nudged aside second-year pro Perry Riley (his main competitor) to retain his starting “Jack” inside linebacker spot.
Through three games, McIntosh leads the Redskins both in total tackles (22) and solo tackles (12) and also has a sack.
I’ve been here forever and since the first day I got here, I wanted to come here and do the best I can to win, so I’m glad I’m back for another year, go out there and just keep producing.
McIntosh spent the first four years of his career playing weakside linebacker, so moving to the inside last season required him to adjust his techniques and learn new responsibilities for the Redskins. McIntosh recorded a career-high 110 tackles, but didn’t always feel the most comfortable.
But now with a full season under his belt, McIntosh feels more at home at the inside linebacker position, and is able to play at a higher speed rather than being slowed down by having to think through things while on the field.
“It’s great. It’s the second year, and just like anything else, you get more repetitions under your belt and you feel looser and you can make more plays,” McIntosh said. “We’re doing the same things, but we’ve just tightened up things. We know the scheme more and disguise more, but still get to our responsibility. So it’s great, and I like it and it’s showing on the field.”
Although early in the season, McIntosh already is on pace to top last season’s career-best numbers, but he quickly points out that his only concern is helping the team win – not to ensure his stats look good.
“I’ve been here forever and since the first day I got here, I wanted to come here and do the best I can to win,” McIntosh said. “So I’m glad I’m back for another year, go out there and just keep producing.”
When asked what kind of goals he set for himself this season, revealed a rather short list.
“First of all beat the Giants, which I finally did,” he said with a laugh. “But just to go out there and win the division, man. All my goals are team goals, and all the individual goals will come later. Just team goals. I’ve been that way since Day 1.”