Redskins

In the End, It’s Joe Gibbs and Sean Taylor Reed Doughty Remembers

by Chris Lingebach
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Safety Reed Doughty #37 of the Washington Redskins looks over at the sideline during the NFL preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on August, 23, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Safety Reed Doughty #37 of the Washington Redskins looks over at the sideline during the NFL preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on August, 23, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Although Reed Doughty says “there’s a chance” the Redskins could re-sign him, for all intents and purposes, his eight-year career in Washington, and the NFL, is done.

Doughty noted as much himself, in a farewell message to Redskins fans he posted on Instagram last week.

He also took to the airwaves, with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, reflecting back on his time in D.C. and the various coaches for which he played, and teammates with which he bonded, as well as the special moments in his career he’ll remember, with particular regard for Joe Gibbs and Sean Taylor.

Reed, a sixth-round pick in the Joe Gibbs (2.0) era out of Northern Colorado, was never a star in the NFL, something he says he was always conscious of, but took pride in being an “overachiever,” a trait which helped him survive three coaching staffs (Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan), a rarity in this league.

“I think it’s about tenacity, and durability, and just being focused on the here and now — making the most out of each practice, out of each OTA, out of each game,” Doughty said. “But ‘overachiever’ usually, I guess, notes that you have little talent and a lot of effort, and the truth is, I hope most guys are overachievers, and I think most guys that are in the NFL are, and I certainly wouldn’t have been if I wouldn’t have worked as hard as I did.”

“I think I have more talent than people give me credit for,” he said. “But I know I’m not a supremely talented, Hall of Fame type talent, but at the same time, what I appreciated about some of the coaches I had, especially when Coach Gibbs drafted me, he said, ‘There’s core Redskins, there’s core players that we need to win games that aren’t going to superstars, and never may be called, but we need you, and we need guys like that as a part of the team,’ so I took that to heart, and being a special teams player and having pride in that, and yea, I’m an overachiever, and I’m very proud of that.”

As DC Sports Bog noted, former Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was the first to publicly acknowledge Doughty’s overachieving personality, in 2006.

“I think he’s an overachiever, and I can relate to that,” Williams said. “When he first got here, his head was swimming. He is a guy that overanalyzes everything. He is very bright. He is extremely prideful. He can’t stand making a mistake. He has been an overachiever his whole life.”

Doughty on being a role player:

“Even Shanahan, when I signed back in I guess 2011, right after the lockout. He preached to me too: ‘there are role players, and you’re one of the best that does what you do, as far as being able to step in and play, but also excelling on special teams,’ and he said,’you know, we need guys like you on the team; you may not be the big money guy,’ unfortunately, ‘or the big star,’ but I think there are a lot of coaches that do believe in that. Some put more value on it than others.”

Personal favorite moment:

“I’ll give you a non-football one, was when my son, in ’08, was having a kidney transplant — I was going back and forth from Children’s Hospital, and practice, and OTAs during that time — and I won’t forget, when I went down to the hospital for the day of the transplant, I came home later that night and there was a voicemail on my regular phone at the house, and Coach Gibbs called and prayed for me over the phone, and just left a message, about two minutes, just praying for my family and my son and his health — had nothing to do with football, and that meant a lot to me.”

On Sean Taylor ‘missing man’ situation, and replacing Sean Taylor:

Doughty recalled the Redskins memorializing Taylor, on Dec. 2, 2007 in the first game after his death, by taking the field with 10 men on defense at home against the Buffalo Bills, then later recounted a moment he shared with Taylor only one week prior to his tragic death.

“That was an emotional time,” he said. “When they told us that we were going to do that, it just seemed fitting, and when I was standing on that sideline, I really felt his presence.

“The weirdest compliment I can give, is I was so happy I wasn’t on the field at that point in time; it was just such a, I guess, a play out of respect, to just be off the field for one last time, just to feel Sean’s presence on the field.

“And as far as replacing him, you know, the week before he passed, he had been hurt,” he said.

“And we were about to play Tampa, and I had been benched the week before from the Dallas game, and Sean Taylor told me, he said, ‘Reed, there are things you can do that I can’t do.’ And I looked at him, my jaw dropped, I’m like, ‘You’ve got to be joking.’

“He’s like, ‘Everybody has their skills,’ he said, ‘you have yours, use them.’ So, for me, it wasn’t about replacing Sean, it wasn’t about trying to do what he did, it was being the best I could be to help the team win. That was going to be a different role than Sean played.”

Reed Doughty Interview

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