WASHINGTON — If 50 percent of success is just showing up, then Sunday had to feel pretty special for Washington Redskins pass rusher Junior Galette.
It’s not that Galette hasn’t put in the work, but a series of freak injuries over his last three preseasons with the team have ended each season prematurely.
On Sunday, he appeared in his first preseason action in almost exactly two years.
“It was amazing, man,” Galette told the media with a broad smile. “We’ve got great coaches here…it just felt great. I’m so happy. I’ve been doing everything I did today in the game in practice. It just felt great to finally go through live action.”
Galette registered just two tackles but had an immediate impact based on reputation, where he is considered perhaps the best “fast-twitch” pass rusher.
“I saw a couple rushes that he had and saw that he got some pressure,” head coach Jay Gruden said of Galette. “He said he was a little tight, but it was good to get him out there.”
Part of what has allowed Galette to hit the ground running is the work that he has put in with the Redskins’ coaching staff over the last two years. When healthy, it also helps going up against offensive tackles like Trent Williams every day in practice.
“There was no doubt because I’m going against the best tackle in the league every day. If I beat him, then I know the game is going to be a cakewalk.”
After fully recovering from the Achilles’ injuries that have cut short his first two seasons on the team, Galette injured his hamstring in training camp, keeping him out of the first two preseason contests.
Confirming Gruden’s report that he felt a little stiff, Galette said that his legs are still a work in progress.
“Physically, I’ve just got to get my hamstring strength; it’s not 100 percent and I’ve got to get it right. I’m able to go, but I’ve got to keep getting treatment. They’ve been doing a really good job and I’ve got to keep getting out there.
“Part of having that hamstring [injury], I’m not able to bend that corner [to the quarterback] as quickly as I’d like to. Playing on that leg, I’m still thinking about it, mentally. It’s almost there, but I’ve got enough time. I’ve got a great coach who takes care of his guys.
“I’ve just got to make sure I bring that energy and passion on the field so he doesn’t look crazy. I’ve just got to get some rest on it, keep treating it like we’ve been doing and I’ll be fine.”