Roger McIntosh

McIntosh aims to be a big hit REDSKINS CAMP COLLISIONS WANTED

ASHBURN--Rocky McIntosh remembers watching a 1992 football game on television between Florida State and Miami.

To a 10-year-old in Gaffney, S.C., both of those universities might as well have been on the other side of the world. Their aura and their mystique intrigued McIntosh, though, and then he witnessed a play that would change him.

Florida State wide receiver Tamarick Vanover came over the middle to receive a pass. Miami linebacker Michael Barrow came over the middle to receive Vanover.

The collision was violent and powerful, and McIntosh says that is when he decided he wanted to be a linebacker for the Hurricanes.

And he did. When he joined Miami, that bone-rattling highlight stuck with him.

"I definitely wanted the coaches to go out and find old tapes of those guys," McIntosh said. "I liked watching it to get hyped up for the game we were about to play."

McIntosh Is Taking Big Steps - Linebacker Likely To Gain Starting Job

For nearly all of the last season, during which a once-feared defense plummeted in the league rankings and teams consistently exploited the same weaknesses, the inability of prized rookie Rocky McIntosh to get on the field raised the kind of red flags players and talent evaluators want to avoid.

The Redskins traded two draft day picks to the New York Jets in 2006 to acquire McIntosh, so why wasn't he playing? Wasn't he better than incumbent weak-side linebacker Warrick Holdman, who was consistently beaten in coverage and to whose side teams pounded their running games?

During last season, after each game he could not unseat Holdman, McIntosh would demur, saying only he was trying to improve and help the team. He trusted the decisions of the coaching staff, he said, and if playing special teams was where they thought he was at his best, then so be it.

Ready after Rocky debut

With the Washington Redskins' history of playing their top draft choices fairly soon and only retread Warrick Holdman ahead of him at weakside linebacker, Rocky McIntosh figured to see plenty of action as a rookie last season.

That didn't happen. Asked every week last season when the second-round pick would play, assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams danced around the subject.

"It was pretty hard not playing," said McIntosh, a three-year starter at Miami. "I was down a little bit, but I gave it my best shot on special teams. The first time we played Philadelphia [rookie linebacker Omar Gaither] blew right past me, and he was making plays. The second time we played them, I kind of snuck up on him and got him real good."

Rocky McIntosh Update

While Gibbs offered a measured analysis of how his players were doing, Williams made it sound as if half of the team was headed to the Pro Bowl, and his gushing over linebacker Rocky McIntosh - a player with two career NFL starts - was especially lavish.

"Rocky may be the top guy on the defensive side of the ball that has flashed this spring," Williams said.

McIntosh was a slow developer as a rookie last year, but, as Williams said, he has had a good spring.


Rocky McIntosh Update

McIntosh, who is expected to start at weakside linebacker, was also with his wife and their first child, who was born on Wednesday. The 2006 second-rounder is expected to return to action today.


McIntosh back in his hometown

GAFFNEY -- Fresh off his NFL rookie season, Roger "Rocky" McIntosh is only too happy to be in his first offseason.

The Gaffney native is especially glad to be back in the South, where the weather is warm -- warmer, anyhow -- than up north where his Washington Redskins play.

"Oh man, don't even start talking about (cold weather). I spent three days trying to dig out my garage, my driveway, my sidewalk before I came here," McIntosh said Thursday night. "I'm glad to be back down here. It's pretty warm.

"The only thing I really wanted on draft day was to end up somewhere pretty warm, but I'm in Washington … so it is what it is."