Charles Washington got tired of waiting around before reporting back to the Detroit Lions.
The former Fresno State defensive back enjoyed being at rookie minicamp, organized team activities and minicamp. Being away bothered him.
I’ve been excited for training camp.
Former Fresno State star Charles Washington of the Detroit Lions
“The one month off has been crazy,” Washington said. “I’ve been waiting to get back to Detroit. Get things back on track. I’ve been excited for training camp … my first training camp. Just get comfortable with the system.”
Washington, who was not selected in the NFL draft in April, reported back to the Lions for rookie training camp July 23 and wasted no time in getting acclimated. He played in the preseason opener Aug. 12 and had a pass deflection in a 30-17 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Last season with the Bulldogs, Washington started the first four games of the season at cornerback before moving to strong safety, where he started seven of the final eight games. He finished the season with 40 tackles and six pass breakups, which tied for the second-most on the team. In his first start of the season at strong safety, Washington recorded his only sack of the year and posted seven tackles at San Diego State.
The Lions have listed the 5-foot-10, 192-pound Washington as a free safety.
“I dreamed since I started playing football to get drafted,” he said. “I still got an opportunity to compete and make a team, more than anything, drafted or undrafted. Just being up here is a blessing.”
Washington said that when he arrived at rookie minicamp, coaches passed along a simple message:
“They told us no one will earn a spot in shorts,” he said. “You’re not going to win the job that quick. That’s what training camp and preseason is for.”
The Lions will host the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. During that game Washington will see former Fresno State star Derron Smith on the opposite sideline.
Nonetheless, Washington hopes to make an impression before final cuts Sept. 3.
“I’m going to give them my all,” he said. “When it’s said and done and I’m walking off the field, I hope they know I gave them my 110 percent. That’s all I want. At the end of the day, whether I make the 53-man roster or not, I just want them to know I gave it all I had.”
Here is how other former Fresno State standouts-turned-NFL rookies fared in preseason Week 1:
▪ Oakland Raiders linebacker Kyrie Wilson made three solo tackles in a road game at the Arizona Cardinals. He also saw time on special teams.
▪ Washington Redskins linebacker Ejiro Ederaine didn’t pick up a tackle against the Atlanta Falcons
▪ Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Claudell Louis didn’t play against the Bengals.
▪ Defensive back Shannon Edwards, who signed an undrafted rookie deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, reached an injury settlement with the team and has been waived.