TAMPA—Although Will Compton might not learn his fate until Saturday, the second-year linebacker left Raymond James Stadium feeling good about his chances of securing a spot on the Redskins’ 53-man roster.
Compton led the team with six solo tackles and two assists in Thursday’s 24-10 victory over the Buccaneers. Compton also played more snaps than any other player on defense (48).
“I feel like I did everything I could,” said Compton, who spent most of the 2013 season on the Redskins practice squad before being promoted late in the year. “There are some plays you’d like to get back. That first drive, I might have led [the team in tackles] but I also missed two tackles.”
After a pause, Compton smiled and added: “It’s up to them. I feel confident. I know I can play in this league. I’m ready to strap up and play for this team.”
The competition at inside linebacker has been fierce. As it stands now, Perry Riley Jr. and Keenan Robinson are the starters and Adam Hayward, Compton, Akeem Jordan and Darryl Sharpton have been battling for two or maybe three reserve jobs. Compton and Hayward have been working as the second stringers all preseason. Jordan, meantime, suffered a knee injury against the Buccaneers, while Sharpton has been sidelined since training camp with a high ankle sprain.
Compton hopes that his performance on special teams—he’s been used extensively in this phase—will be the tiebreaker if one is necessary.
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“It might be,” he said. “Special teams is usually a big factor with backups. I feel like I’ve done what I can to put myself in the best position possible. Couple of plays you want back, but it’s football.”
Compton feels much more confident going into cutdown day this year compared to last year. But he’s still going to feel butterflies every time his phone rings in the coming hours.
“Aw, man, nervous,” he said. “This is the most stressful time of the year. I’m going to be wide awake, waiting, waiting, waiting.”
Compton added: “I felt really good. They really like me …to be the first one coming off the bench, and I embrace that role. I studied a lot. I’m ready go at both positions [‘Mike’ and ‘Jack’ inside linebacker], so they could feel comfortable with me in both areas. We’ll see how it shakes out. …You want it so badly [because] this is what you worked for as a football player. And you feel like the opportunity is right there.”