After being promoted to the Redskins' active roster on Tuesday, third-year veteran A.J. Francis is ready to make the most of his opportunity.
For the first time in almost a year, defensive lineman A.J. Francis could see the field in a regular season game, as the Redskins promoted the third-year veteran to their active roster on Tuesday.
Francis was originally added to the Redskins' practice squad earlier this year after previous stints with the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay
After bouncing from team to team over the first three years of his career, Francis has an opportunity to establish himself with the Redskins.
"It means everything. I've been working for since I got here," he said. "I took the first step in getting to my goal."
While pleased with his promotion, Francis is not fully satisfied just yet.
"My goal when I first got here was to not be on practice squad for long," he said. "To be honest, I've been on practice squad longer than I wanted to be, but that's also not my call. So I had to wait my turn, and I don't intend on wasting the opportunity."
Now active, Francis is ready to contribute to the team in any way possible.
"I just want to add to the great defense we already have," he said. "We have a really good [defensive] line, and I just want to do my part. If that means I play 40 plays, or I got out there and play four plays, whenever I'm on the field I'm going to try to do anything we need to win the game."
Francis is a local product, byway of Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C. and the University of Maryland in College Park.
Being a part of his hometown team has been a thrill for the former Terrapin. "It's home," he said.
Francis has also been able to spend more time with his family and friends since joining his hometown team.
"I was able to see my family on Thanksgiving for the first time since I was in the NFL," Francis said. "It's an old experience because it's my fourth year in the league, it's my fifth team, but it's a new experience in that I've never been this close to home, I got to see all my friends and family. It's been an awesome experience. I would never have been able to do that if I was somewhere else. It's been a great opportunity and I appreciate that I have been given the chance to play back home."