David Macklin is appreciative of the fact that the Indianapolis Colts brought him into the NFL. And he's proud of the fact he played three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
At the same time, when the Redskins announced April 5 that they had signed the veteran free agent defensive back, Macklin thought of the move as something really special in terms of his NFL career.
"Like a dream come true," the 5-10, 206-pound cornerback said after a recent OTA session at Redskins Park.
He added: "Don't get me wrong. Indianapolis drafted me and Arizona was my NFL home after that. But coming to the Redskins is like coming full circle."
That's because Macklin grew up in the Newport News, Va., area as a huge Redskins fan. He put it this way: "Darrell Green, Art Monk, Doug Williams--on and on. The Redskins were my team."
The seven-year NFL veteran and former Penn State Nittany Lion spent the past three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He played in 14 games with seven starts at cornerback last season and produced 33 tackles and one interception.
For his career, Macklin has played in 110 games with 75 starts. He has 352 tackles and 14 interceptions over his seven years in the league.
As a Colt, he played against the Redskins in an Oct. 27, 2002, matchup at FedExField in which Washington won 26-21. He started at right cornerback and logged six tackles.
So far this offseason, Macklin is trying to impress Redskins coaches in hopes of landing a job and making it eight years in the NFL.
"I hope to lead by example," Macklin says. "It's no secret that this is a defense that slipped last year. It's a defense that needs to get its intensity back. I'm working hard to be a part of it."
Last weekend, Macklin was among the many Redskins players, coaches and fans that descended upon Virginia Beach for the second annual Redskins Beach Blitz.
What it meant for Macklin, a fourth-round selection by Indy in 2000, was a weekend trip back to the part where he grew up playing sports -- particularly football and basketball.
A native of Virginia, Macklin attended Menchville High School in Newport News, Va., before moving on to Penn State, where he was a three-year starter for the Nittany Lions and tied for the Big Ten Conference lead in interceptions during his junior season with six.
Virginia Beach and its environs long have been associated with football talent. The Tidewater area -- Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Virginia Beach and surrounding communities -- produces football players in abundance.
Said Macklin: "It's a factory of football talent. The coaches, at the high school level, really take a great deal of responsibility for their players. And there's just something about us--we love to compete."
Macklin said that as a high school player he competed against Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Plaxico Burress, Aaron Brooks, Ronald Curry and many other future NFL and NBA stars.
"There's a great deal of talent -- and it goes beyond just the big-time names every sports fan knows," he said.