Some players coming from other NFL teams never really seem to fit in their new locker room. Not Troy Vincent.
The five-time Pro Bowl cornerback and new starting safety for the Redskins brings confidence and charisma on the field and in the Redskins' locker room.
That includes FedExField, where Vincent made a play that may have saved the Redskins season in the 22-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys
Vincent blocked a 35-yard field goal attempt by Dallas kicker Mike Vanderjagt with six seconds left. The play led to a 30-yard return by Sean Taylor, and after a 15-yard face mask penalty was called on the Cowboys, the Redskins had a chance at game-winning field goal.
Nick Novak connected on a 47-yarder, and the Redskins had defeated Dallas in stunning fashion.
For his efforts, Vincent was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
The Redskins gear up for the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field. For Vincent, it will be a homecoming.
Vincent was a Philadelphia Eagle for eight years. He knows the Philadelphia region like the back of his hand, he knows the organization inside and out and he knows plenty of the team's players.
Vincent says that, after nearly one month as a Redskin, he feels comfortable wearing the burgundy and gold.
"When I came to FedExField for the first home game [last Sunday], I felt like I had been there before," he said. "There was nothing new, outside of being on the other sideline. I feel very comfortable here."
On Wednesday, Vincent talked about playing the Eagles, his former team, next Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Vincent was born and raised in Trenton, N.J., and graduated from Pennsbury High School in Fallsington Township area of suburban Philadelphia.
He'll give out five tickets to the game--to his mother and relatives--but everyone else will be on their own. That's something he does for every game, to minimize the distraction of friends and family pestering him for tickets.
Vincent's focus is on getting the 3-5 Redskins another victory.
"It'll be nice to go home and see some of the guys still wearing the Eagles uniform," he said. "They're still playing well. For me, I'm just trying to get that fourth victory. They just happen to be the next team on the schedule."
Asked if he would be emotional returning to Philadelphia, Vincent replied: "No. I knew my time there had ended in my last game against the Carolina Panthers [in the 2003 NFC Championship Game]. I have great memories there. We won a lot of games and we lost a couple championship games. Right now, I'm just trying to get that fourth win as a Redskin."
The Eagles, of course, know Vincent well.
Vincent played for the Eagles from 1996-2003 and earned Pro Bowl berths five seasons with the team. He has 47 career interceptions, second most among active players.
In 2004, the Eagles decided to let Vincent test free agency, and he signed with Buffalo. His defensive coordinator was Jerry Gray, who is now the Redskins' cornerbacks-secondary coach.
Vincent transitioned from cornerback to safety in Buffalo. Before making the move, he talked with Eagles' free safety Brian Dawkins for advice.
"We talked about it quite a bit," Dawkins said on Wednesday in a conference call with Washington, D.C., reporters. "Every once in a while he'll have to step up and make a tackle at the safety position.
"People think [playing safety] is an easy thing and you're just sitting back there covering grass. Every once in a while you'll have to stick your nose into things that you don't have to do at corner. That's what I tried to prepare him for."
Vincent has settled in at his new position--he logged six tackles last Sunday in the win over the Cowboys and has 10 in two games--and on his new team.
He was among the first Redskins players to run on the field to hug Novak after his game-winning kick on Sunday. But Vincent didn't celebrate very long--he admitted to staying up late Sunday night thinking about what the defense needs to do to improve.
"I'm still thinking about what we didn't accomplish, and that was getting off the field on third downs," he said. "This Sunday, we're playing against a high-powered offense, a team that likes to throw the ball downfield and score a lot of points. So we have to do better on third downs.
"Always in games, you see momentum shifts. At the end of [the Dallas game], I was fortunate to get a blocked field goal. I didn't kick the game winner, Nick did. I thought about all night what we struggled with and what we have to do to be successful, and that's create turnovers and get off the field on third downs."