Eleven months ago, wide receiver Devery Henderson stood in the home tunnel of the Superdome in New Orleans, Week 1.
The atmosphere was rabid, as 'Who Dat' Nation rallied around the offseason NFL suspensions of their head coach, general manager and star players.
It was the perfect recipe for solidarity and a show of strength to the rest of the NFL, against a rebuilding Washington team with a rookie quarterback.
As Henderson stood on the home sideline and watched his defense go to work, he felt the air get sucked out of the building as Robert Griffin III hit Pierre Garçon over the middle. Garçon did the rest, taking it 88 yards to the house.
"It was very surprising. I was impressed," Henderson admitted nearly a year later. "One thing was the play of RG3 on the road. The Saints' crowd, I thought, would be a factor, but it didn't faze him at all."
Griffin III finished with the best statistical debut by a quarterback in NFL history, throwing 19-for-26 for 320 yards and two touchdowns. The offense piled on points and the defense held on for a thrilling 40-32 victory.
From that point on, Henderson and the Saints were on a different track than Griffin III and the Redskins.
The Saints got out to an 0-4 start and Henderson struggled to get in sync with the offense. He started only two of the first four games, catching six passes for 74 yards.
The Redskins, meanwhile, turned around an early season slump for a 10-6 record and the NFC East title.
A former fixture in the Saints' offense, Henderson found himself on the outs in New Orleans. After his contract expired, Henderson had interest from a number of teams but wanted the right situation. At age 31, Henderson's primary motivation is winning another title.
Little did he know, his path would soon intersect with the offense he admired so much in Week 1.
"I had a few other offers, but once this one came, I thought this was where would be a good fit. The Redskins reached out and showed interest and I was excited about it," Henderson said. "I thought it was a great offense to be a part of.
"The main thing is trying to make the squad and help them get a ring here."
Henderson signed after minicamp and dedicated himself to preparation while most NFL players were relaxing before camp.
Even at a position stocked with talent on the Redskins' roster, Henderson believes he has an opportunity to play a key role in a juggernaut offense.
"For one, I still can do things like stretch the field and bring a lot of experience," he said. "I can play on the outside and I slide in to the slot as well.
"Overall, I am team player, and I do what it takes to help the team win."
Henderson embraces the hard-nosed physicality that has become the calling card of the Redskins' receiving corps. Making plays is his goal, even if that means run-blocking to open holes for Alfred Morris.
"In New Orleans, I did a lot of run blocking, and once preseason comes around, I can showcase some of those things," he said. "It's very important, and it's something I don't mind doing.
"You have some receivers around the league where blocking is just not part of their game. I take pride in it."
As for that rookie quarterback that stole the show last year in New Orleans? Henderson likes what he sees so far from No. 10.
"Robert [Griffin III] has great drive. From what I'm seeing, he is really humble," Henderson said. "When you are a good guy and are willing to learn and get to know your team, it can only get better from there.
"I know he works hard and works on the little things. He is going to have a good, long career."