Two months ago, Tim Hightower was driving to Arizona Cardinals training camp in Flagstaff, Ariz., when he found out that he had been traded to the Washington Redskins.
Since then, he has emerged as the Redskins' featured running back. He hasn't forgotten the journey that brought him to Washington.
"I think about it every single day and just how quickly your life can change," he said. "Mine changed really quickly and drastically, but it's for the good."
Hightower turned in an impressive preseason, rushing 25 times for 170 yards – a 6.8 yards-per-carry average – and two touchdowns.
Hightower attributes his preseason performance to hard work and opportunity in a new city.
"I kind of fit with this team – we have an opportunity," he said. "I didn't have a lot of success where I came from and this team hasn't had a lot of success in the past.
"I think I came here at the right time and I think I'm at a good point in my career and my life, and I'm ready for big things."
Hightower's "big things" have nothing to do with stats or accolades. He is singularly focused on winning a championship.
"I'm not worried about my goals," he said. "When we win the Super Bowl, I know my goals will be taken care of." When you see me holding up that Lombardi trophy with that smile on my face, you'll know I can check my goals off."
Hightower is leading a rebuilt Redskins running attack that could put pressure on opposing defense. He suggested that the running backs – including 2010 starter Ryan Torain and rookie Roy Helu – would benefit from their different running styles.
"We all have different mentalities, and we all have different personalities, which I think is a great thing," Hightower said. "I think we all kind of complement each other, and we all push each other. I love the competition, and it's going to bring out the best in all of us."