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Houston Bates' father has had a simple message that he's spread throughout his son's football life.
The Washington Redskins today announced the signing of five college free agents who participated in the team's 2015 rookie minicamp.
"He said in life you're going to get knocked down and you need to dust yourself up and do it again," Bates told the Shreveport Times. "Don't give up, and that's what I had to do ."
About a week before signing with the Redskins, the linebacker had been cut by the Texans after their rookie minicamp. Bates was asked to tryout at Redskins Park the next weekend. His decision to try again became a wise one.
"I was kind of thinking to myself, 'Here we go again. I did my best. I'm going to have to go out in the real world now and find a job and have to give it up,'" Bates said. "The next morning, I said I'm going to go out and do everything I can. If I go home hurt, I'll go home hurt. I can heal up at home. I'm going to do everything I can."
Bates played defensive end in college at Illinois and Louisiana Tech, where he transferred for his senior year, but he had been working out as a linebacker to prepare for NFL teams.
Over the weekend, he went back to the defensive line to try to capture what had made him standout in college. Even head coach Jay Gruden gave him some compliments.
"I always thought to myself I was going to have to move inside to play in the league because of my size," he said. "I got out here and I was quick off the ball and I was making the correct reads and getting past blockers. It felt like college again. I went back to my bread-and-butter and that's what made me earn a spot on the team."