Set to make his preseason debut Saturday against the Ravens, Redskins linebacker Junior Galette feels at home in Washington and is eager to hit the field for the first time with his new team.
Junior Galette hasn't felt a fire like this since his rookie season in 2010.
The Washington Redskins today announced the signing of linebacker Junior Galette. Take a look back at the pass rusher's five-year NFL career.
The linebacker endured a difficult offseason, as he recovered from a pectoral injury suffered while lifting weights in June followed by his release by the New Orleans Saints in July, less than a year after signing a four-year contract.
"The offseason has been pretty rough and it's brought this hunger that I haven't had since rookie year, being undrafted," Galette told reporters on Tuesday. "It's brought that back and right now I want it all"
Signed by the Redskins just days after being placed on the open market, Galette could make his debut for Washington against the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday in both team's third preseason game.
While some veterans don't necessarily look forward to preseason games knowing they'll be pulled after only a few plays or drives, Galette is eager to step onto the field before the regular season gets underway.
"The thrill is definitely there, it's not long gone," he said. "As far as what I went through this offseason, to get back on the field is exciting and especially to be a part of a cohesive team that embraces me. So I just want to prove to them that I belong and earn my stripes. It's been a real humbling experience and they have embraced me from day one. I just want to show them how much I have in store."
The Stillman College product said he feels comfortable being with the Redskins and that the "quick twitch muscles are always going to be there, so you just keep working on it."
"I have been doing this for a while and I wish I could have gotten a lot of reps, but I just want to get out there and show the guys that have embraced me so well that I can get after the quarterback," he said. "And that I can be a terrific football player for them."
Galette has been impressive in his practice appearances with the Redskins since signing with the team July 31.
He often lines up in a four-point stance, bursting out once the ball is hiked and oftentimes finding himself in the near vicinity of the quarterback. He's also excelled during 1-on-1 matchups with the Redskins' offensive linemen.
"He looks great," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "I tell you, if we played tomorrow I think he would be out there ready to roll. He's playing fast and he's got his strength back. I think they took their time with him, which is very smart. I think he could've probably practiced a little bit sooner than he did but we just wanted to make sure he had that full range of motion and full strength back. He does and he looks outstanding so he'll help us whenever he can."
Playing opposite of Ryan Kerrigan at the outside linebacker position, Galette will be inserted into a potent front-seven that also includes Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton and Stephen Paea.
Galette says the Redskins' defensive unit is the "best I've been around by far," but believes there's still room for improvement as the regular season approaches.
The talent is certainly there, though.
"A lot of guys haven't played with each other before, like when we get Ryan and me out there together, Ricky [Jean Francois] Hatch and Paea; all of us out there," Galette said. "[We] still have a lot of work to do. I know it looks good on paper and we've actually been doing really good in preseason, so I'm just really excited to play with a really good defense."