Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington spoke with Redskins.com shortly after learning he was selected to the 2005 Pro Bowl:
Q: First of all, what are your thoughts on making the Pro Bowl?
A: "It's a great honor. It's my first one--although it's been a tough season for us as a team. We are starting to get thing going our way. I've been put in position to make plays this year. Coach (Gregg) Williams has been very aggressive with me. He just let me play up to my ability and the defense just really fit my personality. So I think I was just able to excel."
Q: What have you done differently this season that has opened eyes around the league?
A: "I think I blitz a lot more. I was able to get into the backfield a lot and cause a lot of disruptions and mayhem. I was just given the opportunity to blitz and be aggressive. I think every linebacker loves to do that. Even though I did not get all the sacks that I wanted to get, I was able to cause a lot of confusion in the backfield."
Q: Where does being named to the Pro Bowl fit in with your career accomplishments?
A: "As far as personal goals, it's right there at the top. I'm put up there with a bunch of amazing athletes. It's just great to see your name up there with some of those guys, like Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher. It's definitely an honor and it's very exciting."
Q: Were you expecting to make the Pro Bowl?
A: "You know, I wasn't really expecting it. It's definitely a personal goal. We always talk about your personal goals being subordinate to your team goals. But I really didn't go into the season expecting it. I knew the team was counting on me to play well and play to the best of my ability."
Q: Are you surprised that you're the only Pro Bowl player from the Redskins' defense?
A: "When coaches revealed the names to us today, I was very surprised on that. I think that is the only thing that is kind of a bummer. We have some amazing players on the defensive side of the ball here. I was happy for myself, but at the same time I wanted to go with guys like Antonio Pierce, Cornelius Griffin, Sean Taylor, Shawn Springs--you can go down the list. It's kind of a bummer that these guys cannot share this with me."
Q: Do you think the lack of Pro Bowl players on defense is a result of the Redskins' record?
A: "I do not know how you explain it. I think record definitely has something to do with it. But anybody who watches film, anybody who knows anything about football, they see it. Cornelius Griffin had a heck of a year. Antonio definitely is one of the better linebackers in the league this year. But I don't know what you link it to. Those guys definitely have my respect. And I know that people who know anything about football, definitely have their respect to."
Q: Could you sense you were having a Pro Bowl-caliber season?
A: "It was a lot of fun this year, being here with big-time competitors like Cornelius Griffin. A lot of times they made my job easier. Cornelius gets back in there, blows plays up and the backs come right to me. Antonio gets guys lined up the right way, putting them in a position to make plays. It was a lot of fun over there. I had great teammates on that side of the ball. You cannot say enough about Coach Williams and his aggressive style of defense and allowing the linebackers to be able to blitz and to be able to create confusion and disruption in the backfield."
Q: What is this team striving for as it closes out the regular season?
A: "We have the Dallas Cowboys this weekend. It's a rivalry but they've been taking the spoils the last few years. It's great to be a part of a rivalry, but we have to take it back to being more of a rivalry, which means the Washington Redskins have to go out and win a couple of games. Hopefully, in this game, we'll go out there and play better than the first game. People are talking about the playoffs. We're not really thinking about that, but it's exciting."