Washington defensive back Bobby McCain’s 2021 season was the best of his career.
In his first year in Burgundy & Gold, the 28-year-old finished the season with a career-high four interceptions, two of which came in Week 18 against the New York Giants. As McCain pointed out after Washington’s 22-7 victory on Sunday, one of his previous mentors could be credited for McCain’s breakout.
“Frank Gore taught me something: he taught me routine,” McCain said. “If you just take it one day at a time, and you do what you’re supposed to do each and every day—I mean, you play every Sunday, so you should probably do the same thing every week. Just prepare, prepare and prepare and be ready to play.”
Gore, the NFL’s third-leading rusher of all time, was a teammate of McCain’s for one year in Miami in 2018. If anyone would know something about routine, it’s Gore. He owns the league record for most games played by a running back (241).
Over the course of those games, Gore rushed for an even 16,000 yards on 4.3 yards per carry. He wrote the book on sticking to routine for success. Now that McCain is in Washington after spending six seasons as a Dolphin, taking the lessons he learned from Gore have come to fruition. His four INTs on the year, nine passes defended, and 63 total tackles are all career-bests.
Though it might’ve taken a while for Washington to gel as well as they did in Week 18 in the secondary, McCain’s performance should be lauded.
“We thought it was gonna be a little quicker [to come together as a unit], but it wasn’t so we’re just taking it one day at a time. That’s all you gotta do in this game,” McCain said.
That DB unit—McCain, Landon Collins and Kam Curl—did indeed take a while to gel, which isn’t surprising considering they dealt with injuries and a pandemic all season. In total, WFT’s defense allowed the league’s eighth-worst completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks, second-most passing yards and most passing touchdowns.
Even so, McCain still had himself a career year. He alternated between free safety and occasionally cornerback. Looking forward to the 2022 season, McCain has an expiring contract and has made the case to earn a callback to D.C. Especially after he was properly utilized by Jack del Rio, McCain meshed nicely with his fellow defensive backs.
“Those are two good players, man,” McCain said of Collins and Curl. “Playing with those guys, playing off those guys, it’s a privilege. It’s an honor. We kinda got in a groove—especially in the middle of the season, we were playing good ball…hopefully we can keep it together and we can keep going.”