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Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

The Redskins may just have one Pro Bowler, but punter Tress Way is having an incredible time in Miami thus far.

The second-team All-Pro recipient has been in Orlando for less than 48 hours, but has quickly realized just how fun the week of the NFL's all-star game truly is.

"This sounds funny, but I did not realize it was this fun," Way told Redskins.com's Gabe Henderson on Wednesday on how his week has been thus far.

One of the punter's favorite parts of the week thus far was the basketball shoot-off Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll organized.

"Coach [Pete] Carroll had a shoot-off, had a basketball goal set up and a free throw line," Way said. "He kept calling offensive and defensive guys to come shoot for 30 seconds, and whoever made the most won. The place was going nuts. We had a quick meeting, came out here and did a glorified walkthrough, blasting music, dancing, throwing the ball around. It's seriously so fun, and it's just getting started."

Way, a first-time Pro Bowler, is not enjoying the experience by himself. Several family members made the trek down to Orlando to support the 29-year-old.

"I'm so thankful. This is so awesome," he said. "My whole family is here. I got more family coming. It is definitely surreal."

But perhaps the part Way is looking forward to the most is how he's planning on spending his Thursday evening. 

Way and his family are planning on spending the night at Harry Potter World. The punter never got into the series, much to his mother and little brother's dismay, but plans on going all-in when he arrives.

"I plan on learning all the spells, picking up a custom wand, and having a couple butter beers," Way said. "Really just embarrassing my wife, that's the main goal here. I will be the Master of Death; I will have all three deathly hollows by the time I leave, and pretty much just nerding out the entire night."

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Ronald Darby joins Redskins feeling like he has something to prove

Ronald Darby joins Redskins feeling like he has something to prove

It was not too long ago when Ronald Darby was considered one of the better young cornerbacks in the NFL.

A second-round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2015, Darby excelled as a rookie, and he followed that up with a solid sophomore campaign. But after being traded to the Eagles in 2017, Darby struggled to stay on the field. The cornerback missed seven games in 2017 due to an ankle injury and tore his ACL the following year, costing him eight more contests. The Eagles re-signed Darby to a one-year deal in 2019, and the cornerback missed another five games dealing with a hip injury.

After truly hitting the open market for the first time in his career, Darby signed to a cheap one-year, $4 million deal with the Redskins, the cornerback's second consecutive one-year contract. Darby said he expected the market to be what it was, and the 26-year-old joins the Burgundy and Gold feeling like he has something to prove.

"Every year, even if you played good last year, you’re going to always have something to prove, whether you played good or bad," Darby said. "This year I go in and I’ve always got something to prove, but of course I feel like I’ve got a lot more to prove due to the fact this is my second one-year deal and things like that. So my main focus is to take care of my body and stay healthy, and go out there and make plays."

Darby understands why he was forced to sign another one-year deal. He knows he has to put a full season together of good football -- while staying healthy -- in order for a team to commit to him on a long-term basis. Although his new contract doesn't guarantee him anything past the 2020 season, the cornerback is confident he can return to the solid cornerback he was a few seasons ago.

"As the corner I know I am, I’m a great corner," Darby said. "I had to battle obstacles and stuff like that, and at the end of the day whether you’re hurt or good you still got to go out there and perform. You can’t always have excuses. I know that I can be the person that I am, that I’ve shown."

There were several factors that stood out to Darby when the opportunity to join the Redskins presented itself, with one being able to play for Ron Rivera. The new Redskins coach has an excellent reputation around the league and is one of the better defensive minds in the sport.

Darby explained that he didn't have much of a relationship with Rivera prior to being signed, but believes there's a ton of mutual respect between the two. Rivera's defenses have also produced one thing that stood out to new Redskins defensive back: cornerbacks play well, and they get paid.

"I just know him from Carolina," Darby said. "I believe it was last year or the year before last he gave me a shout-out saying he respected how I play and things like that before we played Carolina like two years ago. His defenses have been good, corners that have played in his defense got paid."

The Panthers top cornerback from a season ago, James Bradberry, just signed a three-year, $45 million with the New York Giants. Of course, there's also Josh Norman, who earned himself a five-year, $75 million deal with the Redskins after excelling under Rivera with the Panthers in 2015.

Like his new secondary mate Sean Davis, Darby also grew up in the DMV area and was a Redskins fan when he was younger. The chance to play for his hometown team was certainly something that stood out to the cornerback. But the opportunity to face Philadelphia, his old team, twice a year was another added bonus to signing with Washington, too.

"It's crazy. I'm grateful for the opportunity in Washington," Darby said. "I'm from the DMV area and grew up a Redskins fan, so I get to come back home and play for the team I grew up loving. I get to go against my old teammates twice a year. That'll be fun."

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Nate Orchard is thrilled to be back with the Redskins after a whirlwind 2019

Nate Orchard is thrilled to be back with the Redskins after a whirlwind 2019

To say the 2019 season for linebacker Nate Orchard was a whirlwind would be an understatement.

The 27-year-old had nearly double-digit tryouts with NFL clubs during the first 12 weeks of the season but failed to earn a contract with any of the teams. While unemployed, Orchard was installing windows on days he wasn't working out for an NFL squad.

The linebacker finally found a home when he was signed by the Redskins prior to the team's Week 13 matchup versus Carolina and remained with the team through the end of the year.

"It was a crazy process," the linebacker explained on Redskins Nation. "Last year, I had nine different tryouts in 12 weeks. Once I got to the Redskins, I didn't know what was to come, as if I was going to make the team, is if it was a tryout. The opportunity presented itself and they signed me. I went out there and gave everything I got, hoping to prove myself for the future." (Watch the full interview on Redskins Nation at 5:30 and 11:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington).

Orchard re-signed with the Redskins on a one-year deal this offseason, and is thrilled to be back with the team that gave him a chance a season ago.

"Oh man, I'm super excited to be back in the building with these guys," Orchard said.

With the Redskins, Orchard played in five games and recorded 14 tackles and one sack on the season. Orchard contributed on special teams too, blocking a punt in a Week 16 clash with the Giants.

But Orchard's best performance with the Redskins came against the Panthers, ironically new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera's final game with Carolina. The linebacker finished with a sack, two tackles for loss and recovered a fumble on the final play of the game to seal the victory for the Redskins. So, it made sense why he was quite emotional postgame.

"Playing against Coach Rivera and seeing how things unfolded, it's just crazy how things come full circle," Orchard said.

Although he didn't emerge as a regular starter, Orchard brought a positive mindset into the Redskins locker room. The linebacker credited his outlook towards the adversity he has faced in the past.

"I had been through a lot. I had my ups and downs, which we all have," Orchard said. "Coming from Cleveland, going 0-16, I had a little experience battling through those losses, but also what it means pushing through that adversity. So when I got [here] with the guys, I did everything I can to be that positive influence around them. I just wanted to brighten up the mood for the guys and have them enjoy going out there and play the game we all love so much."

Under new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, the Redskins are switching from a 3-4 base to a 4-3. Throughout free agency, the Redskins have signed multiple players that can play several positions. Orchard believes his experience playing all over the field can help the club in 2020.

"Coming out of college, I was in a 4-3 scheme," Orchard said. "I was drafted in a 3-4, now back to a 4-3, so I've kind of bounced around. I have familiarity when it comes to playing different positions. I was even a 3-tech at one point. It's nice to have that versatility and bring that to the table for this team and this coaching staff going forward."

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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