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Armstrong's Proving To Be a Great Catch


Anthony Armstrong is making the most of his time on the field this preseason.

Through Washington's first two games, Armstrong scored a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1 and added three receptions for 75 yards against the Baltimore Ravens last Saturday night. His 45-yard catch from quarterback Donovan McNabb set up the Redskins opening drive field goal.

Armstrong has impressed during his preseason audition. His new quarterback and coaching staff have taken notice as he makes a big-play transition onto the game field.

"Armstrong has been doing a great job," McNabb said. "All through OTAs and mini-camps, what you're seeing is a guy that's maturing in the offense and getting his confidence. We all have the confidence in Armstrong that he'll be able to make the play."

Armstrong has shown desire for years, even prior to donning the burgundy and gold.

After battling his way up the ranks from the Odessa Rough Riders of the Intense Football League to the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League, he has yet to be more than a practice squad player in the NFL.

A practice squad player for Miami in 2008, Armstrong was cut by the Dolphins just prior to the start of the 2009 regular season. The Redskins swooped in and picked up the quick receiver for their practice squad in late October.

All offseason and into training camp, Armstrong continued to put forth the effort in an attempt to make the opening day roster.

At 5-11 and 182 pounds, Armstrong doesn't fit the en vogue "big receiver" mold, but that doesn't mean he can't play big, especially for a head coach that has utilized a receiver of his style previously.

"I thought Anthony stepped up and made some good plays [against the Baltimore Ravens]," head coach Mike Shanahan said during his post-game press conference.

Armstrong compares favorably to Denver Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal, who Shanahan drafted in 2008 when he was still head coach of the Broncos.

Royal, 5-10 and 180 pounds, took the league by storm in his professional debut, carving up the Oakland Raiders defense for nine receptions, 146 yards and a touchdown. He has 128 receptions in his two NFL seasons.

The main difference is Royal came in as a second-round pick, whereas Armstrong has played the journeyman role.

Armstrong is using that to his advantage.

"I came into [the Ravens game] knowing I had to build on my past performance," Armstrong said. "I couldn't take a step back. I can't afford to do that. I need to come out here and stay hungry like I haven't had anything to eat in a while."

He continues to gain confidence to go along with a deep-rooted humbleness in his effort to earn a roster spot and make a difference for the 2010 Redskins.

"I feel like I'm playing my best, and that's all I can do," Armstrong said. "I don't make the cuts, I don't decide who is on the team. I just have to do my job."

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