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For Hightower, Arizona Trade Is 'In the Past'


Tim Hightower's second game as a Redskin comes against the team that traded him last July -- the Arizona Cardinals.

It has only been six weeks since the fourth-year running back was traded, and he still isn't sure why the Cardinals decided to move him. He served in a part-time role in Arizona, backing up Edgerrin James in 2008 and Chris "Beanie" Wells the last two years.

"My role there was what it was supposed to be," Hightower said. "I just felt like I wanted my role to be a little bit different."

His role with the Redskins was defined early in preseason: he earned the starting job with a series of impressive performances. That means more carries and a bigger workload than when he had in Arizona.

In the Giants game last Sunday, Hightower carried the ball a career-high 25 times for 72 yards and one touchdown.

He welcomes the heavier workload.

"I want that kind of responsibility," Hightower said. "I want that target on my chest. They gave it to me enough and I have to do some more things with it."

As for the matchup against Arizona, Hightower doesn't harbor any negative feelings towards his former team.

"I have nothing but respect for those guys," he said. "They are a good group of guys over there."

Does he feel he has something to prove?

"I think a win will speak for itself," he replied. "When you win, you don't have to say much. When you win, SportsCenter can talk for you and the scoreboard can talk for you. When you talk to them on the phone, it's kind of understood that we just beat you in a fair way. I think that's the loudest and sweetest thing that this team can do for me is get a win at the end of the day."

The Cardinals drafted Hightower in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft.

In Hightower's rookie season with Arizona, he rushed for 10 touchdowns, and 13 overall including the playoffs, setting a Cardinals rookie record. The club went on to play in Super Bowl XLIII that season, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24.

Hightower was traded to the Redskins on July 31 for defensive end Vonnie Holliday and a sixth-round draft pick in 2012.

Looking back, Hightower is glad the trade happened. The Alexandria, Va., native is able to return to the East Coast and play in front of his family and friends.

"It happened at the perfect time," he said. "I don't even think about it. Every once in a while, it will cross my mind just the fact that I'm back here living a childhood dream. I feel blessed to be part of this organization, but I'm not thinking about why it happened, I'm thinking about the opportunities moving forward."

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