As the Redskins head into the playoffs for a potential run, Frank Kearse believes he can be a contributor as part of the defensive line rotation after being out of it for most of the season.
Last Sunday was about making the most of the opportunities presented to the Washington Redskins' backups, and Frank Kearse was among those that not only had a standout play, he proved that he can continue to be counted on down the stretch.
In the third quarter of Sunday's 34-23 victory over the Dallas Cowboys, Kearse recorded his first sack of the season, taking down Kellen Moore.
After Moore faked a handoff to running back Darren McFadden, he stutter-stepped in the pocket as he looked for a deep pass.
As he waited to release the ball, Kearse broke through the middle of the line and ripped Moore down.
"Coach Joe B. [Barry] dialed it up, man," Kearse said. "I had a line stunt, basically I just stayed on my track and believed in the defense man, get my responsibilities in. They came free, used my hands and I broke free through the inside shoulder to tackle."
In a lighthearted moment, Kearse, who dealt with multiple releases and re-signings during the first part of the season, had one of the most unique sack celebrations seen on an NFL field this season.
"Just a little something I came up with, man," Kearse said with a smile. "I was just fooling around. I'll probably get the worst sack dance of the year award. It don't even matter, man."
Kearse added that he'd "most definitely" celebrate in similar fashion if given the chance to do it again.
"Trent [Williams] came up to me after the play and was like, 'What kind of sack dance it that?'" Kearse said. "I was like, 'Aww man, I'm going to hear about this when we get back to Redskin Park."
A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins defensive lineman Frank Kearse during the 2014 season.
Even when on the active roster for the first part of the season, Kearse was listed as inactive during games.
But after Stephen Paea went down with a season-ending injury in early December, Kearse was thrust into the defensive line rotation.
During the Redskins' four-game winning streak to end the regular season, Kearse appeared on 65 defensive plays in three games.
Sunday's performance against the Cowboys, in which Kearse played 31 snaps, gave him confidence heading into the playoffs.
Even if he only appears sporadically, Kearse believes he can make an impact.
"You know, I wanted to show the guys in the room I can rush too," Kearse said. "And show them everything that they've been teaching me. I've been soaking it up, just put the best Frank I can put on film and that was today was about man, be the best Frank that I can be."
Kearse added: "Any time you get a chance to come to work in the National Football League is a day to learn, and the day that you stop learning as a player is the day you're walking out the door. Either one of two things should happen: either they don't want you and you got too old, or your body just gave out. It's just a blessing being here and working with the older guys and learning from them."