Pierre Garçon isn't the type of receiver that hits the turf when danger approaches.
His ability to make plays after the catch is a big reason why Redskins coaches targeted him at the start of free agency. For Garçon, it just comes naturally.
"Just going down isn't the best thing sometimes," Garçon said recently. "It's the smartest thing to do, but sometimes you have to go out as a competitor and get more yards, and push yourself to the limit of what you can do with the ball."
Adding yards after the catch is a statistic Washington hopes to improve on in 2012.
In 2011, the Redskins had only two players crack the NFL's top-100 list for yards after the catch. Running back Roy Helu Jr. was 21st in the NFL, but led the team with 432 yards after the catch. Tight end Fred Davis played in only 12 games, but ranked 35th with 353 yards after reception.
Garçon—who finished 31st in the league in YAC last season with 360—hopes he can be the first Redskins receiver among the league YAC leaders since Santana Moss finished seventh overall, with 499 YAC in 2010.
"I just like making plays," Garçon said. "Every time I get the ball in my hands, I want to make the best play or biggest play I can."
After seven weeks of practice, head coach Mike Shanahan already likes what he sees from his new receiver.
"You can see Garçon is a big-time receiver," Shanahan said. "You can see his power, his strength, his quickness, his speed since he's been here. It's very, very obvious."
Garçon is hoping to build off a career-year in 2011, in which he started all 16 games for Indianapolis, posting a career-best 70 catches for 947 yards and six touchdowns.
But he knows he will only top those numbers with the Redskins if he fights for every yards—a habit engrained during the offseason.
"You know you go out there every day and practice hard, you work hard, you know you do a lot of things in offseason, to get prepared for the season," Garçon said. "You've got to lift a lot of weights and do a lot of things you would do for the season and prepare yourself for the season."