After Katie Ledecky, the five-time medalist at this year's Rio Olympic Games, visited and spoke to the Redskins a couple of weeks ago, the team received another dose of motivation from WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on Friday following practice.
Wilder, who stands at 6-foot-7 and boasts a 37-0 record with 36 knockouts, spoke to the unit before they broke for the weekend ahead of its matchup with the Cowboys, offering some words of encouragement and describing his mindset before big matches.
"It was fun. Great person, heck of an athlete. Played in some pain, broken hand, torn biceps, and still whipped some people. So, it was great to hear his point of view on competition, that's for sure," head coach Jay Gruden said. "We've been fortunate, we got Katie Ledecky, we got Deontay Wilder, we got it going on here. Now we've just got to get some wins around here."
Wilder became the heavyweight champion back in January 2015, when he beat Bermane Stiverne at the MGM in Las Vegas. Redskins wide receiver Rob Kelley was actually at the match, rooting for Stiverne, who is of Haitian descent.
"It was a good match," Garçon said. "He's a very good boxer, very athletic, got a long reach, he doesn't get tired, a very good boxer. Hopefully he gets back into the ring."
In his last victory, Wilder broke his hand and tore his bicep but managed to still pull out a victory. The accomplishment is something that spoke to Redskins safety David Bruton Jr., who fractured his fibula last season with the Broncos and managed to play the remainder of the game.
"I was enamored by the fact that he kept battling with the bicep and the broken hand," Bruton said. "Being able to stick it out, being in pain but you know you have a job to do and you want to be out there for your guys or for yourself in that instance, represent the name on your back. That's definitely what stuck out to me for sure. And the fact that I just like the man's confidence as well. 'I'm the champ, I'm the champ. I want all three belts.' I like that."
On Saturday, September 4th, 2016, Gold Medal Olympian Katie Ledecky visited the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park to speak with players and coaches and tour the facility.
"It was really cool to meet him, to see him in person," Garçon said. "Just having that mindset, every day going to work, having that mindset that you've got to make it happen regardless, there's no losing, no excuses, do whatever it takes...you're going to do whatever needs to be done for your team, for yourself."
With both Ledecky and Wilder, two individuals who don't necessarily have the encouragement from teammates while they compete, Bruton has found that both of their messages – regardless of body type and sport – have the same strong-willed characteristics.
"You wake up hungry, you go to work everyday and you challenge yourself to get better on a daily basis. That's the message I'm getting," Bruton said. "You just have that mindset to get better and better and better and become the best. Never doubt yourself, whether things aren't going your way.
"It's again, like I said, great that we get to see different perspectives, how they go about their business, how they handle their business, whether it's Ledecky waking up at 4 a.m. before she goes to school or whatever, or the champ just having the mindset, 'It's just me in this ring, torn bicep and broken hand, I don't care it's just me.' It's just great."