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Horton Named NFL Defensive Rookie of Month


The honors keep rolling in for Redskins rookie strong safety Chris Horton.

Horton was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. He is the first Redskins rookie to win the award since Fred Smoot in September 2001.

"This is great recognition for a young player with tremendous potential," head coach Jim Zorn said. "He is playing with great effort for our football team."

Said Horton: "I've just been doing what I've been doing all my life, and that's playing football and making plays. I don't look at it like I have to show people what I can do. All I needed was the opportunity. I got the opportunty and now I'm making the most of it."

It's the second award handed down from the NFL to Horton this season. He was also named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 2.

For the month, the seventh-round draft pick from UCLA registered 10 tackles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery, three passes defended and three special teams tackles.

Horton's four takeaways are the most in the NFC and tied for the NFL lead with Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan. His interception total is tied for the NFC lead and second in the NFL.

All four of Horton's takeaways occurred in his two starts against New Orleans and Dallas, both Redskins wins.

Last Sunday, with the Redskins leading 20-17 in the third quarter, Horton ranged to his left and picked off a Tony Romo pass.

Horton also made three tackles on the day, including one that held Terrell Owens to a 6-yard gain on an end-around and one on Jason Witten, stopping the Pro Bowl tight end six yards short of a first down.

The New Orleans native made his first NFL start in the Redskins' 29-24 win over the Saints on Sept. 14.

In that game, Horton delivered two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Horton was the Redskins' final draft pick, a seventh-round selection, last April. He played his college ball under former Redskins defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker, who is defensive coordinator at UCLA.

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