When safety Tanard Jackson signed with the Redskins in early April, it wasn't just the opportunity to play football again that had him excited.
Jackson grew up midway between Redskins Park and FedExField, in Silver Spring Md., and signed with his hometown team just three days after being released by the Buccaneers.
"It's a dream come true. I grew up watching the 'Skins," Jackson said about coming to Washington. "I'm from this area, I have a lot of family from this area, so they're all excited."
Jackson also has the opportunity to reunite with Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris, who was his head coach in Tampa Bay.
Jackson had a personal bond with Morris and is grateful to have his guidance as he begins a new chapter.
"It's a great opportunity for myself, to be back in the room with a guy who has taught me so much and a style that I'm used to," Jackson explained. "Once I was release from the Buccaneers, and I knew the Redskins were interested, it was a no-brainer."
Still rehabbing from a shoulder injury, Jackson is not expected to practice with the team until June 1, but has been a regular at Redskins Park.
By his estimation, his physical therapy with the Redskins training staff has prepared him for a healthy 2012, and he expects to be ready by summer.
"It feels like a fresh start," Jackson said. "I'm really excited."
In his four-year career in Tampa Bay, Jackson recorded 239 tackles, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 10 interceptions. He has experience in both the free and strong safety positions.
Once he gets back on the field, he will compete with a field of safeties that includes Reed Doughty, DeJon Gomes, Jordan Bernstine, Madieu Williams and Brandon Meriweather for a new-look safety position.