*The Redskins signed kicker Nick Rose, who has yet to appear in an NFL game before, to replace Dustin Hopkins. The University of Texas product is hoping to make good on his situation. *
New Redskins kicker Nick Rose's goals for Thursday were pretty simple: have a good first day of practice and purchase some socks.
Called in earlier this week for a tryout with three other kickers after the team placed kicker Dustin Hopkin on Injured Reserve with a hip muscle injury, Rose made all of his kicks and, according to head coach Jay Gruden, made solid contact on kickoffs. It was enough for Washington to sign him, but Rose was unprepared for any kind of extended stay, bringing just a backpack, a couple of T-shirts and a pair of shorts.
"They actually hooked me up with a rental today," Rose said. "I didn't really know much coming in to this. They kept a lot of things under closed doors."
Once he gets some more clothes to wear, he'll have as tall a task as any kicker that's preparing for his first official NFL game. The Redskins visit Philadelphia for Monday Night Football, a dramatic spotlight to make a debut, especially for a kicker.
"Everybody wants to know about kickers and pressure," Rose said. "I feel like how you handle your own pressure is what it comes down to. I put a lot of pressure on myself every day for every kick, so I feel like it's no different in a game-type situation. As far as pressure goes, I feel like I handle that pretty well. Expectation is expectation. Everybody expects you to make every single kick. Is that realistic? No. It's your job to make as many of them as you can and to make the ones that count."
Check out these photos of the Redskins' defense and special teams preparing for their Week 7 game against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
A former walk-on at the University of Texas, Rose spent four years with the Longhorns, appearing in all 51 games. He finished his career hitting 27-of-38 field goals and 71-of-74 extra points, finishing with 152 points. He signed with the Falcons in May last year but was waived at the end of training camp. The 49ers signed him to a Reserve/Future contract this past January but he was let go during the final roster cutdown in September.
In the meantime, Rose was back in Austin training with weights and using Texas' facility. He said he never gave up on his dream of being a kicker despite the disappointment of being released twice, hoping that an opportunity would approach again.
"This has been a dream of mine for a long time, so I was 100 percent committed to it, always training, always staying ready and just ready for an opportunity, honestly," Rose said. "You never know how the business or what organization is looking for what. You don't know if an opportunity is going to come, you've just got to be ready for it when it is."
Rose had made impressions after college with some trick shot videos he posted on social media, namely one in which he made an 80-yard field goal. Since then, he's realized that kicking the ball the furthest isn't too important when it comes to being consistent from less than 50 yards out.
He will likely have a few opportunities this Monday night, aiming to make good on all of his patience.
"I feel like life is kind of a rollercoaster," Rose said. "This is just part of it, I guess. It's part of the path I chose. I wake up every day and make the decision to be a kicker and that's kind of the path you have to take. That's never going to be one way or another. Everybody kind of has their own route. This happened to be mine and this is my opportunity."