After being picked up by the Redskins in Week 4, linebacker Mason Foster felt he needed to "let people know I can still play ball" during the 2015 season.
For Mason Foster, the 2015-16 season was about proving himself.
After being picked up by the Washington Redskins in Week 4, Foster's main goal was to silence his naysayers and prove that he still had enough talent to compete at the NFL level.
"People acted like I couldn't play," Foster said at the end of the season. "Even if I wasn't starting or whatever type of role it was, people acted like I couldn't do it. I feel like I can still play and I think I showed that."
Foster was inserted into the starting lineup in December after an injury to fellow middle linebacker Perry Riley Jr. and vowed to do his best so the defense wouldn't miss a beat during the transition period.
In addition to Foster starting, Will Compton was also added to the starting lineup to replace an injured Keenan Robinson.
With Compton and Foster taking over at middle linebacker, the team saw a brand new defensive tandem and coach Jay Gruden was happy with the result.
"They're playing good, sound football and they're fundamentally making good tackles and they're communicating and they're in the right spot," Gruden said.
Foster had lots of good things to say about the head coach, admitting that some of his former Tampa Bay teammates, who are now teammates again, impacted his desire to play for Gruden in Washington.
"I was really close with Dashon [Goldson], Adam [Hayward], and everybody that was here, so I knew that I wanted to be here," Foster said. "I watched Jay Gruden and I knew this was the place I wanted to be, so I tried to make the most of my opportunity when I got the try out. Everything happens for a reason."
The Washington Redskins on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, announced the signing of linebacker Mason Foster. Take a look at his NFL career in photos.
Despite finishing with 37 tackles, the University of Washington product played with a chip on his shoulder all season. Foster said that when he joined the team, he was willing to do anything to contribute to the team's success and prove himself in the process.
"I feel like maybe people counted me out or thought I was still hurt and couldn't play anymore, and I feel like this year I definitely came back and let people know I can still play ball at a high level," Foster said. "If it's on special teams, if it's playing a couple downs here and there… I know I can help a team no matter what it is."
The future in Washington is uncertain for Foster, as he goes into the offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
But he is happy with the experience and knowledge that he gained with the Redskins.
"I feel like, for now, heading into the offseason that I am a Redskin," Foster said. "I'm going to continue to work as if I'll be back, and if I don't, then I had a great time here, I learned a lot and it's a great group of guys. So if I'm here or not, I know the Redskins are heading in the right direction, and they'll have a good team next year, with or without me."