Rocky McIntosh, the 6-2, 232-pound second-year linebacker, has been an emerging presence on the football field this season. Off the field, McIntosh has emerged as a presence in the Washington, D.C., community.
McIntosh, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday, has been selected as the Redskins' nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
The award is given annually by the NFL to honor a player's volunteer and charity work.
Around Redskins Park, Tuesday is basically the player's day off. But it's also a time when many events to benefit the Redskins' community outreach programs are scheduled.
McIntosh, who grew up in Gaffney, S.C., is a key participant in the community service programs supported by the Redskins Charitable Foundation.
He is sometimes the first to ask on Wednesday morning, "Where are we going next Tuesday?"
In the community, McIntosh seems to be at home.
He has spent time at children's hospitals, schools, libraries and hospitals. Last year, McIntosh joined teammates and helped to distribute food for the needy at Thanksgiving.
McIntosh volunteered to participate in the Redskins' "4th & Life" high school forum for student-athletes. Panelists speak to young players about what it takes to be successful on and off the football field.
Other projects in which McIntosh invests his time include participating in cleaning up local parks and working out with children in physical fitness stations.
Overall, he's shown a willingness to step outside of his comfort zone and get involved. In other words, the type of things that would make Walter Payton feel honored.
Shortly after Payton's death the award was re-named to honor his legacy as a great player and humanitarian. The former Chicago Bears star won the award himself in 1977.
Each year, a winner is selected from 32 nominees from the 32 different teams. A panel of judges selects the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $25,000 donation in his name, the other 31 finalists receive $1,000 each.
On the field, McIntosh has helped solidify the Redskins' defense in 2007.
McIntosh has logged 85 tackles, second-most on the team, in nine starts this season. He also has three sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
McIntosh said of his play in 2007: "I'm a lot more comfortable out there. I have those big guys around me, and I feel great with London [Fletcher] and with Marcus [Washington]. It just makes me feel a lot more confident."