As players take their final breaks before training camp, The Redskins Blog will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, since their arrival.
Today, we'll focus on linebacker Terence Garvin.
1. He was a huge Redskin fan growing up:
Garvin grew up in Baltimore but was born in Silver Spring, Md. Before the Ravens became a franchise, Garvin was raised as a Redskins fan, something his parents initiated at an early age.
Check out images of linebacker Terence Garvin during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.
"My mom and dad loved the Redskins growing up, so it's a big thing to me, I'm excited," Garvin said of joining the team back in the spring. "I'm comfortable. I've got some cousins here, I've got some family here. My mom's coming back out here and my friends are not too far."
2. Scot McCloughan is impressed with his skills on special teams:
In his three seasons with the Steelers, Garvin led the team with 33 special teams tackles (26 solo) and became a key component to Pittsburgh's attack on kickoffs and punts. It's what attracted GM Scot McCloughan to him.
"Not a real big guy, but a speed guy that's coming from an aggressive defense that's played a lot of good football in recent years," McCloughan said. "He wasn't a big-time guy coming out of college, but he's proven in the NFL that he's a good football player, and he gives his teams value, as well."
3. He's an ideal veteran for the young special teams players hoping to make the roster:
Each year the special teams unit offers young players the chance to prove something, to find a way on the roster if their position is already crowded with veteran players.
Over the course of this offseason, Garvin and safety David Bruton Jr., who have made careers out of dominating that facet of the game, have been more than willing to hand out valuable advice and lessons.
"Those guys have been excellent not only on the field, but off the field," special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica said. "They've got excellent leadership and they've got some pedigree in play in the special team's part of the game. It's important to them and it transcends down across the unit."
- He is a solid backup at inside linebacker:**
During his career at West Virginia he totaled 235 tackles and 10.5 sacks. Garvin, 25, is still young and starting to show flashes of success at the linebacker position.
He's had three years to learn and improve at the position with the Steelers, and specifically under All-Pro James Harrison. He has also shown to the Redskins that he can hold his own if his number is called to start. He defines his play as "speed, anger, violent."
"I'm trying to get to the ball, I'm trying to make something happen," Garvin said. "That's how you've got to play. You've got to be smart at the same time, but when you get to the ball you've got to really want to make something happen."
5. He idolized Sean Taylor:
Anyone who grew up a Redskins fan was almost unanimously a Sean Taylor fan. Garvin grew up the same way, admiring Sean Taylor and modeling his game after No. 21 when he played safety in high school.
"I loved Sean Taylor, I was a Sean Taylor fanatic," Garvin said. "He played the game how you're supposed to, angry, violent, but he still played fast and smart. I love looking up to him…I really grew up watching him, that was somebody I really wanted to play like, always come hit people and just the whole vibe, I loved his game."
The Washington Redskins announced on Friday, March 18, 2016, the signing of free agent linebacker Terence Garvin. Here's a gallery of photos from his career.
- He came into the NFL as a tryout player**:
Garvin jumped into the NFL with his back against the wall and the odds against him, hoping to make a team's practice squad, much less start on an active roster.
He went undrafted and unsigned coming into the 2013 NFL season, and eventually the Steelers brought him in for a tryout. After seeing his ability, they signed him immediately and Garvin would go on to be a key special teams starter there for three years before coming to the Redskins.
"It's hard work," Garvin said of his early reality. "You've got to work hard every day and focus. You've got to lock in every day. You can't play around with it because the opportunity is so little, especially being a free agent, your opportunities are different…you've got to make plays, you've got to make something happen."
7. He's heavily involved in the 'Autism Speaks' movement:
Garvin has done a lot of community work over the course of his short career in the NFL. One of his main focuses has been getting involved with and promoting awareness for autism.
He's posted numerous times on social media (mainly Twitter and Instagram) not only notifying people of the cause, but also how everyone can get involved and help out.
Jake Kring-Schreifels contributed to this post.