Any number of Redskins played inspired football in the team's 16-10 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. You could point to Carlos Rogers or Andre Carter, Ladell Betts or Sean Taylor.
In addition, it was hard to miss the solid effort Todd Wade gave the Redskins when he stepped in for Jon Jansen at right tackle.
Wade is a 6-8, 317-pound seven-year NFL veteran. On Sunday, he played like it in his individual matchup versus Saints left defensive end Charles Grant or his reserve Josh Cooper. Grant, a formidable player in his own right, finished with just three tackles. Cooper had just one.
"It felt good to get back out there. More importantly, it feels good to experience a win," said Wade. "I missed over a year, including all of training camp. But I've been working with coach [Joe] Bugel for weeks and I felt like I was ready. It's not as if I started practicing last week. I've played a lot of games in this league."
Wade hails from Jackson, Miss., and played his college ball at Ole Miss, where his grandfather, father and younger brother also played. Luther Wade, Todd's father, was a fullback in the Mississippi backfield headed up by Archie Manning.
In the 2000 NFL draft, Todd Wade was a second-round pick (53rd overall) of the Dolphins. Wade played four productive seasons in Miami, where he one of Ricky Williams' key blockers.
Wade moved on to the Houston Texans in 2004 and 2005. Last year, his season ended in Week 11. He was placed on IR with a knee injury.
On Sunday in the Louisiana Superdome, Wade was seeing his first game action of 2006. Further, like several teammates who have ties to the state of Mississippi--Jason Campbell, Randy Thomas, Jeff Posey--Wade was looking at Week 15 as his "hometown" game.
In his first chance to prove himself as a Redskin, Wade did not disappoint.
Just ask Grant, Cooper (who also played at the University of Mississippi) or New Orleans cornerback Mike McKenzie.
In one memorable sequence, as he was out on the edge blocking for Betts, Wade gave McKenzie a shove into the Saints' bench area.
To his credit, McKenzie seemed to appreciate the hard hit, and gave Wade what appeared to be a good-natured tap on his helmet when the play was over.
Asked about the Redskins' right tackle, Ray Brown, the team's offensive consultant with a close eye on the offensive line, said: "Todd really, really wanted to get out on the field and show what he can do. He's been really itching to see the field. Today, he really got after it."
Wade signed with the Redskins as a free agent on Sept. 5 but hadn't participated much with his new team, which, until Week 15, had stayed largely injury-free along the offensive front.
On Sunday, Wade replaced a Redskins cornerstone in Jansen, didn't give up a sack or draw a penalty (the Redskins had just three, for 15 yards) and was part of an offensive line that came up with 161 yards on the ground.
Not a bad place to start as a Redskin.
"Todd had a very good game," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "He had great preparation and he's very conscientious. He really went after it."