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Washington Joins Linebackers

The Redskins have officially completed the signing of free agent linebacker Marcus Washington. The four-year NFL veteran, formerly with the Indianapolis Colts, was introduced Friday in an afternoon press conference at Redskins Park.

"First of all, I just want to say I'm glad to be here and I'm glad to finally be a Redskin," Washington said. "I'm really excited about next year. Looking at the three Super Bowl trophies up here, hopefully we can get a few more of those."

Washington could be a candidate to play the strong-side position, currently occupied by LaVar Arrington. In turn, Arrington might switch to the weak-side spot to take the place of Jessie Armstead, who was released by the Redskins last week.

When asked which side he prefers, Washington said: "It doesn't matter. I normally rush from the left side, but if I have to help the team by rushing from the right, so be it."

Regarding Arrington, Washington said: "Just watching LaVar--I haven't met him formally yet--he's a very enthusiastic guy. He's a height guy and he looks like he's very vocal. I'm the same type of guy and we should get along great. There should be a lot of energy out there."

Washington grew up in Auburn, Ala., and starred at Auburn University. He played left defensive end as a senior, leading Auburn with seven sacks and 21 QB pressures.

Given his speed, he was projected as a linebacker in the pros and was a second-round draft pick by the Colts in 2000--the same draft class as Arrington and Redskins newcomer Cornelius Griffin.

Washington is regarded as a young, ascending player, a linebacker with athleticism and sure tackling ability.

With Indianapolis, he was a three-year starter and 260 career tackles, 18 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions. Last year, he recorded 81 tackles and six sacks in helping lead the Colts to the AFC Championship game. His best season statistically was in 2001 when he totaled 119 tackles and eight sacks.

Gibbs emphasized Washington's durability as one contributing factor in the team's decision to sign him.

"One of the things I admire about Marcus is that we like people who play every week," Gibbs said. "He's played 63 of the last 64 games in pro ball. We think with a 26-year-old linebacker we have a lot years here with him.

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