One of the more under-the-radar moves the Washington Redskins made over the past six months was the signing of veteran offensive tackle Tony Pashos.
The former two-time All-Big Ten selection was drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. From 2006-2008 for both the Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars, Pashos started 47 games to include two playoff appearances.
The 6-6, 315 pound lineman was last spotted on the gridiron in 2011 for the Cleveland Browns, but after an ankle surgery early in 2012, the former Illinois star sat out the season.
A year away from the game gave him a much needed break to fully recover from the annual pounding his body takes every fall. It also gave him the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl contender once again—an offer he simply couldn’t turn down.
In a recent interview with The Southtown Star, Pashos explained that his yearlong sabbatical allowed for him to shed a few pounds from his large frame—a key that he believes will allow him to excel in his 10th NFL season.
“I’m healthy. I’m moving well and feel strong. I’m going to camp (beginning July 24) at 315 pounds (down from 325). A lot of the young guys in this game put on weight, but you see massive guys get beat by quick defensive ends. You basically have to get good at football, not get bigger.”
The offensive tackle was signed back in March to not only add depth to a unit that is returning every starter from last season’s NFC East winning squad, but to push for a starting role. Regardless of past background, years of experience, or where you were drafted, the best five on the unit starts gamedays.
While Pashos would certainly accept a starting gig, he just wants to do whatever it takes to help his newest team win even if it means less playing time.
“My focus isn’t on starting, it’s to go in and be the best I can be,” Pashos said. “When we go into camp, I want to continue learning how I can help this team win.”
Despite tasting playoff success early in his career, Pashos knows that his window of opportunity for getting a Super Bowl victory is slowly starting to close and after fielding several offers in the offseason, he knew there is only one place that can reach that final goal before retirement—Washington.
“This is my 11th year out of college. My focus is to work hard and win a lot of games. I want to get a ring.”
Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, and Brian Orakpo will rightfully get their share of publicity next week when training camp starts, but don’t forget to keep an eye on Pashos and Co. in the trenches. Their collective performance last season spring boarded the Burgundy and Gold’s rushing attack to unprecedented levels.
If you haven’t had a chance to wish Pashos a warm Redskins Nation welcome please do so by dropping him a Tweet (@BigGreek79). Also be sure to check out this gallery of his best NFL moments to help you put a face to the name.
We are in the single digits! Only nine more days until Richmond.
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