Thrash at peace with future

It doesn't matter to James Thrash what his role is this season. When you've been cut, been on the precipice of finding another career and when football is only a part of your life, you only worry about doing your job. No matter what it is.

And that's what Thrash will do. His career hasn't progressed that far from when he was nearly out of the league. Thrash won't let himself forget that time, lest he stop being humble. The Eagles cut him, the Redskins signed him and Thrash figured it was now or never.

Just think how close he was to being never: only two returns for touchdowns in the preseason forced the Redskins to keep him.

''I was probably last on the depth chart,'' Thrash said. ''Had I not run a couple touchdowns back on kickoffs, I never make the team.''

Within a couple years he developed into a solid receiver as well, mainly because he outworked those around him. Granted, it was noted slackers Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell, but that hardly matters. Thrash got here through hard work.

''I'll help in whatever capacity I can,'' Thrash said. ''I don't need something to be given to me. I'm willing to work for whatever I can get, whether it's playing a role on offense or on special teams. As long as I help the team win I'm willing to do whatever.''

It's hard to imagine Thrash being more offensively than a No. 3 receiver. Laveranues Coles is set at No. 1 and Rod Gardner should be a solid two. My hunch is that we'll see the Gardner from two years ago and not last season.

But Thrash is excellent insurance in case Coles' toe injury acts up or if someone else gets hurt. Plus he can return punts if needed. Regardless, he won't complain if he's not as involved as he had been in Philadelphia the past three seasons.

''Not at all,'' he said. ''First off, I don't measure myself or my success as far as playing. I measure success if I'm living the way God would call me to live. I'm here for a reason and I take full advantage of that and I know everything else will work out. Only time will tell if I'm even on the team. And if I'm here I'll do everything I can to give myself the best opportunity.''

This attitude is why the Redskins wanted Thrash.

''Every single person in the building,'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said, ''from the trainers to Bubba said this guy is one of the neatest guys we've ever had and one of the hardest workers. They told me one year he started the year injured and he was still out there running other teams' plays. We decided that we definitely wanted to try and get him.''

Thrash also doesn't like looking back too much. He knows how close he was to finding another line of work.

''Once you look back you get stuck in the past,'' he said. ''I can see how God orchestrated certain things, to make me humble at first and to enjoy what you get when you do get it. Then to come back here . . .I hope I can finish what I started.''

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