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, so far.
Today we’ll focus on defensive lineman Stacy McGee.
1. He quickly adjusted to life in Washington.
From Oakland to Washington, Stacy McGee enters his first NFL season with the Redskins after four years with the Raiders. Drafted out of Oklahoma in 2013, the Oklahoma native appreciates the chance to play with a new team, despite a cross-country move.
“It has been good so far, McGee said. “I mean, anytime you have to move or adjust, it could get a little tough, but I mean as far as adjusting I had a lot of help with the coaches and staff. Other players just helping me get used to the area and the team and everything so it is going good so far.
“I’m excited to be here and happy for the opportunity," McGee added.
2. He aspires to contribute to Redskins history.
Though each team has its own rituals and practices, McGee noted that the past and present Redskins’ culture stood out to him when considering different teams.
“It was just the tradition they have here [in Washington]” McGee said. “I mean, I know a few people back home who always [said], ‘We wish you were with the Redskins.’ From Oklahoma, we don’t have too many different fan bases: Dallas or Oakland. And I mean, I like the program, I did my research on them, I did research on the coaches, and everything here seemed like a real good fit for me to become the player that I should be.
“It means a lot going from one legacy to another organization that has a great history,” he added. “[I want] to be a part of that and hopefully build more history and be something great as well.”
3. He anticipates a dominant defensive line this season.
McGee comes off of one of his most productive NFL seasons with a career 63 tackles, three sacks and two fumbles forced. The veteran player seeks to make an impact for the Redskins while focusing on overall team success.
“We got a good D-line, so everybody is going to do their part and I feel like our difference together is pretty solid,” McGee said, “so I mean all of us working together, we can be pretty good.
“The dynamic in our room is really just to motivate everybody to get better every day,” he added. “You know, we push each other every day and in the weight room, everybody pushing each other… every little thing we do we push each other just to get the best out of each other every day. With us pushing each other, that’s only going to bring greatness out of everybody.”
4. He is prepared to play any position.
Though McGee primarily plays as a defensive end, he has collegiate experience at defensive tackle, even leading the position in tackles in a 2010 Sooners matchup against Air Force. In Washington, the player expressed that he will play any position that will help the team.
“Any team I go to I would like to go on and make a difference and help anywhere I can,” McGee said.
“[I will play] wherever I’m needed,” he added. “I just want to be somewhere holding down, where I’m dominant at whatever position they need me to play.”
5. He likes working with the defensive coaches.
From defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, McGee is open to their guidance and teaching. Though new to the team, the defensive lineman enjoys playing for both coaches.
“I like Tomsula," McGee said. "He brings a lot of energy and demands greatness from his players. He wants us to grind and be everything that we can be.
“He’s a real good coach. He works us hard. He just wants the best out of everybody. He just wants everybody to reach its full potential, so I mean, I can respect that, and I love it. That is what I want to do. I want to be the best player I can be, so I can only respect it.”
For Manusky, McGee appreciates the coach’s professional playing experience.
“I think he’s a good coach,” McGee said. “A lot of energy, and he’s a player’s coach, so I love him. Any player would love a player’s coach.”
6. He’s physical up front.
As one of the largest players on the team –a high school state championship wrestler – McGee combines his frame and skill to become a defensive threat.
“He’s a big, physical guy and he’s an interesting player,” Gruden said. “I think he hasn’t tapped on his potential yet.
“I’m excited about him,” the head coach added. “Did a little bit of work on him with people who coached him out there and had a lot of good things to say about him. We’re excited about him.”
McGee is also looking forward to displaying his abilities on the field, facing opponents and contributing to a win for Washington.
“I’m not afraid of a challenge," McGee said. "I’m confident about anybody we play against. It’s just me getting in there to handle my business, doing the right technique, and playing hard.
“They’re going to see a man hungry out there, hunting, just pursuing the ball, just trying to bring greatness back here to the Redskins, helping us win games.”
7. He played with two other Redskins in college.
McGee spent five years at Oklahoma, redshirting the 2008 season before appearing in 34 games between 2009 and 2012.
While in Norman, punter Tress way and tackle Trent Williams were McGee’s teammates. Though he did not play with Redskins rookie running back Samaje Perine, the two also share the same alma mater.
McGee was a top-100, four-star high school prospect according to Rivals.com, but Williams was the Redskins’ first-round draft pick in 2010, so when McGee reminisces on going head-to-head with Williams, he fondly remembers the friendly competition of solidifying his presence.
“I was probably a freshman, and we were doing 1-on-1 pass rush, I think it was in camp or something like that,” McGee said, “and [Williams] was playing tackle but he moved down to guard and I ended up going against him and I beat him twice in a row. That’s the last time he was down there.”