Height: 6'1" Weight: 240 lbs
College: Portland State
Drafted: Sixth Round Pick 182nd Overall (Tampa Bay)
Nine year NFL veteran Adam Hayward is in his second season with the Washington Redskins. Here are five things you need to know about him:
#1. Adam Hayward was a two star linebacker recruited by Colorado State and spent his freshman and sophomore seasons with them before transferring elsewhere. He lost his mother to Breast Cancer in 2004 and in an interview with Larry Michael, he questioned whether he wanted to play football again:
"I went to Colorado State, and I was playing there for a couple of years." I was starting as a true freshman, didn’t redshirt. Things were going great, and then my third year is when everything came crashing down. That’s when my mom got sick with breast cancer, and she passed away. I kind of just walked away from football. I was done. I quit, and I was like, I’m out of here. A year later I said I want to play again. I decided to come back, and that’s kind of when I came back to the coaches and said that I wanted a change."
#2. His coaches at Colorado State helped him transfer to Portland State University and because of NCAA rules he didn't have to sit out a year so he was able to contribute right away for the Vikings. In two seasons with Portland State, Hayward played 22 games (11 starts) and registered 123 tackles and 11 sacks. As a senior, he was Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year and an All-American. He also was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, which is awarded to the best defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
#3. According to the Portland Tribune's Zach Stratton, Hayward talked about the difference in pace between college and the pros and in his first year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he got to learn from great veterans :
"The speed and the plays' are the main differences. In the NFL, we have so many different plays in one defense alone. I learned a lot last year. And it wasn't just from (Derrick Brooks), but also from Cato June. I learned little things from them, like technique versus certain players or certain positions you go against. They both have their little tricks of the trade that they teach the younger linebackers."
#4. With the addition of new defensive coordinator Joe Barry, Adam Hayward was pleased with the move and has some familiarity with him:
"He’s like me, just a crazy guy," said Hayward. "Good crazy. He’s very passionate and he’ll let you know. If he wants something done, you get it done, and if not he’ll let you know."
Barry was the linebackers of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Hayward played there.
#5. If nothing else, fans should know that this guy is going to work hard for a spot on this roster and it helps that the defensive coordinator is someone who Hayward respects.
Bottom Line: Football healed Hayward in his time of loss. In his sophomore season with the Redskins as one of the veterans, the fans should hope for big things from this guy; even if he doesn't assume a starting role.