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Anthony Armstrong has shown the Redskins he has good speed and good hands.
Doug Kapustin/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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During all the turmoil here at the end of last season, Armstrong would go about his business anonymously in the locker room while reporters flocked to prominent players in search of insight about the franchise's undoing.
'we've got a good player'
Less than a year later, Armstrong is now positioned to make the team. It has helped that the group of receivers currently on the roster lacks a bona fide threat other than Santana Moss.
Still, Armstrong is earning a spot by making plays.
"You could see on tape right when you see him: You had a talented guy, a guy who can run and is fast and also has the quick twitch to get in and out of breaks," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. "He has the hands. He's got everything it takes to be a receiver.
"You wonder when a guy has never had a career catch in the regular season--what's the deal? We wanted to get him under the lights, and he hasn't flinched at all. He's been the same at practice, so you can tell we've got a good player."
Armstrong's brightest moment of the preseason was his 4-yard touchdown catch two weeks ago against Buffalo.
On third-and-goal from the 4, quarterback Donovan McNabb hurried a throw over the middle to beat the blitz. Armstrong used his 5-11, 185-pound frame to shield the defender and make the catch at the goal line. He lunged for his first touchdown in an outdoor league since college.
Armstrong was so psyched that the ball slipped out of his hand when he wound up to spike it.
"It was super cool," he said. "I was overly excited. I was having the time of my life just being able to get in that end zone."
He followed it up with four catches for 84 yards last week against Baltimore.
He showed in that game an impressive ability to adjust to throws. He slowed down and slid to haul in an underthrown deep ball from McNabb for a 45-yard completion, and he also reached to snare a slant pass that McNabb threw behind him.
"He's one of those guys that's fast as hell," Moss said. "He runs great routes. You can sense that he's coming into his own right now."
Armstrong can, too, but he realizes that he still has to prove himself in two more preseason games and a week of practice.
But considering how far he's come from The Jack Shack parking lot, he's ready to take the final step.
"I know I've come a long way," he said, "but I'm still hacking right now."
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