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|Two hours of practice in the heat and humidity weren't enough for Pete Robertson.
As dripping teammates slowly ambled to the locker room and showers Sunday Garry Gilliam Jersey , Robertson lined up on one sideline and sprinted across the field to the other sideline. Then and back, over and over again, for extra conditioning.
As the linebacker tries to make it all the way back from a debilitating back injury that threatened to take football away for good, he's leaving nothing to chance as he tries to make the Washington Redskins.
"It's been a long journey," he said.
A very effective pass rusher at Texas Tech, Robertson figured to be drafted before he herniated a disk in his back while working out before the draft. The injury led to a pinched nerve, and after Robertson insisted on running at his Pro Day workout for scouts, he never heard his name called during the NFL draft.
He signed a free agent deal with the Seattle Seahawks, but didn't stick, and had been working the graveyard shift loading trucks at UPS for three months when his agent called. The Redskins were interested.
Before hanging up, Robertson told him, "'They aren't ever going to let me go' and I've been here ever since."
And more and more, he seems likely to stick around for a while.
"Petey has been unbelievable," fifth-year coach Jay Gruden said before a recent practice. "Yeah, he's been great. Very, very athletic Karl Joseph Jersey , and you're talking about a guy that can possibly help on special teams, as your fourth or fifth linebacker, and he's one because he can run."
When the Redskins signed Robertson last December, they initially used him at running back on the scout team because of a need there. He got in four games and made two tackles late in the season. A defensive end in college, the team has since tried him at inside linebacker, Gruden said, but "that wasn't quite his cup of tea."
"We moved him back down as an outside linebacker/defensive end in nickel. He's done very, very well."
And made an impression on teammates with his willingness to work.
"You know, when we had a lot of guys down and out, he got a lot of reps and you could see the burst that he has and the speed," offensive tackle Morgan Moses said. "He brings another aspect to the game and he works hard, man.
"There's not one thing you tell him to do that he's not going to do it. You tell him to go get some water 50 yards down the field, he's going to run and get water 50 yards down the field. He just has that mentality."
It's an appreciation of a second chance Robertson wasn't sure he'd get.
The thought that football might be in his past "went through my mind every night, every morning," he said. "Before I went to bed, when I woke up. ... I knew it wasn't the end of the road for me. I knew it wasn't. I never gave up on the dream Jordy Nelson Jersey , but you always have that thought in the back of your mind: 'Is this it?'"
In the offseason, Robertson added back the 30 pounds he'd lost while away from the game during day-long weekday workouts with his cousin, Redskins star left tackle Trent Williams. Williams was rehabbing after a right knee injury, and Robertson knew he had to make a big impression once the Redskins opened training camp.
So far, he's doing just that, and enjoying it every step of the way.
"I wouldn't trade it for nothing," he said.
Case Keenum couldn't wait to get out of Minnesota.
No, he's not bitter over the Vikings' decision to move on to Kirk Cousins.
And he isn't gloating over being "the man " for the first time in his NFL career after signing a two-year, $36 million deal last month in Denver.
He's just glad to see some sunshine, that's all.
Before coming to Colorado for the Broncos' offseason program, Keenum made a stop in Minneapolis to accept the "Uncommon Award" from Tony Dungy at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska on Friday.
The only downer was the blizzard that struck the nation's midsection.
"It dumped like 25 inches on us," Keenum said. "So, I was ready to get out of there and get to Denver and the sunshine."
Keenum is entering the season as the starter for the first time in his six-year career after coach Vance Joseph declared him the Broncos' No. 1 QB at the free agent's introductory news conference a month ago.
Yet, Keenum's role beyond 2018 remains up in the mile-high air because general manager John Elway could still use the fifth overall pick in next week's NFL draft to select a quarterback.
Elway and his lieutenants have taken long, hard looks at this year's college crop of QBs, including the "Big Four " prospects. They hosted Baker Mayfield on Monday but Keenum said he hadn't run into him.
Keenum also insists he isn't concerned that he'll soon be tutoring his successor should Elway choose a quarterback.
"I'm excited for whoever's going to come in and make us better Drew Bledsoe Jersey ," Keenum said. "That's what competition breeds within your own team. I think it makes you better. So, whoever comes in I'll be looking for them to help us be a better football team. No matter what position it is. I know they're going to draft a lot of positions. It doesn't change my mindset at all."
Yet, non-QB blue chippers such as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb or Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson would provide immediate help for Keenum this season and maybe even stability for his future.
Von Miller has said he'd love to have Chubb lining up next to him.
"He's Khalil Mack and Von Miller put together," Miller said with a laugh. "He is a great player and I would love to have him on my team. You don't come across guys like that often. We don't (normally) have the No. 5 pick in the draft. I hope we don't have a high pick like that for a while. So if we can steal a player like that, I'm all for it."
When Keenum reported to work Monday, it marked the first time he'd been the unquestioned starting quarterback since his final days at the University of Houston, where he set NCAA passing records but still went undrafted before compiling a 20-18 record with the Vikings, Rams and Texans.
"It feels good, it does," Keenum said. "It's not something where I feel like I've made it. That's not ever my mentality. I'm going to stay hungry.
"Nothing's ever been handed to me. I've earned that right, and I'm going to continue to earn that right being in this building, in the weight room, meeting room, practice field and then on game day."
The Broncos' anemic offense was a big reason for their slide to 5-11 last season, just two years after they won the Super Bowl Keenan Robinson Jersey , and Elway's makeover includes the arrival of right tackle Jared Veldheer and the departure of running back C.J. Anderson on Monday.
Anderson could have provided a valuable sounding board to Keenum much like he did with Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler and Trevor Siemian.
"It doesn't change me and my mindset and what I'm prepared to do here and what I want to do here, what I feel like I need to do," Keenum said. "I know that NFL teams change constantly. So, I'm here right now, just trying to get into the building and just become familiar with everything."
For now, the Broncos' quarterback room also includes holdovers Paxton Lynch, a first-rounder in 2016 who so far has flopped, and Chad Kelly, last year's Mr. Irrelevant who spent his rookie season on IR.
Keenum said his interactions with Lynch and Kelly have been good so far.
"We've got a great quarterback room, and I appreciate that because I've been in some other quarterback rooms that haven't been," Keenum said.
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