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Posted at 4:35 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

From Redskins reject to Super Bowl with the Steelers

By Rick Maese

A year ago, Antwaan Randle El had finished a disappointing season with the Washington Redskins and was just a month away from being released to join the NFL's long unemployment line. Now, as a role player with the Pittsburgh Steelers, he's back in the Super Bowl.

"It's not even a comparison. To be at home watching is terrible," said Randle El. "You hate to be at home watching. To be here, Media Day, getting ready for the big game, of course, it's the ultimate."

After spending four seasons with the Redskins, during which he averaged 550 yards per year receiving, Randle El returned to the Steelers last offseason. He'd spent his first four seasons in Pittsburgh and helped win one Super Bowl. Wins and losses aside, there are differences in the two organizations, he says.

"Just the togetherness. There's no selfishness," Randle El said. "Even going back to college, we're going to do what we have to do to win. Everybody. Everybody has to sacrifice. Everybody is not going to be in the light all the time. Somebody has to take a back seat. When you take a backseat, no complaining and moaning about it, just doing it but still moving forward."

Randle El has come off the bench this season and tallied 253 receiving yards on 22 receptions. Both are career lows, but he's not complaining. He's willing to do whatever he can to help win games. Randle El also has 14 punt returns (and 17 more fair catches) with an average return of four yards.

He's more than familiar with the Super Bowl stage. In Super Bowl XL, Randle El sealed the Steelers' win by throwing a 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward in the final quarter -- the only receiver to ever register a touchdown pass in the game's history. He's hoping to make a similar contribution this Sunday.

"I want to try to do something that has never been done," he said. "Throwing a touchdown hasn't never been done. A punt return still has never been done, so that's in there. Nobody has ever caught, thrown and returned a punt for a touchdown. None of that has been done in one game. I'm going for whatever I can get. Whatever you're going to give me, Lord, I'm taking. Certainly to return one would be big."

By Rick Maese  | February 1, 2011; 4:35 PM ET
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Next: Donovan McNabb says he's "definitely a Redskin"--for now


Still ARE is the most mediocre receiver, with pro-bowl physical talent, that the skins have had in the last 10yrs with the exception of brandon lloyd.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | February 1, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

ARE, Suisham, Ryan Clark.

That is all that stood between us and a Super Bowl.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | February 1, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

and on the Chris Hanburger discussion, it should be pointed out that no player has earned more Pro Bowl visits without being in the HOF.

Practically speaking Hanburger is competing against no one else. Senior nominees get their own, separate vote.

The process is basically this. All the eligible players and contributors (owners, coaches, etc) get whittled down to a list of 15. The HOF voters reduce that list to 5 by a series of votes.

Ineligible players, etc, are covered by a separate mechanism. Some group nominates 2 people per year.

That group of 7 (5 + 2) are all given an up or down vote as individuals -- there is no competition. Get 80% and you are in.

In recent times, there have been as few as 4 people to get in, usually it is 6 or 7.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | February 1, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

What's the Super Bowl record for most fair catches in one game?

Posted by: fufighter2121 | February 1, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Randle El was a Steelers reject first.

What a POS, he still is not good, now he is riding coattails.


Posted by: smtpgirl08 | February 1, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I think I've flip-flopped.

My poop smells like butt.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 1, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

ARE has about as much chance of returning a punt in the SB as Betty White does.

You don't take punts to the house when all you do is fair catch or dance side to side for 4yds or less.

Posted by: 72Redskins | February 1, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What's the Super Bowl record for most fair catches in one game?

Posted by: fufighter2121 | February 1, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Literally L-O-L!

Posted by: JoelV | February 1, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Randle El, wake up, man.. get real. You are not going to return a punt more than 5 yds! Last I checked you were close to being last in the league, and that does not even include the FCs you employ for no obvious reason. You can not get any worse if you tried!

Posted by: iubiquity | February 2, 2011 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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