From Redskins reject to Super Bowl with the Steelers
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."
| February 1, 2011; 4:35 PM ET
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