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Thrash is happy in return

Back with Redskins, receiver continues to work toward role




ASHBURN - James Thrash is not a person who sees a glass as half empty or half full.

Thrash sees every glass as completely full.

Thrash spent the past three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, a team that lost the past three NFC championship games.

The Philadelphia story, Thrash said, was, "Great. There's no doubt it was frustrating to be one game away from the Super Bowl and not get there three years in a row. But we [Thrash and his wife] grew so much spiritually."

Having the Eagles trade him to Washington, after leading the team in receptions for two of the past three seasons was, Thrash said, "A great opportunity."

On Saturday, Thrash felt a pall come over that opportunity. His daughter Abriel, born on April 26, was spitting up blood. Thrash left the Redskins minicamp practice to take his wife and daughter to the hospi- tal.

"She's OK," Thrash said of Abriel. "We have to take her back [to the doctor], but for now everything appears to be OK. Thanks for asking."

Thrash is unfailingly polite and respectful. He is devoutly religious. He is an upstanding member of the community.

The Redskins like those things about him, but those are not the primary reasons they were willing to give up a fifth-round draft choice to re-acquire him from the Eagles.

Thrash, 29, is one of the hardest-working players in the NFL. He never complains. He never refuses a coach's request. He comes as close to giving everything he has in every workout, off-season, preseason, regular season, as any player in Redskins history.

"Those are the kind of guys we want," Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said.

Thrash, 6-0 200, will have a hard time supplanting either Laveranues Coles or Rod Gardner in the starting lineup. Darnerien McCants is going to get a long look as either the No. 3 receiver and might push Gardner for a starting job.

None of that appears to bother Thrash.

"I'm not one of those guys that needs something given to me," Thrash said. "I'm willing to work for everything I get, whether it's playing a role on offense or special teams. As long as I can help the team win, I'm happy."

The difference between Thrash and many other players is that he means that when he says it. With Gibbs as the Redskins coach, such players tend to stick around for a while.

That will be fine with Thrash. Even when he was with the Eagles, he and his family spent their off-season at their home just a few miles from Redskin Park.

He also likes the idea of finishing his career where it began. And unlike many players, he wasn't offended by the idea of being traded.

"I figured it was going to happen," Thrash said. "I was their leading receiver, but I knew they wanted to get another receiver and go in another direction."

Thrash led the Eagles in receptions last year with 49 for 558 yards. The direction the Eagles took was to replace the steady, uncomplaining Thrash with the sometimes spectacular, often high-maintenance Terrell Owens.

Thrash never could afford to be high maintenance. When he finished his career at Missouri Southern State, the Eagles signed him as a college free agent. They released him before training camp even began and the Redskins signed him.

Thrash, a national class sprinter, was making a favorable impression during his first training camp, under Norv Turner, and the Redskins hoped to sneak him through the preseason and place him on the practice squad.

Thrash scuttled that plan by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in preseason games. The Redskins knew if they cut him, which has to be done before placing a player on the practice squad, another team would sign him.

Now, Thrash is entering his eighth season, has made a huge amount of money, has two children and gushes at his good fortune and spiritual growth.

"I try not to reminisce too much because once you do that you get stuck in the past," Thrash said. "But to look back at where I started, it's awesome to see where God has put me."

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Thrash is the anti-Rod Gardner and is a class act all the way. He became one of my blue collar favorites after he played decoy in the second half of a game with a fractured collarbone because we didn't have anyone else healthy enough to put on the field.

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I think it is getting way past time to see that Gardner will be gone........

If that move was to be made, I don't understand why it hasn't been made already. Unless they are planning to wait just before the season when some team with an injury or some other issue allows us to drive up the price.........:evil:

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I'm happy to see him here, even though I'd suspect he may be winding down, and even though we're not exactly short handed at receiver, simply because of his attitude and what it represents for the team.

When was the last time anybody referred to the 'Skins as over-achievers?

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Why do you suggest he is winding down? He gave his all last time and most of us were sad to see him go (although he did get a decent pay-day out of it). He sounds pumped and ready to play for Coach Gibbs now and I think he will contribute big time in whichever role he ends up.

I think you should let him play and bash him at the end of the season, not before we've even played a game.:mad:

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Oh, I haven't seen him play lately. I was just tossing a hypothetical, based on his age.

I'm certainly not down on Thrash. He and B Mitchell were some of the problems I had with the Norv era. I was ticked with the team for letting them go.

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