Alabama in the Pros

Ex-Redskins QB and Super Bowl champion calls Ryan Anderson an ‘alpha male’

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Before he became the senior vice president of player personnel for the Washington Redskins, Doug Williams was the franchise’s quarterback from 1986-89. He knows a lot about being underrated, as the former first-round pick (1978 NFL Draft) was the lone African-American starting quarterback in the league in the late 1970s with the Tampa Bay BuccaneersAfter five years in Tampa Bay (1978-82) and two seasons in the United States Football League (1984-85), Williams played for Washington and led the team to a Super Bowl title in 1987.

He’s a member of both Tampa Bay’s and Washington’s Ring of Honor; however, Williams has discovered the next biggest star of Redskins football. Second-round pick Ryan Anderson, like Williams, was underrated at times during his four-year career at the University of Alabama.

While Reuben Foster, Jonathan Allen and Tim Williams attracted the spotlight, Anderson basically crushed quarterbacks and unloaded on ball carriers in a multitude of tackles for loss. The Daphne, Ala., native would collect 15 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss in his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide – making it all the more necessary for Washington to select him.

“That kid Ryan Anderson, if you’re going to have an alpha male in the locker room, he looks like he’ll be that guy” Williams said today. “He doesn’t smile that much, but he loves to practice and he loves the game of football.”

Anderson was credited with one of the biggest plays of the college football season in 2016, as he intercepted a pass off Huskies’ quarterback Jake Browning and returned it for a 26-yard touchdown in the second half.

He would be awarded Most Valuable Player on defense in the College Football Playoff semifinal (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl), aiding the Tide to a 24-7 win. Redskins linebacker Junior Galette, who enters his seventh NFL season and first full one at Washington, raved about Anderson’s intelligence and instincts as an edge rusher.

“What’s ironic is Manusky [Greg] had already told us about him before the draft,” Galette said on Anderson. “He said ‘oh man this Ryan Anderson kid, he remembered everything. We drew things on the board and he remembered everything.'”

Maybe it was good for Anderson to have an “angry man’s” mentality. With him being in the NFC East, he will need that edge to attack Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott and Eli Manning on Sundays.

Stephen M. Smith is a managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

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