Commanders Wire continues a countdown to Washington’s season opener for 2023 in 5 days. Who was the team’s best player wearing No. 5?
Only nine players in Washington franchise history have worn No. 5 during a regular season game. Of the nine, two were quarterbacks, and the other seven punted or kicked.
Both quarterbacks were disappointments for Washington. Heath Shuler (1994-96) was the third overall selection by Washington in the 1994 NFL draft. But Shuler, in his three seasons with Washington, completed only 47.7 percent of his passing attempts, had a touchdown to interception ratio of 13:19, a passer rating of 58.3. His net yards passing per attempt was only 5.41 and his adjusted net yards passing per attempt was a poor 3.97.
Donovan McNabb (2010) had enjoyed much success with Philadelphia. But he was trending downward quickly in his only season in Washington. He was benched in Washington and traded to the Vikings for a 6th-round choice which the Redskins used wisely to draft running back Alfred Morris.
Curt Knight (1969-73) in 1970 made 74 percent of his field goals but struggled the next three seasons, and Washington turned to a young Mark Moseley.
Jeff Hayes (1982-85) was not a great punter (39.0) in his four Washington seasons. He is best remembered for his running ability, as he had a 48-yard fake punt run in 1983 and a 24-yarder in 1984.
Some may recall Obed Ariri kicking in two 1987 replacement games. Brett Conway kicked for Washington in 1998-2000. He was waived during the 2000 season, kicked for the Raiders and Jets, then returned to the Redskins for all of 2001. Was injured and waived only kicking one game in 2002.
Jeff Chandler was signed in December of 2004 and kicked three games for the Redskins. Many will not recall that Billy Cundiff kicked for Washington in 2012, but only connecting on 7 of 12 field goal attempts in five games, he was released.
Tress Way (2014- current) is the greatest player in franchise history to wear No. 5. The former Oklahoma Sooner was undrafted and then waived by the Bears in 2013 and 2014. Washington then claimed Way, and all he did was lead the NFL in yards per punt that very season (47.5). The two-time Pro Bowler also led the NFL in 2019, averaging 49.6 yards per punt. In Way’s nine seasons, he has always had a punt of at least 61+ yards and has averaged 47.0 yards per punt over his entire nine-year career.
Congratulations to Tress Way on a great 2018
**O touchbacks on 72 attempts**39 punts inside the 20 (first in league)**7 punts inside the 5 (first in league)** #HTTR @Redskins pic.twitter.com/QEn64Vjrmk
— Tim Meek (@IndySkinsFan) January 1, 2019