Friday, May 21, 2010

Former Tar Heel signs with Redskins

Veteran defensive end Vonnie Holliday has signed to play for the New Over-the-Hill Gang Washington Redskins. A former Tar Heel All-ACC player, Holliday, 34, was selected in the first round of the 1998 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers.

That draft was the first time in UNC school history that three Tar Heels were selected in the first round – Greg Ellis went to the Dallas Cowboys while Brian Simmons went to the Cincinnati Bengals. All three played defense. The 1997 Tar Heels (11-1) ranked as one of the strongest defensive units in school history, posting a program-record 42 sacks while placing second nationally in rushing defense, third in total defense and fifth in turnover margin.

The Redskins plan to use Holliday in its new 3-4 defense as a third-down player, or as a backup to Albert Haynesworth, or even as a starter if the oft-injured, expensive, overrated and unhappy Haynesworth is traded (possibly to the Vikings). Holliday had success in the 3-4 when with the Dolphins 2005-2008. He had been a starter every year until serving as a backup for the Broncos last year where he still proved to be a strong pass rusher.

Raleigh-Durham has the strongest out-of-market fan base for the Redskins, according to a national survey conducted by DirecTV. That’s not a big surprise considering that the Redskins were the “home team” for the area for more than 50 years until the Panthers moved into Charlotte.

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