Omar Stoutmire: A Journeyman Returns to D.C.
After a year-long struggle to find consistency on defense, the Washington Redskins signed Omar Stoutmire this past offseason in an effort to bring stability and depth to the safety position. Redskins' fans will remember Omar Stoutmire from 2005, when he served as a key special teams player and had several commendable performances as a backup to starter Ryan Clark, including a Wild Card playoff game in Tampa in which he recorded four tackles, one sack, and one pass defended.
Stoutmire is a 10-year journeyman who has spent most of his career as a perennial backup in the NFC East. After being drafted in the 7th round, he played his first two seasons in Dallas and then played for a year with the New York Jets. He spent the following five seasons with the New York Giants and finally played for Washington in 2005 before signing with New Orleans last offseason. The Saints recruited Stoutmire for depth, but he ended up starting for 9 games and finished with impressive stats: 56 tackles (44 solo), two interceptions, and five passes defended. Stoutmire contributed to the Saints' unlikely playoff run last year and even started games in in the post-season, including the NFC Championship game against the Chicago Bears.
Stoutmire is probably most valuable to the Redskins as insurance, should Pierson Prioleau fail to recover fully from his knee injury in 2006. Prioleau, like Stoutmire, had been signed by Washington in 2005 to bolster special teams, and Pierson performed so well that he became the backup safety in the following year. In 2006, Stoutmire left the team as an unrestricted free agent, and Prioleau – who had remained in Washington – suffered a season-ending injury on the first play of the Redskins' first game, setting off a season-long struggle to find consistency at the position. Although he underwent surgery and has been rehabilitating, the signing of Stoutmire gives the Redskins another option should Prioleau not return to form.
Having already played on the Skins defense, Stoutmire will acclimate well to Gregg Williams' system. Stoutmire's familiarity with the defensive schemes, veteran leadership, and ten years of quality experience will hopefully help to anchor a unit that underwent criticism for most of last season. With any luck, Stoutmire will help the Redskins' defense return to the kind of dominance that it enjoyed in 2005.
Stoutmire played college ball for Fresno State, where he was selected All-Western Athletic Conference as a senior after recording 87 tackles. As a junior, he set a school and conference record for tackles in a season with 198, and further recorded two interceptions, a forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. Stoutmire previously received an honorable mention in All-WAC honors as a sophomore, after recording 80 tackles, leading the team with five sacks, and defending 8 passes. He was named Fresno State's Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1993 as a true freshman, majoring in Business Marketing while starting for the football team.
In high school, he was named Super Prep All-American, All-Moore League, and given All-City honors while playing at Poly High School in Long Beach, California as a defensive back and tight end.
College: Fresno State
Draft: 1997 – 7th round by Dallas Cowboys
This article was released on 2007-06-08.
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