Ohio State grad eyes final shot at NFL with Steelers |

Ohio State grad eyes final shot at NFL with Steelers

Steelers cornerback Donald Washington (right) works on a drill with cornerback Artie Burns during a rookie minicamp on Saturday, May 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh.

Donald Washington views time as an illusion.

If you are a soon-to-be 30-year-old cornerback invited to Steelers rookie minicamp on a tryout, that is probably best.

“Once you lose track of time and stay focused on your dream, you kind of forget the time that has gone past,” Washington said.

It has been a while since Washington (6-foot, 197 pounds) got an opportunity to play in the NFL. He is hoping it is worth the wait.

The Steelers on Sunday will wrap up their three-day rookie minicamp that included 56 players, 22 of whom are in on tryouts. Washington is hoping he will be one of the few who have maneuvered their way onto the 90-man roster.

“I am going to leave it out there and see what they do,” Washington said. “I am having the time of my life, man. The main key is to have fun and run around and have a good attitude and a good effort. Any chance I can get to play football, I want it, no matter where it is at. I just love the game and love being around the guys. No matter how the opportunity comes, I am taking it.”

In two of the past three years, the Steelers have signed to their 90-man roster players who tried out during rookie minicamp. In 2013, they added linebacker Terence Garvin, who went on to play three years before signing a free agent deal with the Washington Redskins in March. Last year, they signed running back Cameron Stingily and defensive lineman Mike Thornton.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin kept an eye on Washington through the first two days of minicamp.

“I expect his experience just in general in his professional game to show up,” Tomlin said.

Washington has as good a chance as anyone to get a call Monday saying he made the roster.

The Steelers could use all the veteran help they can get at cornerback. They drafted Artie Burns in the first round and get back last year’s second-rounder, Senquez Golson, who missed all last season because of a shoulder injury, but they lack experience. Besides incumbent starter William Gay, their most experienced cornerback is Isaiah Frey, with just more than 700 career snaps.

Washington was a fourth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009 and played four years at safety. He played in 32 games and started five in three years before joining Toronto of the Canadian Football League and then Hamilton and switching back to cornerback.

In between Kansas City and the CFL, Washington spent two years out of the game, with only a minicamp in Seattle in 2013 to show for it. The Steelers called him for a tryout and were interested in him playing cornerback, the same position he played at Ohio State.

“The more you can do, the longer that you can kind of hang around,” Washington said. “I kind of take it as a compliment. They can see me as an either/or. I have played all over the secondary, so I am not uncomfortable anywhere.”

Even if this is his last shot at the NFL, Washington said he never will give up his dream.

“Anything you are passionate about you shouldn’t give up,” he said. “They will probably have to break all my limbs to say I am done.”

Mark Kaboly is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.