Everyone wants to play for a contender.
Nate Washington won two Super Bowls during his 10-year NFL career, both as a Pittsburgh Steeler. It hasn't quenched his thirst for another championship. It's one of the reasons why he felt so strongly about playing for the Texans.
"To see how close Houston is, it opened my eyes," Washington said on Texans Radio Thursday. "It made me see things a lot different and, like I said, I couldn't see myself anywhere else."
Washington spent the last six seasons in Tennessee, leading the Titans in receptions (267), receiving yards (3,944), and receiving touchdowns (26) from 2009-2013. He arrives in Houston, not yet knowing who he will be throwing to him. It is slated to be a competition between Ryan Mallett and the newly acquired Brian Hoyer, according to head coach Bill O'Brien.
Washington is familiar with both.
"I've been impressed with Ryan (Mallett) since he's been sitting behind Tom Brady, actually before Houston got him when I was in Tennessee," Washington said. "When Houston did acquire him, I was in awe. I wondered why we didn't acquire him because of his belief and potential to play the game, his strong arm and his knowledge of the game."
Washington, a Toledo native, also watched Brian Hoyer lead the Browns to a 10-7 finish in his two seasons with Cleveland. The Browns quarterback controversy last year didn't change Washington's mind about Hoyer's preparation and talent.
"I think he has smarts for the game: he understands the ins and outs of the game," Washington said. "It's going to be an honor to suit up with another guy from Ohio. You know, he's been working his tail off and it shows. He definitely wasn't the high-rated quarterback coming into the league, but he's definitely made Cleveland a contender. With that being said, the potential for growth is there."
Since he signed with the Texans last week, Washington has talked to several of his new teammates and met head coach Bill O'Brien. After seeing Houston improve to a 9-7 finish, and narrowly missing the playoffs in 2014, Washington knew he was ready to start a new chapter in his career. He hopes he can bring his veteran leadership and carve a niche for himself in the Texans offense.
"I'm very honored to be within an organization that takes pride in progressing," Washington said. "That's the only thing that you've seen from that organization (is) to continue to move forward. That's what I was wanting to do."