Leave it to a Dallas Cowboys fan to point out an article about Redskins safety Reed Doughty in this past Sunday’s Washington Post. He happily cited the piece as a prime example of the ineptness of the Washington Redskins organization. After reading it, I was obliged to agree.
Doughty, selected by the Redskins in the 6th round of the 2006 NFL Draft, filled in after the untimely death of Sean Taylor last season. He grew up and attended college in Colorado, suiting up four seasons for the Northern Colorado Bears.
Reed Doughty, like most of those who have attained professional ranks in their sport, has faced many obstacles in his football career, but none greater than being severely hearing impaired. Being diagnosed with problems as a child, Doughty dealt with his handicap by learning to read lips and memorize hand signals in college. Only recently, after the 2007 season, did Doughty’s wife encourage him to use hearing aids during the course of play.
Inspiring story right? So how did Danny Snyder’s play toy screw this one up?
The Redskins were unaware of Doughty’s hearing loss when they drafted him. [Steve] Jackson (safeties coach) initially sensed a problem because “Reed was all over the place,” Jackson said. “You could see he had the ability, but he would have to ask the same things over and over again. Ever since we got him checked out, everybody makes a concerted effort to make sure that when they talk to him he can see your lips moving.”
When Doughty arrived at Redskins Park, he had to start all over again. “It kind of became a running joke for a little while,” said safety Vernon Fox, who also joined the Redskins in 2006. “We knew that if you were not sitting right next to him, he wasn’t going to hear exactly what you said to him. We all kind of knew, it became obvious, he had a hearing deficiency.”
Baffling. I understand that a 6th rounder is well, a 6th rounder….but it’s still a 6th rounder. Point being, the Redskins should be doing their due diligence no matter where the draft pick lies. There is a chance that Doughty might not have disclosed his impairment, but I highly doubt it. Such information could have easily been sought by a phone call to his college coaches…..at a minimum.
It’s unquestionably absurd that the Skins brain-trust was not aware of Doughty’s condition and an injustice to the guy himself. Injury on top of insult was that it’d become a running joke for others on the team. I’ve pledged my unwavering allegiance to the Washington Redskins, but incidents such as this leave me wondering if the franchise is the actual joke.