ASHBURN, Va. — Joey Slye is back home. He attended North Stafford high school, in Stafford, Virginia, and grew up watching the Burgundy and Gold. This week, the Washington Football Team signed Slye as its new kicker.
This will be Slye's fourth NFL team this season, but he says playing for the team his friends root for, is extra special.
"It's nice! I've already had a bunch of people tell me they are going to the game this weekend, so it's going to be awesome to see people I haven't seen in 5, 6, 7 years," said Slye. "It's also nice to be able to go home and have dinner with my parents if I want to, and sometimes have my mom do my laundry is something I'll never pass up."
Slye says getting adjusted to a new team isn't as difficult as most would think, adding, "getting used to Tress Way and Camaron Cheeseman has been pretty easy. This is the second day, but I feel like I've been here for a while, so it's been nice to work with some good professionals."
Slye is the Washington Football Team's third kicker this season after releasing Dustin Hopkins last month and most recently releasing Chris Blewitt, Monday.
"This is always a tough thing, trying to find a kicker. The thing that you look for, is you want a guy that's going to be consistent, and that's what we are hoping for that Joey can show that consistency," said Washington head coach, Ron Rivera. Slye adds, "for me, the biggest thing is just preparation on and off the field."
When Slye makes a kick, he holds up the number six with his fingers, something he's been doing since his college days at Virginia Tech.
"My brother wore number six in high school, and I've been doing that ever since he passed away, so it's been a way for me to feel like he's still around when I'm playing," says Slye.
Slye's older brother, A.J. died in 2014 after a 14-month battle with leukemia. Joey was a senior in high school when his 20-year-old brother passed away.
Slye says he plays for his brother, adding, "obviously I wish I could see his reaction to some things, like being able to see him in the stands and stuff like that. I can imagine him being bright-eyed, with his mouth open, and taking in everything. But I still feel that he's got the best seat in the house, being able to see everything from above."
Slye got a tattoo on his right arm. It's a picture from the last time he and AJ played a game together. He had the tattoo put on his right arm because he says his brother is his 'right-hand man.'
Slye adds that his brother taught him to never give up and to always keep battling through adversity, on the field, and in life.
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