Hightower says a Redskins win would be the sweetest revenge

Sep 15, 2011, 10:03 a.m.
Washington Redskins running back Tim Hightower carries the football running away from Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Fili Moala (95) and defensive back Melvin Bullitt (33) during the first quarter of their pre-season NFL football game in Indianapolis August 19, 2011. REUTERS/Brent Smith

By Steve Ginsburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tim Hightower says the best way to show the Arizona Cardinals they made a mistake trading him would be to prove it on the scoreboard.

"I think a win will speak for itself," the Washington Redskins running back said of Sunday's game against the Cardinals. "When you win, you don't have to say much."

Hightower claims he is not sure why Arizona unloaded him for veteran defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday and a late-round draft pick but acknowledges he wanted more playing time.

"I'm not the one who makes that decision," the 25-year-old, four-year NFL veteran said of the trade. "For whatever reason, that's how it is sometimes in this league.

"One guy fits a scheme a certain way and another guy doesn't ... I just felt like I wanted my role to be a little bit different."

Having grown up in suburban Washington, Hightower admits to "living a childhood dream" playing for his hometown club and is not looking back.

"I'm glad it happened, it happened at the perfect time," said Hightower, who gained 72 yards on a career-high 25 carries in the Redskins' season-opening win over the New York Giants.

"I'm one of those guys where, when I'm there, I'm all the way in. I'm never one-foot-in and one-foot-out. When I'm gone, I'm gone. I'm a Redskin now and I want to win."

"I want to win a Super Bowl and that's my one goal. I don't care if we rush for 400 yards and we lose, I'm going to be upset."

Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Hightower, the team's fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft, did "a number of great things" for Arizona.

He admitted, however, Hightower was not going to be a starter since the club had Beanie Wells and drafted Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams, the team's second-round pick, who is already lost for the season with a knee injury.

"It was not an easy decision to trade him, but, to be fair to Tim and give him an opportunity to be a starter based on what we projected his role to be here, we thought it was a good move for both teams," said Whisenhunt.

"You never want to allow one of your good players to leave your team, but I had so much respect for Tim and what he did for us and I care about Tim.

Though he averaged just 2.9 yards per carry last Sunday, Hightower enjoyed the workload, missing only two of 65 snaps and scoring a touchdown in the 28-14 victory over the Giants.

"I want that kind of responsibility," he said. "I want that target on my chest. They gave it to me enough and I have to make some more things happen with it."

The Cardinals knocked off the Carolina Panthers 28-21 last Sunday despite a 422-yard passing day by Cam Newton, the number one overall draft pick in 2011.

Hightower, who rushed for 1,733 yards and 23 touchdowns over three seasons with the Cards, said he would like nothing more than to send his former team back home with a loss.

"The loudest and sweetest thing that (the team) can do for me is get a win at the end of the day," he said.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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