ASHBURN, Va. -- Here's a new rite of passage for an NFL rookie: getting chastised by the head coach and apologizing publicly for using Twitter to call booing fans "dim wits."
Linebacker Robert Henson has yet to play in a regular-season game for the Redskins, yet he drew plenty of attention from veteran teammates and coach Jim Zorn on Monday after tweeting about the home crowd at Washington's 9-7 victory over St. Louis.
Fans booed during and after the game.
Following the victory, Henson tweeted: "All you fake half hearted Skins fan can .. I won't go there but I dislike you very strongly, don't come to Fed Ex to boo dim wits!!"
As Twitter followers fired back, Henson kept tweeting. "No I didn't play but I still made more than you in a year and you'd [gladly] switch spots with me in a second ... The question is who are you to say you know what's best for the team and you work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds [sic]. You don't wanna follow me anymore then fine but we play for you and win lose or draw we represent you!! My guy on the Rams said they never got booed even when they didn't win a game."
Later, Henson updated his Twitter account with an apology, and faced the media Monday afternoon.
"I understand the weight that my words carried and, you know, how I offended some fans," he told reporters at Redskins Park.
He added that he apologized "not because I'm scared, but just because it was the right thing to do. And I sincerely apologize to all the fans. I hope to have a long, prosperous career here, and I don't want anybody booing me or just being negative towards me."
Henson also got a bit of a talking-to from teammates for his postgame activity.
"Some of the older guys just pulled me aside and was like, 'This is some stuff you need to know when dealing with social networks or the media.' Just trying to guide me on the right path," he said.
Henson, a sixth-round draft pick from TCU, has been inactive for both games this season. In fact, one of the Redskins players told the Washington Post that he wasn't even sure if Henson was on the active roster.
Some of the players who have been around for a while knew the firestorm that was sure to follow.
"I kind of shook my head right away, because I knew it was bad, and of course he knows that now," veteran defensive end Phillip Daniels said, according to the Post. "He's young, and sometimes you say things you don't mean. You're arguing with a person on [Twitter], and you don't realize that everybody can see what you're saying, and then things get bad. ... Robert's young. He ain't played yet. He's got to realize that the fans actually pay your salary."
Zorn spoke to Henson about what happened.
"Robert is a young player learning to handle his emotions during and after the game," Zorn said in a statement released by the Redskins. "When he gets a chance to play, I want him to have this level of emotion on the field, not off the field."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.