It is no question that the Washington Redskins have gained a lot of attention with their running backs heading into the 2018 campaign. The Redskins selected LSU running back Derrius Guice in the second round of this years NFL Draft and it came as a shock as almost no one had Guice falling past round one.
Granted rumors swirled about Guice’s off-the-field interactions and how he was a distraction to his teammates. There was even a rumor that Guice was involved in a altercation with the Eagles, this was quickly debunked by TMZ, who was reportedly “holding info” on the situation.
So, with Guice now on the roster and likely not falling off of it anytime soon, it brings up a good debate; who is the Skins Week One starting running back and how does the backfield for Skins shape up from spots two-four?
Redskins Running Back Depth Chart: (PREDICTED)
- Derrius Guice
- Chris Thompson
- Samaje Perine
- Rob Kelley
Bold, leader, hard running, bruiser, quick, agile, hard working, runs angry and wrecking ball.
Those are all just a glimpse of things that Guice’s former coaches and teammates have said about the way he runs with the rock. And so far it has carried over with Washington.
You have to believe with all the hype around Guice that he will be the Week One running back for Washington when they travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals in the desert. It will be a tough test for Guice, but if the rookie can find the end zone, then his debut will be a success.
“It’s just very hard for me to go down to the ground.” – Derrius Guice
In his career at LSU, Guice finished with 3,074 yards, 29 touchdowns on 471 carries on the ground. Before his career even started with LSU, Guice’s high school coach described his running game as “angry”. More so, “He [Guice] runs violent.”
This article by The Advocate best describes Guice. Get your tissues ready.
Thompson says he is ready to play football and to be on the field again, but don’t expect Jay Gruden and company to make him the opening day starter ahead of Guice.
Someone who has knowledge of the situation sent this text; “It is way too early to tell who’s the number one back, but whoever the number two back is will get a lot of touches as well.”
Thompson’s best game came in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Rams where he tore through the Rams defense for a 61-yard touchdown run, finishing with 77 yards on three carries and two touchdowns.
That being said, don’t look for the Skins to limit Thompson. Yes, he’s coming off a horrific injury, but look for Washington to use him as a possible third down back, too. Having only six total touchdowns last season with two of those being on the ground, Gruden and his staff may use Thompson as a goal line back as well.
Having only started in eight games with Washington in his rookie year, Perine showed glimpses of hope, bursting agility and the capability to carry the ball. Perine finished the year with 603 yards on the ground with one touchdown.
In Week 11 against New Orleans, Perine showed his ability of being able to break out of the cuts, breaking tackles, and finding the end zone. Perine finished the game with 117 yards on 23 carries.
Perine didn’t stop in Week 11, the following week against the New York Giants he rushed for 100 yards on 24 carries. Pretty much identical numbers against the Saints.
The key against the Giants that allowed Perine to be so versatile was his ability to find the open holes and then burst through them. If Washington uses Perine in the short yardage game, possibly a third down back to split time with Thompson, then the Redskins running game will be dangerous.
Rob Kelley’s season came to an end in November when he sprained his medial collateral ligament in his knee and aggravated an already sprained ankle during the first quarter against the Vikings.
People need to remember that Kelley had three touchdowns for the Skins and surprisingly it didn’t come in his best game which was against the Rams where he finished with 78 yards on 12 carries.
Kelley’s touchdowns came in two games where he didn’t even rush for 20 yards. In Week 8 against Dallas, Kelley finished with 19 yards on eight carries finishing with one touchdown. The following week against Seattle, Kelley finished with 18 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns.
Anything can happen and barring any injuries to the backfield for Washington, this could be one of the most explosive groups that fans have seen in a very long time.