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Understanding The Essence Of Evan Royster

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 15, 2011 – 7:26 pm

AP Image

Evan Royster probably got more hype than a sixth-round running back typically gets, but any late-round Shanahan running back has a chance to be special.  Royster looks to be no exception to that rule.

In his first preseason game, Royster shouldered the load for the team with 15 carries and a game-high 66 yards.  His 4.4 yard per carry average was good for a share of the team lead as well, and he seemed to settle in the more carries he got.

He said after the game that playing pro football in the backyard of his childhood wasn’t really a rattle to his nerves.  In fact, he was pretty much calm, cool, collected.

“It’s actually kind of comforting,” he said of his fans in the crowds.  “You’ve got some fans out there that watched you growing up, and it felt good to have some of those guys here with me tonight.”

I keep coming back to the assessment that head coach Mike Shanahan used to describe Royster after the team made him their 177th overall pick: “There’s nothing about this guy that jumps off the paper at you.”

In fairness to Shanahan, he then went on to describe everything that he liked about Royster’s play style.  But the point is that Royster isn’t somebody that attracts a lot of attention to himself–he just goes out there and plays football.

While some players have narcissistic or self-promoting Twitter pictures, Evan Royster has a photo of his girl: a 2-year-old chocolate Lab named Kenya.

When I asked him what gets him pumped up for games, he said he likes to listen to his iPod.  I remember listening to all kinds of stuff to pump me up before competition, so I wanted to compare notes.

But instead of pumping himself up with AC/DC or Eminem, Royster chooses mellow music to keep his cool.

“I usually listen to Lupe Fiasco or Kanye West,” he said.  “I’m not into DMX or that kind of stuff.  I don’t like to get too excited. I feel like it takes energy out of me.”

“I like to be calm and collective and stuff. When your too excited that’s when you make mistakes. I like to keep myself cool.”

And so far, it’s worked, albeit quietly.  Easy-going Evan lets his work speak for itself and has quietly settled into the playbook.

Speaking of the playbook, Royster got some additional light reading in during training camp.  Y’know, in his spare time:

Whether or not he jumps off the paper at you, I like Royster’s style.


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Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »


8 Responses to “Understanding The Essence Of Evan Royster”

  1. By nasirjones on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Has he moved ahead of Helu?

  2. By RussianBreadMaker on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    After watching the first preseason game, I wasn’t impressed. In my opinion, there just wasn’t any burst or fire under his butt. I want a running back to play for the skins that runs with authority and ferocity. I’m sure in time, he will become more familiar with the offense which will allow him to play faster, but as of right now…meh

  3. By T.J. on Aug 15, 2011 | Reply

    Great point especially with Royster taking the field after Hightower. That dude ran with great burst and always initiated contact, there was a lot of runs where the defender was slow getting up after Hightower plowed into them. If he gets the fumbles under control he could have a huge year.

  4. By Lavar56 on Aug 16, 2011 | Reply

    Watched Royster while he played at Penn St and I am very excited about this guy. Don’t let this one game fool you (even the 4.4 ypc), I am confident that giving him a little more time to adjust to the NFL and he is gonna light it up just as he did at the college level… This guy is a power back that gets better through out the game. Time will tell.

  5. By monkeyhouse on Aug 16, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t know whether it’s the playcalling or just the zone blocking, but Shanahan has always had good play with his RB’s. I thought Royster looked good as well. I really like that he has tried to improve in the passblocking part of his game too. I do believe that we will see more of Helu this week.

  6. By DLR on Aug 16, 2011 | Reply

    @RussianBreadMaker: I think you’re missing the point of the article. Royster is not the kind of back that will amaze you most carries. Many people would never guess that he is the leading rusher at Penn State after watching film of him playing there. He is just not a “highlight reel” kind of runner. He’s the kind of guy where, at the end of the season, you look at the stats, and THEN you’re impressed

  7. By suez on Aug 17, 2011 | Reply

    After watching Evan Royster playing at Penn State for many years, and as a leading rusher the difference he made in many games, the Redskins should be able to benefit from his great talent. In the first pre-season game he already started to made a diference.

  8. By Ryrore on Aug 19, 2011 | Reply

    Royster is a solid choice who looked at home in his first carries and will only improve over time. He is patient and uses his head to find consistent gains. Redskins need only one big money back, should hold onto Helu and Royster and use the savings to beef up their weak spots.

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