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Tim Hightower In The Land Of Opportunity

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 25, 2011 – 12:46 pm

AP Image

Redskins running back Tim Hightower has been a homerun threat so far this preseason, gaining 114 yards over the first two games, on just 16 carries.  He has also tacked on another two catches for 15 yards, showing his ability to be productive in all facets of the offense.

Tonight should be the first opportunity for extended playing time for the back, and it will be interesting to see how he carries the load.  One thing that’s certain, however, is his approach and commitment to improve.

Hightower had a phone interview earlier this week with Gregg Rosenthal of PFT Live to explain his road to Washington and how he’s embraced the opportunity.

In his first conversations with the coaching staff and front office, they told him that he would have an opportunity to start and play a lot:

That’s all I ever wanted.  I don’t need a handout, I don’t need any pats on the back.  I just want the opportunity.  And I felt like my opportunity, that door was kind of closing in Arizona.  One door was closing and the other one was opening, so I’m just fortunate and I’m happy to be here.

Hightower also noted how head coach Mike Shanahan and assistant head coach Bobby Turner have produced some of the best backs from humble beginnings.  While it’s nice to know, it’s not enough for him:

Any running back who knows anything about football, who knows the history of running backs and certain running systems and styles, you have to respect where Coach Shanahan has coached and the success that he’s had…It’s definitely something I’m aware of, but not something that I’m gonna hang my hat on and say, “OK, I’m in this system so that guarantees me anything.”  All that does is give me an opportunity.

Even though Hightower is new in town, he’s been able to assess the organization based on what he’s seen in 2011:

There’s a standard that’s set and an expectation that’s set from the running backs, to the offensive line, to every single position, every single man is accountable for his job…That’s one of those things you have when there’s a good system in place, and every man is accountable, you allow success to happen.

He goes on to explain how he’s run well this preseason thanks to his preparation in the offseason.  I don’t get the impression that Hightower is egotistical in the least, but the best matter-of-fact statement in the interview is, “Being a complete running back, that makes you hard to keep off the field.”

The last really profound answer of the interview was how he felt about the Redskins fanbase and how that meshed with his own expectations:

No matter what the record was last year, no matter what the record was two years ago, and no matter who you have on your team this year, people are excited.  They feel like they’re gonna win a Super Bowl every single year.  Which is great, because that’s what my plan is, so they’re gonna get exactly what they’re looking for.

As Shanahan has said multiple times this preseason, “talk is cheap.”  Hype has never yielded a championship, but hard work has, and Hightower seems to have the right combination of mental and physical preparation.

The will of Hightower and his teammates will be be tested tonight in Baltimore.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Tim Hightower In The Land Of Opportunity”

  1. By Carl007 on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    I was cool on the Hightower acquisition initially, but the more I see of this guy, the more I like. The RBs will be the strength of this team this season. What other squad is four deep at any one position like this?

  2. By dion anzisi on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    i have been a redskins fan since 1972 i have seen the glory days and the not so glorious …this team has the look ,i cant explain it to the young guys but i know a superbowl bound team when i see one,shanahan has this team playing like a unit that has alot to prove …i like the fact that nobody is talking about them ,,they basically dominated a steelers and colts team on all facets of the game ,and hard decisions are going to be made..theyre alot of good players on this team that will be cut..before the 1st game..offensive line….a…..defensive line…a running backs a….wide outs….a tight ends …..a linebackers….a secondary….b..special teams….a coaching …..a……. so far…

  3. By dion anzisi on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    In response to the running backs will be the strenght of this team only as long as the o…line stays together..and playaction is going to be off the charts …GOD I MISS THE GIBBS ERA ….the power running game creates tons of points by creating playaction,, not to mention we have the 2 best tight ends in the nfl right now in DAVIS AND COOLEY….HAIL TO THE REDSKINS……

  4. By dion anzisi on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply


  5. By nasirjones on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hold onto the ball, please.

  6. By RotGut on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Barring an injury, even with our deep backfield, Hightower will lead the NFC East in rushing. I’m calling it. He’s a Shanny kind of back and will flourish in this system. Great vision, good speed, and a desire to deliver the blow instead of take it. Colin Cowherd has picked us as the worst team in the NFL this season. Probably a Dallas fan. Let’s make him eat crow boys! HTTR!!!!

  7. By atmar azimi on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    man hightower is goning be a beast hes worked on holdin on to the ball n i expect him to be in the top 3 in overall yards this sounds crazy but god willing no injuries on his way there n his doing this for da city

  8. By Carl007 on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    I look at the schedule and our areas of strength and weakness, and honestly, I can’t see us winning less than nine games. Ten games is probably more likely. Other than the Pats, I see no game we absolutely have no chance to win. Could we have said this last season with Sheriff Jenky, Fat Albert and Mr. 57% Completion on the roster???

  9. By david on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    It will come down to turnovers. If Grossman and Hightower start, you have a QB who can throw for 300+ yards in this offense and a RB that can run for 100+ yards in this offense. But you’d also have a top fumbling QB handling off to a top fumbling RB. With that said, here are three plausible scenarios.

    Worst Scenario: Last year’s Grossman is handling off to last year’s Hightower, which means we’ll put tons of passing and rushing yards on the board, but with frequent turnovers. Record will be 8-8.

    Worst Worst Scenario: Same as above, but injuries/issues at Nose Tackle mean we can’t stop the run, and issues with the offensive line mean we can’t pass-protect. Record will be 6-10.

    Best Scenario: Beck steps up and wins the job, Hightower has learned to hold onto the ball better, Colefield shines at NT, offensive line gels. Record will be 10-6 or 11-5, and playoffs.

  10. By Carl007 on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think Hightower will be getting more than 18-20 carries/game anyway. The guys behind Hightower — Royster, Helu and Torrain, simply have too much talent to languish on the bench.

    If we run the ball the way we’re designed to run the ball, Grossman won’t be in too many situations where he’ll need to throw for 300 yards.

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