The Washington Redskins enter the 2012 season with three running backs that showed flashes of excellence at various points in 2011.
But will the Redskins’ offense be more proficient with a running back-by-committee system, or with one premier back handling most of the rushing duties?
Quarterback Robert Griffin III prefers the latter.
Griffin III spoke recently with NFL.com’s Adam Rank about the Redskins’ running back situation, and said he felt the prime starting rushing candidate will show himself soon enough.
When Rank mentioned Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan’s “Shanahanigans” — which allude to the use of multiple running backs in a game — Griffin III, who grew up an avid fan of Shanahan’s and the Denver Broncos, countered with one name.
“It’s not up to (Shanahan), it’s not up to me,” the rookie Griffin III said. “It’s up to that guy. (Shanahan) wasn’t subbing Terrell Davis in and out; Terrell Davis wasn’t a first-round draft pick; Terrell Davis showed him that, ‘Hey, I can be your guy.’ And I think that’s the challenge when it comes to Helu, Royster, Tim Hightower, Tristan Davis — all these guys that are in that backfield, it is up to them to decide who’s going to be the guy.”
Griffin III said he feels the veteran Hightower will get the first crack at setting himself apart from the other running backs when training camp gets underway July 26.
In 2011, Hightower started the first five games of the season for the Redskins, totaling 321 yards on 84 carries with one rushing touchdown. He also added 10 receptions for 78 yards and recorded the first receiving touchdown of his career.
His season was cut short in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers when he tore his ACL.
“If Tim Hightower comes back healthy, he’s the guy no doubt because he runs with a lot of passion and he’s a good leader,” Griffin III said.
Griffin III said Helu Jr. and Royster should get the next crack at the running back position. In Hightower’s absence, Helu Jr. and Royster rushed for a combined 958 yards in their 2011 rookie campaigns with the Redskins.
Griffin III said he’s also liked what he’s seen out running backs Tristan Davis and Alfred Morris, a rookie.
“Don’t count out those other guys,” Griffin III said. “I’ve seen ’em work. I know the hunger that they have, and if they get their shot, they’re going to make the most out of it, kind of like a Reuben Droughns did in Denver or a Mike Anderson. Those guys came out of nowhere supposedly, but it’s just a product of what Mike Shanahan can do and the running back coach, Bobby Turner, that’s one of the best around.”
Click here for the complete interview with Griffin III.
Tags: Alfred Morris, evan royster, Robert Griffin III, Roy Helu Jr., running backs, tim hightower, Tristan Davis, washington redskins
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