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Roster Evaluation: Running Backs
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mike23md


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: Roster Evaluation: Running Backs Reply with quote

Roster Evaluation Running Backs:

In 2011 The Redskins drafted Roy Helu Jr and Evan Royster. Both brought in different skill sets as one was a hard nosed runner and the other was a speedy shifty back that likes to get outside on the edge and look for seams.

In 2012 The Redskins drafted Alfred Morris from Florida Atlantic, a school that went 1-11 in 2012. Morris showed up at the Senior Bowl as a running back but played full back and didnít get a single carry.

Washington drafted Morris in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL draft and became the starter for opening day.

Current Roster:

Alfred Morris
Evan Royster
Roy Helu Jr.


Evaluation:
Alfred Morris is the starter and proved that in training camp to give him the nod for starting day one in the 2012 season. Morris is a hard nosed runner that does not have breakaway speed but is hard to tackle and falls forward to gain yards. Morris has great vision, sees the holes and explodes through them. Has excellent cutbacks and for his size that says a lot. Morris broke the all time season leader in rushing yards for the Redskins and was 2nd in rushing behind Adrian Peterson. Some would say its because of the ZBS for Mike Shanahan and I say so what. The biggest thing this running scheme requires is vision and Alfred Morris has plenty of that. I would say that is his biggest asset.

Evan Royster had some health issues this season but was a situational back during the season for Alfred Morris. Another 6th round pick and coming from Penn State as the schoolís all time leading rusher, a lot of expectations were put on Royster. Royster does not have the vision that Morris has and his explosiveness, but if the hole is there, Royster can get through it and get your 4-5 yards a carry. He is a better pass blocker than any of the three backs and can be a viable option for short passing plays on swing routes or delayed release short routes.

Roy Helu Jr. had a promising rookie season, but an injury early in the 2012 season forced him to the IR. He had already lost his position to Alfred Morris, but Helu looked to be very much in the mix as he has a quicker step than Morris and can catch better out of the backfield than either Morris or Royster. Helu did have some work to do with his vision and reading the defense with picking his spots and exploding through them. Helu looks to be back this year and prove that he can be a solid option in this group of running backs.

But if there is one RB that Mike Shanahan might not keep on the roster, I would have to say its Roy Helu Jr.. Helu is coming off an injury and is not that good in pass protection. And if Morris is to be the outright starter, as he should be, then most likely the position of Helu and Royster is to be a 3rd down and situational back, which will limit Helu more than Royster based on pass blocking, playing STís, and being significantly better at catching balls out of the backfield than Royster.


Free Agency:
Mike Shanahan values RBís in the draft so donít look to see Mike Shanahan move on a RB in Free Agency.

2013 NFL Draft:
The RB class this year is deep with talent in the later rounds. There is not a clear #1 back, in fact a RB will probably not be taken until the 2nd round at either the Steelers or Bengals.

But players that might interest Mike Shanahan in the later rounds could be:

Kenjon Barner, Oregon
Mike Gillislee, Florida
Andre Ellington, Clemson
Silas Redd, USC
D.J. Harper, Boise State
Chris Thompson, Florida State
Michael Dyer, Arkansas State
Dillon Baxter, Baker

Draft Prediction:
D.J. Harper, Boise State

*This is predicated that Shanahan releases a RB. Even if he does not, Harper is still a shifty back with speed that could be a late 6th or 7th round pick. He could be a draft day steal based on his size, speed, and elusiveness.
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I predict us taking a late round back again. I also hope Helu will be back, but I've heard he's barely jogging right now because of his Achillies injury.

I like your prediction mike23md
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SeanTayorsaPIMP


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write-up, Mike. I had no idea FAU went 1-11 in 2012 with Morris, that's crazy. I agree Shanahan drafts a late round running back, it'll be interesting to see which running back will be back next year between Royster and Helu.
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DCRED


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also believe we will be drafting a late-round back. This organization does not want to repeat its mistakes and we were woefully shy of depth a couple years ago.

We are only a couple years away from a terrible season where we scraping the bottom of the FA barrel bringing in Ryan Grant, Keiland Williams, and others because of bad luck and no depth.
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RSkinGM


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

turtle28 wrote:
I predict us taking a late round back again. I also hope Helu will be back, but I've heard he's barely jogging right now because of his Achillies injury.

I like your prediction mike23md


Not nit-picking but I read it was because of his turf toe.. He can jog but when he tries to get UP on the toes to sprint.. too painful.. but either way , guess he's having a hard time with conditioning.
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RSkinGM wrote:
turtle28 wrote:
I predict us taking a late round back again. I also hope Helu will be back, but I've heard he's barely jogging right now because of his Achillies injury.

I like your prediction mike23md


Not nit-picking but I read it was because of his turf toe.. He can jog but when he tries to get UP on the toes to sprint.. too painful.. but either way , guess he's having a hard time with conditioning.
thats not not picking, that's good info. Thanks bro Laughing Wink
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MKnight82


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to somehow land Denard Robinson in this draft. I feel like he could be the change of pace "homerun" back as well as replace role Banks played in the triple option this year. Also he could be an interesting option in trick plays where he throws the ball. He'd be an interesting option in the return game as well. Picture him as the swiss army knife of the offense kind of like Brian Mitchell used to be for us (who played QB in college as well).
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AntiSuperstar


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evan Royster needs to get bigger and stronger. He was overweight early last year and that kept him out but then he had two great games as he was in better shape. If you look at him this season vs those two games last year, you will notice he looks smaller this year. I can understand wanting to be lighter to be in better shape, but what he really needs to do is be in that kind of shape but add some muscle.

The problem with Royster is that he can neither push the pile or outrun people. What he can do is cut and make people miss, but the problem is this is a supplementary skill that requires open space(which you're not getting with the Redskins line). He needs to be more effective in tighter areas. There's nothing that can be done to make him much more fast and explosive but he can certainly be a harder back to bring down than he was this year. I'm not asking him to be a monster like Alfred Morris but if Royster could just add some muscle I think he still has the potential to be a great back in this system. It may not matter as I don't know that he will play much with Morris and Helu on the team, but I would still like to see him live up to his ability. Right now though he's just too small and easy to tackle. If he could combine some strength alongside his ability to make people miss he would be an elusive runner who I think could do some damage. It's good that he has improved his pass protection but he should aim for more than that.

Roy Helu has to prove he's not going to be injured all the time. If he is healthy, I will be curious to see how he's used next year. We saw the Redskins motion wide receivers into the backfield a lot with Morris beside Griffin out of Pistol and I wonder if we will see backfield next year with both Helu and Morris on the field together in the Pistol with Griffin where Helu is receiving pitches and running short receiving routes and all that type of stuff.

Alfred Morris is already one of the most underrated players in the league. Having watched zone blocking teams for years(being a Broncos fan who also watches every Texans and Redskins game) I can say with confidence that I haven't seen anyone run as well in the system as Morris did last year since Terrell Davis ran for 2,000 yards. Frankly no one comes close.

Fullback Darrel Young by the way should have made the Probowl as he's a good blocker in the system who is also a great pass catcher and short yardage runner. He might be my favorite player on the Redskins.
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AntiSuperstar wrote:
Evan Royster needs to get bigger and stronger. He was overweight early last year and that kept him out but then he had two great games as he was in better shape. If you look at him this season vs those two games last year, you will notice he looks smaller this year. I can understand wanting to be lighter to be in better shape, but what he really needs to do is be in that kind of shape but add some muscle.

The problem with Royster is that he can neither push the pile or outrun people. What he can do is cut and make people miss, but the problem is this is a supplementary skill that requires open space(which you're not getting with the Redskins line). He needs to be more effective in tighter areas. There's nothing that can be done to make him much more fast and explosive but he can certainly be a harder back to bring down than he was this year. I'm not asking him to be a monster like Alfred Morris but if Royster could just add some muscle I think he still has the potential to be a great back in this system. It may not matter as I don't know that he will play much with Morris and Helu on the team, but I would still like to see him live up to his ability. Right now though he's just too small and easy to tackle. If he could combine some strength alongside his ability to make people miss he would be an elusive runner who I think could do some damage. It's good that he has improved his pass protection but he should aim for more than that.

Roy Helu has to prove he's not going to be injured all the time. If he is healthy, I will be curious to see how he's used next year. We saw the Redskins motion wide receivers into the backfield a lot with Morris beside Griffin out of Pistol and I wonder if we will see backfield next year with both Helu and Morris on the field together in the Pistol with Griffin where Helu is receiving pitches and running short receiving routes and all that type of stuff.

Alfred Morris is already one of the most underrated players in the league. Having watched zone blocking teams for years(being a Broncos fan who also watches every Texans and Redskins game) I can say with confidence that I haven't seen anyone run as well in the system as Morris did last year since Terrell Davis ran for 2,000 yards. Frankly no one comes close.

Fullback Darrel Young by the way should have made the Probowl as he's a good blocker in the system who is also a great pass catcher and short yardage runner. He might be my favorite player on the Redskins.
i agree with you, but after all as you said if Helu is healthy Royster is our #3 and won't get many snaps, so I'm cool with that.

Agree totally on Morris, he made our offense go as much as RG3 did his year and when we didn't give him the ball 20+ times we lost. I still think if he got 20 more carries the rest of the game after the first quarter instead of just 7, we would have beaten Seattle even with rg3 hobbled. I will say though that Arian Foster is a better back for this offense, he glides through the holes with grace, speed and makes cuts at full speed. I love Morris but he is more of a thumper.

If you want to see how we will use Helu next year, rewatch the Saints game. They ran screens to him both as a Rb and a wr with blockers out in front to get him the ball in space and he played well. He will add an element to to our offense out of the backfield that we missed this year with him injured. A combination of speed and athleticism that neither Morris nor Royster provide.

Totally agree about DY. he's one of my favorite players on the team as well. He's awesome as a blocker, receiver and even can be a good short yardage back for the element of surprise when we run a fullback draw.
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mike23md


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MKnight82 wrote:
I would love to somehow land Denard Robinson in this draft. I feel like he could be the change of pace "homerun" back as well as replace role Banks played in the triple option this year. Also he could be an interesting option in trick plays where he throws the ball. He'd be an interesting option in the return game as well. Picture him as the swiss army knife of the offense kind of like Brian Mitchell used to be for us (who played QB in college as well).


I like true positional players and Denard Robinson will have a huge learning curve to overcome especially jumping from college to the NFL not having played WR. Drafting a guy like Robinson to play the ST's responsibility of returns is a waste of a roster spot.

There are other guys that can return the ball and I feel we don't need a KR/PR specialist. It only helped us in one game this past year and these type of players are dying out. And just because he played QB doesn't really mean much to me, cause I hope that we never get in a position where a WR will have to play QB due to injuries.

If we are going to draft a WR, then we draft a WR, not a WR/QB/KR/PR/whatever other positions....
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AntiSuperstar


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

turtle28 wrote:
I will say though that Arian Foster is a better back for this offense, he glides through the holes with grace, speed and makes cuts at full speed. I love Morris but he is more of a thumper.


Foster only rarely makes cuts at full speed. When he doesn't see a clear hole he becomes hesitant looking for something to develop, and while it works sometimes, it also leads to many missed opportunities. Alfred Morris in contrast is a pure one-cut runner, he never hesitates, he lives with his read. That's how Alex Gibbs coached Running Backs to be.

Also Arian Foster's efficiency has gone down every year since he's started losing players on the team. When he was at his most efficient he had a great run blocking line and Vonta Leach. Leach goes to Baltimore, Foster's YPC go down, then Eric Winston leaves and his YPC go down to pretty unimpressive levels. He still has the best left side of the O-Line to run behind but with struggles on the right and without Leach knocking defenders out, Foster's efficiency has dissapeared. The reality about Arian Foster that no one wants to talk about is that he's a product of the talent around him. He's overrated.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope Helu can return to form and stay healthy. His pass catching and ability as a home run threat will make our offense that much more dynamic. He would be perfect as a change of pace back and give Alfred a breather.
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AntiSuperstar wrote:
turtle28 wrote:
I will say though that Arian Foster is a better back for this offense, he glides through the holes with grace, speed and makes cuts at full speed. I love Morris but he is more of a thumper.


Foster only rarely makes cuts at full speed. When he doesn't see a clear hole he becomes hesitant looking for something to develop, and while it works sometimes, it also leads to many missed opportunities. Alfred Morris in contrast is a pure one-cut runner, he never hesitates, he lives with his read. That's how Alex Gibbs coached Running Backs to be.

Also Arian Foster's efficiency has gone down every year since he's started losing players on the team. When he was at his most efficient he had a great run blocking line and Vonta Leach. Leach goes to Baltimore, Foster's YPC go down, then Eric Winston leaves and his YPC go down to pretty unimpressive levels. He still has the best left side of the O-Line to run behind but with struggles on the right and without Leach knocking defenders out, Foster's efficiency has dissapeared. The reality about Arian Foster that no one wants to talk about is that he's a product of the talent around him. He's overrated.
thats true of all players, no one does it alone.
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Sassan11


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as I like Morris we are going to have to find another running back to give some of his carries to. He can't be having 330+ carries every season or he will be the next Michael Turner where he just gets beat up too much and eventually lose effectiveness. I'm hoping Helu can spell him a little but if we go into the draft i'm hoping for Kenjan Barner.
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mike23md


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sassan11 wrote:
As much as I like Morris we are going to have to find another running back to give some of his carries to. He can't be having 330+ carries every season or he will be the next Michael Turner where he just gets beat up too much and eventually lose effectiveness. I'm hoping Helu can spell him a little but if we go into the draft i'm hoping for Kenjan Barner.


There are going to be a lot of team targeting Barner in the 3rd and 4th rounds, and the deal with him is that he doesnt do well with taking hits. He is a bit soft.
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