Washington Redskins working backs coach Randy Jordan delivers the identical message to his gamers earlier than each sport — a mentality that was the muse of the staff’s offensive success throughout its 6-Three begin final season: “The social gathering don’t begin till we stroll in,” he says.
The stats again up his level: The staff was 6-1 in video games final season wherein it outrushed its opponent. Whether or not that’s extra a matter of correlation or causation is up for debate — groups get extra dashing alternatives when they’re main or in a detailed sport than when they’re trailing — however there’s little doubt that the Redskins view their greatest shot at offensive success as beginning with the bottom sport.
The excellent news for Washington is that working again seems to be a energy. Adrian Peterson is again after surpassing the 1,000-yard plateau for the eighth time in his profession, which is coming into its 13th season. Derrius Guice, a second-round decide final yr, is anticipated to be wholesome after he tore his ACL within the first preseason sport. Chris Thompson returns as one of many high all-purpose backs within the NFL; he joins Samaje Perine, whom Coach Jay Gruden mentioned has earned extra alternatives, and the versatile Byron Marshall. Oh, and the staff drafted 2017 Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love, though he’s nonetheless recovering from a torn ACL he suffered Dec. 1.
“If everyone is wholesome come August and September, the coaches positively have a troublesome job on their fingers with what to do with everyone,” Thompson mentioned. “Should you have a look at the lineup, to me, it’s ridiculous.”
There’s just one ball to go round, and the teaching employees should determine tips on how to greatest make the most of the staff’s many choices whereas protecting everyone completely happy. Peterson hasn’t been shy about stating his want to start out, and he mentioned 2,000 dashing yards stays his purpose. He mentioned he believes 1,500 would have been attainable final season if the offense, notably the road, hadn’t been rocked by accidents. Guice was the star of final yr’s coaching camp, and the group was able to function him earlier than the damage, which is what prompted the Peterson signing in August. Thompson is a novel weapon who additionally requires touches.
Jordan defined that it helps that every participant brings a barely completely different ability set; he predicted a 50-50 or 60-40 break up of the carries between Peterson and Guice. The competitors was noticeable throughout organized staff actions and minicamp regardless of Guice being held out of regular practices.
“These guys get somewhat upset when impulsively a man will get a few reps they usually’re taking a look at me like, ‘Coach, when’s my flip?’ ” Jordan mentioned. “I all the time inform them this: ‘Pay attention, it’s a privilege in your quantity to be known as. . . . So while you get that chance, make it rely.’ All people’s going to have a job at one level.”
Over Peterson’s profession, he has been the kind of participant who wears on the protection and will get simpler with extra touches, however he’s unlikely to get 17 to 20 carries per sport if the opposite backs stay wholesome. Gruden mentioned he believes that Peterson, who at 34 is among the oldest working backs within the NFL, can have much more of an affect in 2019 with a full yr within the offense, and he hopes a lighter workload gained’t be an issue. Peterson has been the consummate skilled since he arrived in Washington, however he isn’t going to concede his carries.
“In fact that’s my mentality, to be that man,” Peterson mentioned. “That’s what has saved me round happening 13 years now. However on the finish of the day, the coaches are those that make that call. . . . That’s all you’ll be able to ask for is open competitors.”
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‘Freakish’ Montez Sweat is successful over a demanding group: The Redskins’ defensive lidn’t been rocked by accidents. Guice was the star of final yr’s coaching camp and the group was able to function him earlier than the damage, which is what prompted the Peterson signing n. Thompson is a uniique weapon who additionally requires touches. hadn’t been rocked by accidents. Guice was the star of final yr’s coaching camp and the group was able to function him earlier than the damage, which is what prompted the Peterson signing n . Thompson is a uniique weapon who additionally requires touches.