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Jay Gruden on Redskins rookie RB Samaje Perine: 'He’s going to hit you'

Jay Gruden on Redskins rookie RB Samaje Perine: 'He’s going to hit you'

Samaje Perine first made headlines as a freshman at Oklahoma when he ran all over Kansas to the tune of 427 yards and five touchdowns. The stat line was absurd, and it was a big part of a 1,700-yard season in 2014.

While that game was certainly the highlight, what stands out most about Perine's three years with the Sooners is his strength. Perine has high-end speed, but he likes to lower his shoulder and pound the football.

After the Redskins selected Perine in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, that power has his new head coach excited.

"We couldn’t pass up on Samaje. We were happy to get him, man," Gruden said after the draft. "We really enjoyed his interview, his toughness, watching him on tape. You feel his presence when he runs the football. He’s a hard guy to get down, and if you do get him down, you’re going to get up holding your shoulder or something because he’s going to hit you."

Washington struggled in the red zone in 2016, and particularly struggled to run the ball at the goal line. Perine could help in those areas immediately.

MORE REDSKINS: After 10 draft picks, the Redskins still have needs

At Oklahoma he recorded 49 touchdowns in three seasons, and at the NFL Combine he ranked as the strongest running back in 2017 class. He bench pressed 225 pounds 30 times, far and away the best strength performance of the backs in Indianapolis. 

Asked after the draft to describe his game, Perine gave an answer that Washington brass would love.

"I’d much prefer to go through you than around you."

Make no mistake, Robert Kelley and Chris Thompson will still contribute plenty to the Redskins run game. Kelley has a knack for making defenders miss and Gruden has repeatedly stated his belief in "Fat Rob." The organization also paid up to keep Thompson, who was a restricted free agent this offseason. 

Perine will get opportunities though. His talent and strength will command them. And the head coach sure seems to like his power.

"He's a physical runner, without a doubt. Nobody can argue that point."

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy.