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Washington thought Derrius Guice had a chance to be the No. 1 overall pick

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Jay Gruden is entering his fifth season with the Redskins, and he knows his time may be running short if they can't win games.

Running back Derrius Guice slid in the draft. Which was bad for Guice, but good for Washington, since they got him at No. 59.

Some think Guice slid due to character concerns. Washington coach Jay Gruden didn’t see it that way.
“Quite frankly, we didn’t have any questions on his character,” Gruden told reporters on Wednesday. “You know, in every interview that we had with him and talked to him, we never had a concern about him at all. I think when you’ll watch his college tape the year he played with [Leonard] Fournette, he was a dynamic player. We thought he might be the first player picked in the draft. Then the last year he played, he was playing through some injuries and he didn’t look quite the same. I think that’s probably why he fell more so than his character. So, grabbing him in the second round was obviously a great treat for us, but character was never a concern. He’s been great, never been late, attentive, great attitude, always happy, happy-go-lucky and fun to be around quite frankly.”

So why did Guice last until the bottom of round two?
“There was five or six good backs in the draft,” Gruden said. “Now, he wasn’t the only good back in the draft. I mean, you talk about [Nick] Chubb and the other kid, Sony Michel, and [Rashaad] Penny. I mean it’s not like he’s dropping. Those guys are good players. So it just depends on what type of back you wanted for your team. It just so happens that he was there when we picked him and we took him. So all those guys are good players, you get drafted in the second round you’re a damn good back; it’s not like you’re a scrub. So this guy’s a good player, and a lot of great players have been taken in the second round so we anticipate him being one of them.”

While Guice’s abilities at the NFL level remain to be seen, he possesses one key ingredient for success: Confidence.

“He is a confident guy now, that’s not an issue there,” Gruden said. “I mean, holy cow. He’s very confident, and I like that about a back. . . . He’s very powerful; he knows he’s very powerful. He’s very fast and he knows he’s fast. So there’s really no reason for him not to be confident. The big thing is we just got to get him to know what to do and be confident in the fundamentals of what tracks he’s hitting, pass protection, all that good stuff. But I think he’s a guy that is just born with a gift of having great energy on a daily basis. He wakes up in the morning with a great bounce in his step and every day is the same with him. I have not seen a down day from him. . . . I think just he’s gonna be fine, quite frankly. Every day, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, whatever day we play he’ll be ready.”

The knock on Guice primarily came from issues of perceived immaturity, fueled by his claim that he was asked inappropriate questions at the Scouting Combine. The NFL ultimately could not confirm that this occurred, which is a nice way of saying the league didn’t believe him.

One league source has predicted that Guice will have a couple of solid years before possibly wearing out his welcome in Washington. Ultimately, Guice controls whether that happens, both with how he performs on the field and how he acts away from it.