Football Team

Samuel displayed his unique skills in Washington last year

Football Team

If you want a clear look at the type of talent, versatility and explosiveness that Curtis Samuel will bring to the Washington Football Team, well, just go back and review his performance against the Washington Football Team late last season. 

On that Sunday at FedEx Field, a matchup that the Panthers won, the do-it-all wideout did it all: He posted five catches for 106 yards to go along with seven rushes for 52 yards. That performance included a 44-yard catch and a 45-yard rush.

Because of Samuel's connections to Ron Rivera and Scott Turner, Washington's coaching staff was already well aware of his unique skill set. He went ahead and reminded them of it anyway, though, as he gave the Washington defense fits in a contest they really needed to capture.

How about this highlight combo of Samuel's longest run and longest grab from that afternoon? Does this seem like something that could work in the Burgundy and Gold?

First, let's discuss that dash down the sidelines.

The beginning of the play is what you'd expect from the 24-year-old — a nasty cut that had Ronald Darby sliding into the next town over and then the burst required to get into the second level. 

However, once Jeremy Reaves gets a hold of him around the 30, you'd think that the safety would be able to handle the wideout and get him out of bounds... but he simply couldn't. Samuel's toughness, which he developed as a running back at Ohio State, allowed him to fend off Reaves for another 25 yards. He's obviously not just a one-dimensional runner.

 

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Then, there's Samuel's massive reception.

Check out the down and distance: Third-and-16. All jokes about Washington's secondary having troubles in those situations aside (besides, this is when Jack Del Rio's unit was in a groove in terms of its pass defense), that's a spot where it should be an uphill battle for a receiver to get open deep. And yet Samuel did anyway.

That's where his upper-echelon speed made a difference, and that wasn't the only example of it from 2020, either. Samuel converted 49 first downs last year, with 19 of those coming on third down, and eight of those 19 coming on third-and-7 or longer. When an offense is supposed to be on its last breath of a possession, he is dynamic enough to revive it.

Fortunately, the next time Samuel puts together a stat line similar to the one he compiled in Week 16 at FedEx Field, it'll be for Washington as opposed to against them. That's something that everyone, from Rivera to Turner to Del Rio to the fans, is surely thrilled about.