A little more than a week ago, running backs coach Randy Jordan was asked for his opinion on where Derrius Guice was in his career. Jordan's response was creative and also completely apt.
"I always tell him this," Jordan said. "'The only thing you did this past year is you were an appetizer. I want the whole steak. I want the whole lobster. I want the whole thing.’"
But after an out-of-nowhere Friday night — in which it was revealed Guice is facing domestic violence charges, news that was shortly followed by the Washington Football Team cutting him — it's now clear that Jordan, along with everyone else within the organization or who supports it, will never get the whole thing from the 23-year-old.
And that is, from a football perspective, what will define Guice's career in Washington: All promise, no production.
For the most part, injuries are what prevented the 2018 second-rounder from building on his spectacular LSU career. Constant, constant injuries.
In his first preseason contest, Guice's best carry against the Patriots — the one that showed both surprising speed and brute power — was also the last of his entire year. What was originally thought to be a sprained MCL turned out to be a torn ACL. There would be no rookie campaign for No. 29.
13 months later, Guice made his true NFL debut in Philly, where he promptly suffered a torn meniscus on one of his 10 rushing attempts. He returned to the injured reserve, a stint that ended up spanning eight games.
Guice came back yet again, however, and finally began to deliver. He turned a short screen pass into a 45-yard score versus the Jets and then took over a matchup in Carolina with 129 yards and two touchdowns. Those kinds of feats were what everyone had been craving.
But a week later, he had to leave Washington's meeting with the Packers because of a sprained MCL. The team put him on I.R. again soon after, which ended his 2019 and gave him the same amount of trips to that list as he had trips to the end zone.
2020, though, was supposed to be his legitimate breakthrough. He was declared ready to go just as camp began, and this time, people knew what he was capable of when right. As the franchise looked to develop a young core, Guice figured to be a major part of that effort.
Now, suddenly and shockingly, he's gone. Legally, there's still a ways to go in determining his guilt (his attorney has denied all allegations) yet Ron Rivera didn't feel the need to wait or have to wait. Guice won't be a part of his rebuild.
Some will fairly point to Guice's NFL numbers up to this point — five appearances, 245 rushing yards and three total TDs — and wonder why such a stir is being made over his release. Those are stats an average running back can compile in September, after all.
Well, the reason is that Guice was expected, and skilled enough, to do so much more. The glimpses were about to become the norm. The fan favorite was approaching his peak.
That peak obviously won't come with Washington anymore. And at this point, who knows if it will ever come, really.
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