Just about the only pending topic not asked of Mike Shananhan following Sunday's rookie camp practice involved the running back situation. Granted, both the Redskins head coach and Tim Hightower expressed a mutual interest in having the free agent back for the 2012 campaign. Should the team and veteranrunner agree to terms, the backfield would largely be set along with second-year runners Roy Helu and Evan Royster.Then again, the draft has now and come gone and Hightower, who is recoveringfrom a season-ending knee injury suffered last October,remains on the open market. Plenty of time exists between now and the start of training camp - thoughOTA's start this month - so there might not be a calendar issue for the Redskins. Two running backsdrafted in the later rounds of the just completed NFL draft add depth, butthe need for aninside runner remains.However, should another team make Touchdown Timmy an offer he can't refuse - or the recovery period moves slower than expected or the missing cap space stays missing - then what? This recent article on NFL.com ranks Hightower as the top free agent RB on the market, but that distinction is hardly carries an asterisk considering the motley crew. The top-five list also could use a scrubbingsince one listed option signed elsewhere, another one is on the verge of doing the same, another is talking retirement and the remaining two are Cedric "rap sheet" Benson and Thomas "3.1 ypc" Jones.Why Hightower and the Redskins have yet to put pen to paper, unclear. What is incredibly obvious is that the other options are hardly interesting, but some veteran will be added. Considering Shanahan stated rookie Robert Griffin III is his starting quarterback, it would be nice for a more concrete ground game outlook. Click here for more ofBen's take on thenon-Hightower running back options.
For most college players, being a part of the NFL Draft experience is a dream come true, but for Derrius Guice, it was becoming a nightmare. Originally projected as a first round pick, Guice saw his name falling fast on draft boards due to questions raised about his maturity and high-maintenance personality.
Two months removed from the Redskins selecting him 59th overall, Guice has erased any doubt regarding his character. Whether it be taking fans out to the movies, shooting the breeze while signing autographs, or even the occasional leap frog over two practice barrels and a trainer, Guice has ingrained himself as a Redskins fan favorite. He's done a great job at making himself popular, now he's focused on making change for others.
On June 20th, a day before his birthday, Guice announced he would be running a fundraiser for the Mary Bird Perkins center, a cancer foundation in his hometown of Baton Rouge. Inspired by his best friend's mother who "rang that bell,"—an indication that a patient has beaten cancer—Guice wants to help others do the same.
Guice has utilized his newfound popularity to entice other peope to donate. If you donate $5, you can play him in Fortnite. For $50, you guys can go bowling together. Anyone willing to donate $100 or more will be entered in a raffle for tickets to the Redskins Monday Night Football game against the Saints.
If Guice can match his off the field popularity with on the field production, he'll be in contention for Rookie of the Year. Anyone interested in donating can click here.
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 21, 35 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.
The first five off of the roster
G Kyle Kalis—Last year he lined up with the second team during most of training camp and he nearly made the roster as an undrafted free agent. The team did re-sign him after injuries struck the O-line in the middle of the season. He will push Tyler Catalina for a backup guard spot.
RB Byron Marshall—He got a few touches last year before ending up on injured reserve. Marshall has looked good in practices so far, especially catching out of the backfield. Jay Gruden likely will play Chris Thompson sparingly in the preseason and that could give Marshall a chance to shine. Don’t sleep on him.
WR Cam Sims—Right now, the undrafted rookie out of Alabama looks like the eighth wide receiver on the roster and they are only going to keep six. But if he continues to get the attention of Gruden with his play in practice and makes the most of his opportunities in preseason games, Robert Davis and Maurice Harris should look out.
S Fish Smithson—The Redskins liked him a lot after they signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. But they didn’t like him enough to keep him on the 53-man roster; he spent the year on the practice squad, getting a late-season cup of coffee on the roster. He will push both Deshazor Everett and Troy Apke for a backup safety spot. If the Redskins have reason to be concerned about the health of Montae Nicholson they might figure out a way to keep Smithson on as a fifth safety.
ILB Martrell Spaight—It looks like Spaight’s three-year tenure with the team essentially came to an end when they drafted Sean Dion Hamilton in the fifth round. But his play in offseason practices indicates he’s not going to go out without a fight.
Next five off: OT T.J. Clemmings, QB Kevin Hogan, RB Kapri Bibbs, NT Phil Taylor, CB Danny Johnson
Redskins running back Derrius Guice was born on this date in 1997.
—Training camp starts (7/26) 35
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 49
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 72
The Redskins last played a game 172 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 80 days.
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