Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan insists he hasnt decided how hes going to handle the teams trio of running backs.Evan Royster hopes to make the decision for him.To win the starting job, though, the second-year Fairfax, Va., native must outperform Roy Helu Jr. and Tim Hightower in the coming weeks.Were all trying to do that, Royster said. So its going to be tough.Indeed, the battle figures to be intense.Helu has a better burst than the others and has stood out through three days of training camp. Hightower is the most experienced, as well as the best pass catcher and blocker, but hes still easing his way back into playing shape after a knee injury cut his 2011 season short.Roysters strengths? Well, singling out what he does well is as difficult as taking him down.Story of my life, he said with a smile. Ive been told my whole life that I wasnt fast enough. But I made it work to this point, so Im just going to keep doing what Ive done the past 15 years.Royster gained 328 yards on 56 attempts as a rookie and averaged a team-best 5.9 yards per carry. He started the final two games of the season, racking up 132 yards, against Minnesota, and 113 against Philadelphia.Asked what he likes about Royster, Shanahan didnt hesitate.You cant tackle him, the coach said. He makes people miss. He knows how to cut and and he knows when to cut.Royster said his familiarity with Shanahans offense has, at times, proven to be an advantage as he adapts to the pro game.I guess Im comfortable with the inside zone, he said. I ran a very similar offense with Coach Tom Verbanic at Westfield High in Chantilly and again at Penn State. Ive just been doing it so long, I feel comfortable.If theres one thing Royster wants to improve upon this season, he said, its his conditioning.The big thing for me at the end of last season was being in game shape, said the 24-year-old, who was used sparingly until mid-December, when he took over for an ailing Helu. I wasnt used to getting out there and taking all those reps, especially in the Philly game when I came out and I was cramping through my whole body. I wasnt prepared for what I needed to do.So thats my focus this year: doing what I need to do be ready for games, he added.And, of course, winning the starting job.
After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York.
Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.
One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.
The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.
The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well.
Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.
REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2
Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets
What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason
When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Redskins Radio Network
Point Spread: Washington, -3
Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy
REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:
5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live
REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)
Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m.
Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS
- Fight Camp: Fights in camp happen, but brawls are dangerous
- One-Liners: How each starter did in camp
- Breaking the Internet: Swearinger goes after Pryor
During training camp, it’s natural for the media coverage to gravitate towards the long shots and underdogs and the backups fighting to hang on to a roster spot. The starters go out and do their thing and those players doing their thing isn’t news.
With that in mind, here is a one-liner review of how each anticipated starter fared in training camp. We started with the offense yesterday, the defense is up today.
DE Jonathan Allen—On the first day of camp, he said that he wants the defense to be “badass” and he has done his part throughout camp.
NT Daron Payne—After recovering from an ankle injury ahead of schedule he went out and started tossing around some Redskins offensive linemen and then did the same to Jets O-linemen when they came to town.
DE Matt Ioannidis—He first battled turf toe and then he suffered ankle and knee injuries, so he is still working his way back to being 100 percent.
OLB Preston Smith—He has been impressive although it must be noted that for most 11 on 11 snaps he has been working against rookie left tackle Geron Christian, not the rehabbing Trent Williams.
OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He turns 30 today and he looks as good as ever.
ILB Zach Brown—His pass coverage seems to have improved in his second year in the defense, although it must be noted that as camp went on he became familiar with what the offense was running.
ILB Mason Foster—Like Brown, he needs to get some snaps against different teams after the grind of camp.
CB Josh Norman—The veteran continues to set the pace as he continued to work on the field well after practice ended nearly every day, often giving pointers to young defensive backs, and then signing autographs for the remaining fans.
CB Quinton Dunbar—One of his strengths has been his confidence and that will only grow after the release of Orlando Scandrick.
S Montae Nicholson—The Redskins made some changes to how they use their safeties and the learning curve has had Nicholson struggling in coverage at times.
S D.J. Swearinger—He has missed several days over the last week or so with an undisclosed injury but his taunting game is in midseason form, as evidenced by his fake punch at Terrelle Pryor.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- More fireworks with Jets: Redskins turn the tables on Pryor
- Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation