The folks at Pro Football Weekly are hearing whispers that Tim Hightower has the inside track to be the Redskins starting running back this year.They say that Roy Helu Jr will be a 10-15 snap player due to durability concerns and that Evan Royster lacks the speed to be anything but a situational back. Well look at those issues in a minute but first lets look at Hightower as a workhorse back.Coming into 2010, Hightower had carried the ball 14 or more times in a game six times during his three-year NFL career. In his first three games with the Redskins he carries 25, 20, and 14 times. A shoulder injury limited him to eight carries the next week and kept him out of the next game, which came after the bye week. That was the first game he had missed since coming into the league.In Week 7 he was on his way to another heavy workload with 17 carries before he suffered a torn ACL that ended his season.One could conclude that the Cardinals, his previous NFL team, was using him properly, starting him frequently (36 starts in three seasons in Arizona) but limiting his workload. With the caveat that five games is a small sample size and that the shoulder and knee injuries could happen to anyone, its possible that the Redskins gave Hightower too heavy a workload.The same could be true for Helu. He played over 50 snaps in each of the games from Weeks 12-15 and then had to sit out the Week 16 Vikings game with an assortment of ailments. He was limited to 11 snaps in the season finale against the Eagles. It looks like his workload should be limited but dropping him down to 10-15 snaps per game, as PFW suggests,Royster ran a pedestrian 4.64 in the 40 at the combine (compared to a 4.42 for Helu) so there is solid evidence to back up lack of speed rap. But he did have two 100-yard games in the last three weeks and he averaged 5.9 yards per carry. He many not have been running very fast last year but he was getting somewhere.What all of this means is that the era of the workhorse running back in Washington is over, at least for now. You have three backs all of whom have some skills but none of whom can be the prime back in the way that John Riggins, Clinton Portis, Stephen Davis, and others were.The running back committee will emerge either by choice or by circumstances. Last year Kyle and Mike Shanahan basically worked their backs until they couldnt go any more. That forced other backs into action.If they try that again this year, they are likely to have the same result. If they plan out a rotation they might have some more backs standing by the end of the year.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email here and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2016 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings over the next few weeks.
Today we’re updating the list with the players we ranked from 6-10. Here are some of the players in our latest update:
—A second-year receiver who is expected to top a record-setting 2015 performance.
—Two players who will have to produce to make up for a major injury loss.
—A defender who will be in the spotlight after the addition of a free agent at his position.
Go here to see our ranking of the 2016 Redskins, players 6-53.
The Redskins are considering bringing in Greg Hardy as a replacement for the injured Junior Galette, according to Ed Werder of ESPN.
Citing unnamed sources, Werder said that the team's discussions of their options for replacing Galette, who suffered a torn Achilles while training and is out for the season, have included the troubled former Panther and Cowboy.
Werder also said that cornerback Josh Norman, a teammate of Hardy’s in Carolina, would advocate for bringing him in to help the defense.
Hardy had a breakout season in 2013 with 15 sacks. But he served a suspension for a domestic abuse incident and when he was with the Cowboys last year he was caught on camera being disruptive on the sideline during games and according to reports he was chronically late for meetings. In an interview with ESPN earlier this year he did not admit that he had done anything wrong.
Hardy will turn 28 tomorrow and while he is talented he would bring a lot of bad publicity and a media circus along with him. As with many players, the need for quality players must be weighed against the baggage that a player like Hardy carries.
Everyone should be aware that internal discussions don’t mean that a signing is in any way imminent. Stay tuned to see how things play out.
UPDATE 2:36 p.m.:
Redskins aren't considering Greg Hardy as option to replace Galette, source says.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) July 26, 2016
It’s an exciting day for me to take over the Redskins beat from Tarik El-Bashir. As a native Washingtonian, it’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve wanted this job since I was a kid.
In fact, in sixth grade, after months of writing nothing but Darrell Green stories and turning them in for English homework, Miss Girard said I was no longer allowed to write about the Redskins. Who got the last laugh, Miss Girard?
Working with Tarik and Rich Tandler covering the Skins at CSN the last few years helped me learn a lot, as did my earlier work with Mr. Irrelevant, SB Nation DC and the Washingtonian. My approach to the beat will be to cover all the angles relevant for fans, and try to look ahead to what might happen and find stories that fall under the radar. In an era of information overload, readers expect more than just stats and quotes from coverage, and I know I will be able to deliver that experience.
This beat means a lot to me. I’ve watched the Redskins my whole life, I’ve cheered for them for most of it. One of the things I hate to hear is when somebody moves to the D.C. area and says ‘nobody is from here.’
I’m from here. My wife is from here. My friends are from here. Go to a Redskins game any Sunday, and thousands and thousands of people will show you, loudly, they are from here too.
Most of all, I like to have fun. I recognize not everyone gets to watch football for their job, and I want to enjoy all of it. I’m open to talking with readers, even disagreeing here and there, so feel free to reach out.
And before I forget - thank you. Thanks for reading, for arguing on Twitter, and please keep it coming.