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.
The Redskins have signed draft pick Steven Daniels, according to a report.
Daniels, an inside linebacker, was drafted in the seventh round (232nd overall) out of Boston College. The 5 foot 11, 243-pounder amassed 82 tackles, including 16 for a loss, and an interception as a senior last season.
The four-year deal for Daniels is worth $2.581 million, including a $77,296 signing bonus, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post.
Daniels is the first of Washington's seven picks to sign.
He’s expected to compete for a backup role on defense, contribute on special teams and bring some toughness to the unit, according to General Manager Scot McCloughan.
“Daniels [is] a football player,” McCloughan said this week. “Not pretty. Not going to run the fastest 40, but really tough. He has [special] teams value and brings the kind of culture I want to keep bringing in, especially late in the draft. He brings in a competitiveness and a toughness that he isn’t going to back down from anybody. You’re going to have to beat him out to get him out of here, and that’s what I want.”
Santana Moss' resume — one that includes more than 10,000 receiving yards in the NFL to go along with 66 touchdowns through the air — is definitely different than an average business student. While most people pursuing an MBA spend their summers taking on internships or learning the ins-and-outs of accounting and marketing, Moss spent the majority of his since 2001 in training camps with the Jets and Redskins, learning new offenses and route combinations.
Despite those differences, though, the 14-year veteran will look like any other regular guy on Thursday, when he graduates from a University of Miami business program, according to his Instagram. At 36 years old, it'll be the second time he wears a cap and gown at "The U" — he earned his bachelor's degree in 2001 after four years there, where he also set the school record for receiving yards on the field for the Hurricanes.
Here is the full post from Moss detailing the accomplishment:
Last July, CSNmidatlantic.com explained Moss' decision to go back to school. The wideout told Bloomberg.com, "One day there is going to be a time when you are done with the NFL, and it’s like, 'What else?'" That's why he enrolled in a specialized class designed for artists and athletes, and it looks like he's passed it just like he used to pass first down markers during his days in Washington.
The perils of post-football life are well-known, as stories of ex-players running into financial hardships are told on a seemingly daily basis. Judging by Moss' decision to pick up his MBA, however, he figures to be in solid shape to avoid those troubles. So, while he developed a reputation as a big-play guy with the Redskins, one capable of ripping off a 70-yard score at any time, all of his long catches will probably be outweighed in importance by the handful of steps he takes across the stage Thursday.
His NFL career was a prolific one. But now, he's setting himself up for another profession — and this one won't just matter on Sundays.
The Redskins are starting to build a core of star players who will be with them for the long haul. They now have the following key players signed through at least the 2018 season:
- TE Jordan Reed (signed through 2021)
- OT Trent Williams (2020)
- OLB Ryan Kerrigan (2020)
- CB Josh Norman (2020)
- P Tress Way (2020)
- OL Brandon Scherff (2018 plus fifth-year team option)
- OLB Preston Smith (2018)
- WR Jamison Crowder (2018)
The Redskins will have their 2016 draft class signed through 2019 when they agree to deals. The team will have a fifth-year option on first-round pick Josh Doctson so he could be under contract through 2020.