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http://www.redskins.com/story.asp?ContentID=11903

McCullough Continues To Impress Coaches

08/26/2003

By Gary Fitzgerald

Redskins.com

Sultan McCullough is not making the roster decisions easy at Redskin Park. The rookie running back has rushed for a team-high 95 yards in the preseason and is averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Against Baltimore last Saturday, he added a 15-yard touchdown run off left tackle in the Redskins’ 24-3 win.

“He’s caught everyone’s attention,” said head coach Steve Spurrier, “with the way he can knife up in there and use his explosive speed.”

With Trung Canidate the expected starter and Ladell Betts, Kenny Watson and Chad Morton all vying for playing time, Spurrier said the coaching staff would be faced with a “tough call” when deciding how many running backs to keep on the roster.

“With the way Sultan has flashed his speed, I have a feeling that if we had released him, he would have certainly been picked up by another team right away,” Spurrier said. “So we’re trying to find a way to keep him on the team here.”

For his part, McCullough said he has been focusing on improving his play on special teams. With the veteran depth at the running back position, he realizes that could be the best way for him to make the final roster.

“I don’t know where I fit in among the running backs, but right now I’m focusing on making plays on special teams,” he said. “I know I’m a hard worker and I’m not going to quit. I don’t care who’s out there on defense, I’m going to go out there and try to make a play.”

The 6-0, 197-pound USC product rushed for 2,800 yards in collegiate career. He was coached by offensive coordinator Hue Jackson when both were at USC during the 1999-2000 seasons.

In the Redskins' first pre-season game against Carolina, McCullough opened eyes with a nine carry, 50-yard performance, good for a 5.6 yards-per-carry average. He also had a 15-yard run called back because of a penalty in that game. Two weeks later, against Baltimore, he rushed seven times for 38 yards, a 5.4 yards-per-carry average, to go along with his touchdown.

For now, McCullough is trying to stand out from the other running backs on the Redskins’ roster.

“The other backs have their own style and I have mine,” he said. “I have quickness and speed, and in football you can’t teach speed. I’m just trying to show coaches I can do the job.”

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No way he clears waivers. No freekin way.

I would like to see him with the first string against the Jags. Let trung sit this one out. If he does well with the first team we have to keep him. Put Watson on the PS if we have to, but we have to keep Sultan.

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Originally posted by Bufford T Justice

I don't know. I think Kenny Watson has some trade value. Maybe we should ship him somewhere for a draft pick to make up for what we gave for Dalton.

Then keep 4 rb's still.

Yeah, but if you are another team wouldn't you be tempted to sit tight knowing we are going to have a hard time keeping five RBs and pick up who ever hits the wire after the final cuts?

Maybe it's time for a mysterious injury to occur to Watson? :laugh:

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Spurrier quote

“With the way Sultan has flashed his speed, I have a feeling that if we had released him, he would have certainly been picked up by another team right away,” Spurrier said. “So we’re trying to find a way to keep him on the team here.”

Translation: "We aint that dumb. We'll figure out a way." :laugh:

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"He has a horrible reputation (which so far appears to be unfounded)"

What is that reputation? I honestly haven't heard what it was about him or his past that is questionable. I'd really like to see him make the team as well. The name just has something special in it.

I was wondering about the pronunciation of his name also. I say it like Sultan, but maybe it really is pronounced Sootan.

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Skin Deep,

If the name Sootan or Sultan is too difficult, shorten it. Just call him S&M. :laugh:

Watson or Betts have to be traded. Watson is not eligible for the practice squad. :(

Mysterious injury to Watson? Yeah thats right, they're playing in Jacksonville Thursday. Maybe we can put him on IR, and claim he was bitten by an alligator. :laugh:

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Originally posted by Skin Deep

"He has a horrible reputation (which so far appears to be unfounded)"

What is that reputation? I honestly haven't heard what it was about him or his past that is questionable. I'd really like to see him make the team as well. The name just has something special in it.

I was wondering about the pronunciation of his name also. I say it like Sultan, but maybe it really is pronounced Sootan.

In a very old thread posted here right after we signed Sultan, there was a personality profile that described McCullough as wildly self-involved, narcissistic, uncoachable and a general locker room cancer who was also a menace off the field. In his brief stint here, none of that has come up. But, I am guessing it contributed greatly to a RB with 4.3 speed on a national title contender not getting drafted.

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In some of the pre-draft write ups on Sultan, I also recall seeing that he only had straight ahead speed - no lateral ability AND he was soft - easy to bring down with the arm tackle and couldn't bang for the tough yards. With his speed and record at USC, he had to have a really bad rep to not get drafted at all. Maybe that was the wake up call he needed. Clearly Hue would know him better than just about anyone in the NFL - so maybe the combination makes for a fresh start for Sultan.

Still, if you can't get a reasonable pick for Watson or Betts it'll be tough to waive any of them.

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Originally posted by SkinInsite

McCullough's running style, the way he makes multiple cuts, reminds me of Portis. If only we haven't spend that pick on Betts.

Not sure I'm ready to say Sultan is equal to or better than Betts - Sultan has a lot more to show me before I go there. ;)

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Sultan went thru a coaching change and the two apparently clashed heads.

Yeah I'm hoping for one of those season ending aching back, deep tissue or sprained shoulder injuries thursday to either Sultan or Watson if we cant get a trade for watson done

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Man, I really want to see him on the active roster. He won't survive five minutes on the waiver wire I'd bet. The Saints, if no one else, would snatch him up.

I think he's got tremendous potential.. more than say,,, Cliff Russell.

For he who asked, George Michael plans on pronouncing his name as "Fred", "Albert", and/ or "Jeffrey", tomorrow night.

~Bang

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Just keep this is the back of your head...from his pre-draft report--this is why he went undrafted:

Negatives: Lacks size and does not have great vision or play strength. Is an average receiver who has questionable hands, needs to be wide open to catch the ball and lacks run instincts. Has small hands and is a body catcher, and also is a sloppy route-runner. Not a natural running back. Very questionable character. Has a chip on his shoulder and rubs people the wrong way. Not a good learner. Lacks strength and toughness as a runner. Not explosive or very tough. Average make-you-miss for his size. Not interested in blocking. Profane, disrespectful and undependable. Needs reps. Negative leader. Plays to speed. Does not run with much power or determination and arm tackles can often bring him down. Needs an attitude adjustment and maturity. Durability questions won't go away, especially after he pulled his hamstring in the East-West Shrine Game. The injury prevented him from testing the track at the Scouting Combine.

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