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SG: For Redskins’ Royster, A Summer Of Competition Awaits


SMOSS89

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Becoming Penn State’s all time leading rusher shouldn’t be a distinction that’s taken lightly. The school that has produced the likes of Curt Warner, Larry Johnson and Franco Harris certainly knows what a solid NFL running back looks like. One would think that if a player left the school having amassed more rushing yards than each of those runners, he could garner attention from NFL teams.

And yet, Redskins draftee Evan Royster has been overlooked as a runner who can produce at the NFL level. As if amassing 3932 rushing yards, 29 rushing touchdowns and a career 5.7 yards per carry isn’t enough to sway NFL teams. Even with those gaudy statistics, Royster’s name never seemed to bring much excitement inside many NFL circles.

In fact, his name may have elicited more confusion than excitement. NFL teams were likely baffled by Royster’s running style, as he was able to produce big time numbers at Penn State without being particularly fast or explosive. You can even count the man who drafted Royster, Mike Shanahan, as one who had a hard time explaining his draft pick’s college production.

“He’s just a natural runner and when you take a look at him, you don’t see anything that would blow you away,” Shanahan said right after the draft. “All he does is gain yards. He’s one of those guys, very smooth, very elusive. You run it back and forth and all of a sudden you’re saying, ‘How did he gain all those yards?’”

That obviously seemed to be the sentiment that the majority of NFL teams shared, as Royster wasn’t selected until the sixth round of the draft by Washington.

But if Royster doesn’t project as a player who can produce at a high level in the NFL, how will he be able to make the Redskins opening day roster?

Assuming the Redskins do not make a move to add a veteran running back in free agency, Royster will have to contend with Ryan Torain, fellow draftee Roy Helu, and third down specialist Keiland Williams.

And despite the late round stigma, the Fairfax, Virginia native has a number of things going for him that could help his chances of making the roster.

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I just read a pre-draft article about him, which was on the Packers site, via Google. I uncertain on what to expect from him. He's smallish, but makes up for that by being slow and having poor hands.Yet, he leads the Penn State all time list??? I don't know enough about Penn State to know if most of his yards were accumulated during slop time or not. I'll definitely be following his story this offseason

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He strikes me as one of those deceptive backs. One of those guys who isn't elite at anything, but still somehow keeps racking up the yards. I am thinking that he probably has good vision and breaks towards the hole very well. I am looking forward to see what he can do.

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I don't know enough about Penn State to know if most of his yards were accumulated during slop time or not. I'll definitely be following his story this offseason

Penn State has a very good history at running back, though there have been some spectacular flameouts at the pro level. Most of Roysters yards were not accumulated during slop time, though there were the games against teams like Coastal Carolina where he would put up 100 by halftime. Paterno usually had all the starters out by the 3rd quarter, so there was no excess yardage.

Royster got plenty of yards in Big Ten play, though some of Penn States biggest games in recent years (Alabama, Ohio State, etc.) it seems to me he doesn't do quite as well. True those are better defenses, but you have to step it up, and I'm not sure he always answered the bell in that regard.

Fact is though, he's perfect for Shanahan's system. He isn't fast by RB standards, but he's a one cut and go type of guy, and can make a person miss in space, though he's unlikely to take one to the house and can be caught from behind by players in the secondary.

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Penn State has a very good history at running back, though there have been some spectacular flameouts at the pro level. Most of Roysters yards were not accumulated during slop time, though there were the games against teams like Coastal Carolina where he would put up 100 by halftime. Paterno usually had all the starters out by the 3rd quarter, so there was no excess yardage.

Royster got plenty of yards in Big Ten play, though some of Penn States biggest games in recent years (Alabama, Ohio State, etc.) it seems to me he doesn't do quite as well. True those are better defenses, but you have to step it up, and I'm not sure he always answered the bell in that regard.

Fact is though, he's perfect for Shanahan's system. He isn't fast by RB standards, but he's a one cut and go type of guy, and can make a person miss in space, though he's unlikely to take one to the house and can be caught from behind by players in the secondary.

Ki-Jana Carter anyone?

---------- Post added June-28th-2011 at 02:15 AM ----------

Having watched more of Helu in college, I'm biased. But I don't think it's even clos as to which back is better. It's Helu.

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Ki-Jana Carter anyone?

That's not really fair to Carter, he had a lot of potential but tore his ACL very early in his career. And he was much faster than Royster, if I recall. When I talk about PSU running back flameouts, I'm thinking more like Curtis Enis, who was the #5 overall pick in his draft and managed 1,400 yards in 3 seasons before retiring with a knee condition, or Blair Thomas, who was the #2 overall pick in his draft and managed 2,000 total yards in his first four seasons with the Jets before retiring two years later. Like I said, Penn State has had some spectacular RB flameouts in the pros, it's been awhile since they produced the Curt Warner's or Franco Harris's. But I wouldn't put that on Carter, he had some pretty terrible luck.

Anyway, I think Helu is probably a better running back speed wise, but I think Royster may be a better fit for Shanahan's system. Either way, I'm just glad we have some youth at the position so we can have this debate.

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Anyway, I think Helu is probably a better running back speed wise, but I think Royster may be a better fit for Shanahan's system. Either way, I'm just glad we have some youth at the position so we can have this debate.

Helu fits the way Clinton Portis did coming out of Miami. Royster fits the way Olandis Gary did before him. Shanahan can get production out of different types of backs, which makes me just as glad as you are to have some younger backs on the team. I'll always be a Portis fan but his wheels came off a long time ago.

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Helu fits the way Clinton Portis did coming out of Miami. Royster fits the way Olandis Gary did before him. Shanahan can get production out of different types of backs, which makes me just as glad as you are to have some younger backs on the team. I'll always be a Portis fan but his wheels came off a long time ago.

First portis is faster then helu, and he has a more physical style of play then portis did out college. he is also 6'0 220 and portis was 5'10 203 out of college. Helu and portis are not very simular back. portis is alot faster then helu and helu is a perfect one cut runner. royster looks like it could be a boom or bust production.

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First portis is faster then helu, and he has a more physical style of play then portis did out college. he is also 6'0 220 and portis was 5'10 203 out of college. Helu and portis are not very simular back. portis is alot faster then helu and helu is a perfect one cut runner. royster looks like it could be a boom or bust production.

I remember Shanny saying that Helu and Royster reminded him of Portis and Terrell Davis (can't remember which one was which). Now, that could be a fluff piece, but Shanny does have a history of finding good backs everywhere in the draft, and Portis and Davis are his two best RBs. I don't think Shanny would make those comparisons lightly. If he were just fluffing, he could have compared them to one of the "lesser" productive backs he's found.

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