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SI.com: Banks - Hightower sees chance to really hit ground running in Washington


Califan007

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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/don_banks/08/11/tim.hightower.redskins/index.html?sct=nfl_t11_a1

Even if the Washington Redskins really are as set at quarterback as they believe they are with the unheralded John Beck and the lightly appreciated Rex Grossman on the top two rungs of the depth chart, this is a team that has to run the ball, and run it with authority if it's going to compete with the quarterback-led offenses that dominate the NFC East (see Michael Vick, Eli Manning and Tony Romo sits to pee).

And that's why it's not a stretch to say the newest Redskins running back, Tim Hightower, might just be one of the most consequential players in the division this season, because a good bit of Washington's fortunes are going to be riding on his 25-year-old shoulders...

...Beck, the odds-on favorite to win the Redskins' starting quarterback job at some point early this season, told me he was outside Shanahan's office the day the Hightower trade went down, and he described his head coach as more than just "pleased'' with the move.

"He had a big smile on his face coming out of there, because he felt like this guy is going to fit really well,'' Beck said. "After 27 years of doing this, he knows the kind of running back who fits this run game. And I'll tell you from a player's standpoint, he's had a couple runs this week where the players on the sidelines turn and look at each other like, 'I think we found a guy who's going to fit really well.' ''

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I don't care if it's preseason hype or not. I love hearing these stories. I wonder which RB's make the team. Gotta think Hightower and Torain are locks.

I don't think Torain is a lock. I don't think he's as talented as Hightower, Helu, Royster, and K. Williams are. He also misses a lot of time. It'd come down to Torain versus Royster for the third HB spot if we keep two FBs and Williams makes the depth chart at that position.

I'd go into the year expecting a Hightower and Helu platoon with Helu in sub packages as a speed threat.

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I don't think Torain is a lock. I don't think he's as talented as Hightower, Helu, Royster, and K. Williams are. He also misses a lot of time. It'd come down to Torain versus Royster for the third HB spot if we keep two FBs and Williams makes the depth chart at that position.

I'd go into the year expecting a Hightower and Helu platoon with Helu in sub packages as a speed threat.

I think he's much more talented than K Williams. I agree he's not a lock though. Especially with his injury history.

But yeah, I think the only thing holding Hightower back from blowing up here is his ball security issues. I've already heard that he's had some fumbles in camp. That's not good. They should give Tiki a deal just to show him how to hold the ball. (Then cut his ass of course.)

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I think alot of people forget how good Torain was for us, they see new names and jump on the invisible bandwagon just cause they have hope. The James Davis bandwagon did not last long either!! Torain is a beast!! The yards after contact was very impressive!! With more speedy young backs and Hightower with Torain subbin, it should be a brutal combo, that can set up small secure passes!!!

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I think alot of people forget how good Torain was for us, they see new names and jump on the invisible bandwagon just cause they have hope. The James Davis bandwagon did not last long either!! Torain is a beast!! The yards after contact was very impressive!! With more speedy young backs and Hightower with Torain subbin, it should be a brutal combo, that can set up small secure passes!!!

Torain really wasn't that good last season. He was ranked 30th in DYAR and DVOA last season by FO and that's about in line with a first string HB with his production. He was no more valuable than any league average replacement.

More improtantly, I think he's got flaws in his skillset he demonstrated last season. He runs like a small back in trying to create for himself laterally but he's not quick. Simultaneously, he looks for contact and tries to run over people even though he's not big. He's a tweener that might lack the bulk, base strength, and decisiveness to become a bruising one cut runner that's a prototype of Shanahan's previous offenses.

The coaching staff never completely trusted him either and never gave him the carries you'd expect despite the fact that our QBs were struggling and our line had year long problems in pass pro.

---------- Post added August-12th-2011 at 02:25 AM ----------

I think he's much more talented than K Williams. I agree he's not a lock though. Especially with his injury history.

But yeah, I think the only thing holding Hightower back from blowing up here is his ball security issues. I've already heard that he's had some fumbles in camp. That's not good. They should give Tiki a deal just to show him how to hold the ball. (Then cut his ass of course.)

I think Williams is bigger, stronger, quicker, and catches better. Williams has a somewhat rare skillset and body type. Torain has pretty average NFL measurements and he has pretty average vision (which might be generous given how indecisive he looked at times).

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Torain really wasn't that good last season. He was ranked 30th in DYAR and DVOA last season by FO and that's about in line with a first string HB with his production. He was no more valuable than any league average replacement.

More improtantly, I think he's got flaws in his skillset he demonstrated last season. He runs like a small back in trying to create for himself laterally but he's not quick. Simultaneously, he looks for contact and tries to run over people even though he's not big. He's a tweener that might lack the bulk, base strength, and decisiveness to become a bruising one cut runner that's a prototype of Shanahan's previous offenses.

The coaching staff never completely trusted him either and never gave him the carries you'd expect despite the fact that our QBs were struggling and our line had year long problems in pass pro.

---------- Post added August-12th-2011 at 02:25 AM ----------

I think Williams is bigger, stronger, quicker, and catches better. Williams has a somewhat rare skillset and body type. Torain has pretty average NFL measurements and he has pretty average vision (which might be generous given how indecisive he looked at times).

Ahh, you guys read too many stats, I remember our team getting stuffed in every aspect of the game, then Torain would bust one open for a first down keeping our D off the field for at least a few more minutes. I'm just tired of you stat readers. I had to defend myself for hours back in Jan of 2010 about how I knew Hanesworth was a peice of S#$T and everyone wanted to talk about stats on that issue. NUF said!! It's not just about size, speed, stats. HEART and willingness and being a good teammate are 99% of football!!!

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I think Williams is bigger, stronger, quicker, and catches better. Williams has a somewhat rare skillset and body type. Torain has pretty average NFL measurements and he has pretty average vision (which might be generous given how indecisive he looked at times).

I don't see it. I think Williams is a borderline NFL RB and I wouldn't be surprised if he's completely out of the league in the next year or two.

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I think Williams is bigger, stronger, quicker, and catches better. Williams has a somewhat rare skillset and body type. Torain has pretty average NFL measurements and he has pretty average vision (which might be generous given how indecisive he looked at times).

I gotta say, I must strongly disagree with you here. I don't think there is a single soul watching these two guys play who would even come close to saying the same thing, no offense. :)

The only thing of truth you probably said in that statement was that Williams is bigger and that he catches better. However, he doesn't play bigger than Torain. He's definitely not stronger when he runs, as Torain is much harder to bring down once he lowers his pads. I honesty think Torain is stronger in the hips, or his core in general, where Keiland is especially weak as he can be brought down easily from up high as well. There's no way you can say Keiland is quicker... not after watching even one game on film. It's not even close. Torain is a thousand times more explosive than Keiland on the field. I don't know about 40 times, but it's painfully obvious when watching them.

Torain is simply more explosive in general, and to prove that I'll ask you this: How many times has Torain ran over a would-be tackler and how many times has Keiland? If you watched the games, it's not even close... Torain does it all the time whereas Keiland never has.

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I gotta say, I must strongly disagree with you here. I don't think there is a single soul watching these two guys play who would even come close to saying the same thing, no offense. :)

While I don't think Torrain is special back I think he's decent, when healthy.

Here's what I see:

He likes to keep the play frontside he's not looking to cutback, which limits the explosive runs he can make (on his own) in this scheme.

I also think Torrain is right not to look for the cutback because he doesn't cutback very well, which might be because of his upright running style and stiff hips.

He also lacks the top end speed to exploit the huge holes when then happen.

Torrain's best ability is that for some reason he's hard to bring down, he doesn't have wiggle and it doesn't it look like he's running hard, but he's breaks tackles and keeps his feet moving.

Torrain success as a runner comes from trusting/being dependent on the OL and his somewhat bizarre ability to stay up.

And at a 4.5 ypc carry clip he's not a bad back.

I like Keiland more then Torrain also, but Keiland is a young back who needs playing time (that he didn't get) to build confidence.

Where Torrain lacks the ability and imo is right not to make aggressive cutback moves; I think Keiland does have the ability but lacks the confidence that comes with experience to make those risky cutbacks.

I think Keiland has better lateral movement and agility and therefore has the potential to be more then a frontside runner.

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I liked the way Keiland ran since training camp, I think there's potential there.

He reminds me of a Travis Henry.

KW has good timed speed but doesn't know how to use it yet and hasn't found the groove as RB that comes from getting a bulk of carries.

If this makes sense to you: I don't think he has the confidence to take chances as runner.

The result is an efficient no non-sense 'get what you get' type of running style that is almost fullbackesque.

I thought Keiland desereved more carries then what he got, it seemed that they were reluctant to give him more carries and he needs carries.

The bulk of his carries came behind a makeshift OL in the Titans game and he picked up the few hard yards that were there to be had.

I was excited to see Davis get some carries but that didn't happen either.

We just didn't run the ball enough and give the guys enough meaningful carries to know.

---------- Post added April-9th-2011 at 11:27 PM ----------

---------- Post added August-12th-2011 at 04:50 AM ----------

Anyone else get all giddy like a little girl when reading that?
Hells yeah.

I've been giddy about Hightower ever sinced we signed him, signing him is one of my favorite moves all offseason.

I think he's instantly our most talented and best scheme fit RB.

I can't wait to see him running in the zone scheme after Bobby Turner coaches him up.

I just hope we run the ball enough to get Helu some carries I'm excited to see Helu tote the rock too.

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Anyone else get all giddy like a little girl when reading that?

Over Tim Hightower? No, it's all hype at this point. I'll believe it when I see it.

---------- Post added August-12th-2011 at 10:14 AM ----------

I don't see it. I think Williams is a borderline NFL RB and I wouldn't be surprised if he's completely out of the league in the next year or two.

There's a reason why he has a higher listing at FB than RB on the current depth chart.

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