It's impressive that Silas Redd is still around. In fact, it's amazing Washington opted to sign the undrafted running back in the first place.
After all, Redd has joined a position group already featuring Morris, Helu, Thompson, Seastrunk and Evan Royster. Yet Redd still earned some carries along with Seastrunk in the preseason opener.
He averaged a more than respectable five yards on nine carries. It was a positive effort, although Mike Jones of The Washington Post was quick to add a caveat:
Redd looked good late in the preseason opener, but he was going against third-stringers, and other players who won’t be in the league in a couple of weeks. For these players, pass protection and special teams play is just as important as is the ability to run and catch.
Jones believes Gruden will be hard-pressed to keep four running backs around. That scenario certainly puts a player like Redd in jeopardy of not making the final roster.
However, CSNWashington.com reporter Rich Tandler has offered a different viewpoint. Tandler believes it's possible Gruden could keep as many as five runners on the roster.
The emphasis is added. Gruden has said previously that he is looking forward to what fullback Darrel Young can do in his offense so Young, Morris, Helu are locks. Gruden said that they are looking for two more so it looks like the plan is to carry five total running backs.
That would mean that Royster, rookies Lache Seastrunk and Silas Redd, and second-year back Chris Thompson are competing for two roster spots, not just one as some suspect.
Of course, Redd would need three more very positive showings during preseason to be one of the two supporting players Gruden is seeking. Like the others at his position, Redd has good zone-running skills.
He can make quick cuts but does run a little too upright. However, there's a power aspect to his game that neither Thompson nor Seastrunk or even Helu can offer.
The current rookie reports prove that the team didn't acquire any obvious difference-makers among its first-year crop this offseason. Instead, the draft process was all about adding depth to a roster that was reduced to its bare bones during the ill-fated Mike Shanahan era.
That's the best that can be expected from this year's rookies. For some, such as Murphy, a key role as a useful substitute awaits. For many of the rest, bolstering the special teams will be a less glamorous but arguably just as important contribution to a rebuilding team.