Why the Washington Redskins Will Play Quinton Ganther and Sit Marcus Mason
With more players in County General Hospital than at Redskin Park, Skins fans see players they don't know well.
Introducing Quinton Ganther.
"Quinton Ganther is one of those guys every team needs. He's a role player, who is multitalented, a jack of several trades type of player, able to fill several roles.
"As a running back, Ganther is a tough little runner. He's not big or strong enough to gain many yards running off tackle or up the middle, but that's still the best way to use him. He'll mostly get a lot of one and two-yard gains. Ganther isn't quite fast enough to run outside although he did have a long touchdown run in a preseason game a few years ago, when he bounced outside and then outran the bunched up defense.
"He's a decent receiver coming out of the backfield, although it's usually been as a dump-off from the QB. (In the Titans' offense the only designed pass plays to RBs are for Chris Johnson.)
"Ganther's strong suit as a back is his blocking, particularly his pass-blocking. I recall one drill in training camp for the linebackers to rush the quarterback against running backs in pass protection. This drill was set up in a way which gave the linebackers the advantage, but Ganther was still successful in protecting the dummy QB. Ganther was one of only two backs who were able to protect the QB in this drill; the LBs did what they were expected to do against the other RBs.
"The area where Ganther has made the biggest contribution is on special teams. He's effective as a blocker on the kick return and punt return units and can cover kicks and punts as well. Ganther can also be used as a wing on the FG/PAT team.
"Ganther has been the de facto backup fullback for the Titans and can contribute there for you if needed."
"In my opinion, Ganther is a much better all-around football player than Chris Henry, formerly a second-round draft pick by the Titans, who was looked at by the Redskins earlier this season. You're fortunate, you're better off with Ganther than you would have been with Henry. Ganther would have made the Titans final 53-man roster after training camp if not for a leg injury in the final preseason game. We've missed him on special teams, which would have been his role again this year."
Pass blocking and special teams are perceived weaknesses of Marcus Mason, who maintains a strong following in the DC area.
Ganther was first signed to the Redskin roster in October, about the time the Skins released Mason. Ganther, too, was cut only to be resigned November 11.
Mason is back on the roster for his third bite of the apple. The Redskins signed him for his familiarity with the offense. They've made their thoughts about Mason abundantly clear by twice releasing him.
So, we will see more of Ganther Sunday in Philadelphia than of Mason.
Roster moves are a test of the front office. Most of the NFL world has judged Redskin football czar Vinny Cerrato. In-season roster changes are another way to assess the guy.
Redskin fans have to hope Ganther does well even if it makes Cerrato look good.
I'd call that a quandary.
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