Marshall’s versatility and Jay Gruden’s comments
What Marshall can provide for the Redskins as the No. 4 back is versatility. Unless injuries become a major issue again, it’s unlikely that he’ll be asked to play a major role on offense. But as a depth player, he could carve out a role in many areas.
The first is obviously that he could help on kick and punt returns. He may not necessarily be the returner on every play, but he has thick build on his 5-foot-9, 201 pound frame. That could allow him to succeed as a blocker and may even as a tackler. So, that could do a lot to get him on the team.
Additionally, Marshall is versatile enough to be a running back or even a slot receiver. Marshall has very good receiving skills, as evidenced from his college tape, and he could be a unique player at that position. He would be an undersized, fast and physical player who could fight for balls and make big plays. He probably won’t see a lot of time there, or at running back for that matter, but as a gadget player who could enter the game in certain packages, that could be valuable.
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It’s also worth noting that Gruden has recently praised Marshall, and said the following of him in a press conference.
"Byron Marshall, I mean, he had a couple great routes today. He’s running the ball between the tackles."
Burgundy Blog recently spoke about Marshall on Twitter as well, and said “I believe Gruden likes him more than most realize, and he’ll be a difficult cut.”
If Marshall can continue to run great routes and impress Gruden in all facets of the game, that may do enough to make him the No. 4 back because the team might want a logical backup to Thompson. With Perine already in place as Guice’s backup, that would be a sensible move.