Redskins would be smart to split carries between Derrius Guice, Adrian Peterson
The Washington Redskins have a pretty loaded backfield at the moment. Running backs coach Randy Jordan wants to see Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson split carries.
For the first time in quite a while, the Redskins have a very deep running back room. They will likely keep four backs on the roster, and all of the players they are considering have talent in one way or another. But still, the two biggest names on the roster are Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson.
Guice, a former second-round pick out of LSU, was expected to emerge as the lead back last season before suffering a torn ACL in the preseason. Peterson was then signed to help replace him and ran for over 1,000 yards in his first season in Washington.
The presence of both of these solid (or potentially solid) lead backs, there has been some debate about who should get a lion’s share of the carries. But in a recent story by ESPN’s John Keim, Redskins running backs coach Randy Jordan made it clear that he is looking for the players to split carries and that they both could have important roles in the backfield.
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"“They’re both different, but they’re both explosive,” Jordan said. “Ideally, you’d like to see a 50-50 or 60-40 [split]. But the thing is, all those guys can play on first, second or third down. What Adrian brings is his wealth of knowledge, being able to go out and show a guy like Guice how to work and go about his business.”"
That’s exactly why Peterson was brought back. He will be able to help mentor Guice and ease him into action as he continues to recover from the ACL injury. But, as Peterson demonstrated last season, he still has something left in the tank. So, getting him about half the carries at least to start the season seems like a sensible move.
Jordan also spoke of the potential of a split extending Peterson’s career. Needless to say, he’s a fan of the idea, per Keim.
"“Yes it can,” Jordan said of extending Peterson’s career. “There’s no question the man has taken a lot of hits, but also delivered a lot. The thing I’m trying to get them to understand: All you guys can feed off each other. It allows them to come to the sidelines and see the whole game in a different light.”"
And this makes a lot of sense. While Peterson was good as the lead back last year, he has touched the ball an insane 3,097 times during his career. Usually, running backs start to slow down when they reach the 2,000 mark, but the future Hall of Famer is just built differently. Still, entering his age-34 season, it would be smart for him to split carries, as it will keep him fresher down the stretch.
In short, if the Redskins do try to split carries between these two players to start the season, it would be a smart move. It would maximize the talent they have at the position, limit the workloads of Peterson and Guice, and it would keep opposing teams guessing, especially if the duo can continue to make plays as receivers. We’ll see if the team executes this plan at least early on in the season.