It’s taken a while for Redskins running back Derrius Guice to get doctored up. But now that he’s fully healthy, he’s just what the doctor ordered.
The Washington Redskins are aiming to mold their offense around the run again in 2019. It’s not an efficient mode of offense, but in 2018, they were good enough at their ugly brand of football to win a few close games. With a passing attack featuring plenty of moving pieces, and with his job on the line, Jay Gruden will defer to the hardy ground attack.
Last season, it was Adrian Peterson carrying the load for the Redskins, and he performed admirably, eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in his age-33 season. But as inspiring as Peterson’s reign was, it was only meant to be temporary. Because, as people would say before they learned Derrius Guice‘s last name didn’t rhyme with “Juice”…
The Guice is loose.
Guice hit the field for the first time since tearing his ACL on Thursday, and en route to an 11-carry, 44-yard showing, he displayed all of the traits that made him a #DraftTwitter darling last offseason. Vision, patience, burst, contact balance, lateral quickness, an alpha attitude. Guice has the complete tool box. Mislabeled as a power back by some, Guice’s full profile rivaled Saquon Barkley for the RB1 moniker at times. His contact balance is his most supreme trait, however, as I wrote in his draft evaluation last year.
Guice cruises through contact. It isn’t uncommon to see him carrying one to three defenders on his back while gaining extra yards. Guice’s balance is matched by a mere few in this draft class. He has the uncanny ability to stay on his feet and keep the play alive, something Washington Redskins running backs have struggled with in recent years. He has the lateral quickness to keep his opportunities alive, and he has the brute strength to capitalize.
I’d like to think my writing’s gotten better since then, but nothing about Guice has changed. He’s still a hard-nosed, quick-footed Swiss army knife at running back, and as long as he can stay healthy, he’s the complete offensive weapon that Jay Gruden has been longing for.
Will Guice win games for the Redskins? Probably not. He won’t have as much utility when playing with a deficit. But for the offensive philosophy Jay Gruden stubbornly clings to, Guice is stubbornly superior to his opponents. And if it doesn’t lead to wins, the highlight tapes should still be pretty entertaining.