The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va., Steve DeShazo column
|By Steve DeShazo, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Va.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Barring injury, most of the team's starters are practically set. That's especially true of the offensive skill positions that are near and dear to new coach
No one's going to usurp their roles if they stay healthy. For the first time in a while, though, there seem to be qualified candidates behind them as well.
"When the starters are out, the coaches want to see that the game remains the same,"
"I think that's what we showed tonight."
Robinson certainly did his part in a 23-6 preseason win over <org value="SL/nfl.newe.patr" idsrc="xmltag.org">New England. The third-year receiver scored
Robinson (three catches for 45 yards) and impressive rookie
Robinson's reputation is as a speed demon who does little well except run fly patterns. Thursday's performance may help change that perception.
He nearly hauled in a touchdown pass from Griffin on
"I was known as fast guy," Robinson said. "As you can see tonight, I can run routes and catch the ball. Consistency is key and I'm still trying to work on that."
At the very least, Robinson and Grant (who caught 196 passes at
There's a similar dynamic at running back: Morris is the unquestioned starter and
Rookies Lache Seastrunk (12 carries, 63 yards) and
"Yeah, I was impressed with both of them," Gruden said. "You know, Redd between the tackles, he's a good power runner. He's got great vision. He's shown [that] in practice so far and we want to see him carry it over into the game and it did today. Lache is obviously known for his big play ability."
Again, neither is a threat to start. But they'll push Helu--who also looked fast and shifty--for the backup spot and third-down duty.
"We'd like to have thunder and lightning, so to speak, or just have a couple thunders--it doesn't matter," Gruden said. "I think Alfred is going to get his bulk of carries and he's going to need to have a rest every now and then, and whoever that guy is--whether it's Roy, whether it's Silas, whether it's Lache, whether it's
There's still three weeks of practice and three more exhibition games before Gruden has to make that call. It may be a little more difficult a choice than previous
"There's definitely a lot of competition," said Redd, an undrafted free agent from
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