The Sports Daily > Redskins Hog Heaven
Redskins interest in Ryan Grant raise concerns about backfield

We are putting two plus two together and probably reaching five, but hey, that’s what bloggers do. 

The Insider reported yesterday Washington’s concern about the health of RBs Tim Hightower and Roy Helu. Today, NFL.com picked up on a tweet by Jason LaCanfora that the Redskins are thinking about adding Cedric Benson or Ryan Grant to the roster.

Hightower is coming back from the torn ACL that ended his season early last year. He says he is fully recovered from surgery. The coaching staff is not sure that Helu, my personal favorite of Redskins backs, is durable enough for the NFL. Helu sat out most of the offseason OTAs, thanks to nagging injuries.

“Thinking about” is not the same as planning to act. It’s a just in case scenario that every front office must prepare for. Grant (29) is the first choice free agent on a long list of teams noodling the running back question. He would seem the better fit for Mike Shananan’s offense after spending his entire five-year career in Green Bay. On paper, he’s a slightly better receiver out of the backfield than Benson, based on their catch rates. Grant caught 79 percent of the passes thrown to him last season, while Benson caught a “mere” 69 percent.

Ryan Grant
Both players are free agents for a reason, and these decisions are not made in isolation. There are questions enough about the right-side interior of the Redskins line that may cause the Redskins to shy away from any power rusher. Benson runs in that style more than Grant.

The Redskins have seven running backs on the training camp roster. Coach Shanahan says competition for a spot on the final roster is wide open.

Jammal Brown

In a surprise to absolutely no one, RT Jammal Brown continues to struggle with his hip. He aggravated his injury while running conditioning sprints. The Redskins placed him on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He can return as soon as he is healthy.

Washington has yet to find a true replacement for Jon Jansen.


Robert Griffin III is as polished as a veteran when it comes to media presence. And, it’s not the blah-blah fluff pieces you get from quarterbacks and coaches. (Joe Gibbs and Mike Shanahan are the best at speaking while saying nothing.) Here’s what I learned from Griffin’s press conference yesterday:

  • “There is no face of the franchise.” − It’s not about me. It’s about the team.
  • “I’m not ‘RG3’ to them. I’m just Robert.” – Fighting the inevitable ego trip.
  • “I don’t set individual goals, so everything I do is based on the team, if we are winning.” – A refreshing contrast to Terrell Owens.

We do not know Griffin 3rd well enough to tell whether these thoughts are genuine. The attitude is consistent with the military officers I’ve met. They are goal-oriented and they are conditioned to work as part of a larger group in a highly disciplined organization (Ugh; 5-sylable word. Sorry) to win. I’m not surprised to hear these thoughts from an Army brat.

For better or worse, Griffin is the face of the Washington Redskins. In six years of sports blogging, I’ve learned that fans root for teams, but they follow players. Hits to blog posts are higher when the headline names a player, rather than a generic team reference. That must be known to ESPN, The WaPOST and p.r. departments at every sports team in existence. “R-G-3” is the new team motto, replacing Dallas Inhales by Mouth.

The Redskins will take a look at FB Dorson Boyce (U/Washington) who they signed yesterday. They created roster room by releasing OL Nevin McKaskill.