NFL Running Back Roy Helu
NFL Washington Redskins Roy Helu, rookie running back, propelled his team to a win against the Seahawks. After overcoming a couple of interceptions, a blocked field goal, a blocked extra point all while being down by 10 points in the fourth-quarter, head coach Mike Shanahan watched the team’s six-game losing streak end on the road with a 23-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. A game that Seattle needed in order to stay on course for a playoff berth of their own. The victory gives the 4-7 Redskins some hope. Maybe faith would be a better word here. Faith that they are on course during this re-building period that the team is on course.
“Any time you fight back like we did, you feel good about your football team,” said a grinning Shanahan, whose team last won at St. Louis on Oct. 2. “It’s nice to get a win. It’s nice to do it that way.”
Rookie running back Roy Helu rushed for a 28-yard touchdown with 9 minutes 51 seconds left, hurdling Seahawks defensive back Roy Lewis and highlighting a career day that had 23 carries for 108 yards and his first career touchdown. Helu’s personal-best 108 yards rushing (with a 4.7-yard average) in only his second career start with seven receptions for 54 yards, Helu did much more than simply play well. He continued to provide answers to one of the many questions on the Redskins’ long list. Can he be a featured back with the Redskins? I bet he kept that ball!
Helu has shown definite improvement in executing the Redskins’ protection schemes, allowing Shanahan to determine “He was ready. He was ready to play a full game in protection against a good defensive team.” Pass protection is key when making any type of offensive run. Sure a runner can hit his holes and make catches out of the backfield, but the true test is picking up the blitz and showing consistency on blocking schemes.
“Right where their DB was, where I hurdled him at, was the first-down marker, and I just wanted to make sure I got it,” said Helu, who started for only the second time this season. “I didn’t care if the safety came over and killed me in the air. I knew I’d get the first down with forward progress. I came down and ended up breaking the tackle.” That was a great play for the young rookie, but in this league you kind of expect that from your starting running back. If a running back is not contributing and making plays, you can expect to see them on the bench.
The Redskins still have a ways to go on offense, which starts with a new QB and O-Line. Maybe losing out the rest of the season and giving the younger guys some valuable playing time, might increase the chances of landing that quarterback of the future?