Monday, May 14, 2012

Why Sign Hightower?

After the success that Roy Helu Jr. and Evan Royster had last season, the Redskins still went out and drafted a running back, Alfred Morris from FAU, in the later rounds of the draft this year. Now, just last night, the Redskins signed yet another running back. They resigned Tim Hightower to a one-year contract.

When you look at the overall picture of the Redskins, it can lead many to wonder whether or not the resigning of Hightower was necessary since technically they do have three running backs already on roster. However, looks can be deceiving.

First off, expect Alfred Morris to take on more of a fullback roll. Despite the fact that Darrell Young was one of the NFL's best fullbacks last season, Morris could still give Young a run for his money and playing time this fall.

So, after breaking it a down a little bit, we see that the Redskins really only had two running backs that would most likely see the field: Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr.

Now, the signing of Tim Hightower makes a little more sense. While it may seem silly to have three running backs on the roster, it does makes sense to have a safety net.

Roy Helu Jr. is for certain going to be the starting running back of the Washington Redskins next season. He was dominant last season and asserted himself as the starter once Tim Hightower went down with an ACL tear in his knee.

Let's look at who would be backing up Roy Helu Jr. Before the signing, it was safe to assume that Evan Royster would be the back up. In the Redskins zone running offense, you need to have two quality running backs in order for it to work most efficiently. Royster was decent, but, didn't quite get his running legs under him until late in the season.

Hightower, however, was solid from the get-go. He began the season as the teams number one running back and the combination of Hightower/Helu really gave teams a headache. Last September, the Redskins averaged over 100 yards rushing per game.

The month following Hightower's season ending injury, November, the Redskins averaged just 70 yards rushing per game.

Keeping Hightower is definitely the right move for the Redskins. He and Helu really have a grip on the zone running scheme and should give defenses fits coming out of the backfield.