There is a new sheriff in town for the Washington Redskins as Jay Gruden is set to put his stamp on the organization sooner rather than later. Gruden comes from the Cincinnati Bengals, where the then-offensive coordinator helped to pioneer one of the best offenses in the NFL. Cincinnati fans know all about Gruden’s two-running back system as the Bengals truly featured a split backfield in 2014.
Both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard thrived in Gruden’s offense last year, and the Redskins hoping the same will be true for Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. for years to come. Morris is definitely the more polished and potent of the two Skins’ backs, but Helu Jr. still brings quite a bit to the table.
I fully expect Washington’s new head coach to use Helu Jr. much more in 2014 as the second-string running back only had 62 carries last season. By comparison, Bernard of the Bengals rushed for nearly 700 yards on 170 carries in 2014. A jolt in Helu Jr.’s production would surely help the Redskins’ offense as a whole considering it was incredibly one-dimensional under Mike and Kyle Shanahan.
Entering a contract year, many eyes will be on Helu Jr. as the 25-year-old looks to prove himself as one of the top back-up running backs in the game. With the help of Gruden, it’s likely that Washington’s running attack will rank out as one of the NFL’s best upon season’s end.