Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio illustrates how Derrius Guice will enhance pass plays from run-heavy looks.
The influx of rookie running back talent into the NFL is the most promising I’ve seen since publishing the first Rookie Scouting Portfolio in 2006. Washington’s Derrius Guice is one of the headliners. A physical back with excellent footwork and balance, Guice should emerge as the focal point of the Washington ground game, if not the centerpiece of the offense.
I’m among the hundreds who have profiled Guice’s skills. It’s time to frame Guice’s influence on the offense when he doesn’t receive the ball. While there are several ways this will happen, one of the best examples is a run-heavy look with three tight ends and one receiver that sets up a screen pass that’s already in Washington’s playbook.
Guice’s talents as a between-the-tackles runner complement an offense that has success with Vernon Davis and Jordan Reed on the field at the same time. Although Niles Paul has moved to Jacksonville, Jeremy Sprinkle is an emerging talent who blocks well enough to sell the idea of running play. Even the nature of the pre-snap motion to place one of the tight ends as a fullback is a layer of strategy to ingrain the likelihood of the run.
Washington, Jacksonville, and the Los Angeles Rams are all teams that leveraged its power run game and two-tight end sets to create successful passing plays. Look for Washington to have an easier time selling the run as a way to set up the pass with Guice in the backfield.