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Young running backs Torain, Williams battling together for Redskins

August 9, 2010 - 05:48 PM
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Ryan Torain is fighting for a spot in a backfield that already includes three proven running backs. (AP Photo)

When the Washington Redskins concluded their evening walk-through Monday, the majority of the players headed to the locker room, but underdog running backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams stayed on the field a bit longer.

Torain, a second-year player, who played two games for the Denver Broncos under Mike Shanahan in 2008, and Williams, an undrafted rookie out of LSU, were drilling each other on special teams techniques. Each is aware that given their inexperience, versatility -- including strong special teams ability -- is the key.

So far, Torain and Williams have displayed both as they hope to land a spot on the regular season roster although Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker are also their teammates in preseason.

 "It’s really no pressure because Ryan and myself can’t control what Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson and Willie Parker do," says the 5-11, 230-pound Williams. "We have to control what we can control, and that’s giving the best effort possible day in and day out and know that the coaches are evaluating.

"There are three good backs in front of us, and they all do something different," Williams continued. "So the goal for myself is show I can be an every down back, and have all the dimensions and being complete, even picking up blitzes in the passing game."

Although Shanahan said the depth chart is far from concrete and is likely to change throughout the preseason, when the Redskins released their current depth chart, Portis and Johnson were first and second, respectively, Torain was third, and Parker and Williams shared the fourth spot.

Torain and Williams have both looked good both carrying the ball and receivers out of the backfield. Helping their case is the fact that both play special teams (playing as return men on kickoffs) while their elder teammates do not.

When asked about holding the third spot, the 6-1, 218-pound Torain was surprised. "I didn't know that," he said.

He appeared unfazed, fully aware that things quickly change in the NFL.

"You just have to bring everything you got, give 110 percent effort, work hard, compete and everything will take care of itself," Torain said. "I’m trying to compete and play well on special teams. It’s very important, take every opportunity you get and not slack off."

Notes -- Right tackle Jammal Brown, who hasn't practiced since last Tuesday and was held out of this morning's practice because of a sore hip, was working with the first team during this evening's walk-through. ... The Redskins have the bulk of their offensive playbook installed, but continue to refine things. This evening they worked on their two-minute drill package.

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