Derrius Guice believes the Redskins can eventually be special as long as everyone buys in

Ethan Cadeaux

It's hard for Redskins fans to be optimistic right now. The team is 1-9, they fired their head coach earlier this season, and they just ended a 16-quarter touchdown drought.

Redskins running back Derrius Guice understands that. He feels the fans' frustration.

But he also believes the Burgundy and Gold are capable of turning it around, as long as everyone buys into the process.

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"We are going to get it going eventually," Guice told JP Finlay in a 1-on-1 interview on the Redskins Talk podcast. "We just have to get everybody bought into it and everybody has to get focused. We have to kill all the mental mistakes. It's going to be a great team. People don't understand that."

Last Sunday, in his first game back since suffering a torn meniscus in Washington's Week 1 loss to the Eagles, Guice found the end zone for the first time in his NFL career. Although he played just 29 percent of the Redskins offensive snaps against the Jets, it didn't take much for the second-year running back to show flashes of what he's capable of.

"I've been doing that," Guice said in response to Finlay mentioning him demonstrating his strength by running over multiple Jets players. "I just got injured, so I couldn't show that. I guess I just couldn't show it in the NFL because of my bad luck. It's going to all surface and I'm going to start turning a lot of heads."

Guice is not the only young Redskins player that has plenty of promise. Rookie pass-catcher Terry McLaurin has already established himself as Washington's No. 1 wide receiver. The third-round pick leads the Redskins in all major receiving categories -- receptions, yards, and touchdowns -- despite playing with three different quarterbacks in 2019.

And of course, there's rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. In his first two starts, Haskins has not been impressive. He's had his growing pains and was unable to get the Redskins offense into any sort of rhythm on Sunday before the fourth quarter, when Washington was already down 31 points. But he's also shown a few glimpses, of why Washington invested a first-round pick in him, and given fans some hope moving forward. It's still way too early to write Haskins off, and his teammates agree.

"He's done a great job for what position he's being put in. My hats off to him," offensive tackle Donald Penn said Sunday on Haskins. "He's working hard, and you can tell. He's trying to win. Everybody wants to win."

Sunday was the first time that all three members of the Redskins young offensive trio were on the field at the same time. All three are expected to be important members of the team's future, and potential turnaround, of the franchise.

"It could be special. We are putting all the pieces together. We just have to all buy into it," Guice said. "This whole team could be special. We just have to eliminate the mental errors. Like I said before, we just have to eliminate that and we'll all be fine."

Guice repeatedly mentioned the mental errors that have been killing the Redskins. Washington is in the top third of most penalized teams in the league (no team has had fewer penalties called against their opponent than Washington, as well). Communication, meanwhile, is a weekly issue on both sides of the ball.

Last week, Haskins was captured on the sideline asking his offensive lineman how he could help them. The rookie was sacked six times, with a few due to miscommunications involving protection between the QB and his O-Line. On the defensive side of the ball, the secondary has been due for multiple coverage breakdowns every week

So, how does that change happen now? For Guice, it starts at the top.

"Leaders have to step up, man. We got captains, the captains have to step up," Guice said. "Even if that's stopping practice, stopping a period saying, 'Hey, we have to pick it up.' Or the leaders stepping up whenever we have an offsides or false start. It all starts in practice and it's going to [translate] to the game. You can't do something wrong all week in practice and expect it to change when the game comes. It just doesn't work like that."

Guice seems determined to turn the ship around. Multiple Redskins teammates have praised Haskins for his drive to be better. Now, Washington must put the pieces together on the field, eliminate the mental mistakes, and let everything else work itself out.


Derrius Guice believes the Redskins can eventually be special as long as everyone buys in originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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