There were a handful of moments in 2019 where Washington running back Derrius Guice made everyone go, 'Man, that guy is special.' Just watch his highlights against the Carolina Panthers if you don't believe me.
However, the problem with Guice a season ago was that there were only a handful of moments where the running back displayed his incredible talent.
For the second straight season, Guice was hampered by multiple leg injuries. The running back tore his meniscus in Week 1, causing him to miss Washington's next eight games. In Week 14, Guice suffered another injury to his other knee, the same one he tore the ACL in during the 2018 preseason. The latter injury wasn't nearly as serious, but it did end the running back's sophomore campaign.
Running backs coach Randy Jordan is one of two coaches that have been with Washington since Guice's arrival. And Jordan, like everyone else, is eager to see what Guice can do in a full 16-game season.
"I always tell him this," Jordan said. "'The only thing you did this past year is you were an appetizer, I want the whole steak, I want the whole lobster, I want the whole thing.'"
Guice, too, is eager to show that he can put together a full campaign. He's admitted he's tired of the "soft" label that critics have given him. Last week, he took to Twitter to say he's not messing around anymore in 2020 (and that's putting it lightly).
There's no question the running back is tired of hearing about his injuries. No player likes talking about being hurt.
So, they don't talk about it. Jordan said that the two never focus on Guice's injuries when they speak, rather, they talk about how to keep his body fresh and the best shape possible.
"When you talk about injuries, the biggest thing we do is we don't talk about them," Jordan said. "But we always talk about, 'Hey, let's be smart football players taking care of our body and making sure we're doing all the different things so that when we're ready to go and play, we've built our armor up so that we can take the pounding of the season.'"
Guice knows the NFL is unforgiving about injuries. The NFL is a 'what have you done for me lately?' league. This offseason, the running back has done everything he can to arrive at training camp with his body in the best possible condition.
"The biggest thing I tell him, 'Your best ability is your reliability and your dependability,'" Jordan said. "That's something that he's shown through the offseason. He has worked his butt off and changed his body. So far in terms of what I've seen, he's done a great job of getting himself prepared for this upcoming season."
And when Guice is on the field, he's shown plenty of promise. He's likely only scratched the surface of his potential.
"Derrius has a whole set of tools that a lot of players don't have," Jordan said. "He can catch it, he can run it, he can block. All those things you ask a running back to do and also get the tough yards in the short-yardage situations and make those explosive plays."
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