Brock Forsey may be far down on the depth chart at running back, but that doesn't mean he's backing down from competition this offseason.
Forsey signed with the Redskins on May 5, complementing a running back corps that included starter Clinton Portis and likely backup Ladell Betts. It's expected that Forsey will compete for playing time during training camp with fourth-year player Rock Cartwright, NFL Europe returnee Dahrran Diedrick and undrafted rookie Jonathan Combs.
Forsey, 5-11 and 208 pounds, has used the last few weeks of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) to learn the Redskins' offense. It is his third offensive system in three years; he played for the Chicago Bears in 2003 and the Miami Dolphins in 2004.
"It's a similar offense to what I've played in the past, so I should adapt pretty quick to the system," he said. "I've used these last three weeks [of OTAs] to get the offense down so that when I get into training camp, I'll be able to go out there and play full speed."
With Portis the starter at running back, Forsey knows he is competing for a backup role on the offense. He hopes to make a good impression with Gibbs and running backs coach Earnest Byner during the June 17-19 mini-camp and training camp in late July.
"Anytime you can do something to stand out to the coaching staff, that's what you need to do," he said. "When you have guys like Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts in front of you, there's not a whole lot of opportunity there. You definitely want to stand out and make plays--give coaches a reason to keep you on the roster."
The competition will carry over to special teams, where Forsey will also compete with Cartwright and others for playing time on kick and punt return coverage units. When the Redskins signed Forsey, head coach Joe Gibbs made a point to mention that Forsey was a quality special teams addition.
Forsey is a former walk-on at Boise State, where he became the second leading rusher in school history with 4,045 yards on a school-record 813 carries.
Forsey was a sixth-round draft choice by the Bears in 2003 and was a surprise contributor as a rookie, logging 50 carries for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Forsey also caught three passes for 37 yards.
The Bears brought in a new coaching staff in 2004 and Forsey didn't seem to fit in the new offensive system. He was released prior to the start of the season and caught on with the Miami Dolphins. As a reserve, he had 19 carries for 53 yards.
"With both of those programs, my rookie year in Chicago I ended up doing well as a rookie and then our coaching staff ended up getting released," Forsey said. "The new staff brought some new running backs in and I think that kind of hurt my chances on the Bears.
"Last year in Miami, it was the same thing. The coaches changed and we had guys coming in and out. The Dolphins drafted a running back [Auburn's Ronnie Brown] in the first round, so it wasn't a good situation for me as far as playing time was concerned. To be in camp here as opposed to Miami, where there are seven running backs and they're running a completely new system, I think here is a better opportunity for me."