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Ganther Expected to Start At Running Back

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The Redskins are expected to continue to use a committee approach among their running backs, but signs are pointing toward Quinton Ganther emerging as the starter.

Ganther has showed flashes as he has earned playing time in recent weeks.

Two weeks ago in Philadelphia, he had five carries for 32 yards. Last Sunday vs. New Orleans, he posted eight carries for 46 yards.

"I like his burst through the hole," head coach Jim Zorn said. "He does a nice job, as he runs what we have called, of pressing the hole, and then bursting through it. It's not easy to break down and it's not hard to see that burst."

If Ganther starts as expected, he would replace Rock Cartwright in the lineup.

On Wednesday, Zorn emphasized that Cartwright and Marcus Mason would continue to see carries.

Ganther joined the Redskins on Oct. 20 as a free agent. He has spent the previous two seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Ganther, 5-9 and 214 pounds, views himself as a "utility guy" but he also would welcome a starting role.

"I'm one of those guys you want on your team because I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make it," he said.

He was brought to Washington on the recommendation of offensive coordinator Sherman Smith, who coached Ganther in Tennessee in 2007.

"He knew I could play but I was never given the opportunity because they drafted some running backs high [including LenDale White and Chris Johnson]. That's how it goes--you get a high draft pick, you have to play them.

"We have a good relationship. Even when he came here, we still stayed in contact. He is more of a mentor to me. He takes the time to explain things to me, not just football but in life."

Ganther is the latest running back to start for the Redskins since Clinton Portis went down with a concussion on Nov. 8. Portis was placed on injured reserve this week.

Ladell Betts started two games before suffering a knee ligament injury that landed him on injured reserve as well.

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