As the only fullback on the Redskins roster, Joe Kerridge knows he'll need to prove himself in a role that is quickly dying out.
Offering further proof that the position is trending obsolete within the NFL, the Redskins took just one designated fullback with them to training camp this year.
As the player both blessed and burdened by that unique positional situation, Joe Kerridge has maintained a steady approach to the new realities of his diminished offensive role as he wraps up his first week of training camp.
"I think the biggest thing that's been stressed is don't look at the future," Kerridge said. "You never know where it's going to be. We had some really good messages and talks to us about how you're one play away from retirement, and that strikes hard because you do what you can when you're out here but it can be taken away so quickly. You want to count your blessings and come out here day by day and get it done."
Considering the team decided not to bring back fullback Darrel Young in the offseason, and that head coach Jay Gruden believes tight end Niles Paul will be used in the backfield occasionally this year, Kerridge has little margin for error to make an impression.
Paul, he says, has taken him under his wing and provided him some corrective pointers, and although both of them feel as though they're competing for about five snaps per game, Paul likes what he's seen from Kerridge so far.
"We're learning from each other to be honest with you," Paul said. "I like the way he strikes. I'm trying to learn to strike like him. That's what it's all about. You can learn from anybody…We train together as far as in the weight room with the Redskins, so I know he works hard and like I said, I'm not one of those guys that's going to shut anybody out or anything like that. We both grow and learn together at this position."
Signed as an undrafted college free agent out of Michigan, Kerridge played in 48 games and rushed 18 times for 121 yards and a touchdown for the Wolverines. He also collected 17 receptions for 123 yards, a trait he showed off in Tuesday's practice when he raced down the sideline after catching a swing pass in the flat.
In his four years at Michigan, Kerridge said the offense transitioned from a spread to pro-style offense, and his workload increased steadily. But as he scouts out a spot for himself on the Redskins, he realizes that special teams will likely be his best option to stay on through the fall.
For now he's taking, and cherishing, everything one day and -- more importantly -- one snap at a time.
"I think that just goes back to coming out every day and competing," Kerridge said. "When I have my opportunity I'm going to take it to its full advantage and whether that be on special teams or a few plays on fullback, I'll do whatever for the team."