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New Faces Making An Impact On Offense


The Redskins have received surprising contributions from unheralded players on offense this season.

And it could signal the start of a youth movement at several key positions.

Running backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams have stepped up with Clinton Portis sidelined due to a groin injury.

Torain, a second-year player who spent the first two weeks on the Redskins' practice squad, leads the offense with 391 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 91 carries. He also has eight catches for 55 yards and one touchdown.

Williams has emerged as a third-down and late-game option for coaches. He has rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and has caught 14 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong is third on the team in catches with 17 and has claimed a starting job opposite Santana Moss. He replaced veteran Joey Galloway in the lineup.

Torain, Williams and Armstrong first impressed in last off-season's workouts, coaches say.

"Before we got here, we didn't know all of them," offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. "They surprised us right away. For them to make our team, we expected them to do this. You can't have guys making your team that you are not confident in.

"We were hoping they would play this well – and they have. We expect them to continue to get better."

Armstrong, a first-year player, has seemingly come from nowhere to make an impact on offense.

He has had stints with something called the Intense Football League in Texas and played for the Dallas Desperadoes of the Arena Football League.

A year ago, the 5-11, 185-pound receiver quietly went about his business as a member of the Redskins' practice squad.

Now he holds court in a weekly media session next to his locker.

Armstrong said he was using this week's bye to reflect on what he has accomplished so far and look ahead to the second half of the season.


"It gives you an opportunity to see what you've done and see where you want to go," he said. "You can reevaluate your goals halfway through the season and do what you have to do to take that next step.

Williams, an undrafted rookie out of LSU, said that he focuses daily on improving his game.

"The things that stick out for me the most are the things that you do wrong," he said. "But that's why I'm here. It's my job to get better."

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