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Wendell Smallwood Believes He Can Provide The Redskins With A 'Little Mix Of Everything'


Need someone to play any of the four special teams? Or run between the tackles? Or maybe catch the ball out of the backfield?

Wendell Smallwood is confident he can assume all of these roles, and he's willing to do any of them if it means seeing the field in Washington.

"It's a little mix of everything," Smallwood told reporters Monday, fewer than 24 hours after the Redskins claimed the fourth-year running back off waivers. "If you're going to put me on the field in certain situations, I think there's no situation I can't play in. However it goes, they'll figure out my role -- that's their job -- and I'll be ready to go."

The 5-foot-10, 208-pound Smallwood came over from Philadelphia, where he spent his first three NFL seasons before the Eagles released him during final roster cuts on Aug. 31.

Smallwood appeared in 37 games (12 starts) for the Redskins' NFC East rival and proved himself to be a dual threat out of the backfield -- running for 850 yards on 211 carries while adding 47 catches for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns. He also served as a viable kick returner.

Smallwood was not surprised by his release -- he felt as though the Eagles "were going in a different direction" -- and said there are no hard feelings between himself and his former franchise. He won a Super Bowl there, and the team means a lot to him.

That being said, Smallwood is not complaining about the trip to Philadelphia for the regular season opener Sunday.

"They kind of couldn't get rid of me in a sense, so I'm excited to go play them," he said. "I'm excited to go whoop on my old teammates."

Head coach Jay Gruden said the Redskins claimed Smallwood primarily for his special teams abilities, which forced out fellow running back and special teams contributor Byron Marshall, who was released Sunday. Smallwood is one of four running backs on the 53-man roster, joining Adrian Peterson, Derrius Guice and Chris Thompson.

Despite arriving at Redskins Park this morning, Smallwood has already begun assimilating himself within the position group. He talked briefly with Thompson about being a third-down back and cherishes the chance work alongside Peterson. "It's like a cheat code right next to me in the classroom, on the field, off the field," Smallwood said of Peterson. "I'm just trying to pick his brain as much as I could, and that's the same thing I did with Darren Sproles when I was in Philly."

Above all, though, Smallwood is just happy to have found a new home.

"I'm very excited," Smallwood said. "It's a good situation, it's a great team, it's a a great organization. I know the history with the Redskins and ready to go to work."

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