As players take their final breaks before training camp, The Redskins Blog will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.
Today, we'll focus on running back Keith Marshall
1. He was the fastest running back in the draft last year:
* *Even with all his injuries in college, Marshall ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash. It was the fastest time of all the running backs in attendance at the NFL Combine, and Redskins head coach Jay Gruden took notice.
Check out images of running back Keith Marshall during his first few months with the Washington Redskins.
"There's no substitute for speed and he's fast. We're excited about that," Gruden said. "It's an element in the backfield that we don't have is that 4.28 40 or 4.31 or whatever it is. Very explosive. Unfortunately has had some injuries in his career, but still, he overcame the injury and ran a very fast time at the combine. [Running backs coach] Randy Jordan knows him extremely well and we decided to take a shot at him and I think it's going to be a great pick."
2. He can offer a lot more than just speed for the Redskins:
Marshall has big expectations for himself coming into his rookie season in the NFL and says he can be on the field at any down and contribute.
"I believe I'm an every-down running back," Marshalll said. "I'm going to come in and work on every aspect of my game. I'm going to try to be the running back they can leave on the field as much as needed."
3. He is good friend with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley:
While they became good friends playing football for the University of Georgia, Marshall and Gurley's friendship goes back even further to their track and field high school days. It was then that Marshall convinced Gurley to go to Georgia. While both competed for playing time at running back, they remained friends throughout that whole process and remain so today.* *
4. He loves running backs coach Randy Jordan's coaching style:
* *"[Coach Jordan's] been awesome so far," he said. "Just because, like I said, we just kind of [were] thrown right into the fire so he's been taking a lot of time to work with us. I like how he teaches us not just what we're doing, but what the linemen are doing and the route concepts and everything so we get a whole picture of what's going on."
5. He had a difficulty journey in getting into the NFL:**
* *Not only did Marshall have to overcome serious injuries like a torn ACL in 2014, he had difficulty seeing the field because of the great players ahead of him. Todd Gurley competed with him for most of his career and was a Heisman trophy contender as well as an eventual first-round pick in the NFL Draft last year. In addition, Nick Chubb -- another other running back-- reeled off 13 consecutive 100 yard games over the course of the last two seasons as well.
"It was a tough journey, but I never lost my goals and my dreams," Marshall said. "Just kept working and trying to push through everything so that one day I would be able to achieve all of those dreams."
6. Scot McCloughan likes that he is relatively fresh compared to most running backs:
*Of course. the only good thing about being injured for a while is that you don't receive the daily punishment that other running backs receive over the course of a season. In missing a lot of games, Marshall comes to the Redskins very fresh, having taken less hits than most running backs, which general manager Scot McCloughan likes about him. *
"He hasn't been beat up. With running backs, it's so important to have the health. The more hits you take, the worse off it is."
7. He was completely healthy throughout last year:
A lot has been made of Marshall's injuries throughout the draft process and this offseason, but the rookie running back says he has been completely healthy for more than a year now.
"No, I was healthy this past season…they didn't give me as many opportunities as they did before, but I was very healthy," he said. "And then going to the combine, I just went down and trained really hard and got my body prepared."