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Young Ready to Step Up At Fullback


Most football coaches will tell you that it's next to impossible to learn a new position at the NFL level.

Don't tell that to Darrel Young, though.

It wasn't that long ago that Young was an undrafted linebacker out of Villanova.

Now he could be the Redskins' answer at fullback, with Mike Sellers seeing action at tight end and H-back.

On the team's first unofficial depth chart, Young was listed atop the depth chart at fullback.

"It's a dream come true, but I'm still learning," Young said after a recent training camp practice. "Mike is still teaching me a lot even though he's moved to tight end right now. It's just the process of learning right now."

Said head coach Mike Shanahan: "Darrel is a very smart kid. He is a very dedicated guy and when I looked at him on film I thought he was a great hitter...He has done a good job for us. He's getting better every day."

Fullbacks in the Redskins' offense have to be able to do it all: run block, pass protect, run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield.

By Young's estimation, he still has some work to do.

"Just understanding the flow of the line, and reading gaps – reading what's going on in front of me," he said. "Football will be football at the end of the day, but when it starts happening, it's just adjusting to that part of the game."

Because of his limited time on offense, catching the ball out of the backfield isn't necessarily second-nature. Young knows that he'll have to improve that to make it out on the field.

One area of strength for Young has been his physicality when run-blocking.

As a former linebacker, he loves to unload punishment on defenders.

"It's always fun to initiate contact, that's the best part," he said with a smile. "Lead blocking on a linebacker, versus him and I in space? We'll see who's tougher."

He adds: "I like fullback more now, because you get to carry the ball on offense plus you still get to hit."

Young intends to make the most of his playing time at fullback. It can only help him at this point.

"I have the opportunity to play it, but you never know what's going to happen," he said. "So I'll always be ready."

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