Ganther: "I'm explosive"
First, some caveats about new fan favorite running back Quinton Ganther.
1) He was facing one of the worst rushing defense in the league in the Raiders.
2) He finished Sunday's game, his first career start,with 14 carries for 50 yards, averaging 3.6 yards/per.
3) Fans, and gullible sportswriters, are extremely eager to make no-name midseason pickups into future stars, just for the heck of it.
Still, Ganther's 4.2 yards-per-carry average for the season is better than the numbers for Clinton Portis (4.0), Ladell Betts (3.8) and Rock Cartwright (3.7), and he does seem to have a certain burst.
"That's one of the things, I'm explosive," he said on Comcast SportsNet's postgame show. "I'm not gonna say I'm a 4.3 guy, but I can get it done. You know, when I see the hole, I hit the hole, because in this league, those holes close up very fast. So when I see a crease, I'm gonna get in the crease. And if you hit me while I'm in the crease, and I put my foot in the ground, then I'm gonna fall forward for extra yards....If you see a crease, put that foot in the ground and hit it as fast as you can."
Also, certain other running backs in the recent history of the Washington Redskins have, on occasion, said less-than-complimentary things about their offensive linemen. Well, here's what Ganther said when asked about his personal success.
"I give all the credit to the offensive line, and Yoder on that first [touchdown]," he said. "I just try to run hard and get more than what was blocked for me."
(Of course, Brian Mitchell just adores the guy. And B-Mitch suggested several time that the lack of egos and increase in practice time has helped certain segments of the team. Hmmm.)
Ganther said he had 250 family and friends in the stands, that his mother arranged for a group discount and that "once the word traveled that I was starting, then the sales just went up." He tossed one of his touchdown balls into the stands between a friend and an uncle; "they wee fighting over it," he noted. "I know someone's gonna be mad, because everyone can't get a ball."
He's already struck up a friendship with Rock Cartwright, borrowing the veteran's Cadillac before he got his rental car and learning the offense from Rock. And Ganther admitted that there were some uncomfortable moments when he took Cartwright's starting spot.
"I mean, to be honest, the first day when they told me, it felt awkward," he told CSN's Kelli Johnson. "It was real awkward. Because Rock is a great guy. I mean, Rock, he's like my coach. You know, I have Stump [Mitchell] as a coach, but I'm asking Rock everything. Rock is one of those guys that you can count on and always depend on. He's gonna know what he's doing, he's gonna be ready and he's gonna do it. I mean, it felt weird at first, but Rock knows, this has nothing to do with me. This is a coach's decision. He understands that whatever I can do to help us win, he's all for that also."
Ganther also said that his background and the location of his breakout game made the day especially satisfying.
"It's just a blessing, because I brought the whole Bay area out," he said. "You know, these guys [are] supporting me, because they know the stuff that I've been through and where I come from. Anybody else in my shoes, a lot of times they would have given up. I didn't have the best circumstances. I come from a rough area. Richmond, California's one of the worst cities in California. You may have never heard of--because when you think Richmond you think Virginia. We're a little city by the Bay area, but it's no joke. But hey, I survived and I made it, that let's you know I'm a survivor. And I've been surviving in this league ever since I've been here."
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