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Ganther to start over Cartwright at RB (updated)

Quinton Ganther will be the starting running back Sunday in Oakland, Rick Maese reports via Twitter, a move that Rock Cartwright announced and said disappoints him. (He added that he'd like to go back to returning kicks, but Coach Jim Zorn hasn't said anything about that.)

Zorn confirmed the RB move today and, in other quick hits from the post-practice availability, Zorn said it was his decision to cut kicker Shaun Suisham on Tuesday.

DeAngelo Hall and Albert Haynesworth both are questionable for Sunday, Zorn said. With his ailing knee, Hall, as a joke of sorts, didn't walk to the media group, Maese tweets he was wheeled over in a chair. Asked about returning when he's full-speed, Hall replied that, at 80 percent, he's faster than opposing WRs.

By Cindy Boren  |  December 9, 2009; 1:50 PM ET
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Real smart, good job with starting Ganther, but KEEP Thomas as the primary KR.

It's always one step forward, two steps back with this team.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 9, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry that Rock is disapointed, now go out and prove the coaching staff wrong!

Competition! At every single damn position! Why do you think there's been a greater sense of urgeny lately? Hmmmm

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 9, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry that Rock is disapointed, now go out and prove the coaching staff wrong!

Competition! At every single damn position! Why do you think there's been a greater sense of urgecny lately? Hmmmm

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 9, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Zorn is such a dumba$$. Keeping El on punts and now putting Rock back on kicks. Why?

Posted by: Salinas1 | December 9, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Ganther looks to have more power than Rock, and is harder to tackle. Thomas is returning kicks nicely. How about trying Rock returning punts..cause El..has to have the worst yards after catch of any regular punt returner. I would use Santana a bit more as a returner..mix it up so the other team will not be able to have one plan.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | December 9, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Ganther has played great lately, as have a few young guys trying to prove themselves (Westbrook's defense comes to mind also).

Cartwright is a solid kick returner, but kick returns aren't the problem -- the problem is Randel-El, one of the worst punt returners I've ever seen (and a general, all-around colossal bust). I think even a Hall at 80% is better than a Randel-El at 100%, and I'd love to see what Devan Thomas can do on punt return duty.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | December 9, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

wolf - I'm with you on the issue of Thomas on punt returns. The kid plays really well on kickoffs and has since preseason. It only make sense to put him back there on punts also. But then again, asking this staff to do something that actually makes sense is a 50/50 proposition.

Posted by: BenThere | December 9, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a look at the game Sunday to see if this was yet another dumb move by the Redskins. They have made some good moves (like bringing in Sherman Lewis). However, they make so many poor moves and decisions that I no longer have confidence in any move they make.

Posted by: BetterOffWithFedorov | December 9, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Could Ganther be our diamond in the rough? The guy went from nowhere to starter and has demonstrated some nice moves. Rock deserves some carries in relief, but he's not really a starting running back - yeah, he's got a lot of heart but we need what Ganther's got and for him to get on the field often too!

Posted by: laserwizard | December 9, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Great move. Just from the brief stints he's had so far, he seems to be pretty quick and powerful and hits the hole fast. Kind of like Rock except quicker...

Posted by: jk67 | December 9, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone out there know what the record is for number of fair catches per season and over a career? If El isn't topping the leader board in both categories I will be shocked. Might there also be a stat for the number of times a punt returner, in the unlikely event he does catch the ball with the intent to run, heads straight for the sideline? ANd can anyone out there answer a question that has been burning holes in my mini brain since Sunday. Twice this year punt coverage personnel have been hit by the punt resulting in a wonderful gain for the opposition. Just how can this be? With El back there having a catch with the punter, why in the world would any coverage man waste the energy to run down field and block??? Hit the guy at the line and let him go because if anyone is within 15 yards of El his first inclination is to wave to his throng of fans and family in the stands. What a waste of a position and roster spot.

Posted by: dmr0834 | December 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Hall replied that, at 80 percent, he's faster than opposing WRs.....who is he kidding?

He doesn't tackle anybody, and is not much on thing though - at least he'll catch the ball when its thrown his way....

Posted by: outrbnksm | December 9, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why is opting to start Ganther. I thought Rock did great running the ball. Seemed to me he also averaged more yards per carry but I could be wrong. He is a much better kickoff returner than Devin Thomas. Rock gets the ball and runs north as fast as possible usually resulting in a 25, 26 yard return. On the other hand, Devin Thomas seems to me to only be averaging about 20 yards as he spends too much time dancing about.

Posted by: Thundershock | December 9, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Starting Ganther is the right move. Let's see what he's got. If his young, fresh legs can get the 4 yards per carry that you need to have, then you don't need to draft a RB.

If the combination of Ganther / Rock / Mason proves to be successful, that's one more draft pick that can be spent on OL/FS/LB

Shanahan loves RB by committee.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | December 10, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Bring back that Aldridge kid and see what he can do.

He fumbles, but if he has the speed they were talking about you might as well see what he really has.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | December 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

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