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A bright spot: Keiland Williams's evening

By Rick Maese

OK, it's time to look at the bright spots from Monday night's debacle at FedEx Field. Spoiler alert: There weren't many.

But Keiland Williams' performance shouldn't be overlooked. His final numbers were impressive. Entering this weekend's game at Tennessee, the Redskins' third-string running back actually leads all the team's offensive players in scoring.

It's a good thing Williams played a decent game Monday night -- he was Coach Mike Shanahan's only option. Shanahan made the curious decision to have only two running backs active, knowing that Ryan Torain had a bad hamstring. Sure enough, Torain tweaked his hamstring in warm-ups, leaving only Williams. Fullback Darrel Young, a converted linebacker, was the team's next-best option.

"Whoever is out there on the field, we have the full confidence in," quarterback Donovan McNabb said after the game. "I think we tried to display that. Keiland did a great job today... Picked up some big yards for us. It's tough when you miss your No. 1 or 2 guys, but yet still, whoever's out there has to make plays. We have confidence in him."

(Torain, by the way, said after the game he wouldn't know anything about his injury until a doctor looked it over.)

Williams got his first career start. Entering the game, he had only 10 career carries -- six of which came late in the game at Detroit when Torain went down.

The Redskins typically enter the game with their first 15 or so plays scripted. They apparently didn't change their plan when Williams replaced Torain. The first three offensive plays of the game were all carries by Williams -- something the team has yet to do with either Clinton Portis or Torain.

Thanks to a strong fourth quarter, Williams finished the game with 89 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Fifty-five of those yards came in the final quarter, and 32 of them came on the game's final touchdown, an inside handoff out of the shotgun. Williams now has five touchdowns this season. Torain has four, but no other Redskin has more than two.

Williams also had 50 receiving yards and a touchdown catch on five receptions against the Eagles. McNabb targeted Williams seven times Monday night, tying him with Chris Cooley for team-high.

"Any time you can expand yourself and put more value to yourself as a player, it's
definitely good," Williams said.

Williams's climb to a starting spot was a difficult one. After choosing the Redskins as an undrafted free agent out of LSU, Williams entered training camp behind Portis, Larry Johnson, Willie Parker and Torain on the depth chart. He beat out Torain in training camp and was on the 53-man roster for the first three games of the regular season
before he was released. He was later signed to the practice squad and
then brought back to the 53-man squad before the game against the Packers last month.

"I chose to come here," Williams said following Monday's game. "I knew what was in front of me, but I felt like with the skill-set that I have...if I came here and I pushed on, I felt like I could definitely make the team, if not be an asset."

Williams has confidence and doesn't believe there was anything out of the ordinary about his final numbers in a game where most of the eye-popping offensive figures were posted by the other team.

"It's not surprising," he said. "I don't think my coaches were surprised. ...I've showed some definite bright spots."

Williams has apparently received a lot of counsel from Portis, who watched Monday night's game from the sidelines.

Even if Torain or Portis comes back for Sunday's game at the Titans, Williams still will be valuable as a third-down back. He has good hands out of the backfield and he's learning to pass-block from one of the best.

"[Portis] is a great pass blocker. To be in a situation where I'm learning from him - I'm definitely making strides in that area," Williams said.

By Rick Maese  | November 16, 2010; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Clinton Portis, Keiland Williams, Running backs, Ryan Torain  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Football Insider Live: Eagles recap, McNabb contract and Titans preview
Next: Albert Haynesworth seeks a W at home in Tennessee

Comments

fwiw -- Attendance: 84,912

Seems to me that's well short of a sellout.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

in trying to find one thing that was positive it was definetly KW...he seemed to be plenty fast for a 230 pound guy...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

So, the team went into the game with just as many full backs active as running backs, and this is why we had a running play from a guy who is one year removed from playing linebacker? Going with only two running backs was a mistake by Shanahan. I wouldn't say it was the biggest of the evening, but it really wasn't very smart. Who's active on game day that the coach has to make these kinds of choices, anyway? Were we short a running back so Roydell Williams could play?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 16, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Keiland's definitely a keeper, but that Haslett dude has gotta go...Who farted??

Posted by: frak | November 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

fwiw -- Attendance: 84,912

Seems to me that's well short of a sellout.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse
---

The game is still sold out - just many of the ticket holders didn't show.

There are a few reasons: folks have to go to work the next day; the weather was pretty miserable.

If I had tickets, I would have gone...but would have been a ghost by halftime.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | November 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | November 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

The best from last night, if there is a best:

1. Anthony Armstrong
2. Keiland Williams looked good
3. More Fred Davis
4. I thought the running game looked okay, but that may have had more to do with the fact that Philly was already up by 5 TD's

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 2:38 PM

Fred Davis said last night that he's not/or was not in the third down packages. 0-10..time to get him involved and get Galloway and/or Williams off the field on third downs.

Posted by: TWISI | November 16, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

rsh, I thought DYoung looked pretty good in space....seemed to have a little wiggle as well...but overall, dumb move agreed...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

KW in garbage time certainly looked good, but is he good? Hard to tell because the Eagles were certainly laying off a bit. Wake me up when he performs that way in a more competitive game.

Posted by: bendersx6 | November 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

fwiw -- Attendance: 84,912

Seems to me that's well short of a sellout.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse
---

The game is still sold out - just many of the ticket holders didn't show.

There are a few reasons: folks have to go to work the next day; the weather was pretty miserable.

If I had tickets, I would have gone...but would have been a ghost by halftime.

Posted by: shaunsherman12

Not sure how they count it. The attendance for the hockey games I go to is always the same -- a sellout. But there are usually empty seats. Not sure how it works for football.

I'd be interested to find out how attendance is counted ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

..Chad Dukes is retarded. I have more football knowledge in my pinky than that clown has in his entire body - and there are plenty of folks with more knowledge than me.

Posted by: shaunsherman12 | November 16, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 2:38 PM

Fred Davis said last night that he's not/or was not in the third down packages. 0-10..time to get him involved and get Galloway and/or Williams off the field on third downs.

Posted by: TWISI | November 16, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Galloway/Williams are horrible, and I hope they burn in he!!.

OK, maybe not burn in he!!, but get off of this f-ing team.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

So long as the Redskins refuse to IR CP26, they're going to be running at least one bullet short of a full load.

Would rate the odds of CP26 playing another down this season as "50-50."

Would also rate the odds of CP26 ever playing another down with the Redskins as soemthing less than "50-50."

Dude did this to us last season too -- going 6 or 7 games after his concussion before finally putting himself on the IR list -- and freeing up a roster spot.

Don't know what sort of hold CP26 has over Little Danny and company, but it must be something that is pretty damned embarrassing.

Posted by: Vic1 | November 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

KW in garbage time certainly looked good, but is he good? Hard to tell because the Eagles were certainly laying off a bit. Wake me up when he performs that way in a more competitive game.

Posted by: bendersx6 | November 16, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I think we'll see against Tennessee, but he certainly catches the ball well and got into a groove.

Hopefully he's the real deal.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Another bright spot:

The game was so bad...I didn't drink too much...went to bed earlier than expected...fell right asleep...and have no hangover and I'm not tired.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Keiland's definitely a keeper, but that Haslett dude has gotta go...Who farted??

Posted by: frak | November 16, 2010 2:48 PM |

I think it was Haynesworth.

He's always got the gasface.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | November 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

This sucks worse than the Detroit loss.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Another bright spot:

The game was so bad...I didn't drink too much...went to bed earlier than expected...fell right asleep...and have no hangover and I'm not tired.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 16, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Co-sign.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

the Albert moment, lying face down, not doing anyting. ugh. But I find the moment compelling for multiple reasons. for starters, the guy who is moving just a few feet away is vick. Go back just 2 years from today. vick is in jail, Albert is the toast of football. The juxtaposition of the success becoming a failure and the failure becoming a success is more than noteworthy.

Albert's nap is likely to become the signature moment for the Snyder era -- in the same way the Riggins run was the signature moment for the Gibbs era.

And ... I expect that image will scare off every GM in football from wanting to sign Albert when he becomes available. Somebody will sign him, but nobody will want to pay him much $$. No GM wants to be the guy that signed the guy laying flat on his face ... not bothering to get up. It tends to shorten the job tenure.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

at least Redskins get to play the terrible version of Mike Vick this weekend.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | November 16, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Looking for bright spots? Easy. Its still better than being 'puke fan.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

This sucks worse than the Detroit loss.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:04 PM |

Ya Think?

Dude, I'm not listening to you anymore. I've lost a lot of money listening to you this year.

I thought you had some inside info, but I'm realizing now that you just pick the Skins to "dominate" every week, no matter if we're playing the Patriots and we've got Rex Grossman starting or if we've got no O Line... A crap 3-4 defense...

I'm done listening to you.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Albert's nap is likely to become the signature moment for the Snyder era -- in the same way the Riggins run was the signature moment for the Gibbs era.

And ... I expect that image will scare off every GM in football from wanting to sign Albert when he becomes available. Somebody will sign him, but nobody will want to pay him much $$. No GM wants to be the guy that signed the guy laying flat on his face ... not bothering to get up. It tends to shorten the job tenure.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The Albert nap was humiliating.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse


fwiw -- Attendance: 84,912

Seems to me that's well short of a sellout.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse
---

The game is still sold out - just many of the ticket holders didn't show.

There are a few reasons: folks have to go to work the next day; the weather was pretty miserable.

If I had tickets, I would have gone...but would have been a ghost by halftime.

Posted by: shaunsherman12

Not sure how they count it. The attendance for the hockey games I go to is always the same -- a sellout. But there are usually empty seats. Not sure how it works for football.

I'd be interested to find out how attendance is counted ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What's it matter? It doesn't affect the outcome of the game!

Posted by: vegasskinsfan | November 16, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

rsh, I thought DYoung looked pretty good in space....seemed to have a little wiggle as well...but overall, dumb move agreed...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 16, 2010 2:51 PM
------------------------------------------
The guy is definitely the FB of the future, but... I haven't looked at who was active last night, but who was so important that Simpson couldn't be active? Or, cut Simpson and elevate James Davis. The point is, Torain was dicey and the team shouldn't have put the entire running game on rookie KW's shoulders.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | November 16, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

This sucks worse than the Detroit loss.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:04 PM |

Ya Think?

Dude, I'm not listening to you anymore. I've lost a lot of money listening to you this year.

I thought you had some inside info, but I'm realizing now that you just pick the Skins to "dominate" every week, no matter if we're playing the Patriots and we've got Rex Grossman starting or if we've got no O Line... A crap 3-4 defense...

I'm done listening to you.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

What the f*ck are you talking about?

How in the world would I have some inside info?

I say the Skins are going to win every week because I'm a fan and I hope they win.

Dude you are retarded.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

the Albert moment, lying face down, not doing anyting. ugh. But I find the moment compelling for multiple reasons. for starters, the guy who is moving just a few feet away is vick. Go back just 2 years from today. vick is in jail, Albert is the toast of football. The juxtaposition of the success becoming a failure and the failure becoming a success is more than noteworthy.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 3:10 PM |

There may not have ever been nor might there ever be an entry truer than the one above.

My man, that was deeply profound and you just proved in those few sentences that you have more writing ability in your left nut that JR has in his entire, overly-rotund body.

All hail.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | November 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Wanna bet? You can always tell Pepper. But you can't tell him much.

Posted by: beep-beep | November 16, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well I am super busy now can't really dig into this discussion. Yes last night's whuppin' was about Vick but also about a lot of other guys who wore white. If you think the Eagles success over the years is due to free agents like Vick I got a condo in Florida that's an absolute steal for ya.

Posted by: Pepper5 | November 16, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm a fan and I hope they win.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:23 PM |

Well, maybe if you had said THAT ^ right there, I wouldn't have taken you seriously, but NOOOOO, you always say we're gonna do THIS and we're gonna do THAT and then you always say, "Book it!"

Now, where I'm from, "Book it" means "bet on it."

So, maybe from here on out, you can finish your dominating predictions with "I HOPE" instead of "Book it!"

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to find out how attendance is counted ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:54 PM

The Middle ring of seats don't count because they are club seats...and club seats don't count toward a sell out by NFL standards........Only general population seats....Top and bottom levels....

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 16, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Wanna bet? You can always tell Pepper. But you can't tell him much.

Posted by: beep-beep | November 16, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well I am super busy now can't really dig into this discussion.

Posted by: Pepper5 | November 16, 2010 3:24 PM

"Super busy" and you're scrolling through posts from three hours ago? Let me know when you have some spare time and you can go back to the posts from early February where I explained the similarities in the way the Eagles and the Redskins front offices work. Can you say "Siamese twins"? I'm super busy and can't explain it right now.

Posted by: beep-beep | November 16, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, maybe if you had said THAT ^ right there, I wouldn't have taken you seriously, but NOOOOO, you always say we're gonna do THIS and we're gonna do THAT and then you always say, "Book it!"

Now, where I'm from, "Book it" means "bet on it."

So, maybe from here on out, you can finish your dominating predictions with "I HOPE" instead of "Book it!"

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Dude, like 50 percent of the people on this blog put that after one of their asinine predictions.

I'm just curious to know why you put so much into what I say.

I'm not a Las Vegas handicapper, I am a season ticket holder.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to find out how attendance is counted ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 16, 2010 2:54 PM

The Middle ring of seats don't count because they are club seats...and club seats don't count toward a sell out by NFL standards........Only general population seats....Top and bottom levels....

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 16, 2010 3:30 PM

Attendance by definition "should be" how many people are at the game...I know lots of peeps...including myself...who may not even be in their actual seats for extended periods of time, for whatever reason...the ticket scanners at the entrance should give real-time numbers throughout the night.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Why can't we convert a 3rd down?

Why did we stop NOTHING that Philly tried?

0 for 10 on 3rd down conversions.

You have to think the Bingo Caller would have converted a couple. Even if you throw to Cooley every one of those 10 times, you're probably going to convert at least 50% I would think.

What the F are they doing?

It's mind boggling.

It's hard to believe you can be THAT bad by accident. Seems it would take some effort... Intentionally dropping balls, intentionally missing your block, intentionally throwing a pick. I can only think of those 3 things! We figured out 7 other ways, just last night, NOT to convert a 3rd down.

And many of those 3rd downs came with the game WAY out of reach, so it's not like Philly's stout defense was playing as if the game were on the line. Because that wasn't the case after about 4 minutes.

I don't know. 0 for 10 seems really incredible. It almost makes you think somebody really sucks.

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Las Vegas handicapper

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:35 PM

Great...now you tell us.

I guess there won't be any Haiku this week.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 16, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

beeps . . . Albert Haynesworth seeks a W at home in Tennessee

Posted by: 4SkinzForever | November 16, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

well, I thought your handle sounded lucky and I went with your prediction on the Dallas game, which seemed like "NO WAY" we were supposed to win that game.

When we did, I thought, hey, this guy's good.

THEN, you said we'd knock Vick out of the first Eagles game. And we did, so I guess it just snowballed from there.

No biggie. I'm pretty convinced, finally, that we actually suck. One of the worst teams in the league. Bottom 2 or three, I'd say. I say we hang close with Arizona and probably beat Carolina.

We actually suck.

Dallas will probably destroy us next time. Titans? I mean, please. What are we gonna do? Beat them up before the game starts? They're gonna run for 200 yards on us.

Book it!

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Las Vegas handicapper

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:35 PM

Great...now you tell us.

I guess there won't be any Haiku this week.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 16, 2010 3:40 PM |

See?! You're drivin us into the poor house!

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Las Vegas handicapper

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 16, 2010 3:35 PM

Great...now you tell us.

I guess there won't be any Haiku this week.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 16, 2010 3:40 PM |

No, he's just handicapped.

Posted by: Personal_Fowl | November 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, maybe if you had said THAT ^ right there, I wouldn't have taken you seriously, but NOOOOO, you always say we're gonna do THIS and we're gonna do THAT and then you always say, "Book it!"

Now, where I'm from, "Book it" means "bet on it."

So, maybe from here on out, you can finish your dominating predictions with "I HOPE" instead of "Book it!"

Posted by: Thinker_ | November 16, 2010 3:29 PM


Sounds like Steve Martin on a rant.


Well excuuuuuuse me!

Posted by: edvar | November 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Bright Spot huh? An A$$ whippin' like that has no spots. KW could've have 250 yards and it still would've sucked.

Posted by: dcwun | November 16, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

"Entering this weekend's game at Tennessee, the Redskins' third-string running back actually leads all the team's offensive players in scoring."

Kyle Shanahan needs to bury his head in the damn dirt and stay there.

don't even tell me it's lack of talent, this is absurd.

Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | November 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the attitude about KW. Even this article in praise of him doesn't allow for much beyond third down back. I've been watching this team since the first preseason game and i haven't changed my opinion. KW is the best running back on this team. I told anybody whe would listen over the summer that he would beat out all but Portis in camp, and by the end of the regular season, he would be the starter. Looks like he's on pace for it.

He's as good a runner as Torain, but he can also catch passes, and he's not terrible at blocking. He can definitely get better at blocking, but in the meantime... why not start your best player? In fact, how about switching roles with CP. Portis can catch and is still the best blocking RB in the league on passing downs. Let CP be the 3rd down back,and give KW the ball.

BTW, I saw some writer earlier today comment that he "looked good but lacks speed." No he doesn't. Not at all. Just to clarify... 230 lbs and runs a 4.4. KW is one of those gems that go late or by FA because he was on a team stacked with RB's (LSU) and I think he was hurt one year too. Dude lacks nothing but experience. Start him next week, Coach.

Posted by: bigfoot1 | November 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

d. young should start at full back and k. williams at rb this dude is quick and strong reminds me of the guy foster in houston this is one of the very few things shamm-o-KLAN has done right (bring in rb's) all the young players should play now some should start must find out what you have on team now and stop the a-hole talk about play-offs shamm-o-KLAN the hall of shame" coach has made the team worst than last years version.

Posted by: wathu19 | November 16, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

If we lose to the Titans, we could easily lose the rest of the way and end up right back at 4 - 12. That game last night could have broken a lot of players. We'll see what we're really made of on Sunday. I'm thinking maybe 6 - 10. I hate to say it, but we're really bad......really. Our defense was 31 st for awhile and probably is that or last after last night. We have no O line, so our offense is a joke. There are no bright spots. Man, where are the Hogs?? And Monte Coleman, Dave Butz and Darrell Green????

Posted by: Riggo2 | November 17, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse

how dumb is shanahan for activating only 2 rbs, torain was already banged up, and still he dint elavate another rb. and galloway needs to go. shanahan needs to stop picking his favorites and needs to play the best players. terrance austin would be better than galloway. and kory lichenstieger is complete garbage. dont beleive in shanahans. evil leperchaun

Posted by: skinsfan09 | November 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

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