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While we already have early impressions, it will be about three or four years before analysts are able to fully gauge the Redskins’ 2011 rookie class. Here are the facts for this group so far:
- 11-of-13 rookies have played.
- Six have started for the team this season.
- They’ve accounted for 1,141 yards of the team’s 4,553 total offense.
- They’ve accounted for three of the teams 23 touchdowns, including the only score on defense.
- They’ve also scored the team’s only two-point conversion.
- They’ve account for 88 of the team’s 977 tackles, 10 for a loss.
- They’ve account for 8.5 of the team’s 34 sacks.
On special teams:
- They’ve account for 14 tackles, a forced fumble, one return, and a kicked down inside the 20.
From this laundry list, it’s fair to say that they’ve performed well with their opportunities this season, experience that will inevitably jump-start their development down the road.
Early bright spots as far as individuals, have been running back Roy Helu and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. When discussing Kerrigan, teammates London Fletcher paid the pair a high compliment about their preparation.
“Between him and Helu, I dunno who leaves later,” he said with a smile. “He does a great job preparing himself, getting himself ready to play each and every week. He spends a lot of time taking care of himself after practice in the weight room, training room, stretching. Those types of things allow you to stay healthy and productive on the field.”
Asked about the compliment, Helu said that he’s aware of when Kerrigan leaves and tries to at least match his efforts. That’s the type of locker room competition that translates into performance on Sunday.
Another thing that has helped the rookies adjust to life in the NFL, are the friendships that they’re forming off the field. The Redskins’ only two active running backs last Sunday, were a pair of rookies in Roy Helu and Evan Royster. Not only did the pair combine for 182 yards of offense, they’re also quite chummy.
“Me and Evan get along real well,” Helu said. “We hang out with some other rookies and go out to eat throughout the week.”
With 10 rookies on the current 53-man roster, the Redskins are looking to some of the rookies to carry them through the next three games, in addition to building for the future. But if there’s any tangible benefit to camaraderie, the Redskins rookies are laying the foundation for future team success, now.