Mike Shanahan on his approach to camp
Darrel Young will enter Redskins training camp as the undisputed starter at fullback, fresh off signing a three-year contract extension in March.
In his last two seasons, Young suffered from hamstring injuries that limited him in camp. This season, armed with a new contract and healthy legs, Young feels good both mentally and physically.
Asked if this was the best he has felt during minicamp, Young joked in reply, “Don’t jinx me man.”
But Young has seen some changes during his three years with the Redskins, and he is excited about this coming season.
“When I was here we were the oldest team, now we’re probably one of the youngest teams,” Young said.
Coming off an NFC East title last year, the Redskins will look to improve upon a 10-6 regular season record. While Young does not make a big impact statistically, his versatility on the offense lets him fill a lot of roles.
“Whatever they call my number, that’s what I do,” Young said. “I don’t expect to do more or less, it’s whatever they call my number.”
Last season, Young rushed the ball 14 times for 60 yards, but more importantly opened holes and running lanes for featured back Alfred Morris. Morris went on to rack up more than 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Young also showed that he can make plays as a receiver. On just eight catches, Young registered six first downs and two touchdowns.
His role in the offense might be minimal, but Young is certainly productive. And with playmakers like Robert Griffin III, Morris and receiver Pierre Garcon, Young looks forward to seeing the Redskins offensive productivity increase.
“[I’m] excited to have the opportunity to play back in Washington. This has been home for a couple years now,” Young said. “It’s exciting to be a part of what the Redskins are building, the Shanahans, a group of younger guys.”
With the conclusion of minicamp in Ashburn, the Redskins will take to the road for training camp in Richmond next month. This will be Young’s first time traveling for training camp.
“I am looking forward to it. It’s something different,” he said. “Will there be fighting? Of course. That’s camp, that’s family. At the end that brings the camaraderie.”
Going to Richmond will bring the team together, Young explained, because players won’t be able to go home in between breaks in practice.
“It will bring us a little closer. Everyone has their own thing to do, some guys watch film, some guys go sleep, but I think it will bring us closer because we have to be around each other.”
At times last season, it seemed like the Redskins liked to confuse opposing defenses by putting Young split wide as a receiver. Certainly few defensive backs would have the size to cover a 5’11”, 250 lbs., fullback.
Asked if there will be more variety in his offensive sets, Young said he didn’t know what to expect.
“I’m just happy to be out there. If they want me to just cover kicks, that’s what I’ll do.”