Redskins running back Lache Seastrunk, the team’s sixth round draft pick, impressed Coach Jay Gruden with his speed and elusiveness during rookie minicamp.
But the Baylor product also showed Gruden that “he’s got a long way to go” before he’s ready to assume a big role in Washington’s offense.
“Baylor has one of the great offenses in college football, but they didn’t do anything as far as protections and route running,” Gruden said after getting a close look at Seastrunk in the three-day minicamp last weekend. “He didn’t catch any balls [in 2013]. So the major [challenge] for him was going to be picking up blitzes and running routes out of the backfield. It’s brand new to him.”
Indeed, it is all brand new to Seastrunk. Especially the route running part.
In 2012, Seastrunk caught a total of nine passes—five of which came in one game. Last season, he did not haul in a single pass. As Gruden said, Seastrunk’s lack of involvement in the passing game was not his fault; it was part of Baylor's game plan. But it has left the Texas native with a lot of ground to cover between now and the start of the 2014 NFL season.
“It’s no knock on him,” Gruden said. “It might just take him a little bit more time. But he’ll get it.”
Seastrunk, meantime, says he's confident that he has good hands. He just hasn’t been able to show it.
“My head coach knows I can catch and my running backs coach knows I can catch very well,” he said. “I just have to keep my eye on the ball and look it in every time. And I’ll catch it every time.”
Seastrunk enters the offseason competing for a spot behind Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. How much he plays this fall, though, will be determined by how quickly he picks up on the nuances of playing the position in the pros.
“[Running backs Coach Randy] Jordan Is going to get after him quite a lot and it’s going to take him some time,” Gruden said. “It’s not going to happen overnight with Lache. He’s got long way to go, but he’ll get there.”