The Redskins game of Running Back Roulette continues again this week. The big winner? Quinton Ganther, the one-time practice squadee. He's won the starting job over Rock Cartwright as the Skins continue to shuffle their lineup in the wake of losing their top two running backs.
It marks an interesting journey for Q*bert. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Tennessee Titans in the 2006 draft. He ran the ball hard for the Utah Utes behind Alex Smith in Utah's 2005 Fiesta Bowl win over Pitt. With the Titans, he bounced on and off the roster before the Skins picked him up this season.
With the Skins, he was purely practice filler. The Skins cut him in early November to create a roster spot, but added him back later once injuries mounted.
When Portis got banged up, and Ladell Betts followed, it was Q's time to shine. He's taken on more and more carries each of the last few weeks, and he's outgained Cartwright these last two weeks, despite far fewer carries.
For what basically amounts to freely acquired talent, he's done very well. As Coach Zorn has noted before, having a running back who can practice with and develop chemistry with the offensive line is a huge bonus. The Skins have certainly seen improved play out of their running backs and line in recent weeks.
Rock has asked to return to full-time special teams duty, where he could supplant Devin Thomas as the team's kick returner. That wouldn't make any sense. The team is finally seeing Thomas start to get it, and he's got much more of a future with this team than Rock does. They should give Thomas as many touches as they can.
Cartwright is questioning the decision, arguing that the team didn't give him enough carries to get into a consistent rhythm. He told the Times, "I get a couple carries early and then not another one until the second half -- what do they expect? That's crazy. But I don't control it."
With as long as he's waited to start, the frustration is understandable. It's too bad his comments couldn't be more productive though. If he keeps his mouth shut and runs hard, he'll still get carries.
But for now, that first carry goes to Q.