Welcome back to the B&G Report with another installment of “Rookie Spotlight”. This week the Spotlight shines on Samaje Perine. The Oklahoma product wasn’t expected to start, but now sees himself as the only back on the roster that has seen regular season action. So far Perine has had a shaky rookie season, but the talent and potential are there for sure. He had his coming out party vs the Saints in the disappointing loss.
PERFORMANCE TO DATE
Perine had a rough start to his rookie season with multiple fumbles. During draft night, I compared him to a Gerald Riggs type back. I viewed him more as a goal line/short yardage back. Yes the Saints rushing defense is not good, but I saw Perine hit holes more decisively than past games. I was happy to see the previous B&G Report prediction come true, as Perine eclipsed the hundred yard rushing mark with a TD vs New Orleans. Samaje is what experts call a “Rhythm Back”, in that he needs to get consecutive carries to get a feel for the field/holes. He’s still got a ton to work to do in his pass pro blocking, but that will come with more reps and experience. Perine is now the main man in the Skins backfield. Knowing Gruden’s tendencies, he will commit to the run only as long as they are getting 2-5 yards a run. Kirk Cousins is a much better QB when he has a workhorse running back by his side. Perine will be asked to take on that role for the remainder of the season. The Oklahoma product has shown he also has good hands as receiver. Being versatile will add more value to his game, as well as give Cousins a check down option that he trusts. I saw Perine churn out extra yards and continuously fall forward after contact vs the Saints. Even with a healthy Chris Thompson, the Skins needed more than just Robert Kelly as their workhorse. Now with both backs sent to IR, Perine has a once in a lifetime audition to be a “Bell Cow NFL RB”.
Perine is viewed as an intelligent running back, so it wouldn’t be out of the question to see major progress over the next 6 games. Practice seems to be a big issue per Coach Gruden. The Skins have so many injuries, that they are struggling just to run 11 on 11’s in practice. This isn’t good for Perine, since he’ll lose valuable opportunities for Coaches to critique his play in scrimmages. I’m hoping to see a scaled down version of the Skins run game, based on the massive injuries to the O-line. Perine can handle the load, but Gruden needs to play to Perine’s strength. He played exclusively out of the shotgun in college and Gruden has used those formations this year at times. He also played some fullback, which gives them options. I believe that Perine can be a yard churner and goal line bruiser at worse. At best, I believe Perine can be a franchise back if he continues to take coaching and hold onto to the ball. The future is bright for the Oklahoma Kid!
Stayed tuned for the NY Giants Pre–Game Primer “Redemption”. Kirk Cousins should still have a bad taste from last years defeat to the Giants, which cost the Redskins a wildcard spot. I hope you enjoyed your time visiting The B&G Report and look forward to hearing your feedback. HTTR!🏹🏈