- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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Lache Seastrunk dodges defenders, planting his leg one way and cutting the other as the would-be tackler reaches another way to grab air. It’s what got him noticed in college. And it’s a style the Redskins hope translates into big plays.
When it comes to talking about his game, the former Baylor running back doesn’t try to be elusive. Rather, he’s direct and it shows in his confidence. He doesn’t dodge critics; he just ignores them and keeps moving forward.
“I feel I don’t have any weaknesses,” he said.
Seastrunk lasted until the sixth round of the draft, which means others saw some weaknesses. But you need confidence to survive in the NFL and there’s no doubt he has it. However, he didn’t come to Washington making grand predictions about what he’d do this fall. Rather, it was about how he felt about his ability. Or, maybe, it was more that he wasn’t worried how others perceived his game (which isn’t bad as well).
That’s why he said his hands aren’t a concern. He caught just nine passes at Baylor -- the Bears rarely threw to their backs.
“Everybody’s gonna have an opinion on what I can do and what my weaknesses are,” he said. “They really don’t know. I feel I can catch the ball well. I feel I can do anything they ask me to….Everyone drops balls. Calvin Johnson drops balls so I’m not worried about that.”
And this: “I felt it was always there. They just never threw me the ball and I continued to work on it when I didn’t get the ball because I felt the opportunity would present itself… Nothing against [Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty] he wanted the home run ball. Who doesn’t?”
Another knock on Seastrunk from critics: he bounced his runs to the outside too early. There were times it worked -- quite well, too -- and other times it did not. But Seastrunk said, “It was just a part of the offense. People have their opinions on what I run. They can’t question what I see. They haven’t played the sport before.”
The Redskins hope Seastrunk gives them a player capable of scoring at any time after rushing for 2,189 yards and 18 touchdowns in two seasons at Baylor. But there are questions about his durability. All of this was said about Chris Thompson the previous summer. But Thompson had consecutive seasons of bad injuries (back and knee) and is smaller (by two inches and 18 pounds). The Redskins, for now, do not view Seastrunk as a full-time player -- not with Alfred Morris on the roster. They’re not even counting on Seastrunk as a third-down back with so much to learn in that area.
“The major reach for him would be picking up blitzes and running routes out of the backfield,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “No knock on him, but it might take him time. He has a long way to go, but he’ll get there.”
Seastrunk said he told the coaches he’d like an opportunity to return kicks as well, though it’s something he only did sparingly at Baylor. But what he wants to do most is more of what he did at Baylor: making defenders miss and scoring on long runs.
He does it with a style that he says is based on natural ability and instincts.
“I’ve been playing this game for so long I know how to read people’s bodies. If they give you one direction, just give them a move and go about your way,” he said. “I’m going to try and take it to the house.”