ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins drafted him for a reason, the same one that could earn him a roster spot. Lache Seastrunk still needs to prove he can catch passes consistently. He still needs to prove he can pass-protect.
What he doesn’t have to show is that he can run fast. It could be the reason Seastrunk sticks around despite not yet having done a whole lot this preseason entering Thursday’s finale at Tampa Bay.
“Speed kills,” said the rookie sixth-round pick. “There’s so many different ways you can cut an apple, I guess. They can put you out wide, burn a corner. They can move you around a lot and make you a dual threat.”
Seastrunk has carried the ball 19 times for 98 yards this summer, the third-most rushing attempts behind Alfred Morris and Silas Redd. But Seastrunk had 12 carries in the first preseason game and none in the third. Seastrunk hasn’t been a factor in the passing game, with no targets his way -- though few of the Redskins’ backs have, save for veterans Roy Helu and Evan Royster.
Though Royster has been more productive this summer, the Redskins want to add speed in the backfield. Second-year running back Chris Thompson likely would have been the choice if not for a sprained ankle that again raises questions about his durability.
Undrafted free agent Silas Redd has run hard, but lacks Seastrunk or Thompson’s sizzle. And, like the others, Redd hasn’t been tested much in pass protection.
The coaches knew Seastrunk would take time to develop in the passing game. They do understand he could be used in other ways from scrimmage until reaching that point because of his speed.
Seastrunk said he knows he’s shown the team his speed, quickness and agility. He still knows he must show more.
“I haven’t shown I can catch,” he said. “I just need more opportunities to catch the ball. I feel I catch pretty well. And pass blocking. But it takes time. I’m building my house right now, starting with the foundation and making sure my foundation is sturdy.”
In practices, Seastrunk struggled in pass protection, specifically in the one-on-ones with the linebackers. It’s easier for the linebacker to win in these battles, though Seastrunk at times was knocked to the ground.
“The hardest part would probably have to be when they bull rush,” Seastrunk said of protection in general. “You have to know how to react and throw your weight forward. It’s not easy at all.”
He’ll have one more chance to prove what he can do Thursday. But Thompson also will get plenty of action.
“The only thing I can ask for is an opportunity, and I have an opportunity,” Seastrunk said. “The only thing I can do is just believe.”