“I think Ryan can be very good,” Shanahan said via the team’s website. “He’s a very good natural runner. His problem has always been staying healthy. This was his first year he didn’t have a major injury, but again he could not put together a string of more than three games because of [a hamstring injury].”
“[His health] will be the deciding factor in whether he’s a solid back or a very good back.”
Torian led the Redskins with 742 rushing yards and four touchdowns on only 164 carries in 2010. The 24-year-old also wowed fans with his breakout ability, busting off runs of 54, 27, 25 and 23 yards.
Torain appeared in 10 games and made eight starts last year, but missed four mid-season games with a hamstring injury.
While Shanahan glorified the fact that Torain is “wired to run guys over,” he also expressed concern that the back’s running style is a “little reckless.”
“I think that’s why you have to help him out with other guys,” Shanahan said.
Following Clinton Portis’ release on Feb. 28, the next-in-line to aid Torain is second-year back Keiland Williams.
As an undrafted free agent out of LSU, Williams earned a spot as the team’s third-down back out of the preseason and emerged as a “crucial” pass blocker.
“He got in a role where he really helped us out on third downs,” Shanahan said. “By the end of the year he was the best in terms of helping us in protections, especially after Clinton went down. We needed Keiland and he did a great job in protections.”
Williams posted 261 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 65 carries in 15 games–including three starts. He also added 39 receptions–fourth-best on the team- for 309 yards and two TDs.
“He was very good with the ball in his hands,” Shanahan said. “When it came to running, he got much better throughout the year Keiland’s a guy who always takes the right hole and finds the right hole. He’s very consistent. He can really build off that next season.”
The remaining running backs on the Redskins roster include James Davis, Andre Brown, Chad Simpson and Shawnbrey McNeal.