RICHMOND -- Day 1 of Washington Redskins is upon us. So is the brutal heat. For many like rookie running back Keith Marshall, so is the opportunity. Unless a veteran free agent joins the roster, the backup slot behind Matt Jones and Chris Thompson is up for grabs. If his knee woes are gone, the seventh-round pick from Georgia is in the mix. Breaking Burgundy caught up with Marshall, the fastest player at the 2016 NFL Combine following his very first practice/walkthrough.
Breaking Burgundy: You've worn the jersey already during the offseason workouts, but what's the feeling on Day 1 of your first NFL training camp?
Keith Marshall: "I'm excited about it. We haven't really started doing much yet. We'll do more this afternoon during the first real practice. I'm excited for this opportunity.
BB: We didn't get a good look at your during the offseason work and then there's been a six-week break. How are you feeling right now?
KM: "I'm feeling good. I took the time off to get healthy and train as hard as I could. I feel great. Ready to go.
BB: Everybody talks about your speed (4.31 40-time at Combine). In terms of your health, where is that speed right now?
KM: Full speed. I still think I can run [that Combine time].
BB: Has anybody on the team challenged you yet?
KM: [Laughs]. Nah, nah. We've joked around about it, but nobody has actually challenged me yet.
BB: Because I think we need the match race with you and DeSean Jackson, though the coach's might not love the idea,
KM: Maybe one day. I doubt we do that now. Just focusing on football.
BB: What's the one thing you're really trying to focus on at the start of camp?
KM: I'm just trying to take in the coaching. Trying to learn the playbook. Come in and produce. That's the biggest thing, production.
BB: The spot behind Matt Jones, it's unclear the plan right now, but it appears open with you and Robert Kelley in the mix. What's your sense of the RB depth chart?
KM: Honestly, I'm not sure. The coach's handle the rotation. I just try to do the best I can every day.
BB:We're already complaining about the heat. You played at Georgia, in the SEC. Is this nothing?
KM: Oh, it's hot, but you get used to it. It's part of the game. I'd rather it be hot than freezing cold.
BB: Rookies tend to learn from vets ahead of them, but this is a rather young RB group. How much are you learning from Jones, a second-year back, or is it more about leaning on the coaching staff?
KM: We've got Chris Thompson who has been in the league [three] years. He's kind of the vet. He teaches everybody. He's very open, helps us out as much as possible, which is great for me.
BB: At this point in your young career, what's the biggest difference between you find between the college level and the NFL?
KM: I think the biggest difference so far has been the speed of the offensive line, the defensive line. ...As far as concepts, it's very similar. I know at this level its professional so they put a lot more on us to know. They're not going to keep asking us over and over so we have to master [things] our self.
BB: So in terms of the system, finding the holes...
KM: It's the same.
BB: Anything you're looking to do while in Richmond?
KM: I'm just worried about football. I don't even know what days we have off.
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