RICHMOND, Va. - A bit of a punching bag before his NFL career even started, Redskins rookie running back Derrius Guice is changing directions on the field - and causing some to reverse course on their narrative.
"Quite frankly, we didn’t have any questions on his character," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden admitted.
Widely considered the second-best (Saquon Barkley) running back in the 2018 NFL Draft, because of reported "character concerns" - Guice fell faster than the price of Halloween treats on November 1st. However, here in August - it's candy giving us a taste of the true Derrius Guice.
Arriving to the location of his 1-on-1 interview with News 3, Guice had a lollipop in hand (and mouth). His youthful exuberance could not be further from the picture painted of him during the Draft process - or from the so-called "angry" runner on the field.
"What's the dynamic between the guy we see between the lines and the guy here licking on a lollipop?" News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler asked Guice.
"When I'm on the field, when I'm running - I just don't like hitting the ground," Guice said smiling after taking a lick to his sucker. "Football is a very fun and loving game to me. It's something that took me away from the hood. I'm lucky to have been playing this long and I'm grateful to be at the highest level."
"He is a confident guy now, that's not an issue there," Gruden said. "That's - I mean, holy cow. He's very confident and I like that about a back."
"Is there such thing as putting too much pressure on yourself or too high expectations?" Winkler wondered? "Or is that what you live for?"
"There's no such thing as too high of expectations for yourself," Guice answered. "When you've been doing it for a while, you know what you're capable of - whether I have touched a snap in the National Football League or not."
Yet, many - prior to Guice touching a snap in the National Football League, claimed to know what he was capable of. And one month out from his first NFL game, many are giving Guice a puncher's chance to send the doubters in a different direction.