The Washington Redskins recently released former Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson after just two weeks of play this season, according to ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter.

Schefter says the ‘Skins needed more speed, something the 30-year-old Maryland native has lacked during the past few seasons of his eight-year career.

But if its speed Washington wants, that’s what it’ll get after signing former Morgan State star tailback Chad Simpson. The Miami native has long been known for his blazing speed since he was his days at MSU. After transferring from University of South Florida in 2006, Simpson made an instant impact running the ball. The 5-foot-9-inch, 219-pound speedster eventually became the fourth leading rusher in school history and set the school’s single season rushing record his senior year with 1,402 rushing yards.

Simpson was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Indianapolis Colts in 2008 and played special teams for the Colts for two seasons. He returned 38 kickoffs for 898 yards and one touchdown in 2009, but was waived by the Colts on April 11. The Buffalo Bills picked him up on May 11, but released him on Sept. 4. Now, he’s back in the Maryland region to help out the Redskins.

“I had the opportunity to coach Chad for two years and there’s nothing but good things to say about him,” Morgan State assistant football coach Earl Davis told the AFRO. Davis has coached running backs at Morgan for decades, and said Simpson is one of the best he has worked with.

“His work ethic is unbelievable. He’s a real team player, too and will do whatever his coaches ask him to do,” Davis said. “He’s always working hard. When I talked to him last week, he said he was working out, and said he should be picked up by a team soon. Then he called me yesterday and said he was signed by Washington.”

Davis suggested that Washington may be the perfect place for Simpson to flourish.

“He has all the talent you want in a running back. He has great speed, toughness to run inside and he’s learned how to pick up the blitz with his blocking,” Davis said. “The last two teams he played for were loaded at running back, especially Buffalo. But Washington needed depth at running back and Chad should help them out.”

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor