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Posted at 10:37 AM ET, 09/20/2011

Mike Shanahan is high on Roy Helu

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan believed that running back Roy Helu had something special, so Washington traded up to take him in the fourth round of this year’s draft. The Nebraska product looked good in the preseason, and on Sunday cranked out 112 all-purpose yards.

Roy Helu eludes Cardinals’ defenders. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
The 5-foot-11, 219-pound Helu rushed for 74 yards on 10 carries, and had three catches for 38 yards, including a long of 33. Helu’s 33-yard catch-and-run was the longest by a Redskins’ rookie running back since Reggie Brooks ripped off a 43-yarder in 2003.

Starting running back Tim Hightower praised Helu’s performance after the victory and Shanahan said Monday that he also was impressed by Helu’s game.

“When you’ve got a guy like Helu, you don’t know why guys make plays, but the great ones do,” Shanahan said. “I think Helu is giving people ideas that he can make plays. He’s got some speed, some running ability and it’ll be an ongoing evaluation of him. Can he pick up blitzes? Can he hold onto the football? But I was pleased with what he’s done through the preseason and our second regular season game, and hopefully he continues to grow.”

By  |  10:37 AM ET, 09/20/2011

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