EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Darrel Young kept the football from his first career NFL touchdown last season, and he made sure to get the one he carried into the end zone Sunday in the Washington Redskins' 23-10 win over the New York Giants.
"This is more meaningful because this is my first time starting," Young said. "I hope there's more to come."
There will be if Young's play this season is any indication. The second-year fullback has impressed coaches and teammates in his first season as the starter.
"He's got an opportunity to show us what he can do, and now that the running game is a little better, he's on the field a little bit more," coach Mike Shanahan said. "I think you'll see more of him as time goes on."
Young primarily has been a blocker this season. Entering Sunday's game, he had only one carry for 7 yards in Week 2 against Arizona. But his physical, violent blocking has helped the running game's resurgence in recent weeks.
"He's so consistent," tight end Logan Paulsen said. "There's never a week where you're like, 'Oh man, D.Y, could have played better.' He's playing at a really high level every week."
It wasn't all grunt work, though, for Young on Sunday against the Giants.
He had four carries for 14 yards. Three rushes resulted in first downs, and the other was a 6-yard touchdown.
Redskins coaches noticed that the Giants' defensive ends in past games prioritized penetrating off the edges, so they called several quick handoffs to Young.
"It's a copycat league. We just felt we could capitalize in situations, and I think it worked out just OK today," Young said with a wily grin.
The most notable was his touchdown. The Redskins lined up in the I-formation. The offensive line slanted to the right, mimicking a typical stretch play. Quarterback Rex Grossman quickly gave the ball to Young before selling a fake end-around to receiver Terrence Austin.
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul bit so hard on the fake to Austin that he only touched Young with two hands before peeling off. He didn't realize Young had the ball.
Young did the rest by running through safety Antrel Rolle's tackle attempt.
"All I seen was this tall dude, and I don't know what happened after that," Young said. "Then I seen the safety, and then I was like, 'Oh, this is the goal line. I can't let them stop me here.' "
The afternoon was especially sweet for Young because he grew up a Giants fan in Amityville, N.Y., on Long Island. His parents weren't at the game, but Young knew they were watching.
"It's just a dream come true to play in Giants Stadium," he said. "I feel like I played my heart out today."
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