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Old 08-05-2004, 10:58 PM   #1
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Betts...

Interesting piece on Betts...

He was leveled on the run by the blitzing safety and Earnest Byner wanted to see how he responded. Ladell Betts started toward Matt Bowen, but didn't lose his poise. Two plays later, Ladell Betts broke off a strong gain, and earned more respect from Byner.

''That's the type of thing you see,'' Byner said. ''Mental toughness.''

And that's why Byner hasn't counted out Betts as a big contributor this season. Even if the Redskins have Clinton Portis . Byner even said Betts is as gifted as any player the Redskins have.


But injuries have slowed Betts' career. The former second-round pick could have taken the job away from Trung Canidate , but couldn't stay healthy. He missed seven games because of injuries, and precious time in training camp. His stats reflected the absence, and lack of consistency, as he rushed for only 255 yards on 77 carries.

''Last year was the hardest I've ever been through,'' Betts said. ''I never had to sit out for any length of time. I'd never been hurt. So I looked this offseason to strengthen up my body and prevent those kinds of things.''

Now he's stuck behind Portis, who can do a little of everything. That lessens the opportunities for Betts.

''I know they brought Clinton in here for a reason,'' Betts said. ''But I'm approaching it like I'm supposed to be the starter. I look at it as an opportunity to challenge. You don't get many chances to go up against the best in the business. You get a chance to see how you measure up.''

And if he doesn't play much?

''I won't let it get me down,'' he said. ''It's all about being mature and knowing your role. We get paid to do a job and they pay us well. I won't complain.''
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:04 PM   #2
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As far as raw skills go there's not much to not like about Betts. Good size, speed and quicks. He just has to stay healthy.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:12 PM   #3
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He also sounds like a class act. A 'Gibbs' type player.
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Old 08-05-2004, 11:30 PM   #4
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The reality is...Betts will start a game or two if Portis gets nicked. Behind last year's line and scheme, he probably did as well as could be expected. I believe he should be a respectful #2. With better coaching and blocking, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

I'm sure he'll get his share of carries in the preseason. Let's see what happens.

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Old 08-05-2004, 11:32 PM   #5
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and if we have to rely on betts due to a portis injury, we can also put in the trojan duo (sultan/morton) on third down situations as a change of pace. not a bad rb situation!
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Old 08-06-2004, 12:18 AM   #6
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I like Sultan, I wanted him to start last year. I thought he was the best back that we had.

Betts should turn out to be a solid number two, but id be lying if I said I wouldnt be upset if Clinton took every carry this year.
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Old 08-06-2004, 12:27 AM   #7
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Exactly...I mean adjustments would need to be made but at least there are options. Given player movement, how deep can can a team be?. I know it's such an optimistic view at this time, but there is depth on the offense and coaches capable of leveraging the talent.

Regarding the preseason, you can bet we'll see plenty of conservative play. It's still hard to lose the embarassment of Spurrier's greatest victories...in the preseason.

Anyway, I believe there is a lot of talent in our backfield. I'm excited to see how it's utilized.

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Old 08-06-2004, 09:27 AM   #8
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I still think Cartwright is the best back the Redskins have. I don't think I've ever seen Betts break a tackle in my life. He runs to day light fairly well, but doesn't do much to move a pile or make people miss. I haven't really been impressed with Ladell Betts since he has joined the team.

This is pretty much typical of training camp. Every year everyone seems very high on Ladell Betts, but when it comes to the regular season and Betts is in the game he's been painfully mediocre. I really don't like to see Betts in the backfield, he doesn't make things happen, not that Rock Cartwright won many games for the Skins, but he's a better runner than Betts in my opinion.
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Old 08-06-2004, 01:34 PM   #9
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rock can't block though... and gibbs is big on that. I saw simon doing well in camp too, but I still kinda wish we kept kenny watson... definately not portis, but a hard worker who didn't miss games...
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Old 08-06-2004, 01:41 PM   #10
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Speaking of blocking, whose slated to play fullback and block for Portis right now? Portis is definitly the best blockign hb we have, and that will prove valuable. I was reading an article on espn yesterday about spurriers lack there of blocking schmes, and they made note that Spurrier would have a hb picking up Strahan...
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Old 08-06-2004, 01:47 PM   #11
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Yeah, the back-up RB battle is shaping up to be just as good as the back-up WR's and the TE/H-backs. I think Betts will probably pull out the #2 spot, but the competition between Rock, McCollough, and Simon seems pretty good. Nobody ever really mentions Simon on here, but there have been some positive things said about him in the camp reports. Can't wait to see how they all do on Monday!
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