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Who will back up Clinton Portis?

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Old 03-21-2004, 09:58 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JWsleep
Great stuff, Crisp.

Still, we're going to have to spell Portis after his 60-yard gains!

One factor that will be important for a backup is can the RB BLOCK? An RB who can't pass protect isn't going to make it in Gibbs system. That may help separate out the RBs. I still hope Betts emerges and stays healthy. Can Rock Block?
As Daseal said, Portis CAN block. I read somewhere that the Redskins coaches-- Joe Gibbs in particular-- were raving about Portis' tenacity as a pass blocker. They said he really gets after it and finishes his blocks.

Another thing I read is that Portis is the kind of back that will work on his weakpoints until they become his strengths. The guy has a drive and desire to be the best runningback in the game-- maybe the best ever-- and he understands that you have to bring the entire package to the table in order to meet those lofty qualifications.

So while Portis may not be the biggest back out there, it's his drive and tenacity that make him one of the best backs in the league-- whether that's breaking off 60-yard TDs, turning a 5-yard swing pass into a highlight reel clip, or keeping blitzing linebackers away from his quarterback.

As far as Betts, Rock and the other backs, none of them showed any real consistency as blockers last season, but-- as is always the caviat when referring to Spurrier's final season in Washington-- you can probably put a lot of the blame on the coaching and the scheme.

Rock would seem to have an ideal build for a blocking back-- low center of gravity, strong legs-- but it seems like he had a hard time with the footwork and maintaining position and leverage. Hopefully, Byner and Bugel will turn him and the other backs into at least serviceable blockers. If they can't, they'll find other backs who can get the job done.

Last edited by joecrisp; 03-21-2004 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:43 AM   #32
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The games I saw Portis in last year more than his running I was impressed by his blocking. He picked up big name players and just totally took them out of the picture. He didn't try some little chop block to slow him down like most backs, he knocked the guy on his ass. I really think this guy is special.

God, when does the season start!
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Old 03-21-2004, 09:43 PM   #33
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I wonder what role we would have for a blocking back in our system. I am assuming we are going to a two tight end, one back formation. I'm glad Portis takes blocking so seriously. Walter Payton was the best running back ever in Madden's eyes, because he was the most complete player, and was a great blocker as well. I imagine we would never have traded for Portis if he wasn't special as a blocker because if you have only one back, he has to be able to block.

The blocking issue will probably be key in terms of playing time for our backs because if they don't do well in that area, they can't do what is necessary for a RB in a one back system.
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:16 AM   #34
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Good point - exactly why I suspect Canidate will be gone soon. Betts and Cartwright can block and Johnson is good as gone, so I see us starting the season with Portis, Betts, McCullough, Cartwright and Sellers.
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