Sherman Smith: Betts will provide a spark
Normally, when a transcendent superstar goes down with an injury, the coach-speak response is something like this: "Obviously, there's no way we can replace [Superstar], but we're all confident that [Superstar's backup] will be able to help us win until [Superstar] stops seeing multi-colored inebriated unicorns when he closes his eyes," or something along those lines.
"There is no getting around the fact that we're going to miss him," Bruce Boudreau recently said of the injured Alex Ovechkin, in a nice example of the genre. "We want to prove we're a good hockey club and Alex being gone gives us a good opportunity to do that."
And here's what Redskins offensive coordinator Sherman Smith said when Comcast SportsNet's Kelli Johnson asked whether Clinton Portis's injury replacement, Ladell Betts, could "give you a little bit more in terms of strong running and healthy running and good legs."
"Yeah, I think so," Smith said. "I think he practices more consistently. Now Clinton practiced last week, but Ladell practices more consistently, and I think just the timing with the offensive line may be just a little bit better. So he'll give us a spark, there's no question about that."
So the 30-year old career backup will give you a spark over the guy who, last year, was the NFL's highest-paid running back and your team's second-highest paid player? That seems odd. Would that the Wizards could get such a spark from the backups to Antawn Jamison, Mike Miller, and whoever else got hurt within the past couple of seconds.
Smith was also asked to assess the availability of Larry Johnson, and he didn't leave too much doubt about his opinion.
"I haven't been asked about it other than right here," he said with a laugh. "I think we have to go with what we have. You have to ask himself, now why is he available? What happened in Kansas City? People don't just discard good running backs for no reason....Right now I don't know if that's a good fit for us. We need more than a running back. We need linemen. We've got too many needs, so I don't think Larry Johnson fixes our problems."
You need linemen? Huh. How about that.
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