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Sherman Smith: Betts will provide a spark

(By Jonathan Newton - TWP)

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.

By Dan Steinberg  |  November 11, 2009; 11:46 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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They also don't just discard CB's, lineman, TJ Duckett.......

Hopefully we have seen the last of MEton Portis.

Posted by: skinsrdone | November 11, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Get outta town CP.

Posted by: ridgely1 | November 11, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Rick Maese tweets that Clinton Portis is not at practice, which was moved to 11:30 because of the rainy weather today.


Uh... Rick.... Helloooo in there? Anyone home? CP not at practice? Does this surprise anyone? It is Wednesday after all -- and Clinton "don't need no friggin practis" -- and certainly never on a Wednesday.

Besides, he's probably off fighting doctors, coaches and whoever else might try to prevent him from playing on Sunday. Yeah, right...

Posted by: Vic1 | November 11, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"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"...same could be said about D. Hall in Oakland but we decided to pick him up. Doesn't matter about background with this organization. If they want him, they'll get him!

Posted by: mburns134 | November 11, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

betts looked like the best rb this team has had all year last week. too bad, i still love CP, but it looks like his best years are behind him.

Posted by: jpfterps | November 11, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Just look at the picture above...Betts is rushing for positive yards AND giving Dockery a piggyback ride. That's the kind of power running game we need!!

Sorry CP, your days are done.

Posted by: Section104 | November 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Just put CP on IR and call it good. He's been useless since midseason last year.

Posted by: SkinsfaninNebraska | November 12, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

he's right, Betts totally gives a spark over Portis. and that's pretty damn sad really.

Portis had one thing going for him as an NFL running back, his burst through a hole or around the crease off the ends. now that burst is gone, never to return. and without the speed he's just another undersized beat-up back who can't break the big run.

any GM worth their salt would:
1. cut this dead weight asap
2. never have signed the soon-to-be deadweight to a giant multi-year contract when he was twenty-f'g-seven and already showing signs of slowing and being way injury prone.
3. probably never agree to work for Petty Tyrant anyway

Posted by: greatteamdan | November 13, 2009 1:58 AM | Report abuse

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