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Clinton Portis is the starter heading into camp

Just in case there was any question, we can clear up this much: the Redskins' starting running back right now is Clinton Portis.

"Clinton has been the back here, and he's definitely the starting back going into training camp," said offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. "We don't really talk about that stuff because we want three guys who all can do it. Whoever can do it, will do it. Clinton's running with the starters. We're planning on it being that way until the next guy
steps up."

The team signed veterans Larry Johnson and Willie Parker this offseason. The coaching staff has been reluctant to name starters at any position while encouraging competition everywhere.

At the team's organized team activities (OTAs), Portis has been getting the majority of repetitions with the first team. He and quarterback Donovan McNabb have been taking part in more OTAs than in recent years, and the extra time together during the offseason
apparently is paying off.

"With Clinton, it seems like we've been playing together for a while," McNabb said. "Obviously, with him being in this sort of offense in Denver and now coming here with [Joe] Gibbs' brand, he has that experience. But our chemistry has definitely been there. We've just been communicating and making sure that everybody is kind of thinking
on the same wave length."

That isn't to say that the running back position is locked up. Coaches will continue to monitor all three veteran backs through training camp.

"I see three very good ones," Kyle Shanahan said. "Each one is a little different. I know I see three starting NFL backs, which is exciting."

By Rick Maese  |  June 2, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
Categories:  Clinton Portis , Donovan McNabb , Kyle Shanahan , Larry Johnson  
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Next: Shanahan: Skins have made offer to Brian Westbrook

Comments

Clinton will have a huge year.

Posted by: iH8dallas | June 2, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Gonna Getcha's our starting RB.

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | June 2, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

From previous post...
well said Moe, its all about constantly drafting linemen, its also about avoiding getting yourself in a situation where you need to draft heavy in any 1 aspect of the game, but the last guy ran by the opposite ideology.

Its a simple premise there are 4 major aspects to the offence; running, passing, blocking and Quarter Back. And 3 major aspects to the defense; the line, linebackers and secondary. Ideally you are using a pick in 1 area every draft. Easier said than done, but its the right notion.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 2, 2010 12:06 PM

The number of ways in which this is wrong is staggering. First off, your groups vary in numbers. You need to play 5 OLinemen and 1 QB. Picking one of each every year creates a deficit of OLmen. Second, through age, injury, free agency/trades, the imperfect nature of personnel decisions(poor draft picking/FAs/trades), freak occurances (jail time, drug suspensions, deaths, etc), some guys holding up longer than others and a number of other factors, a team will NEVER be perfectly balanced. There will always be relative strengths and weaknesses and you should account for that in picking your players. Picking a player at a position of strength at the expense of getting additional help for a position of weakness just on general principal is ridiculous. A 7th rounder > a 1st rounder. In general, the lower the round, the more likely the player is to make the team, creating an imbalance unless you rotate the draft position of your area each year. Your division opponents style of play might dictate an area you might want to focus on. If I am going to be playing Indy twice a year, I might want to have DB as an area of strength.

I don't disagree that the oline was neglected and that we need to draft some good linemen with higher picks (or acquire starters and backups some other way), but I can't disagree more with this drafting philosophy.

Posted by: amaranthpa | June 2, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The play of the OL will determine how good our backs perform this year, as is the same any year. During Dallas' heyday of the mid 90's - ANYONE could have put up Emmit Smith's numbers. No line = no running game. No running game = no passing game = no offence = 2009. I'm playing wait and see.

Posted by: scoot21 | June 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

if all three of these guys make it past final cuts, I'd suspect the question of "starter" becomes moot anyway, since we'll probably be running a Cerberus rotation in the backfield... we'll see if that dog is more bark than bite.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | June 2, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Al and Tipper Gore's separation makes us fear for our parents, ourselves..."

Who gives up after 40 years?

Al and Tipper, that's who.

Cubs fans don't.

Red Sawx fans almost did.

Saints fans never did--despite the brown bags, Katrina, and Bum Phillips--and will get rings this Fall.

The lions, browns, texans, and jags must find ways to keep their hopes alive.

Their efforts all prove that like marriage, football is a thing that's about the ring.

Dan Snyder lost interest in his squash buddy Vinny Cerrato and kicked him to the curb like he was a cheating baby daddy on the Maury Povich Show.

Their divorce was celebrated in ways their marriage of the mindless wasn't.

Joe Gibbs was in his 40s when he accepted the redskins' coaching job almost 30 years ago.

Have gave up after the second time around proved to less exciting than the first.

It still doesn't take the shine off the three rings he earned in the days of Reagan and junk bonds.

mrsmoe and I will celebrate 25 years the same weekend the upcoming NFL season starts.

It's an anniversary I look forward to and dread all at the same time.

"Do you think we'll make it to 40 years of marriage like Al and Tipper?" I asked her the other day.

She responded with lyrics too explicit too label.

She told me to introduce myself to PayPal and find love on the internet.

Tonite, the globe will be warm, but the bedroom cold.

But like us skins fans, she does hope for a shiny ring this Fall.

And that last hope is one I'll never give up on.

Posted by: MistaMoe | June 2, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the Skins don't have any speedy breakaway-threat running back. Makes their running game one dimensional and puts more pressure on McNabb, who has his hands full dealing with a pretty feckless receiving corps. But there is always hope that a trade of some type will improve things.

Posted by: PsyOps | June 2, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

They're gonna bring Barry Switzer in as a consultant and run the wishbone.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | June 2, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: amaranthpa | June 2, 2010 1:50 PM

just to add one more point... there is also year-to-year variation in how many picks you have, which picks you have, and who is available. I would argue that drafting well involves a fair amount of nuanced decision-making (and luck).

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | June 2, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the Skins will win the NFC East every year. Except this year I have put money on it with some of my Cowboy friends.

McNabb/Shanahan/Allen have given me a much needed boost of confidence in this team.

11-5 this year.

Posted by: iH8dallas | June 2, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Mike Shanahan is known as a ground game guy and his son Kyle seems to be more of a passing attack guy. That makes me wonder what the basic character of the 2010 Redskins will be. Sure they will run some and pass some, but will they be at heart a running team or a passing team?

Posted by: manlius1 | June 2, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

BAH...who cares about the RB battle.....WHAT'S THE UPDATE ON THE REDSKINS GOING AFTER (if they are) ATOGWE???

IT'S A NO-BRAINER MOVE!!! DO IT!

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo | June 2, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

McNabb, who has his hands full dealing with a pretty feckless receiving corps. But there is always hope that a trade of some type will improve things.

Posted by: PsyOps | June 2, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

McNabb will turn Devin Thomas into a ProBowl caliber player. Zorn had these guys handcuffed last year. Also don't forget Kyle Shanahan turned Matt Schaub into one helluva QB. Imagine what McNabb will do in that offense.

Posted by: iH8dallas | June 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Mike Shanahan is known as a ground game guy and his son Kyle seems to be more of a passing attack guy. That makes me wonder what the basic character of the 2010 Redskins will be. Sure they will run some and pass some, but will they be at heart a running team or a passing team?

Posted by: manlius1


If they win, who cares?

Posted by: 1965skinsfan | June 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Kyle Shanny has a Gibbs 2.0 styled boner about CP26 as well....

Posted by: 4thFloor | June 2, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Tonite, the globe will be warm, but the bedroom cold.

Posted by: MistaMoe | June 2, 2010 1:55 PM |

That explains it. He became more interested in global warming than in his marriage. And hey, the dude snagged a Nobel. I'd say the tradeoff was worth it.

Posted by: PsyOps | June 2, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Moo.
I needed to be proded into this post.

Posted by: 2ndtierfan | June 2, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

BAH...who cares about the RB battle.....WHAT'S THE UPDATE ON THE REDSKINS GOING AFTER (if they are) ATOGWE???

IT'S A NO-BRAINER MOVE!!! DO IT!

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo

Me, I don't see Otogwe as a Redskin, but his departure is interesting since it opens a hole in the StL secondary. What would StL give us for a useful safety ... Horton, Doughty, Landry or Moore?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | June 2, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully CP continues to put in the work, which I fully expect him to. CP will beast out this year. He has a chip on his shoulder and he's in an offense he's been very successful in. Now, let's find depth at OT and a legit #1 WR.

Posted by: TWISI | June 2, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The play of the OL will determine how good our backs perform this year, as is the same any year. During Dallas' heyday of the mid 90's - ANYONE could have put up Emmit Smith's numbers. No line = no running game. No running game = no passing game = no offence = 2009. I'm playing wait and see.

Posted by: scoot21 | June 2, 2010 1:53 PM

You really think that our RBs last year would have been great if they played in, say, Tennessee? They may have been better but I doubt anyone of them would have come anywhere near Chris Johnson's numbers. For the record, I could not have put up Emmit's numbers.

It's a combination of line, back, other blockers, scheme, strength of rest of offense, play calling and who you are playing against - running in the NFC East is a lot harder than running in the AFC West.

Posted by: amaranthpa | June 2, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I think the Skins will win the NFC East every year. Except this year I have put money on it with some of my Cowboy friends.

McNabb/Shanahan/Allen have given me a much needed boost of confidence in this team.

11-5 this year.

Posted by: iH8dallas | June 2, 2010 2:02 PM


Do I love your optimism?? Yes. Are you an idiot?? Yes. It'll be a while before the Skins challenge for the NFC East each year. Its a 3 team division. We have not yet been invited to play with the big kids yet. The Shanny's are making great progress, but undoing the Vinny years (and Joe Gibbs 2.0) will not be a quick fix.

Posted by: scoot21 | June 2, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Each of these older backs is good for about 6 games (give or take)... the skins will get a whole season out of the 3 of them.

Posted by: Burrasta1 | June 2, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

lets face it, Gore invented the internet for one purpose, and as the christians have told us in the past porn ruins marriages.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 2, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@zcezcest1

Otogwe is an unrestricted free agent as of last night......the Redskins don't have to give diddly to the Rams.

Sign Otogwe....he knows Haslett's system and he is a monster and a good pair with Landry.

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo | June 2, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse


@iH8dallas

You can wake from your slumber.

BOYCOTT $NYDER OR KEEP DREAMING!!!!

Posted by: hessone | June 2, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

It's a combination of line, back, other blockers, scheme, strength of rest of offense, play calling and who you are playing against - running in the NFC East is a lot harder than running in the AFC West.

Posted by: amaranthpa

Add in pass and threat of pass. Easier to run, easier to block if defense must respect the pass. And of course the run sets up the pass, too.

But without an Oline, none of the good stuff happens.

Posted by: TheCork | June 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The play of the OL will determine how good our backs perform this year, as is the same any year. During Dallas' heyday of the mid 90's - ANYONE could have put up Emmit Smith's numbers. No line = no running game. No running game = no passing game = no offence = 2009. I'm playing wait and see.

Posted by: scoot21 | June 2, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I can safely say...... I disagree with your statement that ANY runner would have put up Smith's numbers in the offense...Yes you do need a good line...But that does not mean ANY body can just put up HOF and ALL time numbers just because they run behind them....

Posted by: leevi98 | June 2, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Do I love your optimism?? Yes. Are you an idiot?? Yes. It'll be a while before the Skins challenge for the NFC East each year. Its a 3 team division. We have not yet been invited to play with the big kids yet. The Shanny's are making great progress, but undoing the Vinny years (and Joe Gibbs 2.0) will not be a quick fix.

Posted by: scoot21 | June 2, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Not yet been invited to the party? 3 team div.? No it's a 4 team div and we have been at the bottom for 2 years... the division has been around for decades and the skins have won quite a few division titles...

also I did not realize that the 2nd stint of Gibbs was a failure we had to fix...where did that come from?

Did Gibbs reach the same success as his first stint...no ....was it a failure as your suggesting NO....two playoff appearences in 4 years after being away fro 12 years is pretty darn good....Especially when you look at what a mess the franchise was in after Spurrier left...

Also look at the job Gibbs did in 07 after the death of Taylor.... To include Gibbs in with what Zorn and vinny did to the team in 2 years is not fair to Gibbs...Gibbs has given a great portion of his life to this franchise with very huge results in 16 years of coaching it.....have some respect and common sense.....

Posted by: leevi98 | June 2, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"Al and Tipper Gore's separation makes us fear for our parents, ourselves..."

Who gives up after 40 years?
---------------------------------------

Live Together, Die Alone.

Posted by: narielnasl | June 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I dub the Redskins running game the "Walrus Backfield" -- loooonnnngggg in the tooth, that is.

Posted by: nadie1 | June 2, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

omfg! I thought the new staff had more sense! It's ok though, they'll soon learn.

Posted by: iubiquity | June 2, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Portis gives his best to help the helpless Skins offense. Why shouldn't he start, and those other 2 older backs knew the Skins situation and wanted to come here. They are not a potential problem, the seemingly thin O-line is. The Skins also seem to be lacking in NFL talent at wide receiver.

Posted by: DMcCall2 | June 2, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

ABP

Anybody But Portis.

Posted by: minorthread | June 2, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

After about 20 consecutive 2-yard runs, he'll be on the bench where he belongs. I wonder which team mates he will throw under the bus this year. Cutting people down wouldn't be so bad if he could learn to speak English. He needs a translator to correct and then explain that jibberish.

Posted by: lp_lodestar | June 2, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Portis is all used up from the beatings he's taken the last couple of years. If he's the starter after training camp, the other backs must really be done.

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Posted by: luccitrade | June 2, 2010 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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