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Washington Redskins concerned by backfield depth, even after adding Pro Bowlers

During the offseason, a league source told us the Redskins had concerns about their depth behind top back Clinton Portis and were even considering extending an offer to former longtime backup Ladell Betts.

The source has helped us in providing information for many news reports, and his information has always been proven accurate, but I still had my doubts. The Redskins had already signed former Pro Bowlers Larry Johnson and Willie Parker to compete with Portis for the first-string job, and it just seemed strange to me that they would be down on those guys before training camp even began.

Well, the source called shortly after watching Larry Johnson struggle during Saturday's 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. "That's what I was talking about," he said.

In his "showcase" game in the running back rotation, Johnson started and gained four yards on eight rushes, performed woefully in the key area of blitz pick-ups and failed to come up with the ball on a short pass from quarterback Donovan McNabb. In fairness to Johnson, the Redskins did not have their best day blocking.

Terrell Suggs blew up rookie left tackle Trent Williams on one of Johnson's rushes and dropped him for a loss. Fullback Mike Sellers whiffed on another running play and Johnson never had a chance. But during Portis's opportunities with the first-team offensive line, he had a couple of nice runs and seemed to be in rhythm from the moment he stepped on the field.

Blocking has never been among Johnson's strengths, but backs who repeatedly fail in blitz pick-ups will not play under Coach Mike Shanahan, the source said. No coach protects quarterbacks better than Shanahan, and backs play a huge role in his blocking scheme, both in making reads in the zone-running game and in pass protection.

Parker is scheduled to start Friday night against the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium. He has been listed behind Portis and Johnson since the first depth chart was released, but it seems Johnson's ineffective outing has left the door ajar for Parker to make a move if he performs well.

At this point, many in the organization privately acknowledge that Portis, barring unforeseen circumstances, will line up with the first-team offense Sept. 12 against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field. Who will be his primary backup?

Johnson or Parker still could make the opening 53-man roster, but it also wouldn't be shocking if both were released. The Redskins are high on young backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams, and there are two preseason games remaining.

When Shanahan was with the Denver Broncos, he sometimes made surprising roster moves in choosing younger players over established veterans. It's still unknown which path Shanahan will take with the backup spots, but at least Portis's role seems clear.

By Jason Reid  |  August 24, 2010; 7:20 AM ET
Categories:  Clinton Portis , Donovan McNabb , Larry Johnson , Mike Shanahan , Offensive line , Running backs , Trent Williams , Willie Parker , training camp  
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Next: Video: Jason Reid discusses Haynesworth

Comments

portis is done. johnson is done. parker is done.

redtards are done.

Posted by: 10peterbilt | August 24, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

If this is true, why not go after Brian Westbrook harder? Why not re-sign Betts? I think when it is all said and done the RB position will be a solid group. I'm not concerned.

Posted by: TWISI | August 24, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

I agree that LJ's non-performance in Friday's game has some people worried. You add to that the news that WP has lost some of his burst and you see two veterans that may be out the door.

Although I agreed with the signings of the vets at the time, I also wonder why the team has been a little slow to cut their losses and go after a younger, developmental type of player. I mean, we have heard Willie was no longer "Fast Willie" since before camp began, so once the Redskins confirmed this, why not let him go and find a younger guy to fill the role? This coaching staff has been known for finding running back diamonds in the most surprising places, so why not take the risk?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

I'm just glad to see that the league_source is back. His backup beep-beep wasn't getting it done. He consistently whiffs on jokes and appears to have lost a step.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 24, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Parker and Johnson did their jobs... of keeping Portis motivated. They can leave now. Portis had an amazing block against a Raven's LB blitzing up the middle. I'm not worried. Let Torrain and Williams back up Portis.

Posted by: narielnasl | August 24, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

In the few plays he was in Portis was solid. Larry Johnson can go kick dirt, he missed assignments dropped balls and got no yards, we already have Haynsworth, I don't think we need another guy with a history of attitude issues.

If it were me I go wi9th something like this,

Starter and 3rd and long back-Portis
3rd and Short back- Parker
Change of pace back- Torain
Spell back- Williams

Try and get each of them a minimum of 3 carries a game.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Cut our losses with LJ. After the Jets, I am sure I'll say the same thing about Willie. Clinton hasn't had a lot of opportunities, but he looks fitter, and he's been quick to the hole. CP's stat line says it all: 8 carries, 36 yards, 4.5 avg. We should keep Torain and Keiland. They have a lot of upside, and most importantly, they are young. Obviously, the concern is experience and having an extra vet is reassuring.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | August 24, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Larry Johnson ran like grandmama on Friday night.

Posted by: shortman4 | August 24, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Johnson and Parker weren't brought in to be major contributors on this team. They were brought in to get Portis motivated and in shape. Accomplished.

Torain will be starting by year's end.

Posted by: Section104 | August 24, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

MyPostIDisAfake,

Word is Shanny wants to have 4 guys to play with. So I say just figure out which of the two, Willy or Johnson that you want to stick in to the back field.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

LJ's missed blocks are indefensible, but I'd like to see him get a few more carries before he gets completely written off. There was very little running room for most of his carries, and a couple of them were blown up by horrible O-line play (as JR mentions). He didn't appear to have close to the same initial burst as Portis, but I still think he may have enough power left to be a good backup if he gets a little bit of running room. I hope Shanny gives him another chance.

Posted by: skinsfan713 | August 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

When Shanahan was with the Denver Broncos, he sometimes made surprising roster moves in choosing younger players over established veterans. It's still unknown which path Shanahan will take with the backup spots, but at least Portis's role seems clear.

By Jason Reid | August 24, 2010; 7:20 AM ET

Still unknown? Wow, thanks for the news flash, Jason.

I don't think they're as worried as Jason and his Secret Source claim. If they were, then Westbrook would be playing here and not in San Francisco.

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I've previously watched the Broncos for many years; it wouldn't be surprising for Torain to be the starter, Portis as the backup, and Williams on 3rd. Due to injuries in recent years, both Shannahan's last season at Denver where they had 7 RBs go on IR and last year here at Washington, watch for him to keep one of the veterans as a fourth. But, poor blocking and a lack of acceleration doesn't do well for LJ. He also likes to keep FBs who play other positions like TE and LB.

Posted by: jds4 | August 24, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Exactly why I wanted to make a serious run at Westbrook. You have him as a solid 3rd down receiver and he solidifies the RB depth. Now they f-ed around and let the guy go to SF.

I'm pretty high on Torain, so if he stays healthy we should still be alright.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm just glad to see that the league_source is back. His backup beep-beep wasn't getting it done. He consistently whiffs on jokes and appears to have lost a step.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 24, 2010 9:00 AM
------------------------------------------
League Source was kind of a renaissance blogger: the old pound-them-until-they-whimper kind of blogger. This beep-beep guy, although inexperienced, has a fresh set of legs and is a little more about finesse. I say keep them both as kind of a thunder and lightning blogging backfield...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

RB is a youth and speed position, but this team has steadfastly refused to draft RB's since Portis joined the team. I guess Snyderrato didn't want to hurt his feelings. Meanwhile look at how the rest of the division is stocked: Dallas has Marion Barber, 25, Felix Jones, 23, and Tashard Choice, 26. New York has Brandon Jacobs, 28, and Ahmad Bradshaw, 24. And Philly may have the best of the bunch in LeSean McCoy, 22, and still used a 6th rounder this year on a RB, Charles Scott. The Skins on the other hand are old and just keep getting older. They haven't drafted an RB who made the team since picking Betts in 2002, and before that it was ... Skip Hicks in 1998. Our RB's last year were Betts, 30, Cartwright, 30, and Portis, a very old 28, and instead of drafting or developing young backs, the new regime decides to sign more old guys. Our running game is going to stink this year and this is why.

Posted by: jksesq1 | August 24, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I keep blocking out of my head that we were down to our 4th RB starting games last year.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Now they f-ed around and let the guy go to SF.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 9:16 AM

And why do you think they "f-ed around"? I think it's because they're not as worried as you and Jason Reid are. But, it's just a theory.

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Word is Shanny wants to have 4 guys to play with. So I say just figure out which of the two, Willy or Johnson that you want to stick in to the back field.

Posted by: alex35332

So Shanny wants to play with Willy or Johnson? And four guys? Lucky for him he moved to liberal old DC where that sort of stuff is legal.

CP delivered when he was on the field. LJ did not. WP had a decent catch - ball thrown behind him. McNabb did not show anything substantially superior than Campbell in the throwing department, but no doubt he was more evasive on his feet than Campbell was. Some of the receptions made were behind the recievers (armstrong's bomb was a great WR adjustment, so was his drop). On CP's runs, it did not seem like he was getting exceptional blocking; it seemed more like he was running exceptionally well. I to this point have not been much of a CP fan (I thought the Champ trade was ludicrous and still do) but the guy delivered against a tough D when given his opportunities. At this point, LJ seems like toast.

I hope I am wrong as my prediction of 7-9 still stands. However I do think we'll beat Dallas in the opener. Not whip them but edge them out. And we'll beat Philly in Philly with Barkley on the sidelines in a Skins #5 jersey.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | August 24, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

None of these guys including Portis is the break away take it to the house threat that every team needs to keep the defenses from stacking the line of scrimmage. This goes hand in hand with having a vertical passing game. Look for another season where Wahington's backs average about 2.8 to 3.2 yards per carry.

Posted by: dandyhuffman | August 24, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Man I guess my joke earlier was so subtle only I got it.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Exactly why I wanted to make a serious run at Westbrook. You have him as a solid 3rd down receiver and he solidifies the RB depth. Now they f-ed around and let the guy go to SF.

I'm pretty high on Torain, so if he stays healthy we should still be alright.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 9:16 AM
------------------------------------------
I think the Westbrook non-signing was more about money and risk. The concussion was a scary thing for the money.

As for Torain, I would like to see him be successful.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty high on Torain, so if he stays healthy we should still be alright.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 9:16 AM

I like Torain too. BTW does anyone know how Peyton Hillis is doing in Cleveland? I think that's where he ended up.

Posted by: TWISI | August 24, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

10pete: wow, first? a little obsessed with the Skins?

Posted by: rachel216 | August 24, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I can definitely see why they're concerned with our RB depth.

LJ looked like LJ of last year in KC.

Parker has been getting mediocre reviews all camp.

Torain hasn't been able to stay healthy his entire career.

Nobody can pass-protect efficiently outside of CP.

I do like Williams though. He shows good burst, stays low, hits the hole with vigor, and never stops moving his legs.

Overall, this is still a very iffy group.

Posted by: psps23 | August 24, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Portis is gonna beast out this year. And Portis @ 30 is > than Jacobs @ 28. Jacobs is d-o-n-e.

and people westbrook CHOSE 49ers. We made a good offer but he thought he had more chances of playing with San Fran post Coffe retirement and he is an obvious change of pace guy to Gore.

And don't look now but Betts might be a big contributor in NoLa with Mike Bells season ender.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris

I would love to see Betts work out, but the injury he had last year was a possible career ender

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

al, torn acl for a guy with little wear on him?? how is that career ending?

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 24, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Calling LJ & Parker "pro bowlers" is a bit inaccurate.

"Ex-pro bowlers" is more like it

Posted by: smutsboy | August 24, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

CP will probably give us one more solid 1000-1200 yard season. And we will be younger in the backfield by keeping Torain, Williams or both. I am definitely more concerned about what happens with our receivers than the backs.

I don't see Betts getting much time. He still will be playing behind Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | August 24, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I would not have been for resigning Betts, but will be interesting to see if he becomes key contributor in Saints RB by committee back field.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Brian Westbrook was a dumba$$ for not signing here. He might have wound up as the 2nd team Running Back.

Posted by: MadeRED | August 24, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

LeGarret Blount would have been a very nice 7th round pick for the Skins.

Posted by: coparker5 | August 24, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why Shanahan would give up on Larry Johnson at this point. Check the alternatives: Torain, who has an unfortunate history of injuries (since being drafted in '08, has 16 total carries in the NFL). Or Keiland Williams, a high school sensation who never fulfilled his promise at LSU. Or for that matter, Brian Westbrook, an accident waiting to happen if he is asked to carry a primary load at RB.

If you follow Shanahan's history, you know that he believes he can make almost any NFL-quality runner into a 1,000 yard rusher, given good line performance and a back who can stay healthy.

Johnson had a bad game in his first shot at a Shanahan-style offense. Willie Parker might, too. Doesn't mean they're done, or that Torain or Keiland are the sort of players you can rely on if Portis goes down.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

As I have said Portis not only was an is the best running back on this team but he is also a great blocker. For whatever reason the media an fickle fans got down on him after his frustration of playing for incompetent coaches and schemes.

Bringing back Betts for what? Betts has no speed awareness or blocking ability...The two rookies Torain and Williams look fine. Its between Parker an Johnson an after seeing Johnson last week I say go wit

Posted by: BeatDontStop | August 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

al, torn acl for a guy with little wear on him?? how is that career ending?

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 24, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

because he was still 30 years old and even if he had not run for 3,000 caries or whatever age still slows the healing process.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

League Source was kind of a renaissance blogger: the old pound-them-until-they-whimper kind of blogger. This beep-beep guy, although inexperienced, has a fresh set of legs and is a little more about finesse. I say keep them both as kind of a thunder and lightning blogging backfield...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 9:20 AM |

You do realize that Talent evaluator, League_Source and Beep Beep are the same person right?

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 24, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

If Portis has 1 more 1,000 + yard season he still gets to 10,000 career yards and likely HOF consideration.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Per Shanahan:

“I don’t think we were very fair to Larry – the game got out of control a little bit,” Shanahan said. “We threw a little more than we wanted to, especially in the second half.”

Let's see LJ's performance against the Jets and Cards before we start labeling the guy. Personally, I'd love to see LJ blow up against the Jets and then hear what this "source" has to say. This source is probably the disgruntled PR guy that was recently fired.

Posted by: oh_boy1 | August 24, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me the reason Westbrook signed with SF is twofold. First, Frank Gore gets hurt quite often during the season, which means the backup gets the start. Second, because for whatever reason, SF had nobody with any NFL experience behind Frank. Don't know whether that was a fluke or a sign of management incompetence, but they had nada.

But the whole idea of Brian as your main RB over three or four games would scare me. I favored the idea of signing him precisely because that was unlikely. I thought he could play some in the slot a la Wes Welker, and extend his career. But taking the pounding he took in Philly?

Wow, I don't even like to think about that.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jksesq1 | August 24, 2010 9:21 AM

Great post. UNLESS they start handing the ball off to some of the younger guys with regularity. I think WP may stay if he plays teams and such. However, younger at RB, younger as a team should have been two of the goals BA should have pushed for.

Unfortunately, the emphasis is on "Win Now' which means we won't have quality depth at many positions and we end up with a record similar to most of Snyder's tenure - 7-9. To be fair, that is a huge improvement over last season; I think we all can agree that its not good enough for the money spent by the fans on the team and consequentially the money spent by the team on players.

At best, with our bloated payroll in an uncapped year, the skins will be middling. In the out years, when the cap is reinstated, we could be hamstrung with dead money. They have to choose youth wherever possible and many have stated that Shanny errs towards youth over vets (high profile and high priced). I hope to see this as final cuts occur.

Going into the last few season, we knew Oline was a disaster. Now we have replaced Samuels - one of the few skins in the last decade that lived up to his hype - with a rookie who may or may not be his second coming. The only other youthful OL we have are E Williams and S Heyer. Draw your own conclusions.

But I think a few of our young skill position players are keepers, moreso than the triplets.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | August 24, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

One PRESEASON loss to the Ravens and its abandon ship. Shanny will put the most productive team on the field. I am confident in that. If anything at all we got 2 young guys who look pretty good. Get Banks involved in some Wildcat. Calm down people we will OK. Anthony Armstrong is making a case to be the #2.

Posted by: FedorEm | August 24, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I liked Ladell Betts in this offense and wasn't sure why they let him go. Might be something they saw on film.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"SF had nobody with any NFL experience behind Frank. Don't know whether that was a fluke or a sign of management incompetence, but they had nada."

Samson, their second year guy Coffee who they drafted to backup/replace Gore and who performed very well in his rookie season up and retired 2 weeks ago. They had a plan, the plan found christ and quit. Thus SF suddenly looked very attractive to Westbrook.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I liked Ladell Betts in this offense and wasn't sure why they let him go. Might be something they saw on film.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse


Or the shredded knee.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 24, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I liked Ladell Betts in this offense and wasn't sure why they let him go. Might be something they saw on film.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:11 AM

That and his shredded knee. I hope he can make a comeback for the Saints, but time for a new option here.

Posted by: AdamCr | August 24, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins are high on young backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams, and there are two preseason games remaining.


I say go with the young'ns.

But, again, seeing how the ravens have three very good backs in Rice, McClain, and McGahee, I wonder if Willis can be pried away.

He looked very strong and had a nice burst from what I saw.

We made the trade with the ravens to get J Beck.

Why not make a move to add Willis McGahee?

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

the plan found christ and quit.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse


which is why I wouldn't have drafted Tebow either.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Reid's source is V. Cerrato....

Now that we have that out of the way, let me remind everyone that questioning Mike Shanahan on his plans and production at the RB spot is sort of like questioning whether Bill Clinton could pull any trim from 1976-2000.

Both were unquestioned in their capacity to produce results in their respective fields of expertise.

The production Coach got out of T. Davis, O. Gary, Reuben Droughns, Mike "The 28 yr. old ex-Marine" Anderson, Tatum Bell, and even Portis, who as a second rounder was the most heralded of any of these guys was ridiculous. It became a joke in Denver that you don't spend anything- draft picks or money on RBs because in the Shanahan system any # of decent backs would produce 4 figure rushing yard seasons.

So, no Reid, nice try again with your alarmist message, but there is probably not any panic going on at Redskins park unless YOU show up and get in line first at the breakfast buffet.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | August 24, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Portis, Torrain, and K. Williams. That should be our 3 guys. If Shanny keeps 4 then retain the services of the best pre season performer between Johnson and Parker, but keep the young guys.

Posted by: FedorEm | August 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

By the way, I liked Ladell Betts in this offense and wasn't sure why they let him go. Might be something they saw on film.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

or maybe a torn mcl & acl on a 30 year old back who had one nice stretch of games in a career otherwise distinguished by injuries and fumbles.....

Please guys, Betts was not the answer or solution to this issue, there's a reason no other team signed him until the Saints had a back get hurt in camp. Our backfield will be just fine, Torrain and Williams make the team and either LJ or Parker will too and the other is cut. But we're better there with two talented young guys in Torrain and Williams than we were with Cartwright and Betts.....

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Moe, McGahee big time rumored to be on trading block. I think a very interesting option but don't want to give up picks.

Another cat on the outs, but currently dinged, is Marshawn Lynch

NOTE: Dont flame me bros, not endorsing these moves just saying what starter quality guys might get moved.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

which is why I wouldn't have drafted Tebow either.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 10:16 AM |

Tebow has already found Christ. His Christ said "Go get 'em, Tim. Do it in my name." It's this other Christ, probably an impostor, who messed with the Niners.

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

WaitingGuilty,

Don't forget Shanny squeezed good production out of....drum roll please....

Ron Dayne!

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Please guys, Betts was not the answer or solution to this issue, there's a reason no other team signed him until the Saints had a back get hurt in camp.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 10:17 AM

Is this the same reason that no other team signed Larry Johnson or Willie Parker?

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

League Source was kind of a renaissance blogger: the old pound-them-until-they-whimper kind of blogger. This beep-beep guy, although inexperienced, has a fresh set of legs and is a little more about finesse. I say keep them both as kind of a thunder and lightning blogging backfield...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 9:20 AM |

You do realize that Talent evaluator, League_Source and Beep Beep are the same person right?

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 24, 2010 10:04 AM
------------------------------------------
Yep. Just trying to be funny. I guess I should give up on that.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

You got to have a back that lives to get through the line for open spaces and makes you pay.

I still think that Portis, once through the line doesn't do enough to take advantage of the open field.

If that is missing from our running game, no matter who is back there, Shanny will need to gameplan one of his best season's in order for us to beat people.

Defenses have got to know that you have a take it down the field runner, or you gonna be in for a long day.

The running backs running down the field an extra 40-yds as described in training camp only comes to fruition if they can get to daylight in the first place and then take advantage of it.

Portis, Johnson, and Parker on the outset will not require defenses to focus their gameplan any extra to stop them.

If all three are kept on the Team, they will have a lot of proving everybody wrong in order for our running game to be a success.

I am sorry that Mike Sellars is nicked again and I have always thought that he could be a beast at fullback. But every year I come away dissatisfied that he never has that stellar year that great fullbacks have that separate themselves from the rest of the back.

Mike Sellars unfortunately might go down as the longest running good fullback that never really did anything but play good enough to start.

Fullbacks when used must be huge for your Team in order for your running game to go places.

At this point, I say we find another fullback or take the fullback out of the gameplan.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Moe -

How old is McGahee? Wouldn't he be more of the same? No doubt, he would be better than LJ and likely better than WP; but the cost would be a real DB. I think we could pry anyone away from the Ravens if we offered up Hall or Rogers. At least BA is not dumb enough to throw in picks as well.

FedorEm - for those of you who feel some are jumping ship after one preseason game, for me at least, its the rational of expectation of more of the same - the skins have been consistently mediocre since 1999. Unless there are fundamental changes to the team's approach, we should expect more of the same. Shanahan does not count as a change in direction, its yet another new coach brought in by the existing ownership. The emphasis on overpriced FAs over in-house development of players will continue to cost us. Sure, we might have a winning season or two with a likely early round playoff exit over the next five years, but is that what anyone on this board wants to see? I can't drink the kool-aid on this team until proven wrong - and I genuinely hope I am.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | August 24, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,

I guess you missed the year Sellers went to pro bowl, or caught like 9 TDs or the year Portis set skins single season rushing record....

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yep. Just trying to be funny. I guess I should give up on that.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 10:25 AM

Never! Humor is always a risk.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Yep. Just trying to be funny. I guess I should give up on that.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse


Never stop following your dreams! Unless it's the one about being in school with no pants on. You should definitely give up on that one.

I learned that the hard way.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"Let's see LJ's performance against the Jets and Cards before we start labeling the guy."


Larry Johnson is done, folks.

He played behind offensive lines in Cincy and KC that helped J Charles and C Benson get big yards.

Shanahan still remembers the LJ that did damage to his broncos from back in the day.

But as of now, this is not Larry Johnson's day.

And his best ones are behind him.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Shanny is pretty good at taking (the right type of back) off the streets and turning him into a 1,000 yard runner in his system. I would expect both Johnson and Parker to be gone and we pick up a guy off waivers - not trade for McGahee or others.

Posted by: edvar | August 24, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Is this the same reason that no other team signed Larry Johnson or Willie Parker?

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

actually LJ and Parker had plenty of other visits and interest.....Betts didn't even get a look until mid way through training camp and please don't pretend that LJ or Parker are in the same league as Betts.....could the be done? sure....but Betts was a never was who was worshiped by this fanbase because of a great half season. Every other point in his career he got injured when given an opportunity, just let it go.

There's a reason that the second an experienced GM and Coach got in charge of this operation 3/5ths of the oline was replaced, the entire QB depth chart was replaced, every back other than CP was replaced and they brought in 175 receivers to compete. Ironically enough (because I still say the Fred Davis pick was a mistake) the only place our offense had any talent of significance was tight end, the rest of it was a collection of mediocrity and bad picks.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Portis:Torrain:Williams

65:25:10

Carries distribution in the real games

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 24, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

redskinhead

Willis McGahee is 28 years old.

He really hasn't been a starting back since the Ravens added Rice/McClain, so he does indeed have some years in him.

The ravens do need help at the corner, but CR and Willis are two totally different players as one is a starter, the other a back up.

Justin Tyron/B Westbrook or K Barnes or future low pick are more like what a trade for Willis might entail.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

This is BS...Portis plus the two young guys is a good backfield...if one of the vets showed up that would be an added bonus...

Posted by: Salinas1 | August 24, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

portis is done. johnson is done. parker is done.

redtards are done.

Posted by: 10peterbilt

1-inchpeckerbilt, you're one pathetic MF to be spending this much time on a redskins blog, and to be the first to post, f_cken loser.
Your boss needs to fire your sorry crack smoking self.

F dallas!!!

Posted by: bhoang888 | August 24, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Justin Tyron/B Westbrook or K Barnes or future low pick are more like what a trade for Willis might entail.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

While I don't love McGahee, I do think he has more in the tank than either LJ or Parker and sending them Tryon or Westbrook and a late rounder would be ok with me. Not Barnes though, he seems to have the size/athletic mix to play the position in the league legitimately. I would prefer if they were to do something this drastic though they go after Lynch....

However, don't think they'll do either, I expect they'll keep Torrain, Williams, and CP and maybe go after a guy like Derrick Ward if he gets cut by Tampa. (as expected)

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

No to McGahee...he's Portis with an injury history.

No to Lynch...he's regressing, he's a turd, and he's quite possibly the ugliest football player I've ever seen. I literally cringe when his photo pops up on Madden.

We have what we have. I think Torain will be good, it's just a matter of whether he can stay healthy. Fact of the matter is, if we're getting hit with injuries to the point that we're down to our 3rd RB, we're already screwed.

Portis
Torain
Williams

We could do A LOT worse...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: 10peterbilt

1-inchpeckerbilt, you're one pathetic MF to be spending this much time on a redskins blog, and to be the first to post, f_cken loser.
Your boss needs to fire your sorry crack smoking self.

Posted by: bhoang888 | August 24, 2010 10:41 AM

Boss fired him two weeks ago. That's why he's so bored at home that he's posting on RI. That plus it gets him a lot of attention from rachel.

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

LeGarret Blount would have been a very nice 7th round pick for the Skins.

Posted by: coparker5 | August 24, 2010 10:00 AM


He definitely would have punched up training camp.

Posted by: freakzilla | August 24, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

LeGarret Blount would have been a very nice 7th round pick for the Skins.
Posted by: coparker5 | August 24, 2010 10:00 AM

He definitely would have punched up training camp.
Posted by: freakzilla | August 24, 2010 10:47 AM

He would really need to fight for a roster spot.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | August 24, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

LeGarrette Blount could still become available I think he is listed as 4th string for the titans. He had a nice night rushing on his last outing though

Posted by: TimmySmith36 | August 24, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Alright time to stretch out and loosen up..
DO THE BONNIE AND CLYDE!!! DO THE BONNIE AND CLYDE!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhIZ9URHlrQ

Now, isn't that better??

McGahee's knee went 45 degrees in the WRONG direction, diminishing returns..

Posted by: frak | August 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

But as of now, this is not Larry Johnson's day.

And his best ones are behind him.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Agree that his best days are behind him, but it doesn't mean he still can't be productive and contribute to this offense. Let's be honest, he's not our featured back so of course Shanny doesn't expect him to revert back to the Larry of old, but Shanny will find a way to get the most out of him and help this team get W's. I'm not worried.

Posted by: oh_boy1 | August 24, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hey kids how about we all take a minute and breathe. The intensity with which this board examines and dissects any and all decisions made by the redskins is excessive. But for the lowly lions there is not a huge distinction between NFl teams. So before we speak of winning the NFC East, NFC, or the Super Bowl maybe we should just set a reasonable standard of performance coming off a 4-12. 8-8, No blowouts, and a chance at Wild Card would be a tremendous step forward.

As far as how Team Shanny has doen thus far in personnel
They have:
1. not overcommitted to any free agents (Team AH has already illuminated that mistake)
2. successfully gotten CP to come to camp healthy and fit and practice.
3. shown that being Fat, Petulant, and out of shape is not allowed no matter how much money you get.
4. seemingly created an environment that will promote youth and reward veterans based on effort.
5. brought in some respected football minds to coach and lead this organization.

As a fan I am already content just seeing that change. Team Shanny has the keys and right now I am happy to sit back relax, read about the personnel moves and wait and see if at the end of the season this team has moved forward.

But that might be because unlike so many people who comment about the Skins I have never held a position in an NFl, UFL, CFL or even XFL front office. I am just a fan.

Posted by: Hank4 | August 24, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

oh and Larry Johnson is finished

Posted by: TimmySmith36 | August 24, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

LeGarrette Blount could still become available I think he is listed as 4th string for the titans. He had a nice night rushing on his last outing though

Posted by: TimmySmith36 | August 24, 2010 10:53 AM


I can't even tell you how rife with irony it is to have someone posting about Blount with Timmy Smith as a handle. Just can't make this stuff up...

Just say no to Blount. Although, it would be pretty interesting to see how long it takes him to punch out Haynesworth and/or DHall...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Blount is making Titans squad.....book it.

Love Jack-Z's Ward idea.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that could care less about Mike Sellers being nicked? There are several fullbacks in the NFL that do a better job lead blocking than Sellers, and some of them will be cut in coming weeks. Mike Sellers may look like a robo-freak, but he's not a very physical blocker and often misses assignments. Hate to say it, but CP was right about Sellers last year.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 24, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

There is no way that Shanahan trades a draft pick for a running back.

That's not his style.

If there is a trade it will be for a depth OL or a WR.

I think Shanahan has seen enough from Torain and Williams to think he has found the backups that are going to play special teams and spell Portis.

And if not, I think Shanahan believes a veteran running back can be signed in the next 2-3 weeks that will be better than Johnson or Parker as the #2.

These guys were brought in as competition for Portis and Portis appears to be in top shape.

Based on the fact the backup RBs have to play teams, it was always going to be Johnson OR Parker, OR both being released.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | August 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"Great post. UNLESS they start handing the ball off to some of the younger guys with regularity. I think WP may stay if he plays teams and such. However, younger at RB, younger as a team should have been two of the goals BA should have pushed for. posted by HughGRection"

LOL don't know if it's a good idea to comment on a post by someone who styles himself 'hughgrection', but here goes: the days of getting really young as a team and remaining competitive in an NFL environment are probably over. BA had a limited number of draft choices and a bunch of needs other than RB, so the FA signings were probably his best option.

I wouldn't presuppose that BA or Shanahan has given up on building a younger, healthier team.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

redskinhead

Willis McGahee is 28 years old.

He really hasn't been a starting back since the Ravens added Rice/McClain, so he does indeed have some years in him.

The ravens do need help at the corner, but CR and Willis are two totally different players as one is a starter, the other a back up.

Justin Tyron/B Westbrook or K Barnes or future low pick are more like what a trade for Willis might entail.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 10:36 AM
------------------------------------------
Hmmm. I think maybe I have confused you or you have confused me. I don't want McGahee. I was suggesting trying Barnes or Rogers out as free safeties. They are the most physical corners we have and I think both could be good at free safety. My point was we need better coverage guys at free safety than either Horton or Doughty. Moore's injury is going to drag on into October and meanwhile someone needs to step up. I know they have tried Rogers out as free safety in practice - and liked what they saw. Could they make it work if they moved Buchanan or Tryon to starting corner? I dunno. Maybe Barnes at free safety would be a little more workable, but I am not totally sold on Barnes just yet.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

But that might be because unlike so many people who comment about the Skins I have never held a position in an NFl, UFL, CFL or even XFL front office. I am just a fan.
Posted by: Hank4 | August 24, 2010 10:55 AM

As long as you have “ever played in an organized sport”, you are okay in our books. It’s “those people” who don’t deserve to have an opinion or post up here. Or write for the Post, for that matter.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | August 24, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Yep. Just trying to be funny. I guess I should give up on that.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 10:25 AM

Never! Humor is always a risk.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse
-------------------------------------------
Never stop following your dreams! Unless it's the one about being in school with no pants on. You should definitely give up on that one.

I learned that the hard way.

Posted by: Original_etrod | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM
-------------------------------------------
But I am wearing a sombrero in mine while yodling "El Burrito".

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Ken, I have a hard time buying the notion that a guy just a year removed from a Pro-Bowl season just rolled outta bed and forgot how to be an effective lead blocker. Personally, it's a bit hard to sort through and say who did and didn't play up to snuff on offense because the coach was a joke and the line play was awful. The ripple effect of injury and idiocy made EVERYONE look bad. So I'm willing to give everyone a clean slate this year now that there's a system worth a sh*t and some top shelf talent on the roster. Seems to me, writing anyone off at this point is premature.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

clinton still has to prove that he can play all 16 games and notcomplain... torrain has done jack so far this preseason... kieland williams has got more work than the other 3 plus runter kickoff and has done very well... lj is toast... lj dropping that pass vs. the ravens was disheartening... running backs need to catch passes in the shanahans system... the jury is out on willie parker until atfer the jets game...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | August 24, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Well, all this conjecture is kinda premature, isn't it?

We still have a seasoned pro to look at. And it's not like LJ had any blocking.

We're still dealing with the major problem of O Line - and until we address that, discussing RB is a little moot...

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 24, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"I think Shanahan has seen enough from Torain and Williams to think he has found the backups that are going to play special teams and spell Portis."

Total agreement here.

But we'll see.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Comment from Coach Ken Whisenhunt of Arizona after last night's whipping: "It is a preseason game where we didn't prepare against those kind of blitzes, but we've seen looks like that from our defense so I expect us to handle it better than we did tonight."

Translation: WTF do those guys think this is, postseason?

Same thing Baltimore does in the preseason. And the Jets.

I guess it's a question of philosophy. And if you're planning on making a Super Bowl run this season.

Posted by: Samson151 | August 24, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

clinton still has to prove that he can play all 16 games and notcomplain...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | August 24, 2010 11:14 AM |

Let me stop you right there. Clinton doesn't have to prove anything.

Posted by: beep-beep | August 24, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The Jets have 3 very good FB's in camp. One of them is gonna have to go. That's where the opportunity is IMO. Good chance to scout them Friday night.

Upgrading Sellars is an easy fix.

Posted by: edvar | August 24, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Just say no to Blount. Although, it would be pretty interesting to see how long it takes him to punch out Haynesworth and/or DHall...

Was about to post same thing except yes to Blount

Posted by: swalker5 | August 24, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Look Edvar is watching Hard knocks too!

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

redskins blog, and to be the first to post, f_cken loser.
Your boss needs to fire your sorry crack smoking self.

F dallas!!!

Posted by: bhoang888 | August 24, 2010 10:41 AM

You're giving him waaaay too much credit. Dude was never employable in the first place.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

The Jets have 3 very good FB's in camp. One of them is gonna have to go. That's where the opportunity is IMO. Good chance to scout them Friday night.

Upgrading Sellars is an easy fix.

Posted by: edvar

Now we're scouting personnel based on Hard Knocks. Great. Well, at least it's an upgrade from Vinny.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 24, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Ken, I have a hard time buying the notion that a guy just a year removed from a Pro-Bowl season just rolled outta bed and forgot how to be an effective lead blocker. Personally, it's a bit hard to sort through and say who did and didn't play up to snuff on offense because the coach was a joke and the line play was awful. The ripple effect of injury and idiocy made EVERYONE look bad. So I'm willing to give everyone a clean slate this year now that there's a system worth a sh*t and some top shelf talent on the roster. Seems to me, writing anyone off at this point is premature.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:12 AM
------------------------------------------
First, being a pro-bowl fullback is kind of like being the tallest midget. The protoypical fullback is a relic, but Sellers fits the mold of a prototypical fullback, so he got the nod at the pro-bowl. Is the best player at the position always chosen to the pro-bowl?

Second, whiffing on a block has nothing to do with the scheme and a lot to do with just being juked out of your shoes. Sellers is big and strong, but he also has the agility of a tortoise and he does not fit well in Shanahan's sytem where he would need to do some blocking in space where a defender can maneuver around him.

I'm not impressed with Sellers, either. I was hoping the kid they drafted would become the next fullback but that guy was moved to tight end because he couldn't handle fullback. I like Young as a blocker, but, unless your first name is Lorenzo, I just don't think you can move from one position to another that easily in the NFL.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 11:23 AM |

But you have to agree, those guys looked pretty capable.

Posted by: edvar | August 24, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Well, all this conjecture is kinda premature, isn't it?

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 24, 2010 11:15 AM
-----------------------------------------
Are you saying we suffer from premature conjeculation?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

My hope for Friday....let everyone play a series and rest after that.....

Rex Ryan is an a-hole of the highest variety and blitz pickup isn't fast willie's strong suit, lets rest the guys who matter and play them longer against Arizona. The Jets can blitz Grossman to death and it won't bother me a bit, but I don't wanna see #5 taking shots like Eli took cause his running backs screw up and don't protect him.

Posted by: zjfr2 | August 24, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

What is Torain's injury history? How fresh are his fresh legs and are they don't baking from the rehab oven?

I dunno about K. Williams ... wasn't he kind of blah on special teams returns?

Maybe the #3 guy is one of those tight end/H-back/full back types that can block and catch ... seems like there are a few of those guys on the roster now ... Dennis Morris? Another one of those guys?

If Brandon Banks is to be on the roster, he would have to be the #6 receiver ... which would mean that additional WR depth would need to do double duty as RB depth and TE depth. The TE position certainly FEELS like a pretty deep one talent-wise.

Posted by: dcsween | August 24, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Anxious to see what Parker has left in the tank but, absent an impressive performance this Friday, I'm comfortable going into the season with Portis, Williams, and Torain.

Betts was as good as he was going to get - the potential upside for Torian and Williams is a stronger bet. Mute point anyway.

Posted by: bones21 | August 24, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD,

I guess you missed the year Sellers went to pro bowl, or caught like 9 TDs or the year Portis set skins single season rushing record....

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:29 AM

No, chrislarry, I did not miss any of that. Those accomplishments by Sellers are the very reasons why I am flummoxed why he hasn't become one of the best fullbacks in the League period.

I would rate Sellers a good fullback, but not a great one as of yet.

For me Sellers should be considered to be every bit as good as a Mike Alstadt, a Lorenzo Neal, Daryl Johnston, Larry Csonka, and even John Riggins.

Sellers has all the physical tools to be a truly great FB IMO. But he has never seemed to take that next step to greatness. As a runner he has not demanded the ball or done to much with it. I have chaulked it up to scheme somewhat, but cream/greatness always rises to the top.

Also teams use the FB position mainly as a blocker and he is just average/good at blocking.

Running fullbacks like Jim Brown, Alstadt, Csonka, Riggins, Franco Harris, benifited from being good runners and Teams that used fullbacks to run the ball.

I am not really bashing Sellers for his not attaining the status of greatness that I think he should, for it may not be all his fault. The NFL today as a whole does not use the position of the Fullback as a weapon as they did in the past.

However, that being said Sellers IMO is likely to miss being considered a truly great Fullback and it is a shame for he has the tools to be a great one.

He himself may share some blame in not attaining greatness, but scheme has a lot to do with it, I must admit.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Did Shanny order the code red yet for Fat Albert? London Fletcher is standing by waiting for the order.

Posted by: clark202 | August 24, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Blount is making Titans squad.....book it.

Love Jack-Z's Ward idea.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 11:03 AM

If that's the case and my boy Javon Ringer (woo hoo! Spartans!) slips off the Titans' bubble, then he's my number TWO running back.

That said, Ringer is better than Blount.

Posted by: dcsween | August 24, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

dikshuttle

We still have a seasoned pro to look at. And it's not like LJ had any blocking.


Well, in 2009, he did have blocking in Cincy and KC:

Cincinnati Bengals 7 0 46 204 (yds.) 4.4

Kansas City Chiefs 7 7 132 377 (yds.)2.9


The 2.9 average was as a starter in KC behind a line where J Charles (5.9 average)got 1,200 yards.

Cedric Benson got 1,200 yards behind the line in Cincy where LJ--as a back up-- average 4.4 yards per rush.

Why did they let him go?: who knows?

But last year, LJ slowed slow to the hole just like he did this past Sat. nite.

And if he looks that way again against the jets or cards, it would only confirm what most folks already know:

LJ is done.


Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

LarryInClintonMD, ok thanks for that, sort of proves i don't have to continue to debate you....that take on RBs and sellers is delusional.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"My hope for Friday....let everyone play a series and rest after that.."

Actually, the 3rd preseason has some game-planning involved.

And the team plays it regular season style well up to the start of the third quarter.

I'd like to see a regular season approach with the idea that it's a road game, and winning is the only option.

At some point, you must take one preseason game, and use it as a measure of what you have.

And the jets are a good measuring stick.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

... Those accomplishments by Sellers are the very reasons why I am flummoxed why he hasn't become one of the best fullbacks in the League period. ...

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 11:31 AM

Sellers hasn't been the same since the concussion a couple of years ago. [When he was lying on the field motionless for so long, I remember thinking he was dead.] As a screen or dump pass, he hears footsteps and drops more than not. The guy is monster-scary, but the concussion is my only guess about the difference between him and the oustanding former him.

Back in the early days of Gibbs 2.0, the dogsled team of him in the front and Portis hanging onto his belt was always good for about 6-7 yards, esp. outside to the right (Randy Thomas + Sellers + Portis = 6-7 yards).

Posted by: dcsween | August 24, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

a good measuring stick will be the ravens/giants game...lets see how the giants do, and compare..

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | August 24, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that could care less about Mike Sellers being nicked? There are several fullbacks in the NFL that do a better job lead blocking than Sellers, and some of them will be cut in coming weeks. Mike Sellers may look like a robo-freak, but he's not a very physical blocker and often misses assignments. Hate to say it, but CP was right about Sellers last year.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 24, 2010 11:05 AM

I agree with this as well. For all the positives you can point too about Sellers, you cannot say that the above is incorrect at all.

Also, something of note, great fullbacks/runners have a knack for performing well when they are hurt as well. Sellers last year was hurt and did not perform well in most cases.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

RSH, Sellers has a unique skill set. He's athletic enough to run and catch, plus he's big enough to effectively block. If it were that easy to get a guy like that, everyone would have a stud FB. I'll be the first to admit he had a down year in '09...most of this team did. I'm just saying that we can't discount how vital he's been to the team in years past and that he has the ability to replicate that success now.

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, put one of your faster guards in at FB. If you want a guy who can block, run, and catch then sticking with Sellers is the right move.

Unless, of course, the Jets get rid of Tony Richardson. Then all bets are off...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

If he doesn't get his act together by the next roster shrink, I think you're right Moe.

Beaner, I can't agree with that logic. It's preseason. Everyone's objectives are different. You can't stock compare like that.

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 24, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

the plan found christ and quit.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

which is why I wouldn't have drafted Tebow either.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 10:16 AM

Coffee didn't "find Christ and quit." He found Christ a long time ago. What he found was that God had another plan for him that did not include playing football. I'm only chiming in because your post gives the impression this was some impulsive act when it wasn't.

And Alex would you also prefer that your employer make a personnel decision about you based upon your beliefs or non-beliefs?

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 24, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, put one of your faster guards in at FB. If you want a guy who can block, run, and catch then sticking with Sellers is the right move.

Unless, of course, the Jets get rid of Tony Richardson. Then all bets are off...

Posted by: brownwood26

My solution at fullback -- Dirty 30.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 24, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

RSH, Sellers has a unique skill set. He's athletic enough to run and catch, plus he's big enough to effectively block. If it were that easy to get a guy like that, everyone would have a stud FB. I'll be the first to admit he had a down year in '09...most of this team did. I'm just saying that we can't discount how vital he's been to the team in years past and that he has the ability to replicate that success now.

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, put one of your faster guards in at FB. If you want a guy who can block, run, and catch then sticking with Sellers is the right move.

Unless, of course, the Jets get rid of Tony Richardson. Then all bets are off...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

RSH, Sellers has a unique skill set. He's athletic enough to run and catch, plus he's big enough to effectively block. If it were that easy to get a guy like that, everyone would have a stud FB. I'll be the first to admit he had a down year in '09...most of this team did. I'm just saying that we can't discount how vital he's been to the team in years past and that he has the ability to replicate that success now.

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, put one of your faster guards in at FB. If you want a guy who can block, run, and catch then sticking with Sellers is the right move.

Unless, of course, the Jets get rid of Tony Richardson. Then all bets are off...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:46 AM
-----------------------------------------
Sellers came to the Redskins after not making it with the Browns and after spending time in the CFL. He was never a fantastic athlete. If you are running an I formation with the need for a lead blocker, Sellers is your man, but the guy cannot block in space. I have seen him whiff too many times not to believe that. Plus, when did he become a great receiver? For his career he has averaged less than one catch a game. His career rushing total is 156 yards. Nope, I don't buy that he can run and pass. He's a blunt instrument intended to bludgeon linebackers and smallish ends into submission. I say the team needs a more versatile back.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, put one of your faster guards in at FB. If you want a guy who can block, run, and catch then sticking with Sellers is the right move.

Unless, of course, the Jets get rid of Tony Richardson. Then all bets are off...

Posted by: brownwood26

Said it a few weeks ago ... would look at division 3 for top guards who are too small for the NFL. I'd give a bunch of them tryouts at FB ... and hope 1 would also be able to do enough with the ball so that you couldn't leave him completely uncovered.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 24, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I see the prototypical fullback making a comeback. Don't ask me how or why.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Mike Sellers is no spring chicken. He's on the downside of his career and I think his bulking up so much has hurt his effectiveness.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 24, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

LH it was a throwaway joke, chill. It was an abrupt choice to retire. So yeah seems impulsive to me.

Here is his full quote:

"“It was a struggle for a long time. Actually when I look back I feel I never should have entered the draft in the first place. Football was no longer my dream. I found Christ in college. It changed my views on everything. But I still was a football player because it was expected of me, it was something I did all my life. I was basically wasting the (49ers’) time.”

Sounds like he struggled with the issue but did abruptly decide.

Whateves I was simply saying that 49ers did have a plan, but the plan left.

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Ken, with those hands?! No thanks... lol

Learned - Sorry - I'm gonna have to call BS on that one. I mean, he sounds very balanced in his decision, does Coffee - but there's no previous indication and his "100%" committment to football belies his choice. I'm thinkin' something happened.

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 24, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:54 AM

I think you're wrong about his athleticism. He was a football and track star in high school. He played tailback in the CFL. He got cut by the Browns because of a drug incident not his playing ability.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 24, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, ...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:46 AM

... then sign a fundamentalist jihadist.

Posted by: dcsween | August 24, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I see the prototypical fullback making a comeback. Don't ask me how or why.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 11:56 AM
------------------------------------------
Maybe. My theory is we will see more smashmouth football as more teams adopt the 3-4. Teams will want maulers that can wear down athletic linebackers by just running straight at them. Still, I don't think it is trending that way today.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

RSH, dude had 8 TDs in 2005 and has 21 for his career. Nobody's calling him Larry Centers, but he's also not the "blunt instrument" you claim he is.

You also overlook his first stint with the Redskins. He was a pretty good then too and I think his time out of the league was more because he had some off field issues, not because he can't play. I never buy the notion that just because a guy wasn't given much opportunity to do something, he simply CAN'T do it. Talent has been misused in Washington for years, so it's not a stretch to believe that Sellers could have done more in the running and catching department if given the chance.

Either way, the guy is 35 and he's on his way out eventually. If there's a younger guy that can take his spot now, I'm all for it. If that player doesn't exist, then it's a lot easier to do worse than Sellers than it is to do better...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone catch Vinny Ceratto on Sirius NFL this AM (P. King/Rooster Ross Tucker hosting)???

Wow what an idiot. So glad he is gone.

Funny lowlights via Rich Campbell via twitter:

"In this morning's Vinny Cerrato interview re: Albert on Sirius, he says "Orap-ko" twice early on and said "defenses" had to account for AH."

Posted by: chrislarry | August 24, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I liked that Shanahan went after a replacement for Sellers in the draft, DMo, and also moved DYoung into competition for that role. There is definitely a fire under Sellers. Even though it appears DMo isn't going to pan out (how many 7th round picks do?), I think Shanahan is on the right track here.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 24, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Russellmania09
Also, Carlos had fun when I asked him about @DHall23 and how good he was tackling and stopping plays Sat. Says maybe he will lead in INT's
half a minute ago via web

Posted by: 4thFloor | August 24, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Sellers hasn't been the same since the concussion a couple of years ago. [When he was lying on the field motionless for so long, I remember thinking he was dead.] As a screen or dump pass, he hears footsteps and drops more than not. The guy is monster-scary, but the concussion is my only guess about the difference between him and the oustanding former him.

Back in the early days of Gibbs 2.0, the dogsled team of him in the front and Portis hanging onto his belt was always good for about 6-7 yards, esp. outside to the right (Randy Thomas + Sellers + Portis = 6-7 yards).

Posted by: dcsween | August 24, 2010 11:39 AM


Thanks DCSWEEN,

You have seen the contrasts in Sellers's play as well as others. I guess when you consider the real cold hard facts of how the NFL can effect the mental toughness of players after injury, it can explain a lot of things.

You know it is kind of funny when chrislarry holds up the accolades of Sellers and I agree with him, but I also explain how good I think Sellers really could be, he calls me delusional.

I just don't get that.

Good observation about Sellers though.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 24, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

FDavis in the H-back/F-back role?

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 24, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"I see the prototypical fullback making a comeback. Don't ask me how or why."


I can't.

But we do need one to operate as an additional blocker, especially in pass protection where a guy who can help out T Williams is very necessary.

But as for the running game, a fullback running as lead blocker gives too much of a clue for linebackers.

A slot or h-back type who spreads the field by taking a defender out of the box is the same as a fullback crushing an oncoming tackler to spring a back, today.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 24, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 11:54 AM

I think you're wrong about his athleticism. He was a football and track star in high school. He played tailback in the CFL. He got cut by the Browns because of a drug incident not his playing ability.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 24, 2010 12:00 PM
------------------------------------------
That was about fifty pounds ago. He was 230 when in college. As far as being cut from the Browns, I'll give you that one, but he was cut from the Redskins the year prior, then came back a few years later. Any how, we are not talking about what Sellers used to be. We're talking about what he is today and that is slow.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 24, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

FDavis in the H-back/F-back role?

Posted by: DikShuttle | August 24, 2010 12:07 PM

F chRIs larry ... but I think you're referring to Fred Davis.

No on that role for him. Top four Skins in receiving yards are going to be Moss, Cooley, Davis, and Armstrong (not necessarily in that order). Of the roster spots remaining btwn the remaining receivers, tight ends, full backs, and H-back types, one belongs to Brandon Banks and the other to Clinton Portis. Everyone else is in full bubble, including Devin Thomas and Sellers.

Book. It. [By which I mean there is no way to collect on that book because Shanahan's dry erase board remains off limits.]

Posted by: dcsween | August 24, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

The Jets have 3 very good FB's in camp. One of them is gonna have to go. That's where the opportunity is IMO. Good chance to scout them Friday night.

Upgrading Sellars is an easy fix.

Posted by: edvar | August 24, 2010 11:21 AM

The Dude abides.

I've been waiting for an upgrade to Sellars for 2 years. Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane...Sellar's (6'3 268) only real contribution is on teams. I'm hoping his replacement comes from either Darrell Young (5'11 245), Carey Davis (5'10 225), or possibly convert Logan Paulsen (6'5 265) or Lee Vickers (6'6 272).

If not we should definitely keep an eye on the Jets for when they cut one of their 3 FBs.

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 24, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Sellars is a run-of-the-mill FB. He has tendency to fumble (Saints game comes to mind), He runs with the ball to upright (Remember 4th and Goal). But his most important roll is blocking, and he's too high on his blocks. I watch him when the back has to go off the 40 or 50 gap and no matter who's running, they wind up either running into the back of him or the defender comes off his block and makes the tackle.

Which brings me to another question, has anyone ever seen Sellars in a game when the Skins go power to the 60 or 70? I can't recall, does he have issues blocking to the left or something?

Posted by: clark202 | August 24, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

RSH, dude had 8 TDs in 2005 and has 21 for his career. Nobody's calling him Larry Centers, but he's also not the "blunt instrument" you claim he is.

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 12:05 PM

bw26, it's 2010.

This would be a SICK backfield if it was 2005. You know with 26, 27, 39 & 45. Hell throw in 5 and we're going to the super bowl!

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 24, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

beeps peeps

Posted by: Diesel44 | August 24, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Calling LJ & Parker "pro bowlers" is a bit inaccurate.

"Ex-pro bowlers" is more like it

Posted by: smutsboy | August 24, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, jreid is a journalist. That makes FWP and LJ probowlers.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | August 24, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I am with ya Dik, Word was Davis and Cooley both have been trained to come in and be H-Back's TE's and WR's. Give these two as diverse of a roll as you can.

Posted by: alex35332 | August 24, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

for anyone (like TWISI) who doesn't follow (or pay attention) to what's happening in the league,... RB Westbrook has already signed (to another team)...

As for Johnson,.. no - he didn't look good, 'specially under Shanahan who demands his backs protect his QB's... and also as Reid stated - he'll sign backs that do over veterans. And WIlliams struggle against an All-Pro was actually expected being a rookie still getting used to the pro game. So here's hoping vets like Haynesworth FINALLY get the message your position (a rather whining one at that) isn't just GIVEN to you each year. Unlike the money that you were (wrongly) handed.

Posted by: dogged1 | August 24, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

If this is true, why not go after Brian Westbrook harder? Why not re-sign Betts? I think when it is all said and done the RB position will be a solid group. I'm not concerned.

Posted by: TWISI | August 24, 2010 8:51 AM

_______________________________

Westbrook signed with the 49ers and Betts with the defending SB champs Saints

they need start infusing some youth at the backfield

Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks and Terrence Austin will make the 53 man roster. Malcolm Kelly will sign with the Cowgirls soon enough, he's useless, too injury prone

Posted by: datruth21 | August 24, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

For responders who apparently don't follow the NFL that closely (like TWISI) Westbrook has already signed.... to another team!

Johnson definitely didn't play into the #1 (or even #2) RB position with his (lack of) blocking. (and running)... Reid pointed out that Shanahan WILL let go of vets that don't play (or practice) his schemes of protecting the QB - and joining in the TEAM effort.
So hopefully people like HAYNESWORTH finally get the message your position on the field ISN'T just 'given' to you. Unlike the money he was handed by Snyder.

Posted by: dogged1 | August 24, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

RSH, Sellers has a unique skill set. He's athletic enough to run and catch, plus he's big enough to effectively block. If it were that easy to get a guy like that, everyone would have a stud FB. I'll be the first to admit he had a down year in '09...most of this team did. I'm just saying that we can't discount how vital he's been to the team in years past and that he has the ability to replicate that success now.

If you want a guy who can simply blow people up on every play, put one of your faster guards in at FB. If you want a guy who can block, run, and catch then sticking with Sellers is the right move.

Unless, of course, the Jets get rid of Tony Richardson. Then all bets are off...

Posted by: brownwood26 | August 24, 2010 11:46 AM

Dennis Morris? Team high receptions, nation high "tight end" TDs, experience as a lead blocking back? Caught 3 TDs in one game, 1 inch shorter and exact same weight as Sellers? I'm surprised Mikey is still on the roster. His missed lead blocks are inexcusable, they happen wayyy too often on guys running right by him. If you consistently don't do your job, you will be replaced.

Posted by: Keiser | August 24, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Betts is not an option. He already signed with someone else (49er's?) Portis s/b the starter, no doubt. Even though he had only 2 carries, he looked very quick. Must be his lighter weight. He had the same offensive line in front of him that Johnson did, who looked very slow and tentative. We'll see how Parker looks against the Jets, but he s/b Portis' backup. Johnson s/b only used for 3rd and short and goal line.

Posted by: MrGolf | August 24, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

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