Will the real Clinton Portis please stand up.
Let’s go back from 2003-2006 and look at Clinton’s stats.
290 Carries 1591 yards 14 TD’s 38 rec. 314 yards 0 TD’s 13 games
2004 343 Carries 1315 yards 5 TD’s 40 rec. 235 yards 2 TD’s 15 games
2005 352 Carries 1516 yards 11 TD’s 30 rec. 216 yards 0 TD’s 16 games
2006 127 Carries 523 yards 7 TD’s 17 rec. 170 yards 0 TD’s 8 games on record left 1st quarter against the eagles
Clinton Portis is a stud RB who has all the tools necessary for a RB to excel in this league. He has shown the ability to carry the full workload for an entire season in this league. Even with all of the pounding his body took he continued to push, that was until the 2006 campaign where he started the year off with alot of questions about his health. Similar to the questions that surround him again going into this year, based on what we have seen in past performances, i would not be shocked to see a return to excellence.
Washington has a solid line and a HC Joe Gibbs, who loves to run the ball. Then you pair that up with a young quarterback and Clinton should see alot of carries and receptions in this offense. Despite the extention that owner Daniel Snyder gave Ladell Betts, it is still Portis’ job to lose. Betts himself is on record as saying, “It’ll be Clinton’s show, he’s the No. 1 guy and when he’s tired or we need a change of pace or whatever the situation may be I’ll spell him.” This news is good news for anyone who owns Portis in a keeper league or anyone looking to draft him in this year draft. He presents alot of up side with a moderate risk factor. When you go back and look at the numbers of both players, you will see some shocking numbers. Betts rarely saw the field when Portis was healthy, in the 7 games that Portis started in and finished Betts only carried the ball 51 times for 241 yards. Thats an average of 7.2 carries and 34 yards per game, not a good sign for people highon Ladell replacing Clinton as the Skins’ No.1 back.
There has been some offseason concerns with Clinton again this year. He has had some knee soreness that kept him out of team workouts. This makes his situation something that you need to keep a very close eye all summer long leading upto your draft. Based on the ability we have seen from this man and the way he plays this game, I would expect a nice year from him. By no means does he want to go into the following year with the same questions about his health that he has now, which causes people to question his overall durabilty. Another reason i have a good feeling about Clinton this year is his collegiate background at the University of Miami, FL otherwise known as “The U”. Many former players come back to that area during the offseason to workout with other former players. I don’t know about you but when I’m around old friends we all try to out do one another, even if its in fun we all push each other to be better. That same thing will go on this offseason down in Miami as many former players come back to Coral Gables to prepare for the upcoming season.
Going into his second year under OC Al Saunders, should also help Clinton and the rest of the offense get back to form in 2007. Al was the man behind the success of the offense in KC for many years and had a big effect on two other great running backs as well. Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson had numerous great years in Al’s system, which led the league in offense from 2002-2005. Al has stated that at the end of last season he had only implemented half of his complex offensive scheme. During this offseason he should have implemented the remainder of his complex offense.
Now with a young QB in Jason Campbell, defenses will try to put alot of pressure on him. That should lead to Saunders leaning a bit more on Portis this year to take some of that pressure away from Campbell. This Redskins offense also has some nice firepower in the likes of Santana Moss and Chris Cooley both capable of spreading the field, that should leave a good amount of open space for Portis to work in.
My outlook on Portis is a good one I see him having a similar season to that of 2005. That should put him in the neighboorhood of 1300+ yards with 9-10 TD’s also adding another 30 receptions. Placing him near the top 10 at the running back position. Many of you will have a chance to draft this guy in the 2nd round. Some will be able to grab him in the 3rd round at that point he could be a major steal. Portis offers a good value to anyone who drafts him this year thou he does have some risk his reward highly out weighs his risk…