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I'm not the only one excited over a Ladell Betts/Clinton Portis backfield

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Hat Tip: Blogging the Boys.

Sports Illustrated predicted the top 10 Running Back Tandems in the NFL and the two headed Portis Betts Monster landed #3:

With Portis hampered by injuries last season, Betts emerged as a star, gaining 1,154 yards while averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Portis will be back this year and the Redskins are talking as if they plan to use both extensively.
I agree and let's hope so. Some teams in the league don't have even one RB as good as either of these guys and few -- if any -- have as potent a combination (McCallister/Bush and Taylor/Jones-Drew finished 1st and 2nd respectively). Clinton Portis brings a nose for the endzone and the ability to break big yardage by ripping past the 2nd level; plus he's a vicious pass blocker and admittedly takes great pleasure in laying out would be sackers. Betts is an excellent spell back as capable as anyone of picking up those necessary  7-10 yard chunks. He also happens to be one hell of a receiver coming out of the backfield.

Together we won't really know what we have until both are on the field with significant time. Betts went crazy at the end of '06 averaging nearly 130 yards per game in the final six of the season and putting up an incredible 5 YPC average in December. I should note that the team switched to a zone blocking scheme that clearly worked and I am excited to see Portis explore that scheme as well.

An amigo of mine asked whether the emergence of Betts would pose any ego problems in the backfield. I was totally comfortable claiming no, as we have a unique system in Washington with a unique back in Portis. I think he understands that career durability is a function of how hard the player is worked and he is one of the few (as far as I can tell) RBs who essentially puts himself in and out of the game. Portis spells himself when needed and has absolutely no problem catching a breather so that Betts can come in and work against a tired line. I know this arrangement flustered Saunders at times during the season, but ultimately I think it's a positive as it will increase the longevity of both backs. Had Betts not emerged this season I might be concerned about it, but it was clear given our running game sans Portis last year that we'll survive in big games even when he's on the sideline resting.

I will emphatically repeat that I want both Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts on this team in '07, '08, and beyond.