Shawn Barber on Clinton Portis

The ex-Redskins linebacker visited Redskins Park on Tuesday and shared his thoughts on a former opponent, running back Clinton Portis. Here's Barber's take on the Redskins' newest back. Hint: he likes him.

``He's definitely one of the quickest and most explosive backs in the league. I don't know if the NFC is as prepared for him as our division was. Everyone had seen him for a year. I think he'll do great in the NFC and he'll be the next Marshall Faulk. The things he can do coming out of the backfield. He has great hands, great vision. He displays so much quickness at the point. That's who he reminded me of. Going there my first year in KC I just had a year's film watching him. He showed me new moves every time. He gives you a good wallop. He runs hard, he runs with a lot of power. The one thing people won't be able to catch up with him off the bat is his balance. If you see some of the moves he made during the year . . . sometimes he cuts totally lateral. He's on the 34-yard line, cuts three yards lateral and starts running from the 34 again. That's one of the hardest cuts. You don't prepare for a guy to stop on a dime and cut totally lateral. I saw him do that three or four times last year. He'll be a great addition. And he comes from a program that knew how to run the ball. He doesn't need much room. If the guys up front don't create big holes, he doesn't need a lot of room. That's obvious. He runs a lot bigger than he is.

``As you see the linebacking position transcend into more athletic linebackers, the running backs to get those big breakaway runs have to be quicker and faster. I don't know the number of breakaways he's had over 20 yards, but he had many. It wasn't anything anyone on the field was doing but himself. He'd break through a hole and run away from the rest of the defense. You don't have to do anything offensively to scheme a play a certain way for him to do his thing. That's what makes him such a good weapon.

``When you're coming from Denver, a lot of times guys want to say it's not the quality of the back it's the running scheme. Anyone they put back there ends up with 1,500 yards. It's hard not to see that. As far as God-given raw talent he has amazing quickness, speed, balance. He has all the things great running backs have. He'll be another household name as one of the great running backs. He has good hands, doesn't have problems with fumbling. He'll be one of the better running backs in the league this year, after, of course, Priest Holmes.''


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