Position Analysis: Running Backs

Position Analysis: Running Back--Clinton Portis is close to becoming one of the league's elite rushers and the running back crew should stay largely intact in 2006.

2005 Final Roster





'06 Contract Status


Clinton Portis




He set the team record for rushing yards in a season with 1,513. Portis is just a few long runs and a dozen or so pass receptions away from being one of the league's true elite backs.

Ladell Betts




A valuable contributor both from scrimmage and as a returner. The injury bug has a way of finding him, however; he spent four games inactive in 2005.

Rock Cartwright




A Gibbs favorite for his special teams play.

Nehemiah Broughton




Inactive for much of the year, he got just one carry. The Redskins would like to see him develop into a situational, short-yardage type of back.

2005 Season Grade: A-

Portis' team record gets high marks, especially since he got there with five straight 100-yard efforts down the stretch when the Redskins had to win. Betts gave Portis an occasional breather and was just OK in that role, averaging 3.8 yards a carry (a half yard less than Portis). They lacked both a true power back to push the pile in short-yardage and goal-line situations and no back did much catching passes out of the backfield. 

2006 Outlook:

There should be little change here. Portis will be just 25 when next season starts and should be entering the prime years of his career. Betts will shoulder some of the load; look for a productive year out of him as he's entering the last year of his contract. The chances are pretty good that Cartwright will be back as he's unlikely to be promised a crack at a starting job elsewhere and if he's going to be a backup this is a good spot for him. Even if he does go, the team believes that Broughton could fill the bill in Cartwright's role.

Warpath Position Analysis: Offensive Line 

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