Clinton Portis wasn’t happy late last season when Jim Zorn kept him on the sidelines for some snaps in December.
This time, he’s going to have fair warning.
The Redskins confirmed to the Washington Post Friday that Ladell Betts is going to take over primary duties on third downs. Previously, Portis rarely came off the field in any situation unless he asked for a break. (Which rarely happened.)
This move has been foreshadowed all offseason, but it’s interesting to hear the Redskins vocalize their desire to transition to a two-back system.
“You have to make a commitment to it. You really do,” offensive coordinator Sherman Smith said about a two back system.
“If we have 2 minutes and 4 seconds before the halftime, Ladell Betts
should do that,” Smith said. “That’s another place Clinton can get some rest. So this
is twofold: You want to get Portis rest, but you also want to take
advantage of Ladell Betts. He’s a good player.”
Betts is talented enough to handle the role, and the move should help Portis close the season stronger than he did last season. It remains to be seen if Portis feels the same way.
Portis has said all offseason he has no problem with coach Zorn, and how he handles a drop in playing time will be his chance to prove it.