When new Redskins head coach Jim Zorn isn't getting his Maroon and Black on, he's no doubt reveling in his good fortune. In addition to getting promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach for doing, well, absolutely nothing, he'll also have the pleasure of working with one of the NFL's toughest running backs, Clinton Portis.
"To watch Clinton Portis and the strain for the extra yard, it can fire you right up. That is what a running back is made for in this game. Being smart. I think he has excellent vision and he seems to be disciplined moving in the hole. He is probably the idea of an every-down back. We did not do that in Seattle. We did not have that every-down back in Seattle. We had to piece and put and kind of makeshift situations with plays. Clinton Portis is the kind of guy that you can have in and pass protect, can have in and run the ball. We can be more elusive in what we want to do with him."Hmm. When Zorn says Portis is the "kind of guy you can have in and pass protect" do you think he had, oh, I don't know, Shaun Alexander in mind as a running back you have to take out on third downs? I'm guessing yes.
-- Zorn, speaking during a Redskins.com interview
And if Zorn likes Portis the blocker, he'll love Portis the runner. Unlike Alexander, who's been tackled by a stiff win on more than one occasion, Portis is seemingly always falling forward, can take a hit, and also has great hands coming out of the backfield.
This doesn't guarantee Zorn anything more than having a great running back, but it's one less thing he'll have to worry about. And if his predecessors under Dan Snyder are any guide, there will plenty for Zorn to concern himself with.