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Friday, April 1, 2011
Breaking down the RBs: Redskins

By Matt Williamson

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson examines the running backs of each NFC East team. Today: Washington Redskins

Washington fans think I have a vendetta against their beloved Skins, but I can assure them that I am looking at the roster with the utmost objectivity. The Redskins just consistently fall short of their divisional foes in positional rankings such as these.

To be frank, Washington is well behind the other three NFC East teams at the running back position, especially if Ahmad Bradshaw returns to New York.

Forgive me, Redskins fans, but I think Ryan Torain is the definition of “just a guy.” I am the first to admit that Mike Shanahan doesn’t need Hall of Fame talent in the backfield to have an extremely productive running game. Torain is a very good fit for what Shanahan needs from the position. But he is a runner only. He doesn’t have make-you-miss abilities or the breakaway speed to create big plays. Torain is a grinder and a volume runner who brings little else to the table.

There is a guy though in this backfield that I want to see more of -- Keiland Williams. Torain runs harder, but Williams can do more things. He is intriguing as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. I still don’t think either player is a legitimate starter in this league, but with all the needs in Washington, this is probably who they will open the season with.

One more thing to note: Clinton Portis is gone now, and the pass blocking and blitz pickup from the running back spot will probably deteriorate drastically. That is a big deal for any team, but even more so for one that could be starting a rookie quarterback behind a very suspect offensive line. Just callin’ it like I see it.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.