The Redskins continue the RB search

As the NFP’s Andrew Brandt wrote yesterday, the Redskins have been fairly quiet by their free agency standards of the past, but they are still looking for a veteran RB.

They hosted Willie Parker recently and are now going to host former Chiefs and Bengals RB Larry Johnson, according to reports. Does that leave Clinton Portis out of the mix, or is this just another example of a club adding a second-tier running back?

Mike Shanahan’s offensive system is designed for a running back like Portis — a player that has good vision and cutback ability — because of the zone-blocking schemes and misdirection action in the backfield. It has always been a system that relies on speed and athleticism up front from the offensive line and a running back that doesn’t hesitate in the backfield when picking a hole.

I still think the jury is out as to Portis’ future as a Redskin, because he isn’t the same back that once was so productive under Shanahan. The Joe Gibbs years in Washington put a beating on Portis, who transitioned from that cutback runner to a downhill, power back under the Hall of Fame coach.

However, does anyone see that style in Johnson?

L.J. is a straight line back who runs upright and isn’t a one-cut style of runner. But, if the ‘Skins are looking for insurance for C.P. or trying to push him this offseason by bringing in competition, then looking at a veteran back is an option.

This is one discussion that has died down when it comes to the Redskins due to the Jason Campbell talk, the switch to a possible 3-4 defensive scheme and the ongoing need for an offensive tackle.

But, do they have a running back that can operate and produce in Shanny’s system? Portis is slowing down, L.J. is almost worn out and Willie Parker is on the street for a reason.

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