SportsLine: Top Ten Questions: Ready for camp?

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SportsLine: Top Ten Questions: Ready for camp?

Postby ANT7088 » Fri Jul 30, 2004 4:18 pm

2. Does the return of Joe Gibbs guarantee Washington its first playoff team since 1999?

No, but it sure improves their chances. There is no better coach than Gibbs at adapting to the players he has. He won with Joe Theismann as his quarterback. He won with Doug Williams as his quarterback. He won with Mark Rypien as his quarterback. He won with John Riggins, too. No, George Rogers. No, Earnest Byner. I think you get the idea.

In Clinton Portis he has the franchise back to make Washington the rushing threat it wasn't last season, and that makes the Redskins more dangerous to everyone on their schedule. It does not, however, mean they're a lock to push Philadelphia. Gibbs is a marvelous coach, but he won in an era when there was no salary cap and there was Bobby Beathard. Let's see how he adapts to change.

6. Can the Denver Broncos replace Clinton Portis?

Yes. And they will. The Broncos operate under the same philosophy as San Francisco, namely that you can plug virtually anyone but the Venus de Milo in at running back and get 1,000 yards. They did it with Terrell Davis, sixth-round pick. They did it with Olandis Gary, fourth-round pick. They did it with Mike Anderson, sixth-round pick. Heck, put Indianapolis on the schedule more than once last year, and Quentin Griffin -- another fourth-round pick -- might have wound up with 1,000 yards.

The Broncos made the trade for Champ Bailey because they needed an elite cornerback more than they needed an elite running back and because they believed they could -- no, would -- find a suitable successor to Portis. Take your pick: There's Garrison Hearst, Griffin, Anderson and, oh yeah, Tatum Bell. Rookie running backs thrive in Mike Shanahan's system, and Bell might be the next Portis. Or Anderson. Or Gary. Or Davis ...


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