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http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/playoffs05/columns/story?columnist=clayton_john&id=2279957 full article


Trade for Moss created more space for Portis


When Clinton Portis joined Joe Gibbs as his cornerstone acquisition of 2004, the running back realized he was no longer at the University of Miami.

Portis came into the NFL with that Hurricanes confidence. He told reporters in Denver at the start of his first training camp that he was going to be the best back in football. He responded with consecutive 1,500-yard seasons, proving a point. He was a feature back coming from a great program.

But the Redskins' situation was different from Denver's. Gibbs is a Hall of Fame coach, but the pieces didn't fit as well. Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner were slower, possession receivers. Gibbs' offensive linemen weren't like those Portis had in Denver. The Redskins' blockers were bigger but a little slower than the quick, more athletic Broncos' linemen. Suddenly, Portis felt as though he was on a treadmill -- running more but not really going anywhere.


The Redskins' offense is physical. The line is big and powerful. Gibbs often uses two tight ends to provide more bodies to bang defenses. Often, Moss might be the only receiver going into routes. With Portis' skills working off of Moss', the balance works.

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I agree. Portis and Moss are extremely complimentary.

It is really simple when you think about it. If they stack the line, throw to Moss in single coverage. If they double Moss and leave the line of scrimmage exposed, pound them with Portis.

I said last year that Portis would never really get going until we got the downfield passing game working. To me, the yards Portis earned last year were miraculous considering he was facing 9 man fronts :doh:

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