Clinton Portis has an improved attitude, earning him the starting job RB going into camp, according to Redskins OC Kyle Shanahan. That status, however, does not guarantee him the starting job when the season starts. Many observers thought that Larry Johnson looked better during the practices that were open to the media. He looked quick, focused and he hustled on every play. Johnson has powerful motivation to perform in the form of some $9 million in incentives in his contract.
The odd thing is that Portis could be the top running back and not necessarily start games. Kyle Shanahan stated recently that Portis is the third-down back. That could mean more action for Johnson on first and second downs with Portis then coming in for long-yardage situations.
As noted ad nauseum, the Redskins backfield is crowded with a bunch of faces who wouldn't be overly exciting even in a better (less crowded) situation. Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson are the top two options, but neither one should be starting in anything but the deepest formats. Ryan Torrain could provide some spark if he can recover from his injury plagued past. Willie Parker should be way off your radar.