I’m not thrilled with the Skins’ signing of running back Larry Johnson. It’s not that he doesn’t have a lot left in the tank, it’s just that now we have two running backs in Johnson and Clinton Portis who are not only near 30, but more importantly are primarily runners who aren’t that adept at catching passes.
Let’s face it – the NFL is a passing league now and it helps a lot – in fact, it’s practically a must – that your running backs need to be excellent at catching passes out of the backfield. (That is a cliche and redundant – where else are they going to catch passes from?)
Both players’ best years had them catching over 40 passes in a season. Not much if you consider that’s about 2.5 per game. Let’s hope the Redskins have plans to draft at least one running back who can catch the ball. At least Portis can block.
I think the Skins should have gone after LaDanian Tomlinson who would have been more of a complement to Portis. Or Brian Westbrook, who if healthy is still one of the best running backs in the NFL. If you’re going to add another running back, why not Thomas Jones? Because he’s better than Johnson? That makes no sense. You go for the best players. Plus Johnson has a reputation as somewhat of a malcontent at times so that makes two with Portis.
The move improves the Redskins but I just think L.J. is too much like Portis. Then again, you can’t have too many running backs and Shanahan likes to spread it around. Now the Skins need some offensive linemen and a third down running back.