Curious as to why only one of the Redskins' three veteran running backs was in action on Friday night? Mike Shanahan and the Washington Post have the answer. The Redskins intend to give Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, and Willie Parker one start each in the next three weeks of the preseason. The team will continue to use one starter for extended duty, and then turn the game over to reserves Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams.
"It's kind of the only way you can evaluate running backs," Shanahan said. "You just can't put them in for three or four plays and take them out."
According to Grant Paulsen, we should expect to see Johnson get the start on Saturday night against the Ravens, and probably Parker when the team travels up to the Meadowlands for a matchup against the Jets on August 27. Assuming Parker hasn't lost his job to Brian Westbrook by then.
In other news, Mike Shanahan told reporters today that wide receiver Malcolm Kelly won't practice tomorrow, but should be back on Tuesday. He's got his work cut out for him as Anthony Armstrong and Roydell Williams remain the second string receivers, according to Ryan O'Halloran. Kelly will also have to compete with fellow 2008 draft choice Devin Thomas, who had a touchdown and led the team in receiving on Friday night. Thomas doesn't look like he'll be listed on the third string for much longer.
The best quote of the day though came from Special Teams coach Danny Smith, regarding his kickoff specialist Brandon Banks, as told by the Redskins blog:
"I didn't really teach him much goin' into that game other than the dance at the end of that thing."