The Best — As I See It!
Part IV: Running Backs
What is really fun about being a fan of a long established pro sports franchise is that you have an ever filling reservoir of players from which to choose for your list of best in a particular position. And, being a fan of the team whether it is for 50 years or five years means that you can fall back on your own personal opinion when making your own list of the best.
What follows is my list of the best Washington Redskins by squad.
Part I will cover the offensive line.
Part II will identify the best receivers.
Part III will list the best quarterbacks.
Part IV will describe the best running backs.
Part V goes into the best defensive linemen.
Part VI covers the linebackers.
Part VII is for the defensive linemen.
Part VIII will discuss the best linebackers.
Part IX will i.d. the best defensive backs.
Again, this is my opinion. I encourage you to post your list of the best in a particular position as a comment to my article that covers that position. For example, no doubt you have your own opinions on who were the best Washington Redskins running backs. Post your picks as a comment to my article.
My Nominating Process
In making the selection of the best running backs I relied on my memory — I saw all of these guys play — statistics — I guess you can’t ignore the stats — and the list of the 70 Greatest Redskins.
Running backs on that list are:
Don Bossler (1957-1964)
Larry Brown (1969-1976)
John Riggins (1976-1979, 1981-1985)
Terry Allen (1995-1998)
Ernest Byner (1989-1993)
Dickie James 1955-1963)
Here’s where my personal experience comes in. I watched Don Bossler play. And, no offense to Don Bossler, he doesn’t match up with the other players on the list. So, using my power — this is my list after all — Bossler is cut.
Next, the 70 Greatest Redskins List was compiled in 2002 when the franchise celebrated its 70th Anniversary. So it did not include at least two Redskins backs who should be considered among the best — Steven Davis and Clinton Portis.
Now, let’s look at the stats. I know that many of you are not keened on stats. But in my opinion, they should have a say in the process.
Total Yards Rushing: 5,875
TDs Rushing: 35
Total Yards Receiving: 2,485
TDs Receiving 20
4 Pro Bowls (1969, 1970, 1971, 1972)
3 All Pro Selections (1970, 1971, 1972)
NFL Offensive Player of the Year 1972
UPI, NFL Player of the Year 1972
Dickie James (8 seasons with Redskins)
Total Yards Rushing: 1,741
TDs Rushing: 16
Total Receptions: 92
Total Yards Receiving: 1,568
TDs Receiving: 14
All Purpose Yards: 9,227
1 Pro Bowl (1961)
Total Yards Rushing: 4,086
Total Receptions: 100
Total Yards Receiving: 726
Steven Davis (7 seasons with Redskins)
Total Yards Rushing: 5790
Total Receptions: 146
Total Yards Receiving: 1168
Ernest Byner (5 seasons with Redskins)
Total Yards Rushing: 3950
Total TDs: 18
Total Receptions: 185
Total Yards Receiving: 1577
2 Pro Bowls (1990, 1991)
Clinton Portis (4 seasons with Redskins)
Total Yards Rushing: 4,616
Total TDs: 36
Total Receptions: 134
Total Yards Receiving: 1010
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