After a rookie season which saw him break the Washington Redskins single season rushing record with 1,613 yards, Alfred Morris is looking to become one of the greatest running backs in franchise history. To do so, he will have to put together a career in the nation’s capital that can compare to the following five Redskins running backs. Here, then, are the top five running backs in franchise history.
John Riggins (1976-1985)
Although he made his sole Pro Bowl appearance prior to joining the Redskins, it would be hard to deny John Riggins’ place in team history. The Redskins career leading rusher with 7,472 yards, Riggins once put together a streak in which he rushed for over 100 yards in six straight postseason games. In the midst of that streak was a Super Bowl (XVII) MVP performance in which he carried the ball 38 times for 166 yards and a touchdown. An All Pro selection in 1983 when he led the NFL in touchdowns scored with 24, Riggins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.
Larry Brown (1969-1976)
Despite being drafted in the 8th round of the 1969 NFL Draft, Larry Brown would go on to have a stellar career at Washington, one which would see him make the Pro Bowl four times while leading the league in rushing (1125 yards) in 1970. The NFL MVP in 1972 when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,216 yards, Brown was a workhorse running back that carried the ball over 20 times a game in 11 out of 12 games he played that season. Equally skilled as a receiver, Brown caught 238 passes for 2,485 yards during his career; the total adding to the 5,875 yards he gained rushing, to give him 8,360 lifetime yards from scrimmage.
Cliff Battles (1932-1937)
One of the Redskins’ first superstars, Cliff Battles started his career for the team while the franchise was still stationed in Boston. A star on the field from the start, Battles led the league in rushing his rookie season (1932) with 576 yards. He would lead the league in rushing again in 1937 (874 yards) before retiring to become a coach after a contract dispute with management. Though his career was relatively short, Battles was nevertheless selected to the All-Pro team three times and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.
Clinton Portis (2004-2010)
An established NFL star before being traded to the Redskins, Portis enjoyed an outstanding seven year stint in Washington. Carrying the ball 325 times or more over four different seasons, Portis would gain 6,824 yards in just 84 games for the Redskins. The 1,516 yards he gained on the ground in 2005 still ranks as the second best performance in team history.
Stephen Davis (1996-2002)
After putting in three unimpressive seasons in Washington, Stephen Davis established himself as a staple in the Redskins backfield when he rushed for 1,405 yards and 17 touchdowns in 1999. The performance would earn him the first of two consecutive Pro Bowl appearances, and Davis would go on to gain 5,790 yards in a Redskins uniform.