As I'm watching NFL Network, I tune in to see who Marshall Faulk considers to be the top-five running backs in the National Football League. While I didn't exactly agree with his list, I've certainly seen worse.
I'm not saying that Clinton Portis is a top-five running back but when Steve Wyche asked Marshall Faulk why Portis didn't make the list, I found his response to be most disturbing.
Marshall simply said that Portis was too "one dimensional" and would like to see him do more in the receiving game. Faulk then went on to say that even Adrian Peterson (the running back he ranked at No. 1) has done some work in the screen-game.
Now while I've never thought of Clinton Portis as being one of the greatest receiving running backs, I was curious to see if Marshall Faulk's statement had an validity.
I looked up the receiving statistics of Adrian Peterson (the player whom Faulk claims has done good work in this area) and Clinton Portis (the back who Faulk felt is too one-dimensional and need to improve his work in the receiving game.
Adrian Peterson: 21 receptions for 125 yards (6.0 YPC) and zero touchdowns.
Clinton Portis: 28 receptions for 218 yards (7.8 YPC) and zero touchdowns.
While neither back produced to an exceptional degree in the receiving game, one does clearly stand out has having been more proficient in this one area that Faulk had questionable feelings about.
Portis clearly caught more passes, gained more yards and averaged more yards per-reception than the running back that Faulk went out of his way to praise. I'm not even going to touch on the fact that he caught 47 passes in 2007.
I personally do not feel that Clinton Portis is a better overall running back than Adrian Peterson, but if nothing else, he doesn't appear to be performing below Adrian Peterson's level of receiving production.
This might not seem like a big deal to most people but it is.
NFL Network is the official television network of the National Football League. When they hire analysts to provide people with an intelligent perspective, they need to make sure that these analysts know what they're talking about.
Marshall Faulk was a great player and is no idiot by any means. This looks to me more like a situation where Faulk formed an opinion about Portis without watching much film or doing much research.
That would be a fine statement to make by the water-cooler, but not on NFL Network where your professional opinion is reflective of your overall comprehension of the game.
In this instance, Marshall Faulk appears to simply be dead wrong when comparing the receiving contributions of one player to another.
He decided to praise the more popular player while knocking the less popular player. The issue is, the less popular player has done more than the one whom he praised in the specific area of discussion.
I imagine that these analysts prepare for when the camera's start to roll.
For Marshall Faulk to have made such a claim without providing any degree of evidence to substantiate it and to later learn that it was Portis who has done more than Peterson is troubling to say the least.
NFL Network should be about the "expert analysis" they advertise, not the generic opinions of retired players who don't appear to take the time to research things before they formulate their own so-called professional perspectives.