For Ryan Torain, the name of the game is performance

By Tracee Hamilton
Tuesday, October 19, 2010; 12:14 AM

The Kansas Comet is out. That nickname is already taken by the legendary Gale Sayers. So we'll have to find another moniker for Ryan Torain.

Rugged Torain? All-Torain Vehicle? The Gravy Torain?

Okay, that last one's a stretch.

Of course, it's too soon to anoint - or burden - Torain with a nickname. After all, the 24-year-old Kansas native was cut after training camp and added to the practice squad, where he waited two weeks for his chance. When the Washington Redskins abruptly dumped Larry Johnson, it was Torain's turn. He has had a grand total of two starts, and he has rushed for 100 yards in an NFL game exactly once, Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts in a 27-24 loss.

(Wayward Son? No, too obscure for those not raised on '70s music.)

Torain ran hard a week ago against Green Bay, but had only 40 yards on 16 carries when the dust ("in the wind") settled. There were those who said he wasn't going to cut it as Clinton Portis's replacement. But there were others who said he ran hard against the Packers; he just didn't have any room.

Turns out they were right. Sunday night at FedEx Field, against the Colts' less-than-mighty run defense, he had room. Not gaping holes that the speedsters lap up, but gaps large enough to allow him a two- or three-yard burst. Then his elusiveness and spin moves took over.

(The Kansas Torainado? Nope, trying too hard.)

I have been impressed with Torain since training camp, but the 360-degree evasive manuevers were a revelation. They helped him gain 100 yards on 20 carries - making it easy even for the math-impaired to calculate his average of five yards a carry - and two touchdowns, the second and third of his Redskins tenure. It was the first 100-yard game for a Redskins back since Ladell Betts did it last November.

So where did that spin move come from?

"I don't know," Torain said with a huge grin. "I've just been waiting to get the opportunity to get out there and make plays. Do what you got to do to get free and just keep running downhill."

(Freight Torain? Express Torain? Runaway Torain? Then, if he gets injured, he can be Out of Service Torain, in honor of Metro?)

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