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Portis: "Clinton Portis Can't Do Everything"

Both The Post and The Times ran stories this morning on Clinton Portis's unselfishness, and the way he's declined to call for more carries after the Week 1 loss.

The topic was also raised on Portis's weekly appearance on the John Thompson Show Tuesday afternoon, and since there's no conversation in D.C. sports like a conversation between Thompson and Portis, I thought I'd provide the full quotes. If you're a fan of referring to yourself in the third person and checking Portis paperwork, you oughta love this.

Thompson: "Clinton let me just ask you this, and I just got finished defending your coach. I like the guy, I don't think he's a commercial, I think it's gonna take time. Ok, but I'm gonna ask you on the side that I don't understand...When I watch y'all play and I look at Clinton Portis, I'm saying that they're trying to blend him in, they're trying to balance stuff. I heard JZ say something about balance. The hell with balance. I want you to be the star, I wanna see you break loose, I wanna see you get a lot of balls. I'm saying to myself, 'Give Clinton the ball.' Answer that for me. And that's just the part of me that don't understand football, and I know that myself. I want to see Clinton Portis being the star. How would you answer that to me?"

Portis: "I would love to be the star. I would love to sit here and tell you, 'Clinton Portis is the answer to every problem we've got.' I would love to tell you, 'Put Clinton Portis on defense and I can make plays over there.' But Clinton Portis can't do everything.

"I think as a team what they're trying to do is get us to play team ball and for it not to always be on my shoulders, and let other guys that's capable of making plays make plays. And I think we have the challenge, we've just got to do it. I mean, there's no other way to say it.

"Everybody says I'm not durable, I'm not this, I'm not that. I'm at the top in the league every year. I'm at the top in carries, I'm at the top in plays, I'm at the top in total offense, I'm at the top in total yards, but people fail to realize all the work that I actually put in. It's, 'Oh, he didn't get the ball.' Well, I led the league in carries. How many more times you want me to carry the ball, how many more times you want me to touch the ball?

"I can't do everything. I can't throw it and I can't catch it, I can't do that to myself, I have to play within the guidelines of what the coach call. You know, I would love to sit [there and say], 'Hey man, give me the draw.' Hey, when he feels like giving me a draw, I go ask him, 'Coach, let me get the draw,' and if he call it, he call it. if he don't, I got to execute the plays that he call.

"And I think everybody on that field feel that way. I'm sure 'Tana would love to throw fade routes, I'm sure 'Tana would love to catch a slip screen, I'm sure 'Tana would love to catch a quick screen. The same way with Fred Davis and Chris Cooley and Randle El and Malcolm Kelly and the rest of the guys, Devin Thomas, Mike Sellers. Everybody want to touch the ball, everybody feel like they can contribute, and we're not having the opportunities to spread the ball around.

"Having 40-some plays, it ain't gonna get everybody the ball. We have 40-some plays. I touched the ball 18 times, so you've got 30 more plays to get everybody else the ball. That's not gonna be enough to win. We've got to go out and have 60 or 70 plays a game; therefore, everybody can touch the ball, everybody can contribute."

Yeah, that's why I like September. Also, here was Portis, talking about LaRon Landry and the defense:

"When you watch film, it's never the lack of effort, it's never the lack of attention. Players are where they're supposed to be. I mean, you look at LaRon, he in the back, trying to knock people head off....A receiver can't hold onto the ball while he running at them like that. I think it was just overaggression, but you don't want to take him being aggressive away. You can't say, 'Oh LaRn, [change] your angle.' He got to go out and play as a madman, and I think that's what he did."

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 17, 2009; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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At this point.....we'd settle for ANYTHING on the football field

.....and definitely no more in the media ANYTHING...

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | September 17, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Portis pockets straight.

Posted by: chop1 | September 17, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

JC opens the game Sunday with a bomb to MK.

Posted by: classicskins | September 17, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

The trouble is the Redskins are paying their core players like Portis, Haynesworth, Hall, Moss as if they are among the best at their position in the NFL.

So the expectations rise.

The fact is the problems on defense to me come as much from Blache not dialing up the scheme to match the changes in personnel since 2008 as to any inherent deficiencies.

Eli Manning facing a four man rush and running a zone defense is going to eat you alive.

But it's in those 15-20 yard chunks that Blache seems to favor.

A more aggressive approach sometimes leads to the occasional 60-70 yard play against.

But the better defenses in Philly and Pittsburgh are willing to accept that risk to make plays.

Blache is not.

On offense, the line blocked well enough on Sunday so that a Redskins quarterback could make plays.

Campbell in several situations simply failed to do so.

His interception on a drive possibly cost the team 3 points.

His fumble when hit by Osi cost another 7.

You can't gift the other team 10 points and expect to win in the NFL.

Again, pass protection is not the problem.

Peyton Manning in 2008 with 3 starters out had horrible pass protection for the first half of the season and yet his team still won games and he still made plays when he had to.

What Jason saw in terms of pressure on Sunday is NORMAL for an NFL game.

If he can't handle that, he is in real trouble.

Posted by: leopard09 | September 17, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis: The Redskins version of "Leon" from the Budweiser ads.

Posted by: bbride1 | September 17, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Have you ever heard an athlete say anything profound or non cliche'?

What's the point of interviewing them?
To hear bad grammar and rambling answers to boring questions?

It's useless.

Posted by: eddiemacs | September 17, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse


Just a suggestion sir/ma'am

don't listen to them

Posted by: bigmiken | September 17, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for bringing that up Clinton. As I a said, the coach need to adapt the play calling to get other players involved. I don't see how Corny Zorny thinks his play calling is fooling any teams.

I see the Corny Zorny get confused and it shows on the field thru the players. You hear that Corny Zorny? You have Marko Mitchell, Kelly, Thomas, Betts, Cartwright, J. Campbell, Todd Collins.

Better yet, let Special Teams Coach take over since they know how to score.

Posted by: clifton3 | September 17, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Ummmmmmmmmm, clinton portis do more? where did this come from. CP and the running game did nothing. could CP be a nickel back, a pass rushing DE, or possession reciever that would cross teh middle? if so, CP do more.

Posted by: whomp1 | September 17, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Clinton please sign up for a speech class

Posted by: miked6 | September 17, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm so beyond tired of hearing this guy run his mouth. Yo CP, hows about you just do what your supposed to do? Do it well and the team will be fine. I've honestly never heard a team talk more and produce less than this team does. Week in and week out, year in and year out. It's just the same bunch of b.s and lip service & it's seldom backed up on the field. Who wants to bet that they lose to either the Rams or the Lions?

Posted by: gibbshogs | September 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

john thompson is an enabler for clinton's me first attitude. i would have agreed a few years ago that clinton needs more touches but that was when i believed he was a dangerous threat to score anytime he touched it. now clinton is a power back and set up guy in between the 20s. when we get inside the 20s lets give it to him a few more times especially on goalline when we only give it to betts. clinton isnt the same back he was before and needs to realize that.

Posted by: MondoTE11 | September 17, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

This team acts like they expect to lose. I do not agree with coach blatche when he said that it's never a good time to play the giants. Sunday was the perfect time. Get 'em while Eli is still warming up because he'll put the ball on the ground and throw it up for grabs. Didn't he? Of course he did and the skins could not capitalize.

Winning teams expect to win. They battle til the end and are never ever out of a game. Winning athletes don't quit. They may lose a game but they play to win. They expect to win. This team has a very timid mindset. They don't believe they're winners. Attitude reflects leadership. Zorn is not a leader and therefore neither is Campbell. London Fletcher is a leader. Nuff said?

Posted by: BenThere | September 17, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Who wants to bet that they lose to either the Rams or the Lions?

Posted by: gibbshogs | September 17, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse
No real redskins fan

BTW if u read the article JT asks CP if he thinks he needs more carries and he says " NO" to paraphrase his speech. he goes on to say that the whole team has areas where they can contribute to winning, not just him. he goes on to talk about the lack of opportunities the offense had due to their own errors. i think i respect him more for not throwing zorn under the bus, as many RI posters have criticized him for in the past.

JC opens the game Sunday with a bomb to MK.

Posted by: classicskins | September 17, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

if u thought of that all by yourself imagine what the rams d coord is planning for.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 17, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

blache has to go. this is by far the most vanilla, passive, bendover- but don't break defense the skins have run in some time. d backs 10-12 yds off, little blitzing from the lbs, no stunting up front. we have some exceptional athletes on our defense, if only blache could get'em to play a more aggresive scheme.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | September 17, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

do you think bill belichick or bill parcells would put up with a player throwing his coach under the bus like portis did last year ? or santana moss pulling his act against the bengals and giants ? not just heck no, hell no...portis should of been traded 2 years ago when he had some value. now, he is beat up, on the down side, and is no longer a threat to take it to the house on any carry. the washington redskins have no self discipline, a stooge for football operations, and a coach that is overmatched. losing has set in with this organization, and it is easy to see that you can't win with this group. and the qb has had his chance too. time to tear it down and start all over again.

Posted by: mdoughtie22 | September 17, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Someone beat me too it but I am tired of "Leon cant do everything" Portis had his chances to run... he got 16 carries... take away the first play (34 yrds I believe) he had 15 carries for 28 yards. A true leader and surperstar leads their teams to victory they dont throw people under the proverbial bus like he does. They don't use the media to call people out, especially your coach. Portis is always about him. If he is not happy, he cries to Dan Snyder and everyone else. If his contract was not so inflated, he would be traded... mark that down.

Posted by: rvanags | September 17, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Yes that's true. But the COACH constantly throws the players under the bus. Constantly! It doesn't take much to read between the lines. Matt Hasselback once said that when Zorn was in Seattle as QB coach, you'd never know when they'd won a game! Even when they'd won Zorn was in his face being critical of every little thing Hasselback did - not allowing him to even have a winning moment.

That's why this team doesn't expect to win. The head coach doesn't inspire them, doesn't lead them into battle prepared properly. Of course they're well paid workers participating in a grown man's sport.

But the challenge for today's coaches is to find a way to motivate these guys. And you cannot approach them all the same way. Campbell - do you think he might need just a little bit of confidence from the coach? Specially after the off season he went through watching the team's execs court Cutler and Sanchez?

Oh but then again, didn't they kind of back door Zorn into the job too? Doesn't Zorn know that this is really NOT HIS TEAM?
How the heck are they supposed to feel solidarity when there's no real leadership?

Honestly, there's a part of me that feels sorry for some of these guys because if they're on different teams - playoff bound they are! Portis was actually right about what he said last year when he was indirectly critical of the offensive line. Bad time to say it and tasteless of him but he was right. And they're still one injury away from mediocrity - even though they actually played pretty well on Sunday.

How about his - Portis left side on play 1. 34 yards! But no imagination in the play calling! Zorn kept calling Portis to the left side of the line and there stood eleven Giants waiting for him! And we signed the Giants QB why? So we'd know a little more about what they might do.

Shutup, line up, play ball. And for crying out loud call some real football plays. Tricks are for kids!

Posted by: BenThere | September 17, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Clinton, lay off the chronic.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | September 17, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

lillhollywood10 - actually I am a "real redskins fan" - born in N. VA and have rooted for the team for all of my 39 years. But if being a "real fan" means never calling it like I see it than I guess I'm guilty. I'm tired of the same old, same old with this team and with the players who never seem to keep their mouths shut. And as far as your comment about CP not throwing his coach under the bus it seems to me that something is very wrong if he's being praised for NOT doing that; as in, he's not supposed to do that. Nothing personal, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we'll see where this season goes but I have an idea already.

Posted by: gibbshogs | September 17, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Count me in as someone who thinks Portis is done. Very close to Edgerrin James done. While a better offensive line might make him look decent for another year or two, he is not a star back anymore and everyone knows our o line is suspect to begin with. You think Peterson or Turner would not have busted a few more runs against the Giants even with our line? I saw no burst whatsoever from him on Sunday. He was not bursting through the line, he was coasting to it, which makes tackling you a little easier. He only gets 1200 yards this year if he gets another obscene amount of carries bc his average yds per carry is not good and has not been in a long time. And I thought he was taking the offseason conditioning stuff much more seriously. Has not shown up yet that's for sure!

Posted by: rphilli721 | September 17, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Portis may be right - but this kind of talk should remain in the locker room, behind closed doors, as far away from the media as possible. When you're a top of the depth chart running back in a contending team in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, you never want to them you sweat. No matter what. Period.

Sure the play calling will improve, Zorn is new, Williams is only in his second year in the same system, it's only been one game and a tough one to get started.

Calm down, everyone, and it starts with Portis showing a spine and radiating confidence in the public eye. Once a player shows weakness to the public, the thin line between winning and losing is stretched and damned well the other teams in the division will take advantage.

Portis, shut the heck up. Someone put a muzzle on this fool and teach him the equivalent of baseball cliche's, only in NFL-speak, when talking to the media.

-Pissed off in Falls Church

Posted by: JimGoldbloomVA | September 17, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Given Portis’ deep insights, he’s going to be a great addition to Redskins’ front office when he retires. With minds like Snyder, Cerrato and Portis at the helm, can you say, “Dynasty”?

Posted by: postmike | September 17, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

JC opens the game Sunday with a bomb to MK.

Posted by: classicskins | September 17, 2009 12:47 PM

in light of the fact the DEADskins have been outscored 0-51 over the past seven 1st quarters.....this statement required alot of KOOLADE and then something illegal....

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | September 17, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

For some reason, his first quote brought me back to "Terry Tate knows football." Earlier I was thinking about how ridiculous atheletes in particular sound when speaking in the third person. Regardless, Portis is being on his best behavior. So far. BTW, do we have to hear every show Thompson say that he doesn't know football? We get it, Mr. college basketball HoFamer!

Posted by: nojunk4me | September 17, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

CP need a offensive line. If he no gets one, he get squised likes da bug. CP like to talk an flap the lip, buts he so-nuff can run but he ain't got him no line.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | September 17, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Therein lies the difference between Portis and John Riggins.

Portis says "I can't do everything."

Riggins said "Gimmie the ball and I'll carry the team on my back."

Posted by: harrelsonw | September 17, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

"Play to win", not to lose. Who said that? lol. K, it's the coaching. JZ is not in the same caliber as say Bill Belicheck or Mike Tomlin. Who checked out his resume? Vinny Cerato and Danny Boy. OMG do they know this is a professioal league or they just out to make money? It doesn't seem that they have a clue.

The Redskins do have a decent core of hard playing talent but lacks the leadership. There playing soft. Against the Giants the DB's were playing 10-15 yrds away from the Giant's WR. Cm'on, letting rookie WR get those yards is a joke in the NFL. They lost because of the coaching. Greg Blache seemed to be scared to front up on the Giant's WR and what was the second call from Zorn on offense after CP ran for a 34-yard gainer. Run the WR reverse pass? I saw that and wondered if this was a college game. JZ know if he doesn't win 2 out of the next 3 games his career is over. The west coast offense does not work in this division. Spurrier tried that, remember? Does the Redskins have any other WR's other then SM & ARE? So that in mind, just let JC loose. Through the ball in tight coverage if he has to. Let the WR make a play. Other then Cooley & ARE there is no other playmakers. CP lost a step and just doesn't have the burst to pop one. Funny how Randle El lost his starting job and he was one of the top yard gainers. What I saw in Randle El was that he ran precise routes. Saw him look around at the Giant's D and found a soft spot for JC to throw to him. Moss gives up on plays.

Coaching will be addressed this year, if they lose to the Rams & Lions, heads will roll. If those two games are close and the Redskins win by a FG, there might be a help wanted sign. The next 4 games should be winners. But watching the game film against the Giants which they had a great shot of winning, the players seem to be lost on O & D. Like the Giants D said, "we knew what play was ooming".

Rams 17 Redskins 13, take the Rams 9-1/2 under 37 points. At least make some $ watching the LIONS umm Redskins.

Posted by: niceguyjb2005 | September 17, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse


FEDEX Field officials released a press statement this morning advising anyone planning to attend Sunday's NFL game between the Washington Redskins and St Louis Rams to visit any of the numerous portapotties that will be located outside the gates before entering the stadium. They also ask attendees to take several deep breaths before leaving the portable toilets and entering the stadium.

While stadium officials said they have in fact corrected the plumbing problems that plagued an August rock concert at the stadium, they are still concerned that some attendees at Sunday's game may confuse the stench coming from the Washington side of the playing field with the smell of backed up drains and raw sewage.

According to one stadium official, "By acclimating our fans to the taste and smell of the portapotties, we hope they'll be more patient and understanding when it comes to watching Jason Campbell and his offensive unit take the field."

Posted by: Vic1 | September 17, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

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