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Portis: "I Think We Have Something Special

Well, if you had Week 3 in your "When Will Clinton Portis Snap During His Weekly Radio Interview" pool, you lose. Sorry. Still no snapping. Still the "we have talent, give it time, we have the same record as the Steelers" Portis.

Portis was on ESPN 980's John Thompson Show Tuesday afternoon, and while he had plenty of strong sound bites, he didn't sell anyone out. Well, besides Mike Sellers, when he faulted Sellers for going the wrong way on that first-quarter fourth-down play. But he said he wasn't throwing Sellers under the bus, so that doesn't count.

Doc Walker and John Thompson were virtually begging Portis to question Jim Zorn's playcalling and his use of Portis, but the running back refused, repeatedly. And for the second week in a row, he used extremely lofty words to describe the talent level on this team, talking about the players he thinks will make the Pro Bowl, for example.

"Right now we're going through a tough time," Portis said. "Will we make it out of it? Yes. Will it be difficult? I mean, it's a season. Our heads aren't down, we're not throwing in the towel. We've still got 13 games to go play. Now if we throw in the towel now, we're gonna be miserable, but I don't think nobody in that locker room is gonna throw in the towel....I'm not gonna sit and make this a me me me me, because it's not me me me me. As a team, I think we have something special and we can do something special, and I think we will do something special."

[Quotes are moderately approximate until I get a recording of the audio. Apologies.]

At the end of his appearance, after having said several times that he's fine with the playcalling, Portis finally admitted that he regularly offers suggestions to Zorn, Sherman Smith, Stump Mitchell, and even Greg Blache, "trying to get him to let me play safety" for a few plays. But he said his suggestions aren't a secret, and that they aren't surprising.

"My suggestion always is to play smashmouth; on defense let's play smashmouth, on offense let's play smashmouth," he said. "If you wonder what I'm thinking or what I want to do, that'll never change. Let's go mano-a-mano, you line up over there and we'll line up over here and let's do it....I can't answer why we [don't] do it. I wonder the same thing."

Still, he emphasized repeatedly that playcalling wasn't the issue, saying "Coach Zorn ain't playing football. His days over. He' s on the sideline calling plays, we've got to go out there and execute it."

Portis said he had no problem with the last-ditch hook-and-ladder call, and he said he had no problem with the call on that fourth-down play. He said Sellers bounced outside instead of going inside, and when Portis went inside, that apparently foiled the play.

"If me and Mike both go downhill, then you've got one person trying to stop me and Mike Sellers," Portis said. "Impossible, if you ask me. But running sideways, Mike bounced out, I went in and the guy made a play. That should be a walk-in touchdown."

But Portis added that Sellers played a great game, that he wasn't trying to throw him under the bus, and that 15 or 20 plays decided this game, not just one. He also said his ankles were as good as they've been in two years on Sunday, and that once he says he's ready to play, that means he'll take as much of the ball as the coaches want to give him.

"When I step on the field, that means Clinton Portis is ready to help the Washington Redskins," he said. "If you want me to block, I'll block my ass off. If you want me to run, I'll run my ass off. Whatever you want me to do, that's what I'm gonna do."

As for the media and fan firestorm, Portis again said he understands that in a bad economy, people are looking for something better than this. He compared the demand for instant results to the demands that voters are making of President Obama, and said in both cases patience is necessary. He said he even heard a woman in the Four Seasons complaining about the Redskins' struggles.

"All of the sudden we suck, we're the worst team in the NFL because we lost to the Lions," he said, summarizing the reactions around town. "The Lions got good players, man. We're 1-2, there's a lot of teams that are 1-2. We're in a situation we'd rather not be in. Have we ever started out 1-2? Yes we have. Is it a situation we can get ourselves out of? Yes, we can....

"People can't get caught up in hype. I think we're in a [big] media market, and at this point in time every story that come out in the media is we suck, we're horrible, we're overpaid, we're this, we're that. Every team in the NFL got talent and they've got playmakers. Detroit made plays and we didn't....

"I think the belief in players there. I think we're spreading the ball around. From the 20 to the 20, we're hell on wheels. It's just converting in the red zone, scoring touchdowns, coming up with more points, getting off the field on third downs, converting third downs for the offense, converting short-yardage situations....It takes patience. It takes time. It will be done in time."

The interview will be replayed on ESPN 980 at 6, and will be online later.

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 29, 2009; 3:54 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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In a clever cross-marketing initiative designed to celebrate the Halloween season throughout the month of October, the Washington Redskins are teaming up with the Washington area Six Flags amusement park franchise to offer a month-long Fright Fest for Washington area football fans, friends and families.

Everyone attending Redskin home games at FEDEX Field this October will be invited to enter the spirit of the Halloween season by shouting out loud, rousing and offensive BOOS and catcalls every time a Redskin player makes another boneheaded play. The most obnoxious fans will then be given an opportunity to text and tweet their sentiments to selected members of the Washington inactive player bench and practice squads –- and earn free tickets to the nearby Six Flags amusement park to enjoy the park’s ongoing Fright Fest celebration.

The fun begins on October 4 when the Washington Redskins host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a battle for burial in the graveyard of the National Football League standings. Washington is 1-2 thus far this season following an embarrassingly narrow win at home against the hapless St Louis Rams, and uninspired away losses to the New York Giants and Detroit Lions.

Along the way, the team has played some of the worse football ever seen in the history of the franchise – leading many Washington supporters calling for the heads of Head Coach Jim Zorn– either on a pike or in a bucket. Likewise, Tampa Bay is winless this season with an embarrassing 0-3 record.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, the Redskins will dress several players in Halloween-themed costumes, including its dim candlelit pumpkinhead of a quarterback (Jack O’Lantern Campbell), several zombies awkwardly shuffling their way through the final years of their contracts, a mere skeleton of a functional offensive line, and a defensive secondary that is said to be even more porous and wispy than the Ghostly Trio. Also scheduled to appear (subject to availability) are Invisible Man Clinton Portis and Big Blobby Albert Haynesworth.

Posted by: Vic1 | September 29, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

who cares. he isn't even a second tier NFL RB anymore. he is done and trying to hold onto the spotlight for as long as possible. sad really, but whatever. the skins fans will eat it up because he plays to their delusion.

Posted by: funkey | September 29, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"he isn't even a second tier NFL RB anymore"

Do you even watch pro football? The guy rushed for about 1500 yards last year and made the pro bowl.

Please. Stop. Posting.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 29, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Vinny, I mean Barno:

Portis must be playing hurt this year, because he's not performing anywhere near last year's pace.

Tomlinson rushed for a bunch of yards last year, too. Once upon a time Larry Johnson rushed for a bunch of yards. We pretty much have discounted them now. Portis will soon be added to that list.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | September 29, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Portis must be playing hurt this year, because he's not performing anywhere near last year's pace.

Tomlinson rushed for a bunch of yards last year, too. Once upon a time Larry Johnson rushed for a bunch of yards. We pretty much have discounted them now. Portis will soon be added to that list.

Posted by: Randy_Hawkins | September 29, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

He is playing hurt this year. Personally, I think they should bench him and let Mason play until he is healed. I thought that was the whole freaking reason we put Mason on the roster. Let the kid play. I bet a kid with his entire future at stake will get that yard on 4th and 1.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | September 29, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I say activate Mason and Aldrige and let them both play. Portis is great when he's healthy and when he's focused and has good blocking. He's not at a point where he's going to make it on his own. He needs that big block from Sellers and from others.

I truly don't understand how Ladell Betts could be "gassed" out there on Sunday. Let the guys with the energy play. Give them a shot and see what they can do. Rock came through with a series or two.

AND WHERE THE HECK IS MARKO MITCHELL WHEN YOU NEED HIM??? These guys need to get on the field and play.

Posted by: BenThere | September 29, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

""who cares. he isn't even a second tier NFL RB anymore. he is done and trying to hold onto the spotlight for as long as possible. sad really, but whatever. the skins fans will eat it up because he plays to their delusion."" >>

Obviously you do care...

I would want Portis on my team any day. He gives maximum effort every down. When his number is called he has been able to move the ball... unlike most, I rather they realize that they are not a good team and work on getting better than feel they are good and end up getting worse... sure they could have been 0-3 as easily as they could have been 2-1...

They just need to learn how to manage the game better... I can't fault the effort of the players... especially Portis.

Posted by: samiismoni14 | September 29, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Clinton needs to stop smoking crack.

Posted by: lylewimbledon | September 29, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

fire vinny cerrato

Posted by: ThisGuy | September 29, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

If the deluded BS running out of their mouths could contribute to wins on the field..the DEADskins would be undefeated every season....

Posted by: FletcherChristian1 | September 29, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

i personally enjoyed watching portis sitting on the bench pouting with the skins down by 10 in the 2nd quarter. a real leader gets up and lights a fire under his teammates. all these guys are a bunch of talk. something special... that is so laughable... actually maybe it is the right word for guys who stop running routes, drop passes, and pout when they are down by less than two touchdowns with more than half the game left. and they wonder why they are getting booed.

Posted by: sfriedman32 | September 29, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I liked what Portis said about playing smash mouth football! He identified the areas I've been frustrated with -- we can't get off the field on defense, we can't get a yard when we need it. Portis is a warrior! I shudder to think what will be left of his body when he fades away from football.

Champions blitz when the other team's offense is backed up against the goal line. Coach Blache didn't want to leave any of our CB's 1-on-1 with a top receiver. That's tough to hear.

Likewise, we need to be able to pound it from the 1 yard line, the longest yard in football. I liked the call on 4th and 1. I liked what Doc Walker said the other day -- put in M. Williams and Haynesworth, substitute a bigger body for Cooley, go straight ahead, and get a yard. What a collision!

If we call an all out blitz when we need to and the other team gets the yardage or the points, I can accept that. Let the players play! Coach Blache often says that football is nothing complicated, it's just football. Losing is tough, but what hurts is the way we've been losing, slow and painful. What Portis said about playing old school style football makes sense to me. I hope his coaches are listening.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | September 29, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: samiismoni14

"I would want Portis on my team any day."

he is on your team and they suck...see you in the off-season where the 'skins are at their best

Posted by: dac04 | September 29, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Has Portis been tested for drug use by the League lately or is he just so lost in "Danny's Kharma" that he, Danny-Boy & his butt-buddy Vinnie all REALLY think this team can be "special". Short-bus special maybe....

Posted by: james51 | September 29, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

What am I hearing?

Mason and Aldridge????


Portis is a 2nd tier RB?
Ok, first tier A. Peterson (and really he doesn't have the longevity yet)
2nd Tier...who? Jacobs? No. Turner? HA! MJD? Please.

Portis has been doing it far longer and far more consistently then anyone. Have you seen the O Line he's playing behind? Not exactly the Hogs. The OLine is injured, inexperience and I'll say it, not very good. If you don't like Portis you've never played football, don't understand football or both. Either way, stop posting. Your rants against him are illogical and just plain stupid.

I'm not happy with the teams performance and believe me, I'm as big of a Skins homer as the rest of you. But I refuse to attack or belittle my RB, Coach, or team. I also refuse to sell my fandom (idiot) or scream for Zorn to be fired. Go ahead, attack Vinnie and Danny too, that will do alot of good.

I wish Sean Taylor was still here. Not for the playoffs (which we would've made last year with him) or the hits that I could rewind over and over again. But so he could display the passion this team plays with but does not show as blatantly. And so Landry was playing in position and we wouldn't have used more picks on Defense. And so we wouldn't have lost our best player. And so I could see if anyone would throw that Unquestionable Redskin under the bus like they're doing with the one we still have in Portis.

I know you have opinions but, in all seriousness, think about what you post before you post it on here.

Posted by: fushezzi | September 29, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse


Fire everyone who is associated with Gibbs 1.0 and 2.0.

If Joe Bugel can't coach up a mediocre line, why don't we hold Buges to the same standard as Jim Zorn and his coaching ability with a mediocre J. Campbell.

I'm tired of hearing Skins fans live in the past. I want to get rid of any and everyone associated with them.

It's time for a new identity. whether this year or next...Stop talking about the past and live in the present.

Posted by: TampaBayareaRedskinsfan | September 29, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

barno - keep loving him and his costumes and his schtick. he's done and there is no one in the wings. he's a chump who's ham handed attempts to be a clubhouse 'leader' would be a bit funny if not so sad.

Posted by: funkey | September 29, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

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