Portis Says O Line Has "Major Upgrades"
A year ago this week, Barry Svrluga caused some mild tumult at Redskins Park by publishing this story about Clinton Portis, in which the back seemed to malign his offensive line.
"I wish I could go to a team for one week with the best offensive line, or the team with the best scheme, and switch places with their back and see how others would do in this system," Portis said then. "I get a lot of touches with nowhere to run. I could see if I got all those touches and had some lanes, but there's nine or 10 men in the box."
Well, a year later, Portis has been on his best behavior, and has yet to malign this year's line. No, he's still too busy maligning last year's line!
Ok, I'm kind of joking. Portis never seems to intentionally pull the lever that opens up the secret trap door that sends various current or former teammates careening out of the bottom of the bus and directly under those pesky wheels. It just sort of happens. Here's what he said on ESPN 980's John Thompson Show Tuesday, when asked if this year's offensive line is better than last year's version.
"I actually think so," Portis said. "I think getting [Derrick Dockery] back and having Stephon [Heyer] finally on the right side for a full season, I think those are major upgrades. You know, no disrespect to Jon Jansen or Pete Kendall, but I think Pete gave everything he had. [It] was just hard [for him] to move. You know, he gave 100 percent, it just looked like he was going at 60."
[The wheels on the bus go round and round. - ed.]
"But I think Pete was probably one of the smartest players that I ever played with," Portis continued. "You know, he knew every situation in a game, and he went out and gave it everything he had. But now having Dock and Stephon, I think it makes our line younger. I think it's an upgrade."
At least in the portion of the interview that was replayed on the Sports Reporters, that was the most controversial thing Portis said, which is a huge step in the right direction for him. In fact, most of the rest of his comments consisted of unmitigated praise.
Praise For Jim Zorn: Portis said that after a year of growing pains, players now understand Jim Zorn, and Zorn now understands "the players' point of view and where we coming from. And I think the lines of communication are better with everybody in the facility, not just me. I think everybody beginning to be on the same page, and if anybody got a problem, they speak to him about it, and he give you the opportunity, come speak your mind and we'll go from there."
Praise For His Health: Portis said he was banged up on the first offensive play against the Patriots last month, but that he "couldn't bear to take the chance of going out after the first play of the game and all of the sudden, 'Ah, he's faking he's hurt!' So I tried to play through it, and I got into halftime and Coach came and told me, he was like, ell, that's good, you're done.' And I was like, 'Good, 'cause I'm hurting.' I just got the X- rays, everything came back negative, so I'm cool."
Praise For Malcolm Kelly: When asked about the running game, Portis pretty much decided to stop discussing the running game and start discussing the passing game.
"For us, opening up, going downfield, having the explosion, having Malcolm Kelly healthy, having Malcolm Kelly with confidence," he said, ticking off positives. "You know, if you watch the games, you see his hands, so I think having a confident and healthy Malcolm Kelly instantly upgrades this offense. Then you look at the unknown factor and that's having Fred Davis on the other side of Chris Cooley. So if we can get into any personnel, we can go two tight ends with Malcolm and Santana out wide, or we can go four wide and put all our receivers on the field, we can go with Mike Sellers and Yoder and run a power game, so I think it's exciting."
Praise for 2009, Generally Speaking, Yo: "I think just knowing what we're capable of doing and seeing the way guys have stepped up and having Mike back in front of me, I think it's just a positive outlook on the season," Portis said. "I think everybody gonna play hard and all of a sudden it's like everybody got something to prove. You know, I think everybody's tired of, 'Oh, they started off 6-2 and look what happened down the end.' I mean, we got hit with the injury bug. You know, people don't realize that, people don't understand what's going on, there's always, 'Oh, they did [this], they did that.] We got hit by the injury bug. No excuses. We faltered, we fell off, and coming into this year, we've got to do better."
Hey, it isn't even Week 1 yet. Positivity is encouraged.
Posted by: ralston21 | September 9, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: punchdaclock | September 9, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pgugino | September 9, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: TheFingerman | September 9, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: signatures | September 9, 2009 10:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: zickzack | September 10, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.