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Portis: "I'm far from washed up"

Never in my life have I seen ESPN2's content so closely resemble ESPN 980's John Thompson Show as on Tuesday morning. The network's First Take program welcomed Clinton Portis as a special Super Bowl week guest, and the Redskins' running back returned to many of the themes he's touched on this year during his weekly radio appearances. Except this time, we could see his green hoodie while he was talking, and he didn't sound like he was submerged beneath a bathtub full of tapioca.

Portis appeared serious throughout, even when he was asked to have some fun. He was asked why he got rid of the weekly characters, allowing ESPN to show some of his greatest costumes and brilliant smiles from the past, and his answer seemed sort of forlorn.

"Man, I started taking so much heat for everything I was doing, I just tried to fall out the public eye," Portis said. "As far as the characters, it became A Cry For Help, A Search For Identity, and everything else. I just tried to fall under the radar and mind my business and go to work. I think that was the wrong approach, because I started thinking of work as work instead of going over there to enjoy myself and having fun like I was, and really I would love to do that."

So why doesn't he, came the next question? Why doesn't he just go back to having fun? Portis got the answer exactly right: people don't want to see athletes having fun minus the wins.

"That's all I ever wanted to do was have fun, but somehow, someway, whenever I'm having fun, it's really taken the wrong way by others," he said, nodding in the direction of anonymous message board posters. "And with the media that's in D.C. and your teammates taking shots, I got so tired of all the BS that I just fell back. I think with Coach Shanahan coming in, that will give us the opportunity to have fun. I mean, it's always fun when you're winning, and we haven't really been winning. So if we start winning, I think I can have fun again."

As for his own status, Portis wasn't asked about his health, but he made it clear that he plans on being in D.C. next season. He talked about how he knows what opportunities he'll get in Shanahan's offense, and how the play-action will prevent teams from focusing on the running game, and he said he's looking forward to returning to a system that brought him such success.

"I know what I'm capable of doing, and I can't wait to get back on the field next year to prove to people that I'm far from washed up or done," Portis said. "And I will walk away from this game when I'm ready. You know, the game's not gonna pass me by. All this I can't do it anymore [talk], I'm eager to go out and prove to people that they're wrong about me. I think everybody's so caught up in thinking me and Coach Zorn couldn't get along, and thinking I was selfish, and then all of the sudden I'm Mr. Snyder's best friend and I can do whatever I want to do. That's not the case. I think a lot of that is blown out of proportions. I speak to Mr. Snyder, he's the owner of the team, that's what you're supposed to do. I'm not afraid to go and speak to my boss.

"It's pretty much just a lot of finger pointing, which I think Coach Shanahan's gonna get rid of that and he's gonna have the dedication of the players. You won't have to worry about who's doing their job or who's not. I think with Coach Shanahan, if you're doing your job, you'll be fine. If you're not, you won't be there."

See? John Thompson Show material, right? Portis also said he has no problems with Jason Campbell, that he was just pointing out that Campbell was not a vocal leader, and that his comments about Campbell's leadership qualities were take out of context. Oh, and he thinks Peyton Manning would defeat Drew Brees in an arm-wrestling match.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 2, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Redskins  
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Looking forward to having Portis back with the Skins next year and hopefully many more years to come. He clearly isn't washed up, anyone with common sense can see that the losses of your 3 best run-blockers from the previous season (Samuels, Thomas, Jansen) after just 4 games was the end of any hopes for a productive run game. Get the O-line solidified and Portis will be back to his old self. It was only a year ago he had just finished up a 1487 yard season with 9 TDs. No reason to think he can't do that again for us if the O-line is stabilized.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Go away, Portis... the team needs to make a clean break and let this clown go elsewhere. Shanahan traded the guy away once already so hopefully he's smart enough not to bank on Portis being a #1 RB for the Skins.

Posted by: chombie13 | February 2, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Well, I think the first two posters have accurately reflected the main distinctive positions on Portis.

*golf clap*

Posted by: AtomicOvermind | February 2, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

While CP26 appears to have 7+ million reasons to play next season... I suspect he'll still show up out of condition, out of shape, and prone to injury... then refuse to participate in practice, pre-season, or mid-week preparation... and then after a couple or few medicre performances on game day, he'll feign some sort of mysterious injury that can only be healed by sitting in a golf cart on the sidelines, smoking cigars and trading lies with Little Danny Snotrag... all the while taking up a valuable roster spot and preventing someone who actually wants to play from doing so.

In short, it'll be a repeat of the 2009 season. Get rid of this clown now!

Posted by: Vic1 | February 2, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for Portis being a Skin again next year, but he really needs to show us fans that he is a dedicated teammate. I want him to play like he has something to prove.

For couple of seasons, his inadequacies as a running back were brushed under the rug because he HAD been such a multi-talented back in his early years. We ignored his inability to find open running lanes because was able to do it in the past and he had established himself as one of the greatest runners in the Skins franchise history. Then we saw relatively no-name backs come in after Portis was injured and THEY were able to find holes with a beat up O-line where Portis couldn't. I personally don't think he's washed up. It certainly seems like he's lost a step and can no longer cut like he once did, but Portis has always been a hard hitting back, a great passing back, and I still trust him out in the flats. I expect him to work out harder than he has in years during this offseason.

If Portis can rush for 1000 yards next year, people will forget this whole Campbell/Portis thing happened.

Work your ass off Portis and prove to everyone you deserve to go down in history as the most prolific Redskins running back in history.

Posted by: MillBurray | February 2, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah Vic1, I've missed you. There isn't a man on earth you don't want fired, is there? Everytime your name pops up, it's to demand someone be booted from town. You're like the Sol Rosenberg character from the Jerky Boys tapes years back. "Sue everybody!"

Posted by: Barno1 | February 2, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Barno, it's probably just as well that I don't make the hire and fire decisions around here -- because I would be quicker than most to get rid of the dead wood that appears to be clogging the path to success for this team. I'm actually more of an optimist than you might think -- and believe we are only a few players away from having a competitive team. Trouble is, you need to get rid of some consumate losers like CP26, JC17 and a few others -- and get some players in who have both the willingness and ability to win some ball games.

Posted by: Vic1 | February 2, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Vic dont mind Barno, he's still got his panties all bunched up from botching any/all Redskins predictions on the '09 season.

That and he's really steamed because he doesn't deem all of Steinbergs posts newsworthy, though Barno himself doesn't have a blog on WaPo.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 2, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

You are so washed up!

Posted by: lylewimbledon | February 2, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

portis is done. ladell betts was tearing it up behind the same line, untill he tore his knee ligaments or whatever.

Posted by: BMACattack | February 2, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow, it really is groundhog day - we heard almost the same exact stuff from Portis last offseason.

Numbers don't lie; Portis has slowed down. And before a Portis slurper (I'm looking at you, RedDMV) starts the offensive line excuses, remember Betts and Ganther came in and gave the offense more pop than Portis did all last season. Maybe it's because they PRACTICED last season, unlike Portis.

Bye bye Portis, don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!

Posted by: hithere1 | February 2, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

And of course, Barno wants Portis back. It's his MO: take a contrarian position, then make fun of all who disagree. This is Barno's life. OK, fine.

Bye, Portis.

Posted by: hithere1 | February 2, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

It's always about Clinton, not the team. I, I, I, not we. Like T.O. he had loads of talent but the chip on his shoulder is too big. We need a team, not a group of "I" people.

Posted by: bfjam | February 2, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Look, here's the deal. Clinton Portis may not be washed up. But we'll never likely know because he's never in top shape. He needs to drop 15 pounds or so and come in at 205-210, get his speed back(or as much of it as possible) and then we could see if he has anything left in the tank. But if he shows up in camp as heavy and slowfooted as last year, then he will be done in any case.

Posted by: mcgintyman | February 2, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

I have a gallon of Tide that says Clinton is washed up and hanging on the line. I'd scrape him off like the stuff on my shoe from the dog park. Running backs are easy to find. QBs and OTs not so much.

Posted by: Eradicator | February 2, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: iubiquity | February 2, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Looking at the picture of Portis confirms he's nothing more than an uneducated thug wannabe.

Posted by: hessone | February 3, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

We all know what the word "thug" is code for! man cp is kool, yeah out of shap, slow, no vision yeah-yeah. he still has a contract and if it was up to me i would make him earn every single million. No days off and the only time he's off the field would be third down. F it run his ass in to the ground, Joe Gibbs style. Why not?

Posted by: That-Guy-27 | February 3, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Nice hoodie, ganstachile' You be hard pressed to tell youz on nach'nal freakin tellievizshun.

Posted by: Vic1 | February 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

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