Clinton Portis says Haynesworth must put himself 'in a position to be able to play'
Clinton Portis, in his weekly radio appearance, was asked his feelings about the only topic that matters in Washington D.C. at the moment: Albert Haynesworth.
As usual, Portis spent the first 30 seconds of the interview on "The Mike Wise Show with Holden Kushner" on 106.7 waking up, then gave his interpretation of events concerning Haynesworth and Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan.
"As a player, he's a phenomenal player. As a teammate, he's a great teammate," Portis said. "I have no idea what goes on behind closed doors with Coach Shanahan. ... I think Coach Shanahan is fair enough [with the players]. ... For Coach Shanahan to hold someone back who can really help, there's got to be something going on. ... We know Albert can help this team. He gotta put himself in a position to be able to play in games."
Saying that there's "a standard that Coach Shanahan wants and requires that obviously he don't think is being given by Albert," Portis added that he thought Haynesworth "gave pretty good effort but it's not for me to call."
Portis was placed on the injured-reserve list after re-injuring his groin in the victory over Tennessee. He underwent surgery and players on IR typically do not attend team meetings, but his impression is that every move of Haynesworth's is subject to media scrutiny.
"When the microscope hits you, there's really nothing you can do right," Portis said. "It's hard to be in a situation where you get paid and are the focal point of the town and you're supposed to be the savior." Portis' advice for Haynesworth: "He's got to put himself in position to play a game, to audition for somebody else."
Portis was asked about unnamed sources who questioned whether Haynesworth had a hangover last week. "I think it's people playing games. I think that's what separates teams," he said. "For years the unknown sources has been a major problem."
To players who speak off the record to media, he said: "Speak your mind, man. You're a grown man. I think you've got the opportunity to go up to anyone in that organization and speak your mind. That's been a problem for years in the Washington Redskins organization. You would rather have any opportunity to have people come up to you."
Portis was asked about players and hangovers. "You've gotta think you can get through practice with a hangover. ... I think you fly around and give it everything you've got. Then after those two hours, you can go off and crash."
Portis said the problems go beyond Haynesworth. "Albert's not to blame for the offense not scoring a lot of points. Albert don't play on the offensive line. He don't play running back. He don't play quarterback or wide receiver. he can't be the focal point for everything in that organization. ... You can't fingerpoint one man for the whole downfall of an organization. Whatever is asked of you, go out and do it."
Portis took issue with Philip Daniels' comments on Haynesworth, saying that the locker room is open and that players should talk to each other and not the media about their problems. (Daniels, on his radio show Monday night, said he has spoken several times to Haynesworth.) "I have had conversations with Albert," Portis said.
"You're not going to find Albert Haynesworth and Coach Shanahan having a drink together. Whatever the organization asks of you, just go out and do it. At the end of the day, it's what people in the locker room think of you that goes a long ways.
"If you don't feel like I should be here, come tell me that. For Phil, his conversation was taken out of context. I don't think Phil is a spokesman for the Washington Redskins. If you don't want to keep it in the house, take it in front of the cameras. ... If I have a problem with somebody, I go and address them. ... I try another tactic to conversate [sic] with you. ... We don't have to be buddies. ... I think being a spokesman for others, just like other sources, own up to it. Everybody else who feel the same way should own up to it. Albert shouldn't come into the locker room and feel like there's gossip and conversation."
Portis was asked about how well he's recovering from surgery and whether his social life is again vibrant. "I can't move the way I want to move," he said of his football moves. Socially, "the whole world suffering right now. Paycheck not being cashed. It's a drought right now."
| December 7, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories: NFL, Redskins
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