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Portis: Opener Is 'Toughest Test You Could Get'

Like his teammates, Clinton Portis moved to regular-season media mode this week, addressing the media in a group interview session before practice at Redskins Park. As always, Portis was direct.

"There's no warmup games in the NFL no matter who you are," Portis said. "Just having a divisional rival, that has been dominating your division, it's the toughest test you could get. ... It's a big challenge for us."

Portis expects significant improvement from the Redskins' offense, which averaged only 16.6 points last season and ranked 28th among 32 teams.

"I know what our offense will look like," he said. "I think I know what we're shooting for, the outlook, or the overall things that we want to accomplish. I don't think you all [media members] have seen it. But knowing what our lineup is and knowing what we have on the field, I think the outlook of what our offense can be" can be good.

In Week 1, Portis does not envision many surprises on offense from either the Redskins or Giants, "I usually anticipate hard-nosed football. That's what the NFC East is. I can't think of any team in the NFC East that comes out with wrinkles."

Portis, beginning his eighth season, rushed for 1,487 yards (with a 4.3-yard average) in 2008. Slowed by injuries in the second half of the season, however, Portis rushed for at least 80 yards only twice in the final eight games. He had no rushes of at least 40 yards on the season.

The coaching staff rewarded backup Ladell Betts for his hard work in the offseason, making him the primary back on third down to open the season. Running back Marcus Mason also made the 53-man roster, supplanting Rock Cartwright as the No. 3 running back, and the Redskins are high on him.

For his part, Portis doesn't mind the extra help, he said.

"It really don't matter to me," Portis said. "I think our goal is just to try to keep people fresh and get everybody involved. I think if you look at our roles when it was just me on the field all the time, Ladell would come in when I'm tired. Now all of a sudden, we trying to work and keep everybody fresh. It don't matter."

By Jason Reid  |  September 9, 2009; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

Anyone who was saying that Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly were a)bust, or b)should be cut LAST YEAR during their ROOKIE seasons ought to have their 'net privileges revoked for life. Seriously, no blogging on any topic, no porn surfing, no music downloading, no shopping, no nothing...

I can't fathom how flat out DUMB that sounds!

Kelly will beast the f out, Thomas will have a decent season as well.

No that we've seen Kelly on the field it's apparent why everyone in the know was vouching for Kelly over Thomas.

Posted by: RedDMV | September 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I repeatedly said that the jury was out on Kelly with the injury. I also repeatedly bashed Thomas and so far he has done nothing to change my mind, just because Kelly has looked good doesn't mean that Thomas has. The best thing he's done all preseason is return some kicks well.....They were linked way too much together in the past and they shouldn't be linked now, Kelly has gotten on the field looked good and is our #2, Thomas has been out shined big time by a 7th round rookie and is in danger of falling to the 5th spot on the depth chart if he doesn't snap out of his apparent mental lapses, don't go calling him a success story yet....

and....

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 9, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Looking at this list:

2009: Steelers (#1 D, #22 O)
2008: Giants (#7 D, #16 O)
2007: Colts (#21 D, #3 O)
2006: Steelers (#4 D, #15 O)
2005: Patriots (#9 D, #7 O)
2004: Patriots (#7 D, #17 O)
2003: Buccaneers (#1 D, #24 O)
2002: Patriots (#24 D, #19 O)**
2001: Ravens (#2 D, #16 O)
2000: Rams (#6 D, #1 O)

Rebuilding the defense first was the right call. We'll get some offensive linemen next year.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | September 9, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

one question, what about a #4 overall defense suggests it needed to be "rebuilt"....I didn't and still don't disagree with the Haynesworth and Hall signings or the Orakpo pick, but it should have stopped there, that's 3 playmakers to an already very solid unit and other depth issues could be signed cheap or found with UFA the entire draft after Orakpo should have been offense, IMO two tackles, a center, a scat back and a receiver.....liked the Marko pick when they did it, like it more now, and that was it....if Edwin Williams pans out then the center pick was irrelevant but still would have liked oline....

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 9, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 9, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

"It doesn't matter" as long as CP gets his. The man needs to keep his pockets straight, for goodness sake.

Posted by: pgugino | September 9, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

firsttttttttt

Posted by: shaqdigga | September 9, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Portis' comments are refreshing. Love that he's happy about rotating and that he is saying you don't know what the offense looks like.

Posted by: brian58 | September 9, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Re-posting because it's so doggone important:

***
Thanks, Red. (Speaking of which, didn't Malcolm X have the nickname "Red" at some point early in his life?)

I'll look to jm220 for an answer. If he's cool with it, I'm going with "Brother Malcolm" for our young Mr. Kelly.

MK12 is OK as an alternative, I guess. But it's too short for such a tall man.
***

As you were...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 9, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Nate - Using 'Brotha Malcom' is harmless. I am not muslim (though my father was), but it's not sacreligious (sp?) if that's what you were thinking. I don't know if it is Ramadan yet, but JM220 can also add in his 2 cents on that as he would be the expert.

ME? I'll stick to MK12.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 9, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"Watch the 2 end zone throws from Campbell to Kelly vs NE. Not good. They have plenty of work they need to do together, in practice and in games"

This would not have changed if he was named the starter 2 weeks ago. Re-read the post about JC taking more of a leadership role, "Campbell has especially taken the lead in working with young receivers such as Malcolm Kelly and Marko Mitchell, Cerrato said"...this was done BEFORE MK was named the starter so your point is moot/mute.......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 9, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"I can't think of any team in the NFC East that comes out with wrinkles."


I was going to make a joke here, but couldn't decide whether to go with Botox, fabric softener, or the Golden Girls.

Posted by: freakzilla | September 9, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Thomas has been out shined big time by a 7th round rookie and is in danger of falling to the 5th spot on the depth chart if he doesn't snap out of his apparent mental lapses, don't go calling him a success story yet...."

um...where did you read this, pulleditoutofmybutt illustrated??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 9, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The Skins have a hard time beating Gints, but the last 10 plus years when we have beat we usually smack them hard. I predict a beatdown!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 9, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

He had no rushes of at least 40 yards on the season.

By JReid

======================

Seriously, I get tired of this remark. Portis led the league in rushes over 20 yards last year. But why they (the Post) never include that? What is soooo special about runs over 40 yards. Who led the league and how many times did they do that? I bet it wasn't more than 3/4 times. And is that significant? I doubt it.

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 9, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

4th agreed, like somehow rushing for over 1400 yards is diminished by that....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 9, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"Watch the 2 end zone throws from Campbell to Kelly vs NE. Not good. They have plenty of work they need to do together, in practice and in games"

This would not have changed if he was named the starter 2 weeks ago. Re-read the post about JC taking more of a leadership role, "Campbell has especially taken the lead in working with young receivers such as Malcolm Kelly and Marko Mitchell, Cerrato said"...this was done BEFORE MK was named the starter so your point is moot/mute.......

I like to mute points, myself, but that's just how I roll. And anyway JC and Kelly have been working routes since before preseason.... a lot! In fact that's been a key factor in Kelly coming along as far as he has to date. Their chemistry is just fine.

Posted by: pgugino | September 9, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: zjfr2

that's right all these know it all haters have been hating on 11, 12, 86, 26, 46, 17

that's not being a fan that's being a cry baby hater!

we'll have the best WR corp in the nfc east
worst to first

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 9, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Ok...Last minute change....

I am changing my prediction from 15-1 to 16-0 for the Skins. This year...We BREAK the curse of Wellingotn Mara (no disrespect to the dead)........

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 9, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

4th, it's a critical stat when you're making the case of how crappy Portis is as a running back, how old and decrepit and lacking breakaway speed he is, how selfish, what poor vision and moves he has, what a total chooch of a teammate, etc... all the crap that gets dug up every time the man's name comes up. You know, since he's been the millstone dragging this franchise down since the stupid, stupid trade brought him here.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 9, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Dude, they both were a bust. Stop drinking the Kool-aid.

What did they do to show otherwise? Com'on.

They should both have better seasons this year. In fact the whole offense should be better, HOWEVER, if the o-line does not hold up then it's not going to matter who receiving because Campbell will be on his backside lots.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz


You must not be a bartender, otherwise you'd know the beverage of choice of the bloggaz up here.

I don't drink kool-aid, not the burgundy and gold kind anyway. Red, (Yes, red is a flavor for those who know) and grape only.

It's straight up idiotic to say that guys who are playing their first season, you know, ROOKIES, are bust.

First of all, they're trying to master probably the 2nd or 3rd hardest position in football at WR. Malcolm had problems with his knees, and Thomas was freakin' 20 with only a year actually playing WR at Michigan State. It takes time to master the WR spot, only hall of famers come and grasp it right away, dudes like Randy Moss and Jerry Rice.

Second, you do not call a second round pick a bust. By the NFL definition a bust is a player that was chosen high in the draft (first round, but I'd say really top 10 picks), had a productive college career, and had a lot of hype coming out of school.

Like Reggie BUST.

So, again I stand by the statement that: "Anyone who was saying that Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly were a)bust, or b)should be cut LAST YEAR during their ROOKIE seasons ought to have their 'net privileges revoked for life."

Posted by: RedDMV | September 9, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

if there is any week to throw rationality out the window its this weak

20-0 SB baby. book it!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 9, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I am changing my prediction from 15-1 to 16-0 for the Skins. This year...We BREAK the curse of Wellingotn Mara (no disrespect to the dead)........

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 9, 2009 4:35 PM

I think your March snow prediction was more likely than 16-0.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | September 9, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

if Samuels plays at least 14 games we'll go 9-7 or better, any less than that and we have a losing record, we have the talent to be a 12 win team, everywhere but the oline.....

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 9, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Red. (Speaking of which, didn't Malcolm X have the nickname "Red" at some point early in his life?)

by Nate

==========================

Red was El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz's (Malcom X) nickname when he was a 'Bad Boy' in Boston and NYC.....

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 9, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I think Campbell's touch has definately been off this preseason. He has been a little long/short/high/low/behind on a lot of throws. Sometimes the receiver adjusts and makes a catch and sometimes not.

Maybe he needs to have his vision checked? They found out Larry Brown needed a hearing aid back in the day.

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 9, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this place was always in love with Kelly. See some stuff I found in the Way Back Machine:
____________________________

Agreed on Nelson, he's not lasting till the third round, and also I'd take Sweed before I'd take Kelly. Sweed is taller, and I believe faster.

Posted by: Greg | April 22, 2008 8:51 AM
____________________________

Greg,

Agreed no Kelly, get Merling if he is there Nelson in the 2nd. Sweed is not a bad player either.

Posted by: kmdp4 | April 22, 2008 9:38 AM
____________________________

Why all the Kelly hate? I don't like the diva attitude or the slow 40 time, but he's a big receiver with great hands. 3 years of excellent production at a big time school even though they had lousy QBs his Freshman and Soph years. I think he's definitely got bust potential, but I think he's got fantastic upside. That said, I like him at 31 a lot better than 21.

Posted by: skinfan | April 22, 2008 9:46 AM
________________________________

KM, good to hear from you, where ya been?

skin, you answered your own question:

the diva attitude the slow 40 time, and his quick pointing of fingers when he ran a slow 40 time. It was everyone's fault but his that he's slow. Then he runs on a fast track, and is still slow, whose fault was that? What is going to happen the first time he drops a pass, or fumbles the ball, who do you think he'll blame then?

Posted by: Greg | April 22, 2008 10:06 AM
____________________________________

Plus they said the same thing about numerous other receivers(big receiver with great hands) including Westbrook. Size doesn't always equate to talent at wide receiver.

Posted by: Nico | April 22, 2008 10:13 AM

Greg, right on the mark on Kelly. Let him be a distraction for another team. Plenty of other WR in this draft to choose from where you will not have the headcase this guy brings.

Posted by: Curzon417 | April 22, 2008 10:14 AM

Posted by: dcsween | September 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

one question, what about a #4 overall defense suggests it needed to be "rebuilt"....I didn't and still don't disagree with the Haynesworth and Hall signings or the Orakpo pick, but it should have stopped there, that's 3 playmakers to an already very solid unit and other depth issues could be signed cheap or found with UFA the entire draft after Orakpo should have been offense, IMO two tackles, a center, a scat back and a receiver.....liked the Marko pick when they did it, like it more now, and that was it....if Edwin Williams pans out then the center pick was irrelevant but still would have liked oline....

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 9, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they see tackle as a very important need and decided to go with a stop gap solution this year and use a 1st or 2nd rounder on it next year? That is my guess. We'll wait a year and roll the dice for now. Then next year we draft starting quality elite offensive linemen.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | September 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Betts spelling Portis when he's tired, and keeping Portis fresh for 3rd downs and goalline situations.

I don't like taking out our best back on third downs, but with these young WR's comin around and a way better understanding of the offense by everyone, i'll give it a chance.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Portis must have blown Jason Reid off for an interview. Like one of those interviews or stories Wise does on Gilbert Arenas.

Or when he was first assigned to cover the 'skins, they, or mainly Portis broke Jason Reid in by "joanin'" on him.

Portis must have fried him pretty bad. Marcus Mason is from the DMV so I know he can fry a bama also.

Oh, Gilbert Arenas is coming back for the "King of DC" crown, btw. Tellin' y'all now...

Posted by: RedDMV | September 9, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Detroit Red was his nickname in full--back when he was Malcolm Little from Lansing, Michigan.

In prison it was "Satan." That's a good one, too.

Posted by: farstriker | September 9, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

dc, I've never hidden from my initial dislike of kelly, and from what happened with him, slow 40 time, blaming the school for the slow 40 time, it wasn't like he didn't bring this on himself.

But he's a Redskin now.

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | September 9, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

there has been a pattern, we needed a WR and we got 2 + a TE, we needed a pass rush and they got Big Al, and Orakpo.

Look for multiple OL moves next year, and probably a young RB or 2

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

A prong date is asking your best friend to go gigging on Saturday night.

Posted by: glawrence007 | September 9, 2009 2:45 PM |

As they say in NYC, har-deli. Prong refers to the prong of a fork, representing an upright male member. So a prong date is one where she's better looking than Megan Fox and you get it on multiple times - there usually are four or five prongs on a fork. After the night is over you say that you are "all forked out".

Posted by: BiggerVance | September 9, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

As much as Portis wants to carry the rock this weekend, I hope the skins win without him doing so.

Let him get the ball just enough to do some damage, let Betts/Mason earn their checks.

Let's save CP for the final stretch run in December--having him healthy at the end of the season would be fantastic.

Posted by: MistaMoe | September 9, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

The Skins have a hard time beating Gints, but the last 10 plus years when we have beat we usually smack them hard. I predict a beatdown!

Posted by: chrislarry | September 9, 2009 4:31 PM

Beating the Giants requires winning the first quarter, or at least the first half. The crowd in the Meadowlands heads home for brie and chardonnay unless their team makes it worth their while to stay for the entire game. Also, Eli can still be rattled. It is very important him to toss him to the grass early and often ... and with a lust for mayhem.

Posted by: dcsween | September 9, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Detroit Red was his nickname in full--back when he was Malcolm Little from Lansing, Michigan.

In prison it was "Satan." That's a good one, too.

Posted by: farstriker | September 9, 2009 4:44 PM

Wow what a coincidence, in prison my name was Natas

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 9, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they see tackle as a very important need and decided to go with a stop gap solution this year and use a 1st or 2nd rounder on it next year? That is my guess. We'll wait a year and roll the dice for now. Then next year we draft starting quality elite offensive linemen.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | September 9, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe so, if they do that then whatever I guess. I just get tired of their solutions to problems always being all or nothing big splashes....we need some pass catching options despite having a great #1 in Moss and a pro bowl TE in Cooley, what do they do? draft two receivers and a TE. we need some big plays on d? they spend 100 million on the d and 4 of their 6 picks on D. A DE gets hurt in camp lets ship two picks for an old name....and the list goes on...just once I'd like them to "stay medium" and go with the not flashy but solid moves that help across the board not just the one spot they arbitrarily decide they want to fix. (which coincidentally usual coincides with the biggest name/move out there)

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

LMAO... gotta love the archives! They will expose you.

Gotta say I do remember greg not vouching for Kelly at all... so that makes Haynesworth and now Marcus Mason you had to revive on.

Damn B, you want some BBQ or hot sauce with that crow?

It's all good though, I hope I'm grubbing on some Crow re: Jason Campbell, 'cause I'm still not sold just yet.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Yep, 'Red' was Malcolm X nickname when he was rockin' the bright red and yellow pin stripe suites and rockin' the perm.

Posted by: RedDMV | September 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

last beeps

Posted by: noonefromtampa | September 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

i've never hidden my support for Thomas, Kelly, Campbell and all the Skins.

it takes just as much effort as being negative and it has a better upside.

and, i don't desean jackson, we didn't need a little mouthy WR

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 9, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Look for multiple OL moves next year, and probably a young RB or 2

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 9, 2009 4:50 PM |

Plus a QB or three, a CB and a LB.

Posted by: BiggerVance | September 9, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

we'll have the best WR corp in the nfc east
worst to first

I don't think there is any question we will have the best WR corps. Still won't take us from worst to first. Maybe in the AFC East but not the NFC East. Its all about LOS control. Can our oline give us the time & opportunity to execute & can our dline prevent them from having the time & opportunity to do what they want. Pressure up front will make our dbacks spectacular. Lack of pressure & they'll look average at best. Give JC time & #89, #12 et al will look great. No time & the balls won't be close to catch.

Posted by: will_ga | September 9, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Limas Sweed lost all cred with me when he "jaked it" after dropping that for sure TD pass last season.

That was the ultimate "wussy" move.

Posted by: RedDMV | September 9, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

one question, what about a #4 overall defense suggests it needed to be "rebuilt"...

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 9, 2009 4:23 PM

I think the salary cap management plan has about a three year forward looking window and the Skins had been planning on Marcus W. and Springs being gone for a while ... that it was viewed as a re-load. I suspect that this year's plan will continue to focus on a re-load at LT (and maybe RG, but I think Rinehart was supposed to be that guy) as well as at #1 RB.

Greg, I acknowledge and appreciate you accepting responsibility for some of the pre-draft evaluation (when its about being objective), but you weren't alone up here, including some other posts that suggested Kelly would never amount to anything (with more certainty than what you were saying). It was very Kiper-esque. Also, I remain happy that Skins did NOT go after Phillip Merling (though Jordy Nelson and Sweed certainly have turned out to be a solid receivers). Are kpmd and Curzon still up here? There was another guy posting as "Jon" that day who had some solid stuff too.

Posted by: dcsween | September 9, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Red, forgot about the Sweed drop.

Posted by: dcsween | September 9, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I never said Kelly was a "bust". I think most of us felt that the guy would never play an entire NFL season ... perhaps not even start one because of the injuries to his knees. No one doubted his heart, of the 3 draft picks, character wise, he was clearly the best.

Having suffered those sorts of knee injuries its pretty amazing the guy has made it back as far as he has? Will he last an entire season? 2 or 3? I wouldn't bet money on it but here's to hoping for the best. At least this time he has Marko Mitchell, ARE, and perhaps Devin Thomas to jump in if need be. Devin Thomas continues to treat the NFL as a kind of personal joke. So, he would be the last to go in I suspect.

Posted by: periculum | September 9, 2009 6:13 PM | Report abuse

there has been a pattern, we needed a WR and we got 2 + a TE, we needed a pass rush and they got Big Al, and Orakpo.

Look for multiple OL moves next year, and probably a young RB or 2

Posted by: pabrian200
----------------------------
Skins should take running back Jonathan Dwyer from Georgia Tech next year. NFC East franchise back - Book it!

Posted by: ATL_skin | September 9, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I gotta be honest, I wouldn't mind having lbetts take a four week break with a tight hammy so Mason can get a chance at third down back...rock is to valuable on special teams, but mason could really help take the load off CP, and Betts just has no vision or game...

Posted by: SkinsForever22044 | September 9, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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