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Portis on concussion, playcalling, team's heart and soul

Redskins running back Clinton Portis, scheduled to miss his third straight game Sunday at Philadelphia because of a concussion suffered Nov. 8 in Atlanta, said he still struggles with blurred vision when he moves his head quickly, but he hopes to play again Dec. 6 against New Orleans.

During his weekly appearance on "The John Thompson Show" on ESPN980, Portis said he has seen six or seven doctors and passed a battery of tests, but won't play until his vision is back to normal.

"My vision, just sitting still, it's fine," Portis said. "Moving is when now and then it's blurry. I can sit still and read everything you put up in front of me, but when you move me, shake my head around, that's where my blurriness comes in and we [are] having the focus issues."

Portis touched on a number of topics during the interview, appearing befuddled by the Redskins' play-calling structure and saying the organization "always go[es] the difficult route for everything we do." He said he did not know until last week, when he heard Coach Jim Zorn speak about the system in a press conference, that offensive consultant Sherman Lewis called the team's passing plays while offensive coordinator Sherman Smith called the running plays. Co-host Rick "Doc" Walker, a former Redskins tight end, asked Portis if he had ever heard of such a structure.

"I never have, man, but that's the NFL," Portis said. "That's the Washington Redskins. We somehow, some way, we're going to make things harder. Everything's going to be exposed. ...

"If you look at us play, it's hard to find our identity. I don't even know our bread-and-butter plays. I can't go and tell you, 'This is our bread and butter. Whenever it's on the line, this is what we're going to call.' "

With Portis out again against the Eagles, and backup Ladell Betts now done for the year with torn knee ligaments, special teams captain Rock Cartwright will start in Philadelphia. Cartwright gained 67 yards on 13 carries and caught seven passes for 73 yards in Sunday's 7-6 loss at Dallas.

"I think everybody on our team know who the heart and soul of the Washington Redskins is, and that's Rock Cartwright," Portis said. " ... Once [wide receiver James] Thrash retired, the man of the Washington Redskins, the mascot, the player that you look for to say, 'That's the Redskins,' is Rock Cartwright.

"He go out on special teams, he gives you everything you got day in, day out. He's going to be a vocal leader. He [is] gonna speak his mind. He's going to fight. He's going to be scrappy. And you're seeing that."

Portis has been known to use his Tuesday appearances on Thompson's show to speak his mind about various situations with the team. But when Thompson asked Portis directly whether he was frustrated with the Redskins as a whole, the outspoken Portis took the high road.

"I can't sit here and say I'm getting frustrated with the Redskins," Portis said. "That's where I work at. That's where I'm employed at, and I've got to go out and do everything I can to help the Redskins win. I think everybody in that organization get[s] frustrated at some point about something going on. But I'm not the one to make the decisions. I can't change it. ...

"They're not going to change the Washington Redskins to suit Clinton Portis, and I'm okay with that. I'm not trying to make them change that. whatever role I'm asked of, that's the role I'll pay. I'm not going to go out and be disgruntled. I'm not going to go out and be unhappy. I'm going to continue to smile. I'm going to continue to go to work. I'm going to continue to feel fortunate about having a job in this economy. And when I get my opportunity to get back on the field and help, I'll try to do that."

By Barry Svrluga  |  November 24, 2009; 5:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

First to say Portoise is lame in more ways than one.

Posted by: periculum | November 24, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

We need Port Jester like we need Cerrato the Clown! We will NEVER win anything with either!!

Posted by: iubiquity | November 24, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

He's been nothing but a bust since we overpaid dearly for this lazy, above the team, too good to practice like everyone else, whiny, non-preseason playing, friends with the owner so I don't have to respect the coach, grossly overpaid-- done nothing whatsoever of note in Wash so naturally I get an enormous contract from a front office buffoon, do as I please little bit**!!

First step to recovery.. EXIT PORTLY!! Dammit just pay attention folks! Don't let this fool disarm you with his cat that awallowed the canary smile and demolition of the English lauguage!! Get him the hell out of town, QUICK!

Posted by: iubiquity | November 24, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Denver can use another RB.. maybe we can trade him back there, throw in another wasted 2nd round pick, all for a conditional 8th rounder!

Posted by: iubiquity | November 24, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Before people start to rehash the 2004 trade where we gave Denver Champ and a 2nd for Portis. Champ was leaving Washington after the season due to infidelity and wasn't going to resign.

I don't mind the trade considering Champ would have walked, although Denver should have sent a 2nd rounder our way. As we all know we are always getting fleeced.

I'd like to thank him for his contributions and hope for an uncapped 2010 where we can dump him and his ridiculous contract.


Posted by: Diesel44 | November 24, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

First step to recovery.. EXIT PORTLY!! Dammit just pay attention folks! Don't let this fool disarm you with his cat that awallowed the canary smile and demolition of the English lauguage!! Get him the hell out of town, QUICK!

Posted by: iubiquity | November 24, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

I hope the spelling errors in there were for sarcasm, mr english "lauguage" expert.

So funny how frustrated people get when portis has an interview that doesn't give them any fodder to call him a prima donna. His best days may or may not be behind him, but CP isn't what's wrong with the Redskins.

Posted by: AdamCr | November 24, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

His best days may or may not be behind him, but CP isn't what's wrong with the Redskins.

Posted by: AdamCr | November 24, 2009 6:02 PM

And his best days were about as good as anyone has delivered in the 'Skins O during the last few years. The guy is a baller on game day, even in pre-season when he got that dislocated shoulder making a tackle. It wasn't a smart move, but it was pure guts.

Posted by: League-Source | November 24, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

You may not like his contract (I don't either, but blame snyder not cp), but "this fool" Portis has been said to have a great football mind by St. Joe Gibbs and (irrelevant) Zorn.

Posted by: AdamCr | November 24, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

weep weep

Posted by: League-Source | November 24, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

AdamCr, there are so many things wrong with the Redskins that it's hard to make a list anymore.

Portis is definitely one of the problems because of his diminished abilities, the inability to finish the last few seasons, his lackadaisical approach to preseason, training and practice that sets a bad example and creates a double standard, the way he's thrown his own O line under the bus to explain his poor performance, the ridiculous contract, and the relationship he has with Snyder that undermines and allows him to second guess the coach.

No single instance is so intolerable, but when viewed in its totality, you can see that he draws a lot of attention, and not much of it in a positive light.

Posted by: edvar | November 24, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: edvar | November 24, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Just IR him already and give the lazy SOB a whole offseason and then some to think up new excuses why he can't play, practice, participate in personal conditioning, or work with his other so called teamates.

Posted by: Vic1 | November 24, 2009 7:21 PM | Report abuse

ever seen a rich man who can't speak english...sure....The Iotola, Sri dank Dank of Ishtanbul, Swami Duknali of Indian village number 6.....and yes Clinton Portis....conclusion: who needs to speak that well when you got the money 26 has.....He's laughing at you....see the real dumb dumb...is danny...not clinton...so english isn't always a determining factor in how smart you are...clintons got a GUARANTEE in his contract.....Danny's got headaches these days.....who's the smart one?

Posted by: ghostrider505 | November 24, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

He's been nothing but a bust since we overpaid dearly for this lazy, above the team, too good to practice like everyone else, whiny, non-preseason playing, friends with the owner so I don't have to respect the coach, grossly overpaid-- done nothing whatsoever of note in Wash so naturally I get an enormous contract from a front office buffoon, do as I please little bit**!!

First step to recovery.. EXIT PORTLY!! Dammit just pay attention folks! Don't let this fool disarm you with his cat that awallowed the canary smile and demolition of the English lauguage!! Get him the hell out of town, QUICK!

Posted by: iubiquity | November 24, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse
_____________

I gather from your post that you haven't actually watched any Redskins football over the past 5 years or so. If you had, you would have seen that Portis has absolutely been the heart and soul of the offense, and at times the only player who could actually advance the ball and score touchdowns. Has he appeared to have lost a step of quickness and burst this year? Yes. But don't distort history and what he's done for this franchise since he's been here.

Try thinking before you write next time, if you can.

Posted by: skinsfan713 | November 24, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

"Bottom lines of bottom lines: to field a deep into the playoffs winner as quickly as possible 3 components are needed.

1. An offensive line.
2. A set of quarterbacks and a decent offensive system.
3. A defensive backfield upgrade."

this is my fave today, because it's crazy and uses a previously unknown method of counting


Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 24, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

If Campbell gets a good offer elsewhere, we should out bid that offer, because... every other teams GM is smarter than ours.

Collins will retire, right? Brennan has had an injury to both hips in as many years w/o a single reg season snap. Behind our line he's done before he starts.

So, even if we draft a QB AND get a free agent, not having Campbell for competition would be absolutely idiotic, so that is what we will do then.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 24, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 24, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Portis Pockets Straight!
Blow it up folks!

BOYCOTT $NYDER-FIRE CERRATO-DUMP DONOVAN-PASS ME THE TUMS!

Posted by: hessone | November 24, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

why the hatred toward Portis? dude may have lost a step but he did it sacrificing for the Skins. the guy was a speedster but he gave that up, bulked up for Gibbs, and carried this team on 2 playoff runs. he's on the downside now but he can still contribute behind a good line.

Posted by: coparker5 | November 24, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

He's also a ferocious blocker, for a RB.

Posted by: GAU8A | November 25, 2009 2:27 AM | Report abuse

my only slight against portis is his lack of desire to practice w/ the team to establish cohesion. overall, noone can say he's been a bust because on his first carry as a redskins, he broke a 67 yarder against tb's vaunted defense. back then people were riding all over his sack. and for the first 6 games of last season, he was the league leading rusher. noone had a problem with him then did they. to some degree, portis has a right to voice his opinion about the o line play because they're the one's that open the holes for him and if they can't do that, how can he flourish. defenders these days are getting bigger and freakishly faster so it's no surprise to see a de run a 4.3 40. jevon kearse did at the combine. since portis picked up 15 more lbs, he's more of a straight line runner but the playcalling seems to have him running east/west alot and our porous line can't block effectively for him. by the same token, lack of practice creates lack of cohesion which is why you saw betts and cartwright move more in unison w/ the o line. someone here mentioned that portis put his body on the line and that's absolutely true. last season when marion barber hurt his pinky toe, he sat out. portis has always demanded that he get to play unless his leg or foot is about to fall off. you have to respect a player for that.

Posted by: charronegro1971 | November 25, 2009 4:02 AM | Report abuse

To say Portis has been a bust or lazy since he has been with the skins is insane. The man can and has played hard for the skins. I believe with a decent offensive line and the right scheme he can still produce decent numbers for another 1 to 3 seasons. The problem this season is the fact that we tried to go to a zone blocking WCO running scheme and Portis is no longer that type of back. Portis changed his style to fit Gibbs offense, he bulked up and is more of a power runner now. I will agree that he is at a point in his career that his speed a dropped off enough that he cant get away with not practicing. But I do believe if we get a decent line for him next year and go back to a power running game we can get another season or two from Portis. We should place him on IR for the season and let his body rest. Look at Ricky Williams in Miami, he is older than Portis but can still move the chains. If Portis comes back rested, with a decent Oline, practices everyday, and we have the right scheme around him, he can still be productive. If the skins decide to go in another direction that is fine as well but I will not bash Portis, the man has played his ass off for the skins. You can bash some of the things he says but dont try and change what he has done on the field in his time with the skins. Our two playoff appearances under Gibbs wouldnt have happened without Portis. But I think the man can still play and if he can I want him in a Redskin uniform.

Posted by: hudginsc | November 25, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

iubiquity - U and anybody else on here calling Portis a bust is a complete idiot! Do I agree with him and his diva ways regarding practice? No. But, a BUST doesn't rush for over 1200 yds every year (except 2006 when he was injured). The only thing Portis BUST IS HIS A** each and every Sunday. Hurt or not!

Posted by: delfranklin4 | November 25, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm no Portis cheerleader but some of yall are just haters.
Everytime he speaks about this team, it's the truth.
The Zorn incident, the Oline last year, the oline this year, Sellers not doing his job, scastically calling Zorn a 'genius'and recommending St. Joe pick SEAN TAYLOR.
I think the Portis bashing is like the Campbell bashing. Most people have issues with the way they play the game, the haters have other issues with seeing an outspoken, weathly young man who gets paid millions to play a game. They are the same folks whine about end zone celebrations.

Posted by: priceisright | November 25, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

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