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On the Field for Practice – 12/10

Posted by Matt Terl on December 10, 2008 – 5:15 pm

A strangely warm, damp winter’s day on the practice fields. The fields themselves were in good shape – they were presumably covered during the actual rain – but it was wet enough out that the spaces between the fields were a soggy mess.


  • Hey, look! It’s Clinton Portis at practice. He told the media he had a great practice, and Coach Zorn reiterated the sentiment after practice. Portis seemed to be hitting the holes well, caught the ball well out of the backfield, and generally seemed happy to be a full participant back on the practice field. That said, Ladell Betts was also running well today, and got a few impressed cheers from teammates for some of his efforts, so maybe it was just a good day for running backs.

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Clinton Portis on Clinton Portis on Jim Zorn

Posted by Matt Terl on December 10, 2008 – 3:38 pm

Clinton Portis talked to the media after practice today, and it was the low-key, football-focused affair that I’m sure you would expect.


The questions came from various members of the local media, and it’s impossible to determine from my recording who asked what. So all the questions are reduced to the “On…” format. It’s popular among professional sports teams anyhow, near as I can tell – it’s what they use when they hand out quote sheets to the media – so it’s appropriate enough here. These do represent, however, the entire text of Portis’ side of the conversation.

On his meeting with Head Coach Jim Zorn:

“It was a meeting between me and Coach Zorn. I had my best day of practice today, my brother.”

On if he feels today like he felt yesterday on the radio:

“I feel like we’ve gotta find a way to go and beat the Cincinnati Bengals. That’s what we’re gonna do.”

On if he felt the need to apologize to Coach Zorn:

“What me and Coach Zorn talked about was between me and Coach Zorn, so…”

On if he’s cool with how it is right now:

“I’m cool with everything.”

On Shawn Springs suddenly jumping on him from behind, saying, “You’re my favorite teammate!”:

“You’re my boy, Blue!”
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Open Locker Room on Portis and Zorn

Posted by Matt Terl on December 10, 2008 – 2:00 pm

If I had to characterize the response of players at open locker room to Clinton Portis Radio Funtime, I’d say there were two basic answers. One used the word “accountability” a lot, and the other was a some variation on “What did Clinton say, exactly?”. The first offensive starter to show his face in the locker room was Antwaan Randle El, which led to this intimate scene:


“It happens,” Randle El said. “It’s part of the league, you know? You get a guy, you get a coach, flip a coin. It’s going to happen. And when it happens, you just hope they get it taken care of, and I know they got it taken care of.”

Asked what kind of distraction it would present, Randle El was blunt. “It won’t be one. We have too many leaders on the team, from Z-man’s standpoint he’s not going to allow the distraction, and Clinton – Clinton understands how important it is for us to get focused for this week.”

Convinced by Randle El’s persuasive words, the assembled media pack dropped the subject and started asking questions about Cincinnati starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Okay, not really – the questions about PortisGate kept right on rolling.
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Wednesday, December 10: The Last Roster Spot

Posted by Matt Terl on December 10, 2008 – 12:00 pm

Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

So in the roster shuffle yesterday, there was one spot left open on the active roster. I said at the time that I’d let you know as soon as I heard who it was, so here you go: D’Anthony Batiste, an offensive lineman formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, the Carolina Panthers, and the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad. He’ll be wearing Erasmus James’ old number 78.

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Cooley, Colt, Yoder, and the Crossbar

Posted by Matt Terl on December 10, 2008 – 10:43 am

Based on this morning’s SportsCenter and the dramatic layout of the Post’s Sports section, I’m still one of about five people on the planet Earth who didn’t think Clinton Portis‘s comments yesterday were the single worst thing ever to occur. We’re at that point in the season where tensions run high anyhow, and this seems to have pushed Redskins fans even closer to the edge.

So it feels like an optimal time to look back at something completely lighthearted and unrelated to the current drama.

Before every game, before the official pregame warmups, Chris Cooley, Todd Yoder, and Colt Brennan get together and try to hit the crossbar of the goalpost with the ball. (This video doesn’t cover the whole contest, but it does give a large chunk of the matchup before the Sunday Night Dallas game.)

“We’ve done it on and off in the past,” Yoder said, “but this year when Colt came we set up a specific little game to play and started doing it every week.”

“It’s a popular game,” Cooley said. “Quarterbacks, kickers and punters have been doing it forever. We started the competition series this preseason with the three of us.”

Competition series rules are as follows, according to Brennan: “Five attempts from the five yard line, four from the ten, three from the 15, two from the 20, one from the 25. All three of us play the first round, then the two winners go to the second round, so it’s like a playoff for the championship.”

Opinions differ as to what the championship actually is. “There is no prize,” Cooley said.

Yoder disagreed slightly. “The prize is just pride. The pride of knowing that you won that week. It’s for manhood. Who is the biggest man that day.”

“It’s to see who’s the coolest,” Brennan offered. “For that day, I mean. Until the next Sunday.”

And that week’s winner?
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