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Clinton Portis On Having Fun, Death, And Hang Gliding

Posted by Matt Terl on February 24, 2010 – 2:01 pm

Well, part two of Lindsay Czarniak’s interview with Clinton Portis aired last night (here’s my take on part one), and … well, it was a bit thinner on the ground than the earlier segment. It was more personal and less Redskins-oriented, which was clearly a deliberate editorial decision, but left me a bit less interested as a result.

Still, let’s look at a few things we can learn from this interview.

  • Given Portis’s enthusiasm for Burger King, it’s probably a good thing for him that those rumors of Bill Romanowski as special teams coach proved false, as Romo has railed against fast food breakfasts in the past.
  • Portis has an unheralded talent for using other people’s hypothetical quotes when he talks — things that he suspects other people are saying or would say. Here’s an example from this video; the rhetorical device I’m referring to is italicized: “I think people feel like I’ve got a nonchalant attitude, or I don’t care, or I’m the way I am.” When you hear him do it, you can always tell when he’s introducing a new hypothetical speaker. It’s a gift.
  • It’s endearing to see him with his kids. “I think they give you something to look forward to,” he says at one point. “It’s like, you’re not judged in kids’ eyes. You know, you don’t have to worry about — your child, when they wake up in the morning, the first thing they’re gonna do it this –” he extends his arms for a hug (or, possibly, to be picked up — I can’t tell). “You know, it’s gonna be open arms, they’re gonna say something funny, or look at you and lift your eyelid up.”

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Wednesday, February 24: Bruce Allen Talks About The Combine

Posted by Matt Terl on February 24, 2010 – 11:24 am

I was not at last year’s NFL Scouting Combine, when Marko Mitchell had his vertical leap measured (pictured to the right) and eventually established himself as worthy of the Redskins seventh-round draft pick. In fact, I have never been the Combine, so when I found out that I would be heading to Indianpolis this year, I realized that — beyond what I’ve seen on the NFL Network — I had no real idea what to expect.

New Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, on the other hand, has been to a bunch of these events, and he and his staff have been preparing for this one since he got here two months ago. So I figured he might have some insight to offer me as I made my plans, some of hidden tricks of the Combine trade that would make my first trip go just a little more smoothly.

And I was right.

“Bring a jacket,” he said firmly. And then, just in case I had misunderstood, he added, “Not a sport coat.”

As it’s currently 22 degrees and flurrying in Indianapolis, this is sound advice — and not something I necessarily would’ve remembered — but it also wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

So Allen tried again, although the Combine seemed to resist easy characterization. “There’s no place like this,” he said, “where you have every assistant coach in the NFL, every scout in the NFL, every team physician, entire training staff, every general manager, every head coach, all in one location, all trying to supposedly keep a secret of who they’re watching, who they like. And it’s interesting. Don’t get into a poker game with anyone, because there’s a lot of bluffing going on during this time.”

(I followed up by asking him if they notice that sort of thing, if they watch who other teams are watching, and he responded by silently demonstrating his own poker face. It was impassive, unreadable, and therefore presumably effective.)

But if I’m still working out how I can best handle the Combine experience, Allen has no such concerns. Read more »

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