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Clinton Portis: 'Everything In Denver Was Coach Shanahan'

Posted by Matt Terl on December 29, 2010 – 3:30 pm

Clinton Portis showed up in the locker room today, looking every bit as in-shape as he’d said he was during his Tuesday radio appearance. And, like Santana Moss, he discussed the possibility of returning next year. And, also like Moss (and pretty much everyone else), Portis expressed how much he’d like to be back in a Redskins uniform next year.

“I would love to be,” Portis said. “I think I did everything they asked. You know, I think I showed all the requirements. I think I showed that I can continue to play. I think I showed that I was actually dedicated to this program and turning this team around and I kind of flew under the radar and moved from the forefront and let everybody else do their thing and I did my work quietly. I mean, it was tough early on. It was just not getting the ball and being healthy. And then all of a sudden, once we established a running game, I was done. So, who knows, man? That’s up to them.”

That, I suppose, was the other theme that guys were putting forth: the decision rests with Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, and the front office.

“If they want to keep me, of course they got first option,” Portis said. “If they want to let me go, then I’m okay with that and understand the business side of this. If it’s it, I think it’ll be a bittersweet moment but I think life gotta go on.”

My favorite part of Portis’ long media session, though, came when he was asked to describe the difference between Shanahan in Denver and Shanahan in D.C.Technically, Portis’ answer is pretty straightforward, but if you read it literally, it appears that he’s suggesting that everyone will be absorbed into the Mike Shanahan hivemind, where they will only be able to think Mike Shanahan thoughts.

Here’s the quote in question: “I think by the time I got to Denver, everything in Denver was Coach Shanahan.”

Reminds me of the planet Camazotz in A Wrinkle In Time, a book I read back in grade school, where everything and everyone could only think the thoughts of something called IT. Only, you know, totally different from that.

Leaving aside my fanciful interpretation, Portis’ actual meaning was pretty interesting as well. “I think he put that organization in place,” Portis said. “He had all his players, he pretty much ran the show. I think coming in here, he was taking over what was on the verge of being disaster. You know? Like I told them [on his radio show], when you’re going to sacrifice a guy such as a Albert Haynesworth, just to prove like OK this is my team, like I’m in control, and you’re going to sacrifice a guy that you know can help you win. As a head coach, that’s what it’s about, winning. And a lot of close games we lost, you got Albert Haynesworth making one play in that game, that could’ve easily turned and we win those games. So to be able to shuffle guys and say like, OK, I’m in control and I’m gonna get the things right around here, I think, is more of him coming in, cleaning out, trying to filter and get his guys in and showing that he’s running the show and what he says, goes. Get with the program, or get out.”

Okay, so maybe it really is kind of like Camazotz after all, albeit in a much less sinister, much more football-oriented way.

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