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10 For 80: Clinton Portis

Posted by Andrew Walker on July 26, 2012 – 9:16 am

Note: The Redskins Blog will be profiling several former players, coaches and team officials eligible to be voted by you, the fans, in this year’s Redskins 80th Anniversary celebration. To vote for Clinton Portis or your 10 other all-timers to join the already-chosen list of the 70 Greatest Redskins, go to http://www.redskins80th.com/

If the only memories Clinton Portis left Redskins fans with had to do with his colorful character — which included his alter-egos like Sheriff Gonna Getcha, The Mad Scientist, Kid Bro Sweets, Dr. I Don’t Know and Southeast Jerome — then that alone would probably make him one of the most beloved team members of all time.

But the fact that Portis was an even better running back than he was an entertainer — ending his Redskins career as the second-leading rusher in franchise history — then his legacy as one of the all-time greats can certainly be considered sealed.

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10 For 80: Jon Jansen

Posted by Andrew Walker on June 25, 2012 – 3:25 pm

Note: The Redskins Blog will be profiling several former players, coaches and team officials eligible to be voted by you, the fans, in this year’s Redskins 80th Anniversary celebration. To vote for Jon Jansen or your 10 other all-timers to join the already-chosen list of the 70 Greatest Redskins, go to http://www.redskins80th.com/

He was about as country as country gets, known for driving his pickup truck full of fishing gear or even a Winnebago to Redskins Park for practices.

But make no mistake — though Jon “Rock” Jansen loved the outdoors and his country spirit, he also loved punishing defensive linemen, linebackers and anybody else who came his way in a career where he became one of the greatest right tackles in Redskins history.

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A Few Of The Goodbyes To Clinton Portis

Posted by Matt Terl on March 1, 2011 – 3:30 pm

It’s odd. Clinton Portis came to town as a dynamic, game-breaking running back. He revealed himself to be a fascinating personality in many different ways. But somehow my enduring memories are of his blocking — this downfield shot during last season’s Texans game being a prime example.

But that’s just me. Portis was the kind of player who inspired a lot of different reactions from people, and the reactions to his departure were correspondingly varied. Here are a few. Read more »

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Redskins Release Clinton Portis

Posted by Matt Terl on February 28, 2011 – 2:02 pm

The Redskins have released running back Clinton Portis.

More on this later, of course, but for now here’s the team’s full press release: Read more »

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Mike Shanahan On Clinton Portis' Future

Posted by Matt Terl on February 25, 2011 – 3:38 pm

One last post from Larry Michael’s wide-ranging interview with Mike Shanahan (and this one comes from part 1 of the interview, so you can watch it for yourself at the 9:25 mark here).

Michael goes through the guys who have notable questions surrounding them coming out of the season (hence the previous posts on McNabb and Haynesworth), and one of those is running back Clinton Portis, a veteran who’s coming off two injured seasons and carrying a big salary number for next year.

And Shanahan’s answer certainly seems … revealing. Read more »

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Clinton Portis Explains How He Sees The Media Coverage

Posted by Matt Terl on January 4, 2011 – 12:09 pm

Clinton Portis has talked a lot in recent years about “haters” and “doubters” and people in the media who are against him — here’s a perfectly sound example — but to the best of my recollection he’s never given a calm, reflective explanation of what he perceived as “hating” and what he didn’t.

But “reflective” would be a good word to describe Portis’ radio appearance today on the Mike Wise Show With Holden Kushner, as would “elegiac” and “nostalgic”. The hosts focused many of their questions on the possibility that Portis’ time in D.C. has come to an end — although that’s far from certain at this point — and that sentiment infused just about everything Portis said.

So when Wise challenged Portis’ claim that he had “never seen a feel-good story about anyone in this organization,” Portis explained what he meant. Read more »

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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. Read more »

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Tuesday Roundup Of Radiophonic Redskins

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2010 – 3:06 pm

If it’s Tuesday — and it is! — then it must be time to see what the various Redskins with paid radio gigs have to say about the team and their situations. It’s rare that the main attraction on Tuesday is the appearance on ESPN 980 of Donovan McNabb, who is notoriously cagey and inclined to give the political answer whenever he can; usually Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley are more closely followed.

But today marked McNabb’s first comment since his agent, Fletcher Smith, sent out a statement criticizing head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and since each Shanahan responded to that statement. So today, for once, McNabb gets top billing (even though what he said really didn’t amount to much, and didn’t really change the narrative on that particular plotline of the ongoing 2010 Redskins soap opera).

McNabb took a somewhat peculiar position with regard to Smith’s statement. It would seem to be fairly clear-cut: either the agent speaks for McNabb, or the agent is out of line. McNabb says that things aren’t that simple. “Let’s put it this way,” McNabb said. “I support my agent. I support my agent in all calls…. I discuss with my agent if he asks a question about what’s going on, or things of that nature. That’s something that we talk about. And, I guess, as you read in the article, he put his thoughts into the whole deal. Not Donovan’s thoughts.”

In fact, McNabb said, what upset him most about the entire incident was “the reaction to the whole deal,” to which he later added, “when I read the whole thing, I didn’t see nothing wrong with it.”

McNabb said that he wasn’t aware that the statement was being released before it came out, but reiterated his support for his agent after the fact.

In the end, this whole line of questioning just continues the he-said-he-said thing that this situation is becoming, now with the addition of the agent as another, apparently autonomous, he-said.

But there were a few other tidbits of note in McNabb’s appearance.

  • McNabb confirmed Kyle Shanahan’s account of a meeting between the two following the release of Smith’s statement. “We sat down and we discussed a lot of different things,” McNabb said. “Those are ones I’ll keep between Kyle and I. And I thought we got things out there on the table and we were able to move on.”
  • McNabb denied an ESPN report that he would ask for his release at the end of the season — “No, that’s false,” he said. He also specified that he hadn’t discussed the situation with owner Daniel Snyder or general manager Bruce Allen.
  • And he reiterated that he didn’t regret the trade that brought him here, didn’t regret teh contract extension, and again said that he’d like to be the QB in D.C. in 2011 — but this time he made clearer some of the things that would need to happen to make that possible. “Things would obviously have to change,” McNabb said. “You know, relationships have to better, conversations have to be better. But that’s something that you do over time. And it progresses over time. When we first started the season, we talked about it. It’s a progression, you know, how you’re building a relationship with each other. You bring in new guys and you’re building a relationship with the guys, and good things happen out on the field.”

So … yeah. Make of that what you will, I suppose.

Meanwhile, the news was a little brighter over in Clinton Portis Land. Read more »

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Clinton Portis Headed To IR (And Other Running Back Moves)

Posted by Matt Terl on November 24, 2010 – 2:31 pm

Bad news by any measure: head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed today that Clinton Portis is headed to the Injured Reserve list, ending his season early for the second year in a row. Portis finishes with just 54 carries for 227 yards in five games this year — all numbers that would’ve been two solid games in his heyday (although if you ignore the 54 carries, those numbers could’ve been in one game during his early years). He looked strong in his brief return at Tennessee last week, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, but that’s where his 2010 run will end.

“It really is disappointing,” Shanahan explained, “because he’s worked so hard to get to where he was at, a lot of hard work. He’s encouraging all the other players. He’s a big part of this football team. You hate to see a person work that hard and not get an opportunity to finish the season. That’s the case there. He was ready to play and when he did play, he played exceptionally well. Right above the groin area, he tore in the lower abdomen. He’s going to have surgery in that area. It’ll take some time to get that well.”

And that sounds excruciating. The folks at venerable D.C. sports blog Mister Irrelevant — who are among Portis’ biggest fans — are preparing themselves for the possibility that this is the end of his time in Washington by looking back at some of the bloggiest images from Portis’ tenure in D.C. You should check them all out, but this one is unquestionably my favorite:
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Clinton Portis Had A Good Game On The Sidelines

Posted by Matt Terl on November 16, 2010 – 1:00 am

I’m starting with something positive. Call me Matty Sunshine if you want, but I heard exactly one positive story in the postgame locker room tonight, and I’m going with that one first. There’ll be plenty of negativity out there, and I promise I’ll get to covering some of that myself. But for right now, here’s the one nice story I heard from this absolute abomination of a game.

Keiland Williams would finish the night as the only player named on my Very Short List Of Good Things About This Game — with 139 total yards and 3 combined touchdowns — but he started it as the number two running back on a two-deep depth chart.

When Ryan Torain aggravated his hamstring injury during pregame warmups, that plan changed, and when the team came back into the locker room after warmups, head coach Mike Shanahan told Williams that he was going to be the guy.

That Williams had some success on the field is a small good thing, yes, but he was happy to share the credit, and that was the really nice story.

When I saw the inactive Clinton Portis pregame, he looked like this: Read more »

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