It's no secret that Clinton Portis didn't have the greatest 2009-2010 season. In the first eight games of the season, Portis rushed for 494 yards and one touchdown on 124 carries -- a 4.0 yards-per-carry average. In the Redskins' eighth game, against the Atlanta Falcons, Portis was hit hard and suffered a serious concussion that forced him to miss the team's remaining eight games.
But it's acceptable for Portis to acknowledge that he didn't have the greatest year -- the season obviously didn't go as planned for just about anyone with the Redskins. And out of all the positions on the field, running backs probably take the most abuse. However, it's entirely different for him to admit that he could have participated more or that he could have worked harder. If you can't watch the video, here's what Portis said: "The only thing I didn't do was participate in practices. Could I have participated in more? Yeah, I probably should have. Could I have fought through some? Yeah, I probably should have."
Portis goes on to say a few more things, such as that his situation was unfair, that he now has a chip on his shoulder, and that he wants to prove people wrong for doubting him (which is relevant because it looks as if Portis is going to remain with the Redskins in the upcoming season). Unfortunately, Portis seems to be missing the point. Working hard consistently isn't something that someone can just turn on and off -- it's a skill for someone to give that much dedication, and one that an aging running back certainly needs.
I've defended Portis and his antics from previous seasons before, but there's no chance of that happening here. He admitted that he didn't work hard enough even though he could have. And this is coming from someone who actually had the nerve to question Jason Campbell's leadership. Here what Portis said about Campbell at the time:
In retrospect, that certainly seems like a silly comment for Portis to make. Even if Campbell isn't the greatest leader ever, his work ethic can't be questioned and he was always there to take the blame if something went wrong (and for the Redskins, it frequently did).
"No disrespect to Jason," Portis said while speaking with co-hosts Thompson and Doc Walker. "But everybody in that locker room can tell you, you'll never see Jason mad, you'll never see Jason's tempo change, you'll never see Jason get mad. He going to get up, dust himself off; he going to give you everything he got. But as a leader, you never heard -- it was always, 'Jason couldn't take control of the huddle,' or he didn't do this or he didn't do that. That wasn't Jason's character."
If Portis really is going to return next season, I hope he can return to form. Maybe playing under Mike Shanahan again will give Portis a boost. He could use one.