Thursday, October 7, 2010

Appreciating Clinton Portis

In case you hadn't heard, Clinton Portis is expected to miss four-to-six weeks with a groin injury, meaning Ryan Torain is expected to receive the majority of the carries in the running game for the next few weeks. Torain ran hard last week against the Eagles, but he's still a question mark in terms of both staying healthy and handling a full workload.

But back to Portis. Sally Jenkins wrote a great article about Portis for The Washington Post, hinting that Portis may be nearing the end of the road and also saying that his work over the last several years in Denver and Washington commands our respect.

Here's a section of Jenkins's article, but I encourage you to read the entire thing:
Portis has earned some criticism for divalike behavior, like his occasional ingratitude to his linemen and quarterbacks, and for playing overweight. But lack of toughness isn't one of his failings. Overall, he's probably given as much to the Redskins physically as he has taken financially. If you're inclined to resent his salary of almost $7.2 million this year, try to remember that. Even former coach Jim Zorn, who was often frustrated by him, said that when Portis is on the field, "Your head better be on a swivel. Somebody is gonna get knocked down."

Remember that in four seasons, he has had at least 320 carries. Remember that he ran for a club-record 1,516 yards in 2005, alternately avoiding tacklers with suave cuts and knocking them down like bowling pins. Remember how he dislocated his shoulder in a preseason game with the Cincinnati Bengals, when launched into a tackle, trying to stop an interception return. Remember how just two weeks ago against the Houston Texans he raced half the length of the field to explode on a block and open a pathway for Fred Davis, resulting in a 62-yard play.
Hopefully Portis's career isn't over just yet, but even if he isn't in Washington after this season, I've definitely enjoyed his tenure with the Redskins.

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