Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for violations of the league's uniform code during Sunday night's 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, and safety Sean Taylor has been hit with a $5,000 fine for wearing unauthorized socks that night.
League sources said late yesterday that Portis, who paid $15,000 in similar fines last season (as did Taylor), was fined this week for using an unauthorized tinted eye shield, not wearing white socks and using black shoes for the second time this season. Taylor wore white socks with burgundy and gold in the pattern that apparently were not up to league specifications. Decisions on the fines came down after players had left Redskins Park for the day.
Portis did not know of the fine when he came to his weekly news conference at lunchtime dressed as, he said, "Sheriff Gonna Getcha," continuing his season-long practice of wearing wacky costumes, win or lose.
He stepped in front of the cameras in a long, black wig, a tight Led Zeppelin T-shirt (Portis could not name any of the band's albums) with a sheriff's badge stuck to it, oversized sunglasses with bugged-out eyes on the lenses and a leather pouch hanging from his neck. He said he has no plans to abandon his Thursday antics and added that the public has definitely noticed.
"People have been mailing stuff in," Portis said. "People . . . give me stuff. I had a guy bring me wigs, glasses, teeth, everything. I forgot the guy's name, but I appreciate it."
Portis said he has received letters from fans saying their grandparents look forward to every Thursday news conference.
"I think it might cheer up some people out there," Portis said. "For the people who like it, I'm going to continue doing it, and for the people who don't like it, don't watch my press conferences."
Portis indicated that Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, has teased him about his costumes, but "other than that, everyone is cool. People take it for what it's worth. We're having fun, we're trying to win. Whatever it takes to win. The people in the locker room get excited."
A Running Joke
Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers and Tampa Bay running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams shared a house for three years as teammates at Auburn, and they've been kidding each other ever since both were first-round draft picks in April.
"I tell him you're going to have another top 10 pick again in the draft, he tells me what they're gonna do to us," Rogers, the ninth overall pick, said of Williams, taken fifth overall. "Carnell is like a brother to me. . . . We love each other. We'll keep it tight. We just try to compete against each other so much. . . . He knows we're gunning for him. He's going to try to do his best to run us over, especially me. He's got a big hit out for me."
Rogers and Williams have had foot/ankle problems in recent weeks, but apparently are now healthy. Rogers, who is pressing veteran Walt Harris for a starting cornerback spot, likely won't start Sunday at Tampa Bay but will be in a number of packages.
Quarterback Mark Brunell practiced after taking Wednesday off to rest his sore calf. He's still listed as probable, and is expected to start against the Bucs. . . . Defensive tackle Cornelius Griffin, nursing a sore hip, has been restricted to light running this week.Williams said that if Griffin, listed as questionable, can practice today, he may be able to play Sunday. . . . Tackle Joe Salave'a (foot) and Taylor (ankle) also missed practice for a second straight day but are listed as probable and are expected to play. . . . Special teams standout Khary Campbell said he "should definitely" play at Tampa after missing the last game with a shoulder injury.