The Washington Post

Clinton Portis on his legacy in D.C.


“You know, it really would have,” Portis said. “And it was something that I really felt that I would get done, and I wanted to get done. But at the same time, I think to stay in D.C. for another year to try to get that, to try to chase a record, when you look back on that, records are made to be broke. I think I’m ok with sleeping in the position that I’m in.

“I think it’s a record that is hard to come by now, because I don’t think people spend enough time with teams so go out and break those records these days, so it would have been great to have, but on the flip side, I think when people look back in remembrance and see me in second place, it’s gonna be everything that I did give to that team, so I’m ok with it.”

Portis told the station’s Sports Reporters that he wants to join a contender for the 2011 season, naming New Orleans, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, New England and Philadelphia as teams he admires.

“I really want to just go to an organization that’s kind of stable and has a set offense and be running what they’re familiar with,” Portis said.

He also said he’s been training in Arizona and has now healed injuries he didn’t even know he had, and that the lockout has him “completely healthy” and feeling better than he has in years.

“[I got to] straighten out some of the things that were ailing me that I didn’t even have a clue of...that was never addressed,” Portis said. “Just with the determination to go out and play through all the injuries that people never thought I had when I was missing practices and everything else. So I had the opportunity to go sit back and reflect on me and get myself back to where I feel I need to be to go and continue to compete with anybody for any job. And if I gotta be coming off the bench, then I have no problem with that, but I don’t think it’s gonna last long. I think there’s 32 teams in the NFL that got capable guys of starting, and you’ve got guys behind who feel like they want their shot. So if I start off in second place, I’m gonna continue to aim for first place. I’ll never be comfortable in second.”

Portis said he didn’t fault Joe Gibbs for adding wear and tear to his body, and that he thought most of his recent injuries were freakish accidents rather than wear-and-tear injuries. He said he can still dunk a basketball, still run around without pain, still block and still be tackled, though he said he would be wiser about the amount of downfield blocking he does. And he again blamed the media for some of the stuff that happened toward the end of his career in Washington.

“Around year 4 or year 5 of my career in D.C., I think I was a solution,” Portis said. “And all of a sudden when everybody wants you to be the solution and everybody feel like you’re the solution and you’re gonna carry [the offense], all of the sudden you’re 6-7, I became the problem....

“So I think it just became a bittersweet moment in D.C. And the fans, due to the media portraying me as the problem and as the bad guy when I think I gave my heart to a city and I think I gave my heart to an organization, I did everything that was asked but in some people eyes it’s not enough. For myself, my time was up in D.C., and I don’t have any bad feelings or ill will towards them. And when I talked to coach Shanahan I told him that.

“I just felt the organization was going in a different direction and I didn’t want the blame. It was kind of hard to recover from the situation that I was in, knowing that I gave it my all. And when you feel as if you gave it your all, I don’t look back on D.C. with any regrets.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.