Clinton Portis Called Out...Again

If the mindless yapping of Brian Mitchell wasn’t enough, another yahoo decided to get into the act.  And this time, it is the guy who owns this blog.  Our very own Adam Best, co-owner of the FanSided Network, this blogs mothership, writes a column for Fox and he devoted a huge portion of his article to the least well considered opinion I’ve read in a long time.  The whole article can be found here, but I’ll summarize.

1) Clinton Portis is an idiot who wears too many costumes.

2) Clinton needs to stop being fun and start being a “leader.”

3) This team is leaderless and Jason Campbell, Chris Cooley, Marcus Washington, Pete Kendall and Jim Zorn are fools.

He even decided to bring up some old news like Portis’ behavior in Denver.

There are so many reasons this article is ridiculous, I’m not even sure where to begin.  Let’s start with general premise that a team can be lead by a running back. Seriously, name a team that has ever had an RB as its unquestioned leader?  Good leadership comes from the coach and the QB and on the defense at MLB and safety.  Look at the list of the best RBs of all-time:

Barry Sanders?  No leader.

Eric Dickerson?  No leader.

Emmit Smith?  Barely able to talk and he had Troy Aikman.

OJ Simpson?  Lead the league in wife killing, but otherwise no leader.

Jim Brown? Actually, probably the exception.  He is certainly a leader today, but I’m honestly too young to know how he was as a player.

And let’s look at the recent Super Bowl champs:

Brandon Jacobs?  No leader.

Lawrence Maroney?  Please.

Joseph Addai? Hardly.


I think you get my point.  NFL teams are not lead by the running back, and the reasons are obvious.  RBs don’t run the huddle.  RBs don’t call the plays.  RBs don’t even stay on the field for whole series because they often need to rotate.

And the craziest thing about this argument is that every Redskins fan knows that while Portis is not a leader in the traditional sense he is the heart and soul of this team.  He is its heart beat.  Portis almost singlehandedly brought this team back last week by running in huge chunks in the second half.  Portis committed to this team this year by staying in town all summer and the rest of the team followed suit.  This is the most committed team we’ve had in years. 

The leadership absolutely has to come from Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell.  Like it or not, if Campbell isn’t ready to do that, we aren’t going to the Super Bowl. But all indications are that Campbell is growing into that role.  Comments from the receivers have shown they are really impressed with Campbell’s development.

It remains to be seen, but is anyone really buying the argument that if Portis was more serious Pete Kendall would have knocked the ball down last week?  Does anyone believe that if Portis didn’t wear his fake championship belt 5 years ago in Denver that Leigh Torrence wouldn’t have lost Donnie Avery at the end of the game?  Stupid.  These things happen in football.  Sometimes a team has a bad game.  Ask the Giants about Cleveland.  Did they suddenly lack leadership Monday night?  They had enough leadership to win the Super Bowl.

So let’s knock off the talk about Clinton Portis who is only the best running back in football this year on one of the best 5 football teams in the league. Let’s embrace the fact that he has some character and some life in a league that is constantly trying to sterilize itself. 

Oh, and if you never hear from me again, it is because Adam fired me. :)

Hail Skins!


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  • Josh

    Couldn’t agree with you more, DW. I mean he’s not killing people, doing coke, complaining that he doesn’t get the ball enough…what more could you ask from him? And lack of leadership? What kind of complaint is that? Has any team in the NFL ever really lacked leadership? You got 50-some guys who entered the NFL as stars for the past 8 years wherever they were, they’re tough, physical, & they’re not really passive guys.

    The more I think about, the more that article disgusts me. It’s below the belt, pretentious, and presumptuous.

  • Tanner Cooley

    This is the best post I have ever read on this site. Great work and Adam is a huge douche in my book now. Thanks

  • dwagner

    Thanks for the compliment!  Adam is actually a nice guy, and not at all a huge douche.  But he was dead wrong about this one. And if he wants to keep writing things that get me riled up so I write my “best post ever” every week, maybe its worth it. :)


  • dwagner

    By the way, Tanner, can a brother get some link love from you guys?  At least a blog role entry? Or is the best ever still not good enough? :)

    And tell Chris to keep his head up about the fumble.  There’s nothing better than watching him fight for every yard, and I wouldn’t change a thing.


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  • Redskins Guy

    Dave, we often differ but in this case I’m right behind you! I like Adam, but his theory about Portis is a steaming pile of crap.  Portis has always been careful not to let his antics distract the team.  He never dresses up unless the team is on a winning streak.  

    It’s not like he’s being a distraction to his team when they’re 1-4 by complaining about the number of run plays or demanding a trade or something. THAT would be something to complain about.

  • theMBIIIeffect

    I’m with you guys. I think Portis’ antics are harmless and a good way to cope with some of the pressure involved with having microphones and recorders in your face everyday.
    I will disagree with your assessment of Emmitt Smith as a leader though. He’s an embarrassment on ESPN but I know that he was every bit the leader that Troy Aikman was. He does talk like Mush Mouth when he’s analyzing the NFL, but he didn’t speak like that during his interviews as a player.

  • Redskins Guy

    Now now, maybe we’re being to hard on Adam.  After all, he’s grown up as a lifelong Chiefs fan, so he’s obviously going to value their conservative and somber leadership values. 

    CP’s shenanigans just wouldn’t fly in a place like Kansas City.  No sirree,  when his team’s leader had a hissy fit and demanded to be traded, I have no doubt at all that he did it with the dour demeanor and the puzzled-yet-slightly-constipated expression that all Chiefs players seem to have adopted under the Herm Edwards regime.

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  • Jeremy W

    Portis did a pretty good job last year after his teammate and best friend was killed.  Wasnt it Portis who called every teammate to let  them know what happened?  Wasnt it Portis who gave a speech on behalf of the team at the memorial?

    Also Portis stayed in DC in the offseason to work out with his team.  When they were underachieving in NY after the first game he called them out and the O-line has improved there game.  Last Sunday Portis did everything he could to help that team win, and after the game he told the media why they lost, because they didnt “STAY MEDIUM”.  You cant blame portis for Cooley dropping the ball, Rabach botching the snap, and Kendal instinctively catching the ball and running with it, in fact Portis threw his body to try and block the guy who knocked the ball out of Kendall hands.  And if you have watched Marcus Washington ever, he likes to dance.  I like Marcus Washington, his energy is contagious. 

    Oh and Portis Pockets Straight so Im sure whatever Adam Best thinks about him wont bother him.  MVP or not, I wouldnt trade him for another back in the league.

  • Redskins Guy

    That’s a really damn good point Jeremy. Portis WAS a leader last year when they needed him most. He was a big part of the reason why the team kept together after that tragedy when it could easily have fallen apart. 

    The more I think about it, the more absurd Adam’s notion is.  We should be talking about Portis for MVP.

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