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 Sports.com 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. 🙂