On Tuesday, Redskins running back Clinton Portis attempted to clear up some comments he made last week that seemed to indicate he was pondering retirement. Speaking at a team charity appearance, Portis said he was only speaking about his time possibly ending with the Redskins organization. And obviously that makes more sense.
"I can't sit and tell you I want my career to be over here, but at the same time, you got to understand the business side of things," Portis told a small group of reporters. "I've been here for six years, and we went to the playoffs twice. I think Mr. [Daniel] Snyder, with the pressure that's on him with the organization, probably going to have to make changes. For everything that [goes] on, I'm to blame, so why wouldn't I be the change?"
Portis has always been one of Snyder's favorite players, but he thinks he's been unfairly blamed by media and fans for some of the Redskins' offensive struggles. He's clashed with coach Jim Zorn at times over the past two seasons and the two have shared an uneasy relationship. But Portis did clarify beyond a shadow of a doubt that he doesn't have any desire to walk away from the game because of a concussion that ended his season.
Portis took the opportunity Tuesday to defend his reputation for not being particularly interested in practice on a weekly basis.
"I think the way I've been portrayed was like I was selfish," Portis said. "I've never been selfish. I don't think there's nobody around that can say I'm selfish. I think I went out and gave everything I had on Sunday.
"Through the week -- which became a problem, me not practicing through the week -- I'm not going to sit and torture myself through a week. If I can't do it, I can't do it. I know how I feel, and I always know how I feel. I feel like if I'm capable of going out and playing on Sunday and giving you everything I got, then that's perfect. I don't think running plays change. I don't think blocking schemes change. I think it's all instinct. I don't think I've lost instinct."
Portis lost one of his biggest fans in the organization when Joe Gibbs walked away two years ago. Gibbs has told me on several occasions that he's rarely had players who were willing to put it on the line for him like Portis.
"When you look down the sideline, there are certain guys you know are going to be there for you no matter what," Gibbs once told me. "Clinton's one of those guys that was always with me, no matter what we asked of him."