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Portis Article in ESPN The Magazine

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Old 03-20-2004, 12:57 AM   #1
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Portis Article in ESPN The Magazine

If you guys get a chance pick up the latest copy of ESPN The Mag (Jermaine O'Neal is on the cover). There's a nice little article about Portis in there (pg. 42)

One interesting thing is that it says Gibbs plans on using Chamberlain similar to the way Shannon Sharpe was used in Denver, sounds like they have big plans for BC
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:00 AM   #2
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Don't worry about Chamberlain. I bet he'll look a lot more in shape come the season. Gibbs is a great motivater. I can't spell this morning (or any other day)
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:15 AM   #3
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BC has talent, and I think he'll come on strong with this coaching staff. The addition of Portis and LColes out there won't hurt, either!
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Old 03-20-2004, 10:57 AM   #4
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I don't know why, but I always thought we cut Chamberlain already? was there talk of cutting him ever? or am I completely wrong?
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Old 03-20-2004, 11:07 AM   #5
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there was talk of it, guess we never did!
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Old 03-20-2004, 11:28 AM   #6
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People assumed he would be cut, because it would save like a million off the cap. But I remember reading a article in the post, which said Gibbs wants to wait and let BC get in shape. And then see what he can do. This is a guy who has been to the pro bowl but ovouisly has motivation problems. Hopefully Gibbs can get that back into him.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:04 PM   #7
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BC definitely has the talent necessary to be a very good TE, in 2001 he had 57 catches and averaged 11.7 ypc. And at 6-1, 265 he's got the size to be an effective blocker.

If this staff can't whip his sorry ass into shape again it's never gonna happen for him.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:05 PM   #8
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I believe the Skins picked up a contract bonus on BC to keep him on the roster, so he's definitely not going anywhere just yet.
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smootsmack
If you guys get a chance pick up the latest copy of ESPN The Mag (Jermaine O'Neal is on the cover). There's a nice little article about Portis in there (pg. 42)

One interesting thing is that it says Gibbs plans on using Chamberlain similar to the way Shannon Sharpe was used in Denver, sounds like they have big plans for BC
Definitely interesting! Perhaps it's draft-day posturing on the part of Gibbs. Let's see what shape BC comes in for the first mini-camp. That will dictate whether or not Skins seriously consider Winslow. I think Winslow is awesome and I'd love for us to get him, but I'd prefer for us to shore up our defense with our draft pick(s)--we have way more deficiencies on that side of ball. Can't go wrong with Taylor!
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Old 03-20-2004, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smootsmack
If you guys get a chance pick up the latest copy of ESPN The Mag (Jermaine O'Neal is on the cover). There's a nice little article about Portis in there (pg. 42)

One interesting thing is that it says Gibbs plans on using Chamberlain similar to the way Shannon Sharpe was used in Denver, sounds like they have big plans for BC
how about a quick little summary of the Portis article, smootsmack?

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Old 03-20-2004, 11:36 PM   #11
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The Complete Article (Sort Of)

It's a bit long, but I didn't think just a summary would do it justice:

On an early March morning, eating breakfast at the Landsdowne Resort just a breakaway run from the Redskins training facility in northern Virginia, big names have gathered to celebrate Portis. To his left is Washington's new quarterback, Mark Brunell. Next to Brunell sits Don Breaux, the Redskins offensive coordinator. Across from Porits, bent over the table like a grandfather trying to hear how his grandson is doing at school, is Joe Gibbs. The seat to the right of Portis is empty for a while, until running backs coach Earnest Byner arrives

"You're fined," Portis says, low and hard.

Byner sits, knowing someone said something but not sure who or what. Portis won't help him out. He never repeats himself. If you miss what he says, that's your problem. He looks you in the eye until you look back, which Byner finally does.

"What was that?"

"You're 45 minutes late," Portis says, "That's a fine"

Everyone laughs, just a little too hard. To say the gathered luminaries are trying to please Portis is an understatement. Opening weekend for the NFL is still six months away, but Brunell is already talking about how Portis will be featured in the offense. Later that day, Byner will chauffeur Portis from his hotel to Redskins Park, carry his new employee's bags and ask if he can drive the 22-year old's mother, Rhonnel Hearn, to the airport.

This is how life is now for Portis, who after just two NFL seasons is "the richest running back in the world," as his new boss, Dan Snyder, likes to say. And that's why, after he finishes his pancakes and the others are out of
earshot, Portis leans back and grins the kind of grin that comes from talking your way out of a league minimum salary and into the best contract in the NFL. "A guy requesting that kind of money after two years had never been
done," Portis says, "I made history."

It was no secret in Denver that, after being picked in the secound round of the 2002 draft, Portis was unhappy. His contract called for him to be paid a $1.29 million bonus and a league-minimum base salary, and it did not include performance clauses. After Portis rushed for 1,508 and 15 touchdowns on his way to winning Rookie of the Year honors, he fired agent David Ware and hired superagent Drew Rosenhaus. Everyone knew what was coming: if Portis had another big year runnig the ball, he'd cut back and run for the bank.

That's exactly what happened. Last season, Portis ran for 1,591 yards and 14 touchdowns, and for the second season in a row he led the league with 5.5 yards per carry. At the Pro Bowl, surrounded by high-priced stars, Portis did
what he does best. He popped off to The Denver Post, saying he might hold out if he didn't get a new deal. "The window for a running back is only open so long," Portis says now. "Right now is my time to get what I'm worth."

Not surprisingly, the Broncos weren't interested in redoing a cheap contract with two years remaining. But coach/GM Mike Shanahan did offer to cover Portis with a $15 million Lloyds of London insurance policy. He also guaranteed the team would make Portis on the league's highest-paid backs in 2005. Portis said no way. So Bowlen, believing that Rosenhaus might advise his client to hold out long into the season, told the agent to shop his star around. When you're looking for an owner to break out the checkbook, who do you call? Snyder, of course. The Skins owner was having his own negotiating problems with Pro Bowl corner Champ Bailey, and he also regretted letting Stephen Davis sign with Carolina a year earlier. Four days after hearing from Rosenhaus, Snyder agreed to shp Bailey and
this year's second-round pick to Denver for Portis. To Portis, it was all in the stars. "That first contract in Denver was the best thing that ever happened to me," he says. "If I'd had incentives or been drafted in the first round, I wouldn't be the best-paid back in the NFL, and the Redskins wouldn't have the best back in the NFL."

Call him arrogant, but that's how Portis works. He loves setting up challenges to overcome, a trait he picked up early in life. Portis and Rhonnel, a nurse's aide, didn't live in the worst part of Gainesville, Fla., when he was growing up. But they were close enough that drugs and crime crept into his life. Clinton's older brother is in prison on a cocaine-distribution rap. Portis knew he head to play-and talk-his way to something better. After rushing for 2,036 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior at Gainesville High, he heard that Miami runnings back coach Don Soldinger was coming to watch film on him. So Portis planted himself in his coach's office and kicked his feet up on the desk. When Soldinger walked in, Portis threw him a highlight tape and said, "Tell me what you think."

Soldinger thought enough of it to recommend Portis for a scholarship. Soon after arriving on campus in July 1999, Portis approached tailback James Jackson, the starter. "I'm better than you," he told Jackson, "and you'll see
that." He was right. Jackson got hurt five games into the season and Portis took over, setting a Miami freshmen rushing record with 838 yards. Along the way, though, he alienated teammates and annoyed head coach Butch Davis
with his mouth. His junior year, he rushed for 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns while leading the Hurricanes to a national title. But his rep continued to dog him when he decided to go pro after that season, and rumors of his head-butting with Davis dropped him to the second round. Says Soldinger, "That confidence, that cockiness, is his weakness, too."

Portis says he will tone down his trash-talking in Redskins practices. "Everyone knows who the starter is here," he says. But if he does start to run his mouth and rub teammates the wrong way, the cold shoulders won't bother him. "I can't please everybody," he says. "I've gotta have fun." And having fun he is. Portis hasn't played a down for Washington, but he's already printing T-shirts that feature his picture above the Capitol and a banner that reads, "Clinton: Eight More Years!"

The Redskins will settle for 16 games in a row. At 5'11', 205 pounds, Portis doesn't have the ideal tailback's body. Last season, he missed three games with chest and ankle injuries. To keep his new star healthy, Gibbs will steal from the Broncos playbook. Washington will use Denver's "stretch" running play, in which Portis scoots wide, waits for a hole to open and then, like that, hits it. Tight end Byron Chamberlain, a former Bronco, will play H-back and serve as a lead blocker, much as Shannon Sharpe did in Denver. Breaux figures the more big bodies the can stack in front of Portis, the fewer face-mask-bending shots he wil take. "We're counting on him holding up for us." Breaux says, "He has to."

Portis knows that. He also wants to prove that he's not another one of those 1,400-yards-off-the-sidewalk Broncos backs. Of course, he's already talking big. About winning a Super Bowl. About averaging seven yards per rush. But
Gibbs will expect around 325 carries from Portis, who's never had more than 290 in a season. If he breaks down, if Snyder starts to get antsy about missing the playoffs again, what can Portis say that will bail him out of that?

Portis sits back in his limo as he's chauffeured around DC. He's on the phone with a real estate agent, describing what he wants in his new home. "It has to be no more than 20 minutes from the Redskins complex," he says, "And it
has to be big."

He's hanging out with two friends from Gainesville, Rod Littles and Deiric Jackson. Last night they went bar hopping and didn't get back to their Ritz Hotel room until 4 a.m. Now they're scheming tonight's game plan, a party
in Portis' honor at the club Dream. Mostly though, they've spent the day talking about what most guys their age talk about: girls. A few minutes earlier, mugging for a camera, Portis held a strawberry to his lips and gave a
baby-eyes look. "They'll love this," he said. "Yeahhhh"

"That's what your problem is, "Jackson said. "you're always thinking about the girls." "That's because they're thinking about me!" "You can't keep getting away with this."

But Portis thinks he can. A few minutes later, he's bragging about his contract again. "You ever been in a threesome?" he asks. "Signing it was better than that. It's a slap in the face and kiss my ass to everyone who felt
like I couldn't do it!"

He says it just loud enough for everyone to hear.
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Old 03-21-2004, 01:25 AM   #12
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I really dont like how this article was written. It really made Portis look like a compleltey cocky ass. He is a cocky guy, but this article made him seem like he thought he was a god. Its worth checking out though. Portis has a boatload of confidence, and some of the things he said got me really excited to watch him next year. " and the Redskins wouldn't have the best back in the NFL." Friggin Awsome
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Old 03-21-2004, 07:55 AM   #13
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I'm not one of those people who wants athletes to be the best person in the world or a humble guy or anything like that, just go out, do your job, don't screw your teammates by doing something stupid so I don't care if Portis came across as arrogant or cocky in the article.. ESPN the Magazine articles are always (to me at least) written from a cynical point of view.. If Portis does what he was brought in for, the Skins will be just fine..
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smootsmack
But if he does start to run his mouth and rub teammates the wrong way, the cold shoulders won't bother him. "I can't please everybody," he says. "I've gotta have fun."
Clearly the writer has something against Portis. "I can't please everyone ... I've gotta have fun" is a little different than, "I don't give a crap if I piss off my teammates." He's putting words in Portis' mouth ... this is slanted and vacuous journalism. However, going on Clinton's quotes alone (which I'm assuming the reporter actually got right), the man does sound like an immature asshole. That's fine as long as he continues to run for 1,500 yards every year. But the writer is trying to portray him as a locker room cancer and I don't see any evidence of that right now.
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Old 03-21-2004, 03:19 PM   #15
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I agree Ghost. The quotes really do make him look like a cocky assclown, alot of that has to do with how the artile was written too. However, he really sounds like one confident M'Fer, which is somthing I want in our Running Back next season.
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