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Clinton Portis lays the smackdown on NFL Network analyts


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http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20051126-9999-1s26chargers.html

Portis' past won't be prologue

RB ran roughshod on Chargers of old

By Jay Posner

UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

November 26, 2005

K.C. ALFRED / Union-Tribune

Clinton Portis runs past Chargers' Donnie Edwards during the second quarter of their Nov. 15, 2003 matchup.

Clinton Portis has played four games against the Chargers and rushed for at least 100 yards every time. Entering meeting No. 5 tomorrow in Washington, everyone agrees that means . . . nothing.

Because Portis has never seen these Chargers.

"Totally different defense, totally different personnel," linebacker Donnie Edwards said yesterday. "There's hardly anyone here that was around."

Gates practices; unsure if he'll play

There's Edwards. And nose tackle Jamal Williams. But the rest of the Chargers' front seven is new from 2002-03, the two seasons in which Portis rushed for 496 yards on only 80 carries against San Diego.

And that's only part of it. The Chargers now use a 3-4 scheme instead of a 4-3, and Portis no longer runs in the Denver system that seemingly allows any back to run to daylight (see: Dayne, Ron).

Which, of course, takes nothing away from Portis, who gained more than 1,300 rushing yards last year – his first in Washington – and needs 144 this year for his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. But his average per carry dropped from 5.5 during his two seasons in Denver to 3.8 last year and 4.4 this season. And his rushing touchdown total plunged from 29 in Denver (in 29 games) to 10 in Washington (25 games).

"Clinton Portis is a phenomenal back," Edwards said. "He has all the tools that are required to be a great running back. The guy is lightning fast, he has good quicks, good moves. He's definitely one of the most talented backs in the league."

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But tomorrow the 5-foot-10, 212-pound Portis faces the defense that has allowed fewer rushing yards than any other in the NFL, an average of 78.2 per game. No back has gained 100 yards against San Diego this season; only one has gained more than 72. And since the Chargers switched to the 3-4 at the start of last season, only two backs have reached the 100-yard mark.

"It's a challenge that we look for week in and week out," linebacker Steve Foley said.

"I think if we make an inch this week we'll earn it," said Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who acknowledged Portis' past success against San Diego "means nothing."

Said Portis: "That was all in the past. They've made a lot of upgrades to their defense. They're playing great right now. Those gaps that used to be there when I had those consecutive 100-yard games are gone."

Maybe Portis can put "Sheriff Gonna Getcha" on the case.

If you're not familiar with the "Sheriff," he's one of the many characters Portis created this season in an attempt to, well, no one's quite sure. He decided this season to spice up his weekly media sessions by treating every Thursday as if it were a combination of Halloween and Fantasy Island.

Century Man

Clinton Portis played four games against the Chargers while with Denver and ran for at least 100 yards in all four. A look at each game:

DATE ATT. YDS. AVG. TD SCORE

10-6-02 20 102 5.1 0 Broncos, 26-9

12-1-02 23 159 6.9 2 Chargers, 30-27 (OT)

9-14-03 12 12910.8 0 Broncos, 37-13

11-6-03 25 106 4.2 0 Broncos, 37-8

Totals 80 496 6.2 2

"The first time I did it I was just playing around," Portis said. "I think people took well to it."

Portis started slowly, wearing goggles one week, retro sunglasses the next and then showing up with a gray wig and science-fiction glasses. Then it really got weird.

In late October, Portis wore a black cape, a Lone Ranger mask, oversize yellow sunglasses, a black wig and fake gold teeth. He pronounced himself "Jerome from Southeast D.C." The next week, he was "Dr. Don't Know," sporting a tangerine-colored wig, a fake mustache and pink sunglasses. As "Sheriff Gonna Getcha," he had a curly black wig, sunglasses with fake eyeballs and a sheriff's star.

Most recently, Portis was "Dollar Bill," with a green outfit, purple wig and sunglasses with big letters spelling out "COOL."

Portis said he has received mostly positive feedback from teammates and fans, including "grandparents looking forward to it" each week. And he had harsh words for two of his critics, Lincoln Kennedy and Rod Woodson of NFL Network.

"Those guys, I'm not doing it for them," he said. "If they don't like what I do or if they're not happy with what I do, if they can't take it as a joke – which it is – it doesn't mean anything to me. There's no question of my sexuality. If they don't believe me, all they have to do is bring their wives forward and they can tell them what a man I am."

It's become a can't-miss event at Redskins Park each week, although Portis was ill Thursday and skipped his press conference (he returned to practice yesterday).

"It's making a lot of people's days," he said. "You never know what people need in their lives."

That's for sure.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jay Posner: (619) 293-1834; jay.posner@uniontrib.com

Did a search and couldn't find anything, if I missed something i'm pretty much blaming last night.

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I don't know, I guess I'm in the minority, but that's a little much. You don't bring other people's wives into it. I know he's a joker and all, but that's not going to bring any love his way.

I hear what you're saying, but they started it didn't they?

They called into question his sexuality with the cartwheels and the costumes.

As far as I'm concerned, Clinton is just shoving back in their faces.

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I hear what you're saying, but they started it didn't they?

They called into question his sexuality with the cartwheels and the costumes.

As far as I'm concerned, Clinton is just shoving back in their faces.

You're exactly right, he was just sayin something back for them talkin bad about him....at least Eisen likes the costumes, Eisen is the man, but not as much as Portis is :notworthy

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I don't know, I guess I'm in the minority, but that's a little much. You don't bring other people's wives into it. I know he's a joker and all, but that's not going to bring any love his way.

wrong. You don't bring a man's sexuality or manhood into it. He's lucky he simply told them that his manhood should not be questioned, and if they want to get personal, like they already chose to do, he'll oblige them, and good for him. He's not taking any **** from some has-been analyst, and he shouldn't.

Portis layed a smackdown on Brian Mitchell last year too, told him to come see him if he wanted to talk all that smack, and Mitchell tried acting like a tough guy but he had a camera on him and you could see he was half frozen in shock.

Good for CP. He's a leader on this team, and he's not about to let some gay ass analyst question his manhood, **** that analyst is lucky CP didn't pull a Brian Mitchell on them, they'd ****e themselves if he had.

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