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When Jim Zorn was coach, Clinton Portis wanted out of D.C.

Redskins running back Clinton Portis respects coach Mike Shanahan, a man he enjoyed playing for in Denver and is happy to play for again in Washington.

But former Redskins coach Jim Zorn? Not so much.

In an interview with Dan Hellie of, Portis said the atmosphere fostered by Zorn wore him down.

“You become nonchalant, you become a whatever, and I think I just became a whatever-type guy,” Portis said, per the Washington Post. “The consideration of walking away, the idea of wanting to be traded, wanting to be out of D.C., all of the sudden it was like the people who you think know you buy into the outside conversation, like hmm, maybe he should be gone. I think that was more eye-opening, like I guess people really wanted me out of there. And I think there was a point, up until Coach Shanahan coming in, I really wanted out of there.”

Portis insists that he’s “never been a ‘me’ guy,” and that any suggestion otherwise is just a reflection of the frustration he felt under Zorn. And he said that while he’s been criticized in the past for not practicing, that won’t be the case this season.

“This year I’m practicing, this year I feel great, this year I got a good feeling about our team,” Portis told Hellie. “I think buying into the system, buying into the organization, knowing my role.”

Portis is coming off the worst season of his career, having gained just 494 yards in an injury-shortened 2009. But at age 28, it’s not too late for Portis to bounce back to the form he showed as a 1,500-yard rusher in Denver — when Shanahan was his coach.

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43 Responses to “When Jim Zorn was coach, Clinton Portis wanted out of D.C.”
  1. tonyinmd says: Jun 17, 2010 8:33 PM

    He’s done. Too much wear and tear on those tires.

  2. Switch1 says: Jun 17, 2010 8:41 PM

    What a joke, He says that, but skipped camp lats year, was out of shape, 20 lbs heavier. Please, now Shanny lights a fire under his ass that he’s expendable, he gets in shape and plays the good little soldier. His opinion is garbage!

  3. Bazooka Joe says: Jun 17, 2010 8:43 PM

    Zorn received a promotion.

  4. efangule says: Jun 17, 2010 8:47 PM

    Shannahan will run him into the ground this year. Make him look like a great back again, then trade him.

  5. GaryClark says: Jun 17, 2010 8:48 PM

    He might have one more in him. I believe in CP. HAIL BABY. F the Fat Man Albert!

  6. bake says: Jun 17, 2010 8:54 PM

    It was obvious without this interview or this article, but hey…gotta write about something besides Haynesworth at least once a day

  7. MagicMan407 says: Jun 17, 2010 8:55 PM

    I hope Portis shows how good he is this year. No one seems to pay any attention to his stats. They only comment after he gets injured and says “hes done”. He was on pace to still have over a 1000 yard season last year until he was injured in the begining of week 8 game. (With that horrible offensive line.)

  8. The Hogster says: Jun 17, 2010 8:55 PM

    Portis will bounce back haterz.

  9. Rat says: Jun 17, 2010 8:56 PM

    He’s sure not 28 in football years.

  10. Mobroller says: Jun 17, 2010 8:57 PM

    I’m not even a Redskins fan, but I live in DC and all I can think is — who didn’t??

  11. Cereal Blogger says: Jun 17, 2010 8:59 PM

    Right & everyone else including his teammates wanted him out

  12. Buck Stallion says: Jun 17, 2010 9:03 PM

    So it’s all Zorn’s fault that Portis was a lazy p.o.s. last year? Did Zorn coach you to lean forward so much on every carry that you fell down with little or no contact? This jerk doesn’t realize that he is a has-been & is still running his mouth like he’s a probowler.

  13. bad asset says: Jun 17, 2010 9:10 PM

    My hundred bucks says “whatever” everytime it considers the impact Portis might have in a game.

  14. PatricktheDookie says: Jun 17, 2010 9:10 PM

    This is news?

  15. irishgary says: Jun 17, 2010 9:11 PM

    hes washed up and looking for someone to blame. Oh, but not a “me” guy. bull shit

  16. swervinmervin says: Jun 17, 2010 9:22 PM

    Shannahan and Portis WERE feuding right before Shanny shipped him to Washington for Champ Bailey!
    Do the research and get your facts straight!!!

  17. Chop Block Murphy says: Jun 17, 2010 9:23 PM

    “And he said that while he’s been criticized in the past for not practicing, that won’t be the case this season.”
    I’m sure it won’t. He’s got a coach with a backbone this year. And they’ve brought in two veteran RBs who will press CP for playing time if he dicks around.

  18. GirthyOne says: Jun 17, 2010 10:01 PM

    You only become a whatever if YOU allow it.
    Portis is looking to blame others for his failures. Typical of a natural loser, which he is.

  19. rjgreen3 says: Jun 17, 2010 10:05 PM

    now shanny wants portis out of dc

  20. comment_submission_error says: Jun 17, 2010 10:05 PM

    What’s Portis supposed to say? The Rat already traded him once, and now is going to be looking to cut his ass if he doesn’t “buy in.” Don’t open a restaurant while you’re in town, Clinton.

  21. boysroll says: Jun 17, 2010 10:15 PM

    magicman…u r an idiot. this punk ass back was bad mouthing JC while he sat his pussy ass on the sidelines all season long. Talk about a punk. I hope my boys knock his lights out the first game to put him out of football for good.

  22. PackAttackBackMan says: Jun 17, 2010 10:19 PM

    I would say the same thing if the new coach brought in legit competition for my job……Do not be surprised if Portis is cut before the season starts if the other guys run well…

  23. HAILSKINS says: Jun 17, 2010 10:31 PM

    Its all of “A” sudden , not all of”THE”sudden.

  24. dcbjw27 says: Jun 17, 2010 10:35 PM

    grow up already clinton!its not about you its about the TEAM!

  25. GoCaps8 says: Jun 17, 2010 11:28 PM

    Kind of like LaVar did to Aikman, right?

  26. SplitSecondImages says: Jun 17, 2010 11:42 PM

    If only someone would knock your lights out many of us would as happy as Tony Homo gettin’ it from his backside. LMFAO…idiot.

  27. mwcarolina says: Jun 17, 2010 11:48 PM

    i actually dont blame Clinton Portis for what he said about Jim Zorn. If anyone watched a Redskin game, Portis was used too much by Zorn which pretty much wore him down and now Portis isnt what he used to be. At least, he likes Mike Shanahan.

  28. The Notorious V.I.C. says: Jun 18, 2010 12:26 AM

    If any of you keyboard warriors had ever played sports, and ever played sports under a coach who was completely incompetent, you would know how frustrating that is.
    And if you had any doubts about whether Zorn was incompetent as a head coach, look no further than that absolutely RIDICULOUS fake field goal thing they ran last year.

  29. Slow Joe says: Jun 18, 2010 12:44 AM

    But at age 28, it’s not too late for Portis to bounce back to the form he showed as a 1,500-yard rusher in Denver
    Yes it is.

  30. National says: Jun 18, 2010 12:49 AM

    Portis makes T.O. look like Art Monk.
    I still don’t believe he had a concussion. I think he had his bell rung that happens to every player during the season. Clinton up and quit.

  31. crissa says: Jun 18, 2010 12:52 AM

    Oh, please….it seems that Portis was all buddy buddy with Dumb Danny, so he was able to do what he wanted…”This year I’m practicing….” yeah, because you have to – give me a break, blaming Zorn is ridiculous

  32. MagicMan407 says: Jun 18, 2010 1:36 AM

    Boysroll- Maybe your the idiot. Nothing against Jason Campbell, but his release was pretty slow and he was the brightest spot on the field. Campbell was traded for a reason. Portis has been in the league for 8 years and rushed for over a 1200 yards 6 times, 1500 yards 3 times and I am pretty sure niether of your backs have even rushed for 1000 yards in a single season.

  33. Ravenmuscle says: Jun 18, 2010 2:05 AM

    Ah…for the benefit of The Notorious V.I.C.
    Jim Zorn wasn’t allowed to call the plays last year…Remember?
    They had some stupid systen where one guy called running plays and another guy called the passes…Zorn just listened in.
    Plus Campbell is STUPID.

  34. The Black Cat says: Jun 18, 2010 3:11 AM

    Portis couldn’t have said that…the sentences almost made sense.

  35. We need linemen says: Jun 18, 2010 5:28 AM

    Sorry Clinton, but you acted like a complete tool last year. You shouldn’t need to respect the coach in order to try to make the best of your situation. You always have that under your control, the ability to try your best.
    It is a shame, when you see videos of him working with kids he seems like a decent guy, but his ego is out of control. He has been a very good but not great back for the ‘Skins.
    I really hope he can get back to form, but he has taken an awful lot of pounding over the years, and lost a step two or three years ago. Alledgedly, he is going to drop weight and get back to the level he played at in Denver. Maybe that will help, but he is on the down slope.

  36. Brownwood26 says: Jun 18, 2010 5:55 AM

    No shock that Portis wanted out when Zorn was there…hell, half the fanbase wanted out when Zorn was there…

  37. DonTerrelli says: Jun 18, 2010 6:19 AM

    He has to act like this now because there are 2 better RBs on the team with him.

  38. Chapnasty2 says: Jun 18, 2010 7:15 AM

    Clinton Portis should be #4 on the depth chart and that is before they bring in Westbrook. Anyone who thinks Portis is good is clearly a misguided and biased Redskin fan.

  39. Bradenton Buc says: Jun 18, 2010 8:03 AM

    Spoiled millionaires! Paid more money in a year then the most ofrest of us will ever see and not give it your all?!? No excuse. No respect.

  40. iusedtobeteddybayer says: Jun 18, 2010 8:57 AM

    And when Shanahan was Portis’ Coach, Shannahn so badly wanted him out of town that he traded him. Cut him, really.
    See, Portis is such a huge asshole, that after a really big game, he put on this gaudy “championship belt”. Both Shanny and Bowlen, the Canadian Pimp, decided to get him the hell out of town. At-the-time, I brash 26 year old. You want to give a brash 26 year old millions of dollars? They didn’t.
    Now he’s old. One, maybe two good games a year. Shanny won’t stand for it. Portis is as good as gone.
    Be careful what you wish for, Clint. Say goodnight.

  41. mama tried says: Jun 18, 2010 9:40 AM

    Give it a year, and shanna-dork will want out of DC too!!!
    The org is a joke, capital J – O – K – E!!!

  42. Popeye says: Jun 18, 2010 9:53 AM

    Portis is a small 8==D with no real skills….28 years old and done….hahahahahah

  43. Real Football Fan says: Jun 18, 2010 1:23 PM

    @tonyinmd ,
    Never have been a Portis fan, but I’d dispute that he’s done, since he still averaged 4 yards a carry with the worst offensive line this side of Buffalo. Not to mention, now he’ll be playing with McNabb at QB and in Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme, which makes any stiff in the world look decent, much less a back with his kind of ability still, as opposed to the power schemes run under Gibbs or Zorn. Seems like your assessment might be a bit off. His biggest problem will be staying healthy because concussions are no joke.

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