Portis fires back at Riggins

The reaction was a bit delayed, to say the least.  Way back in January, former Redskins running back John Riggins called current Redskins running back Clinton Portis a “headache.”

On Tuesday, more than seven months later, Portis fired back at the man who stands only 1,370 yards in front of Portis on the franchise’s all-time rushing list.

“The idea for him to be a legend, and to hate as much as he hate,”
Portis said, according to the Associated Press.  “To be upset that I’m on his tracks, for the comments or
the ill will that he has toward me and don’t know me.  You know, it’s
crazy.  You did your thing.  The people around here love you, and I’m not
trying to replace you.  I don’t want to be you.  Your background check
and my background check are totally different, so I really don’t feel
like he can comment on nothing I do.”

But Portis commented on the things Riggins did, suggesting that he was the beneficiary of a better supporting cast.

“I think he was a great running back, but, you know, think of who else
was around him,” Portis said.  “That was really not hard to be a great
running back when you’ve got that talent all around you.”

Some might interpret those comments as a backhanded slap at the other men who are lining up with Portis.  Until, however, the Portis-led Redskins win a Super Bowl, Portis has a point.

And If the Portis-led Redskins are ever going to win a Super Bowl, the clock is ticking.  As of Tuesday, Portis is 28.  In running back years, 28 equates to something like 61 in average people years.

42 responses to “Portis fires back at Riggins

  1. I didn’t see what Riggins said back then, but portis is perpetually about a half step from acting like the TO of running backs, never quite actually bitching, but maybe hinting that he’d like to whine some….. But a great player in any regard. Wish we would work more on the offensive line instead of paying peyton manning money for a d tackle, I agree with portis on that…………….

  2. I am a die hard Skins fan. Riggo was the man in my youth and I loved watching him play. Portis probably has a point in that Riggo played behind the Hogs – all of whom should be in the Hall. But, Portis is such a DRAMA QUEEN who cannot tolerate the slightest critisim. I have grown tired of his act. He is a great, and underappreciated, back but his mouth is terrible. I guess he needs to be angry to play well, whatever works.

  3. The Redskins lack of recent Super Bowl titles is more likely a function on their current ownership that leads to unstable coaching situations which leads to an incompatible blending of talent by current and previous coaching staffs.

  4. cd ridge you’re right on the money.Too bad it makes for boring reading thoug. Couldn’t you insert a wise acre punch line on the end of that???
    signed mike florio

  5. Riggins, a bit of a headache himself at times (see his one-year “retirement”) spoke only the truth. Portis is like Plaxico, Shockey, Bosworth, T.O., etc. A great talent, but a disruptive presence.
    Great players don’t need great teams: they make great teams. Riggins made Joe Gibb’s career and carried the Redskins on his back in the 1982 season playoffs.
    If Portis had a decent team around him he wouldn’t notice. That’s Portis’ problem. It is always all about him. He turns a legitimate criticism into a personal attack, then says that Riggins is unqualified as a football analyst. Finally, he wraps it all up by knocking his current teammates.
    Portis has a point? What point, exactly? That Riggins can’t call Portis a disruptive distraction because Riggins played behind a better offensive line? WTF?

  6. Portis didn’t say anything thats not true. Riggins has expressed his-dislike for Portis for a long time now. Also didn’t help that CP was Joe Gibbs boy either. Riggo was one of the biggest Divas in the league. When the booze controlled his life he would roll down to O.C. in the summer and start more bar brawls then you can shake a stick at (the old school bar fights with the dude getting slid down the bar on his belly and thrown out windows, old west style.) Riggo isn’t perfect and in todays modern NFL, he probably would have been suspended multiple times now. Didn’t he also have his own dressing room at RFK or Redskin park (one or the other) equiped with a kegarator, lazy boy and a large screen t.v. where he would hang out and get banged up until his bumps and bruises felt well enough to walk out to his car and drive home? We are talking about to similar characters here with two differant make ups. lets not fool ourselves. Can’t we all just get along? Love them both. Riggins Pockets Straight? lol

  7. Portis is a pretty fragile guy to be talking smack about Riggins. I’d never want him on my team. He should stick to comedy thos big sunglasses really crack me up.

  8. Portis and the Skins’ have been mediocre at best for the past few years..
    What’s funny to me, is the fact their fan base lives in the past.. Their team for the last 15 years has been the laughing stock of the NFC East.
    4-12 this year.. Oh yeah give an overweight, overhyped, injury prone D-TACKLE $100 million, poor football move – but he’ll sell a lot of jerseys in DC..

  9. To anybody that actually remembers how much of a knucklehead Riggens was himself when he played, this whole spat seems both hypocritic and stupid.

  10. When a retired NFL player talks down about a current NFL player that is about to surpass your record, it all looks very suspect.
    Now I remember Riggins. I like Riggins. But Riggins was a headache, too. But he was a headache with the Hogs… and the Hogs were lunchpail superstars.
    Portis has been running behind an average line, at best. Those Hogs were one of the best lines ever assembled.
    I just think that having class will dictate keeping your mouth shut and being complimentary when you talk about a current player that getting close to your record.

  11. 100 Million for a D Tackle
    They could have gotten a qb for that kind of money
    Oh thats right they tried to get baby face cuttler and screwed that up now they have a kid who knows he is not the one they wanted
    Hail to the redskins

  12. Can Riggins comment on your grammar Clinton? I am sure the faculty at the U is so proud to hear you speak.

  13. the more Portis talks the less I want to see him. He has great numbers but he isn’t the type of back that can carry this team to the Super Bowl. That is why he is not a HOFer.

  14. For the whole “great players don’t need great teams, they make great teams” tell my how many Super Bowls Barry Sanders won. That’s ignorance. Riggens was good because he always had a great line. And if you don’t believe that, look at Timmy Smith. A rookie running back behind a Gibbs line that set the Super Bowl record in Super Bowl XXII. Riggens needs to shut up before he tarnishes his legacy by his off the field actions. As far as Portis is concerned, the fact that he still plays with as much intensity and heart as he does despite getting killed every game allows him to say whatever he wants.

  15. Oh man, first a story about LT, and then a story about Portis.
    I’m trying to think to myself who the next story will be about, based on the most over-rated-backs-in-the-league list that I have in my head.
    I’m drawing a blank.
    One thing that I can say for LT is that at least he can speak English, even if it is hard to hear him through all of his sniffling and whimpering.
    Portis is one illiterate human.

  16. @ tian:
    agreed – you oughtta see how Fran Tarkenton has freaked out over Brett Favre now leading the Vikings.
    Tark may make some good points, but they come of as “bitter old man with an ego-driven agenda,” thereby diminishing their impact accordingly.

  17. Calling portis an imbecile would be giving himtoo much credit. My six year old has a better grasp of the english language than he does! And this guy went to college? Oh, I forgot he went to Miami. Calling Miami a college would be like calling D. McNabb clutch in big games!

  18. Man some people are just plain stupid. First off, why dont some of you guys read the actual Albert Haynesworth contract. Like he is every getting $100 million dollars. NFL contracts are not MLB contracts and Hayneworth is only guarenteed like $60 Million. And thats IF he plays out most of his deal, which he probably wont. Morons.
    As for this Portis Riggins thing, both sides are right and both are wrong. First off Riggins is scared to lose his record. He is a GOD in the DC area. But Portis is right. Riggins ran behind some great O Lines, so did all the running backs after him. Thats why the Skins kept winning with no great QB or RB after him. Just receivers, a strong defense and an O Line. Thats all you need to wins championships sometimes. Just ask Baltimore, Tampa Bay, or the Giants. You guys think any of their QBs or RBs the past 10 years will ever be HOF considered. Doubtful.
    Anyways, this kind of argument is good though. Motivation for a player like Portis is a must guys. It is probably also why Jim Zorn is making Ladell Betts the 3rd down back. True Skins fans should know this about Portis by now. With our division it is diffucult to see the skins in the playoffs, but literally the Skins could easily be the favorite to win any other division in the league.

  19. You Skins fans are a funny lot. How are you going to bash Portis? Oh yeah, because you have to defend Riggins, your hero.
    Come on, Riggins has the biggest ego of anyone I know. Listen to him talk, it’s always about him and comparing others to himself (of course, somehow the others never seem to match up). Sorry but Riggins is the douche in this story, not Portis. Even Gibbs new it. When Riggins made his comeback in ’81 Gibbs wanted to bring him in just so he could trade him (of course Riggo required a no trade clause be put in his contract)…Gibbs didn’t want a “fruitcake like that” on his team. Gibbs also said: I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my God, he’s an egomaniac.’
    Also, I agree 100% w/Portis. Riggins had one of the best O-Lines of all time in front of him.
    Hey Riggo, your career is over, you are meaningless and its time you remove yourself into the shadows…

  20. Obviously their background checks are different. Riggo can at least put a coherent sentence together (even after 37 beers) and never dressed as a different buffoon every week to explain why his team sucked. Portis is half a man on team full of little girls. Hail lmao…

  21. Please, Portis cannot carry Riggo’s jock.
    First of all, Portis is over-rated to begin with…just look at the production that continued at running back in Denver after he left. Also, Denver’s line was one of the best as well.
    2) even if Riggo benefitted from a better o-line for a large part of his career, he DIDNT benefit from a) liberalized offensive rules, b) an additional 2 games a year for a number of years and 3) an offense which centered solely on him.
    also, what significant games has Portis EVER played in. Yes the Skins slid into the playoffs one year with him, big deal…..

  22. Their respective background checks must be pretty different, as apparently Portis’ background never included an English class. Oh wait, didn’t he graduate from Miami?

  23. When will old players realize that their opinions are irrelevant in this day and age.
    Riggins, go watch Superbowl 18 some more. DOH!

  24. Portis is an arrogant tool who thinks he is much better than he really is. That said, he is a pretty decent player. He is a top-5 runner and pass blocker. Conversely, he offers very little threat as a receiver, is starting to look a little fragile and lost his breakaway speed years ago. Even so, he probably is the best player the Redskins have, and if he stays healthy the Skins have a shot at challenging for the post-season. If he goes down early, the season could get pretty ugly.
    Yet, for all his yards, he does disrupt the team. Like TO, the coach has to focus time and play calling on keeping Portis happy. Portis is completely obsessed by his own stats and just can’t bear the thought of people taking away carries from him.
    It will be interesting to see how the plan of putting in Betts on 3rd-down pans out. I can’t imagine it will be long before Portis starts chirping. Mind you, if Betts keeps on fumbling, Portis wont be the only one calling for him stay out for every down.
    Riggins certainly wasn’t a good pro, and there is little doubt that taking a piss in the middle of a team meeting qualifies Riggins as a disruptive influence. Part of his problems with Portis are also probably rooted in Riggins own ego, but that doesn’t mean he is wrong about Portis, who needs to focus more on what he can do for his team.
    Anyway, given a time-machine and a choice between Riggins and Portis at their respective peaks, I’d sign Riggins. He was just a better player, plus his antics seemed like authentic eccentricity (with a dash of alcoholism) rather than “look at me, look at me” attention seeking.

  25. Once Portis has a photograph of himself winning a Super Bowl hanging in every restaurant in DC, then he can talk crap about Riggins. Until then Riggins is a legend in DC and Portis is just an aging superstar.

  26. What everyone is missing here is the divisiveness Dan Snyder wants to create between the old and the new. He wants to trash and tarnish Riggins because Portis is his guy, and the franchise can make money selling Portis if Riggins is devalued. Snyder is all about marketing, and the fact that this has been “revived” seven months later, shows that the Snyder marketing machine is getting poised to pounce once the record is broken. Portis is tight with Snyder, and don’t think Snyder doesn’t coach him. It’s well known Snyder can’t stand Riggins because Riggins is his own man and can’t be a paid mouthpiece. That’s why he cancelled Riggins radio show. It’s all about message control folks. Don’t buy into the media hype. Riggins could care less about Portis’ record. He said last year he hoped he broke it so Joe Bugel could have the legacy as a coach. Let’s all remember, hogs or no hogs, Riggins was breaking all franchise records at the age of 33 and 34, a cool six years older than birthday boy Portis. In running back years, that would be close 85 years old right? Riggins has made it clear he has a problem with Portis being disruptive by calling out his fellow players and his coach. Riggins is old school — you do your job, don’t complain, and NEVER insult your fellow players. That’s the headache he was referring to. He’s never denigrated Portis talent. And for all Riggins “boozing” (which was the era, aka Namath, Jergensen, Kilmer), if you read what he writes or listen to him talk, he’s got some serious brain cells left …the man has a pretty big intellect. Come on people … don’t get sucked in. Stay smart. Don’t be puppets for Dan and the press.

  27. Hey Clinton…forget it man, go to Canada…Pot and Doritos………..ha ha ha, your first name is Clinton, that’s funny.

  28. Portis brings his lunch pail to work everyday! you guys are fools if you think Portis is a chump. We have someone here that just got sick of someone talking shit on him because he one a super bowl and did run behind one of the best lines in NFL HISTORY. CP had a terrific line his first year in denver and lays down over 1500 yards in his first season. I agree with Portis. Give him that line and we see same results. Don’t be duped! Our line has been mediocre at best, at times comical, for the time he has been behind them.
    When the offensive line broke down last year it was ok for every fair weather fan to bash our line and JC but when Clinton opens his mouth its arrogant and selfish.
    The NFL is about being arrogant (knowing your better then the next dude) and selfishness to a degree. If you don’t want the ball all the time your an average joe and will have your walking papers sooner then you want them and if you don’t think your good enough to play, you will certainly exit stage right.
    Portis has busted his ass for us. He has never been in contract disputes. Never been linked in shootings, killings, animal cruelty, dui’s or anything else to that matter.
    Dude shows up to work on a daily basis and cracks skulls. Riggins has been out of the game so long he forgot what he was like. Old timers hate the new NFL and doesn’t like where it has come.
    Lets not forget the vicious blocks CP lays down on every LB who tries to sneak into the backfield.

  29. You tell ’em Portis !
    Show ’em your rings, too !
    ………..oh, that’s right……….never mind……..

  30. Portis may be a flake, but he brings it all to the field all the time. Nobody plays harder when he’s not carrying the ball.
    (But he maybe admire Emmitt Smith so much he trying to talk like he do. Hey, if Emmitt get paid big moneys to do TV then Portis want to try too.)
    Riggins really should shut up, though. He may not have played dress-up, but he was one of the biggest flakes of all time.

  31. Timmy Smith Has a ring for godsake. He is probably selling yugos or chevrolets right now. Sometimes we get caught up i the rings a bit too much.

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