Shanahan's message -- to Portis and others -- comes through clearly

During the recent NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, Coach Mike Shanahan stressed he expected all players to report for the voluntary conditioning program that will begin Monday at Redskins Park.

Apparently, Clinton Portis got the message.

"Oh, I guarantee you Clinton will be there," Shanahan said Thursday night during a media availability session at Morton's in Tyson's Corner. "I know Clinton too well. He'll be there and kick-off the offseason on the right note. I want my leaders to be there, and hopefully we'll have 100 percent participation. If not, I'll be disappointed."

Shanahan, General Manager Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder each briefly addressed reporters before attending a dinner for the Redskins' charitable foundation. Usually among the most aggressive teams in the league at the outset of free agency, Washington has taken a more deliberate approach this offseason under the direction of Shanahan and Allen, which apparently is fine with Snyder.

"They've got a lot of work to do to figure it all out," Snyder said. "[They're] great guys; lucky to have 'em."

Running back Larry Johnson currently is on a two-day visit with the team, and Washington earlier Thursday signed blocking tight end Sean Ryan. The Redskins also have added versatile offensive lineman Artis Hicks and nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu, who is still rehabbing after having two surgeries to repair an Achilles' tendon injury he suffered in training camp, since the market opened. Much to the disappointment of some agents, Washington did not pursue the few top-tier unrestricted players.

"I'm very satisfied" with their plan, Shanahan said. "We have a gameplan and it takes time. We've got a plan, it's not going to happen overnight. We just have to watch the plan take place.

"But we're going to try to get better every day. It's a process. You're not going to do it overnight, but you have to try to do the little things the right way. Hopefully, we can get it done."

The Redskins still hope to bolster their offensive and defensive lines and improve at linebacker and in the secondary in free agency and the draft. As for finding a complement for Portis, who missed the second half of last season after suffering a concussion, Johnson once was a premier power runner.

"Obviously, I've watched him from afar for years," Shanahan said of Johnson. "I coached Larry in the Pro Bowl. I like Larry. I'm a big fan of his."

And Snyder seems to be a big fan of the men now charting the Redskins' course. "It's really not about the past now. It's about the future," Snyder said. "When you look at the pedigree of Bruce and Mike and everything they're doing and their experience, we're in good hands."

Click here to order Clinton Portis' proCane Rookie Card.

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