Portis: "Clinton Portis Can't Do Everything"

Both The Post and The Times ran stories this morning on Clinton Portis's unselfishness, and the way he's declined to call for more carries after the Week 1 loss.

The topic was also raised on Portis's weekly appearance on the John Thompson Show Tuesday afternoon, and since there's no conversation in D.C. sports like a conversation between Thompson and Portis, I thought I'd provide the full quotes. If you're a fan of referring to yourself in the third person and checking Portis paperwork, you oughta love this.

Thompson: "Clinton let me just ask you this, and I just got finished defending your coach. I like the guy, I don't think he's a commercial, I think it's gonna take time. Ok, but I'm gonna ask you on the side that I don't understand...When I watch y'all play and I look at Clinton Portis, I'm saying that they're trying to blend him in, they're trying to balance stuff. I heard JZ say something about balance. The hell with balance. I want you to be the star, I wanna see you break loose, I wanna see you get a lot of balls. I'm saying to myself, 'Give Clinton the ball.' Answer that for me. And that's just the part of me that don't understand football, and I know that myself. I want to see Clinton Portis being the star. How would you answer that to me?"

Portis: "I would love to be the star. I would love to sit here and tell you, 'Clinton Portis is the answer to every problem we've got.' I would love to tell you, 'Put Clinton Portis on defense and I can make plays over there.' But Clinton Portis can't do everything.

"I think as a team what they're trying to do is get us to play team ball and for it not to always be on my shoulders, and let other guys that's capable of making plays make plays. And I think we have the challenge, we've just got to do it. I mean, there's no other way to say it.

"Everybody says I'm not durable, I'm not this, I'm not that. I'm at the top in the league every year. I'm at the top in carries, I'm at the top in plays, I'm at the top in total offense, I'm at the top in total yards, but people fail to realize all the work that I actually put in. It's, 'Oh, he didn't get the ball.' Well, I led the league in carries. How many more times you want me to carry the ball, how many more times you want me to touch the ball?

"I can't do everything. I can't throw it and I can't catch it, I can't do that to myself, I have to play within the guidelines of what the coach call. You know, I would love to sit [there and say], 'Hey man, give me the draw.' Hey, when he feels like giving me a draw, I go ask him, 'Coach, let me get the draw,' and if he call it, he call it. if he don't, I got to execute the plays that he call.

"And I think everybody on that field feel that way. I'm sure 'Tana would love to throw fade routes, I'm sure 'Tana would love to catch a slip screen, I'm sure 'Tana would love to catch a quick screen. The same way with Fred Davis and Chris Cooley and Randle El and Malcolm Kelly and the rest of the guys, Devin Thomas, Mike Sellers. Everybody want to touch the ball, everybody feel like they can contribute, and we're not having the opportunities to spread the ball around.

"Having 40-some plays, it ain't gonna get everybody the ball. We have 40-some plays. I touched the ball 18 times, so you've got 30 more plays to get everybody else the ball. That's not gonna be enough to win. We've got to go out and have 60 or 70 plays a game; therefore, everybody can touch the ball, everybody can contribute."

Yeah, that's why I like September. Also, here was Portis, talking about LaRon Landry and the defense:

"When you watch film, it's never the lack of effort, it's never the lack of attention. Players are where they're supposed to be. I mean, you look at LaRon, he in the back, trying to knock people head off....A receiver can't hold onto the ball while he running at them like that. I think it was just overaggression, but you don't want to take him being aggressive away. You can't say, 'Oh LaRn, [change] your angle.' He got to go out and play as a madman, and I think that's what he did."

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