Not that he was ever clubhouse cancer, but Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis underperformed last year in his role as one of the team’s veteran leaders. A charismatic and engaging personality when things are going his way, Portis knows that he can’t switch between being engaged and disinterested whenever he pleases. Being a leader in the NFL is a full-time job, and Portis is eager to do just that this coming season:
“I made it my goal this preseason to make sure I was never the topic of conversation or headlines about missing practice,” said Portis, whose only missed time came when he sat out a few days with a sprained ankle. “I wanted to show my teammates I was dedicated to getting myself right.”
Though the Redskins likely won’t lean too heavily on Portis this season, he could very well end up toting the ball 250 times or so in Mike Shanahan’s offense. Of course, it wasn’t at all clear that Portis would even be with the Redskins in 2010 after what transpired last season.
“Did I question whether I would be back with the Redskins? Yes,” Portis said. “I know, as far as this town, it’s a bittersweet relationship. On Sundays, they love me. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday when the headlines come out, it’s a lot of hatred. So you get in that bittersweet relationship, it’s like wanting to start over, wanting to start new.”