Frustrated Portis Fires Back at Zorn

Redskins RB doesn't understand benching

Clinton Portis fired back at Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn after sitting for most of the second half in Sunday's night's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

After that game, Zorn said Portis' lack of time on the practice field finally caught up to him, questioning his blocking and release reads in the backfield.  Zorn said Ladell Betts was a better option during pass plays as the team tried to mount a comeback.

Portis responded Tuesday during a radio interview on ESPN 980.

"We've got a genius for a head coach," Portis said when asked about his playing time.  "I'm sure he's on top of things.  He's got everything figured out. That's up to him.  All I can do, is when he calls the plays I go out and try to execute to the best of my abilities."

Portis said he wasn't injured during the game, and that he was confused by the reasons Zorn gave for sitting him in the second half.

"Outside Jim Zorn and the coaches on that team and maybe the quarterbacks, I guarantee I know that system better than anybody else," he said. "I guarantee when I go for blitz pickup, I don't miss my man."

Portis said he got the sense his absence from practice was tolerated up until this past week. 

"One day it's fun, it's nice, you smile, you're happy for me.  You appreciate the way I play on the field. You just wish I would practice," Portis said. "If I could practice I'd practice. If my injuries weren't legit, then the trainer wouldn't hold me out. They'd have me on the field.

"What I need to be around for is Sunday, so that's what I try to be around for," he continued.  "If you have a problem with me not practicing and not doing it that way, and you feel you need to split ties with me, then split ties with me.  But don't sit here and throw me out like I don't pay attention and I don't know what's going on, like I'm making mistakes, like I'm the problem."

Portis seemed frustrated by his lack of production, but also by the team's poor second half of the season.  After starting 6-2, the Redskins have lost four of their last five and are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs.

Portis racked up 944 yards in the first eight games of the season.  Since then, however, he's been limited to just 316 in five games.  The losing and lack of productivity seems to have boiled over.

"That's some BS to go out and say I don't know what's going on," Portis said.  "When have I missed a meeting?  Let me start missing meetings.  Let me not get out to practice.  Let me sit my ass in the training room if I don't know what's going on.  What am I standing outside for?

"If my coaches feel like I can't get it done, put me on the sideline.  You feel like I can help this team, put me on the field.  That's all I have to say about it.

"Maybe I'm the problem.  Since I don't practice and since I'm the only person who don't practice and come out and play and give what I got, maybe I'm the problem. Maybe I need to be on IR."

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