Six weeks ago, the Redskins were 6-2. Now they're 7-6 and face very long odds to back into a wild-card spot. Mounting injuries, a porous offensive line, few big-play threats, and a struggling quarterback all compound the problem. Also probably not helping: benching Clinton Portis.
Easily the team's best, most consistent player, Portis has been battling nicks, bruises and general malaise for most of the season, and last night, he found himself on the sidelines watching the Redskins lose. Again.
Portis, however, intimated he was benched by head coach and play-caller Jim Zorn in favor of backup Ladell Betts. Because Portis didn't practice this week, Zorn said, the Redskins weren't not going to lean as heavily on him on third downs and in pass protection.
"There ain't nothing wrong with me," Portis said.
And that's apparently what happened, although it was news to Portis.
Asked why he wasn't in the game, Portis said, "You've got to go talk to them," meaning the coaches.
Redskins coach Jim Zorn said he felt Portis needed a rest and that Betts was playing well. ... Asked whether Zorn discussed it with him, Portis said, "He don't have to talk to me about nothing. He's the head coach. I'm the player." ...
"I ask no questions, bro," he said. "I held my helmet. I don't know if Coach Mitchell is the most powerful guy over here. But if that's what they say. ... I think Coach Stump does an excellent job communicating with us. But I ask no questions, bro."
As for Zorn's claim that Betts was playing well, Portis' backup finished with six carries for six yards, and three receptions for 57 more. Shaun Alexander isn't even impressed.
To be fair, the Ravens' defense is among the most tenacious in the league, and the 'Skins' offense ... well, isn't. This wasn't hard to predict. Although, if the idea is to give your team its best chance to win, making Portis a bigger part of the game plan seems like a good idea.
via Mr. I
Clinton Portis Has No Idea Why He Was Benched Against Ravens originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Mon, 08 Dec 2008 17:55:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.