Redskins Fans Should Thank Clinton Portis
I remember it like it just happened. Sitting on my couch watching in my opinion the greatest college football team ever put together, the 2001 Miami Hurricanes beat up on Nebraska and then Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch.
One player stood out to me in that game and it was Clinton Portis, who rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on the way to a 37-14 win and a National Championship. From that moment on I was a fan. His first two seasons in Denver he ran for 3,099 yards averaging 5.5 yards per carry — which set a record for a player in his first two seasons in the league. He was a budding superstar on his way up.
Little did I know he was coming to DC.
The trade for Champ Bailey and the second round pick was frowned on by some people, I however was never one of them. It was Joe Gibbs first season back, and if the Skins were going to run the ball it sure was not going to be with Trung Canidate. Portis was everything DC could have asked for in a running back, rushing for 6,824 yards and 46 touchdowns in his time in DC. Aside from that, Portis was, for my money, the best pass blocking running back in the league while in Washington. The Redskins twice in 2005 and 2007 jumped on Clinton’s back and rode him to the playoffs with little to nothing else around him on offense but Santana Moss and a young Chris Cooley.
They say that the magic age for the turning point in a running back is 30. Clinton Portis is just now 30 and already hanging it up. Why you ask? Because he may be the oldest 30-year-old man on earth. The Redskins ran him into the ground going over 320 carries four times while in DC. He ran hard every time the ball was put into his hands.
So personally Clinton, I want to say thank you. Thank you for putting your body on the line for my team for as long as you could, thank you for carrying two bad teams to the playoffs, and thank you for being a Redskin.
The rest of Redskins Nation should do the same.
I did not want to make this article all about numbers but here are just a few:
- 2,523 yards and 15 touchdowns as a Redskin against NFC East teams.
- 3 – 1,500 yard seasons in his first 4 seasons….. only one of 3 players to ever do that.
- 81.3 rushing yards per game as a Redskin and 97.2 yards from scrimmage.
- 9th all time in rushing yards per game in his career.