'04 Player Preview: Clinton Portis
Clinton Portis has the explosiveness to be just what the Redskins need in their rushing attack. He could become the focal point of the offense not just this year, but for years to come.
The Redskins acquired Portis from Denver in the blockbuster trade that sent Champ Bailey to the Broncos last March. For Joe Gibbs, Portis's 5.5 career rushing average is what really stands out. Said Gibbs: "We're all a fan of production and somebody who gets it done."
By the age of 22, Portis already has established himself as a Pro Bowler. His pair of 1,500-yard seasons prove that he's a consistent threat every time he touches the football.
"I play with heart and I try to inspire my teammates," Portis said. "They know at any time you can give me the ball and put the team on my shoulders."
Portis, who played his college ball at the University of Miami, says he still has a great deal still to learn about the NFL game. He's been fortunate to play for a pair of outstanding coaches in Mike Shanahan at Denver and now Gibbs with the Redskins.
Said Portis: "You learn from two great coaches. I think that can only help excel my career."
On Dec. 7, 2003, in a key divisional matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, Portis rushed 22 times for 218 yards (9.9 yards per carry avg.) and five touchdowns. He also added two catches for 36 yards. He became one of 12 players in NFL history to record five touchdowns in a game. Portis' 254 total yards from scrimmage was also a career-high, while his 188 rushing yards in the second half (on just 11 carries, a 17.1 avg.) set a Denver Broncos franchise record.
From the Files:
A native of Gainesville, Fla., Portis was a standout in track and field at Gainesville High School, clocking 10.6 in the 100 meters and participating on a state-record 4x100-meter relay team (40.8) and state champion 4x400-meter relay team. He also posted a leap of 6'-6" in the high jump and 22'-8" in the long jump.