Former Coaches, Teammates React To Clinton Portis’ Retirement
In advance of running back Clinton Portis announcing his retirement on Thursday, the Washington Redskins compiled reactions from team owner Dan Snyder, his former coaches and his Redskins teammates.
Portis retired after nine NFL seasons and finished with 9,923 career rushing yards and 75 rushing touchdowns.
From the team:
Redskins owner Dan Snyder: “Clinton provided excitement from the very first time he touched the ball as a Redskin. He will always be a Redskin and go down as one of the franchise’s all-time greats.”
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan: “Clinton was a competitor in every facet of the game. In his two seasons with me in Denver from 2002-03, he averaged 1,550 yards per season and his 5.5 yards-per-carry average was the best in the league in that span. He was the primary back for our rushing attack, which ranked in the Top 5 in the NFL in both seasons. Our offense was helped tremendously by his 31 combined touchdowns in those two years. He is the Redskins’ second-leading rusher all-time, and that production speaks for itself as he leaves the game.”
Former Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs: “Clinton was a true Redskin. He was tough and physical and was one of our leaders on offense. His stats tell what type of running back he was, but I can’t think of another running back that was a better blocker. I always thought that showed just how unselfish he was as would sacrifice his body to take on those blitzing linebackers. I know he took a lot of pride in that. Obviously he is one of the better characters the game has ever had as well and had a lot of fun while playing. I think it’s great the Redskins are honoring Clinton. It is well deserved.”
Redskins receiver Santana Moss: “He was not the usual. He did things the way he wanted to do them. That’s the way you’ve got to be some times. Most of the greats – the great guys, the great players – they have that little persona about themselves that they do it differently than others, and I consider him one of the great running backs that came through this league.”
Redskins tight end Chris Cooley: “It was a pleasure and really an honor playing as long as I did with Clinton Portis. I think characterizing what he was was the epitome of a ‘gamer.’ The guy showed up and played his heart out every play. It was so apparent that football was everything to him. He was by all means one of the best teammates I’ve ever been around. He was the best player I’ve ever seen away from the football. He had more blocks, clean-up shots and big hits when he was blocking for his teammates than anyone else. It was just unbelievable the way he played the game at all times. When he was on the field, you saw a real pro who cared about what he did. Obviously, I wish Clinton all the best.”
Redskins linebacker London Fletcher: “He was one of the best backs in Washington Redskins history. He was an extremely tough guy. He had the ability to go the distance and was a great blocking back. I really admired the way he played the game.”
Former Miami (Fla.) head coach Larry Coker, now at Texas-San Antonio: “Clinton Portis is one of the toughest running backs I’ve ever coached. He is very talented and explosive. One of the things I remember best about Clinton was the great touchdown run he had in our National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. It’s always fun to watch former players succeed at the pro level and Clinton certainly did that. He had a very good NFL career. He was a complete back because not only is he a great runner but also a great pass protector.”