Washington Notebook: Aww ... Portis shows up as just himself
Clinton Portis is one strange dude. He ended his costume show after weeks of dressing up and introducing characters like Southeast Jerome...
Seattle Times staff reporter
ASHBURN, Va. — Clinton Portis is one strange dude. He ended his costume show after weeks of dressing up and introducing characters like Southeast Jerome and Bro Sweets at interview sessions. Two questions remained.
How can reality be stranger than fiction?
And will Washington's six-game winning streak end along with it?
"This is still a character," Portis insisted, wearing a gray sweatsuit. "I'm calling it 'Hot Stuff.' It's really not a superstition. I know we can win without me doing that."
Apparently, Portis received a letter from a young lady asking that he not dress up. That way, she reasoned, she could see him better. For the strange factor, he didn't need a costume. He read the letter instead.
"Dear Clinton. You are a special guy. Your sense of humor is amazing. But honestly, you are the most beautiful guy that I have ever seen in my life ... Clinton, I would love to see you just come out as yourself ... Clinton, I really think you're beautiful."
The weekly show ended Wednesday, much to the chagrin of local media assembled. Before Portis even came off the practice field, there were five television cameras and more than a dozen reporters waiting for him at the bottom of a flight of stairs, completely blocking them from use.
Portis and Washington coach Joe Gibbs both expect Portis to play Saturday, despite a shoulder stinger he suffered against Tampa Bay. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren compared him to a "little package of dynamite."
Quick side note: Shawn Springs, former Seahawk, compared Portis and Alexander by saying, "It's like having an angel and a devil. I'm not saying which one is which. They're totally different."
Best guess as to which? Portis said he's probably the devil.
Marcus Washington plays in a different Washington, but he still can sympathize with Seahawks who feel overlooked. This is because Washington finished with 93 tackles, 7 ½ sacks and one interception and, like the rest of the Washington defense, didn't make the Pro Bowl.
Even though he made it last year, despite having a worse season, according to defensive end Phillip Daniels.
"These last seven games [Washington] has been incredible," Daniels said. "He never shuts up, either. He's always trash-talking."
Except about the Pro Bowl.
"I'm a little disappointed," Washington said.
This is why Gregg Williams came back here. Why he passed on again becoming an NFL head coach for a team that wouldn't be good immediately. Instead opting to return to Washington with defensive-coordinator responsibilities and a job title — assistant head coach, defense — as strange as Portis. Formerly the head coach at Buffalo, Williams currently is the highest-paid coordinator in the league, a man with blitz packages Holmgren called "exotic."
He has his work cut out for him.
"I thought all year long this might be the best offensive group we played the entire season," Williams said. "We have to play our best game."
• The biggest advantage Washington quarterback Mark Brunell sees from his days at the University of Washington? "That's one good thing about playing in Seattle all those years," he said, "you get used to throwing a wet ball."
Added fullback Mike Sellers, a North Thurston High School graduate: "You know that's why we don't have a bubble outside. There's a reason for that. Gibbs does not believe in that. We've been through every type of weather. We're used to it now. I grew up in rain. So to me it ain't nothing."
• The Washington offense set an NFL playoff record for lowest amount of yards gained in a win last Saturday. But they don't seem terribly concerned about a repeat.
"It's a combination," Brunell said. "We tend to look at the whole season. We won 11 games. We did some good things on offense. We should have confidence. We look at the big picture."
Greg Bishop: 206-464-3191 or email@example.com
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