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News & Notes: Portis Hopes Team Responds to Adversity


Adversity arrives for every NFL team at some point during the regular season.

For the Redskins, adversity arrived in Week 4.

Following Sunday's 19-14 loss to the Detroit Lions, Clinton Portis said he hopes that the Redskins can overcome the latest round of rumors, questions and uncertainty swirling around the team.

"People are ready to throw in the towel, but it's Week 4 and there are a lot of teams in the same situation as us," he said. "Because we've had close games with the [St. Louis] Rams and the Lions, it's like, 'Oh, we're terrible.' For us, as a team, we know the talent we have.

"We still have a long season ahead of us and we still have an opportunity to go and do something special."

Portis said everybody in the organization is frustrated with the Redskins' 1-2 start.

He also believes the team is not far away from being a winning team.

"I think we're going to watch film as a team and we'll see what we did wrong," he said. "It's not like there's a lot of bickering in the locker room, and guys are like, 'This guy is terrible, and this guy can't play, we need to get rid of him.'

"We know where we go wrong. That's why it's so easy to come here and have hope. That's why it's easy to say that we know we're going to get it right. It's only a matter of time before the plays that we miss out on, we hit."

Portis has 47 carries for 183 rushing yards so far this season. He also has four catches for 25 yards.

Since his 34-yard run on his first carry this season, he is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry.

Jim Zorn admitted he was "frustrated" with the run game.

The Redskins are ranked 24th in the NFL in rushing yards so far.

"It's just from not being able to call enough runs," Zorn said. "In the Detroit game, we had 18 plays in the first half and I called five runs. We got better in our run game in the second half. I wish I would have called more in the first half, or had more plays to call."

Portis's health status is a factor as well.

Last Sunday, Portis suffered a mild calf injury and was not on the field in the latter stages of the game.

He sat out practice on Wednesday.

"I expect that he'll improve as the week goes on," Jim Zorn said.

Portis has been slowed by bone spurs in his ankles in recent weeks.

"I've always had bone spurs, they just haven't been as irritating as they have been the past few weeks," Portis said. "It just got to the point where as soon as I stop running, it just got really irritating."


Albert Haynesworth watched Wednesday's practice from the sidelines as he continued to rest a glute injury.

Jim Zorn said he expects Haynesworth to improve as the week progresses.

"It's just a little strain," Zorn said. "It's keeping him from working laterally."

Zorn praised Haynesworth for coming back into the Detroit game after he was carted off with the injury.

"He knew he could play," Zorn said. "He knew it wasn't going to be dangerous to go back in and play. He just had to deal with some of the pull, and he did, and he got through it."

Mike Sellers (thigh) and Carlos Rogers (ankle) also sat out practice on Wednesday.


Media may be speculating on Jim Zorn's job security, but Redskins players remain behind him as their head coach, Jason Campbell said.

"That is for everyone on the outside," Campbell said. "For all of us on the inside, he is our head coach. We are all supporting him. We're going to continue to go out there for fighting, get this thing on the right track and bring this team back together."

Clinton Portis was more succinct in his response to a question about Zorn's job security.

"Why would I be worrying about Jim Zorn?" he said. "I'm worrying about my own job."

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