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Portis Talks Offseason, Career Marks, And More


Clinton Portis doesn't keep track of his career stats.

He is aware, though, that he is approaching heady status in NFL and Redskins franchise history.

In 2009, Portis has the chance to crack the NFL's top 20 in terms of career rushing yardage. And with 1,371 more rushing yards, he would surpass John Riggins as the Redskins' career rushing leader.

Portis has talked often of his legacy in recent years.

Really, his legacy is now.

And he can take it as far as he wants to go.

"Having guys look up to you, having guys ask you, 'How do you turn it on like that?' Portis said. "I tell them, 'It's a learning curve and it's athletic ability.' Football is really not going to change too much. You can't go and create a running play that I haven't seen or run.

"You have to be blessed to have the opportunity to get the ball and you have to have the heart to go through with it. Being in the top 20 would mean a lot because people said I couldn't do it. In college, people said I was too small.

"As long as football has been around, [I would be] passing some of the great running backs, and now I'm part of that crew."

Portis, who played his first two NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos, has 9,202 career rushing yards. He has 6,101 in five years with the Redskins.

Clinton Portis finished last season ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,487 rushing yards on 342 carries, a 4.3 yards-per-carry average. He also had a team-high nine rushing touchdowns.

This offseason, Portis has been a regular at Redskins Park for strength and conditioning workouts.

He spoke with Larry Michael in an interview broadcast on "Redskins Nation" on Comcast SportsNet on Wednesday.

Portis was asked about the Redskins' three marquee free agent signings this offseason.

Regarding the signing of guard Derrick Dockery, Portis said: "We let him get away from here a couple years ago, and he was missed. He was a great locker room guy. As a player, he was young and he just brought a lot to the table.

"Pete Kendall came in and played great for us the last two years, you know. But to have 'Dock' back is going to be great for our team. Everybody's happy."

Portis has never played against newly signed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. He won't have to now that they are on the same team.

"I think Haynesworth will be a great addition to our team," Portis said. "With [Cornelius Griffin] in there, and Phillip Daniels coming back, that should give us some good depth.

"[Haynesworth] should help solve one of the major problems on our team--we weren't getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. It's going to help us out a lot."

Portis called the re-signing of cornerback DeAngelo Hall as "probably our biggest off-season acquisition."

"DeAngelo had already been around the guys and we know what kind of guy he is," Portis said. "He came in last year and created some of those turnovers that we need.

"I think with a full year under his belt, having an opportunity to be around the guys more and getting a better grasp of the system--starting off next year, I wouldn't be surprised if he led the league in interceptions."

Portis could not resist adding a little humor to the interview.

He joked about playing Frisbee football during off-season workouts and changing his name to "Diego Morales."

"Chad [Ochocinco] is doing that, and I think I should just change my whole name to Diego Morales," Portis joked. "I think I should--[the name] just sounds like a hard-working guy."

Fans can now add Diego Morales to the list of memorable Portis alter egos, alongside Southeast Jerome, Sheriff Gonna Getcha and others.

"I'm always a kid at heart," he said. "That's allowed me come to work and be me. I don't think that will change. I can do the things [coaches] ask me to do, become a better leader, be around more and guide the young guys.

"But I still have to have my own individuality. The NFL is trying to take that away--have everybody look like everybody else and you don't know who is who. For me, I have to always be me."

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