Shutdown Corner - NFL

Four weeks ago, Clinton Portis was one of the leading candidates for the NFL's MVP Award. On Sunday night, the Redskins' star running back was benched mid-game by coach Jim Zorn in the Redskins 24-10 loss to the Ravens. The rookie head coach later explained that he went with backup Ladell Betts because he was better prepared than Portis, who hadn't practiced all week because of injury. That didn't sit well with the NFL's third-leading rusher, who ripped his coach today during a radio interview.

As Dan Steinberg details, Portis pulled no punches during his weekly chat with the John Thompson Radio Show in Washington D.C.. (Listen to the incendiary interiew here.) He sarcastically called Zorn "a genius", suggested that the team "sever ties with him" and pretty much characterized Zorn's offensive gameplan as unadulterated chaos. Portis even throws in some Iverson-esque "practice?" comments:

I go out there and give it everything I've got. If I can run through the week I'd practice, if I can't then I ain't. And I'm not gonna force myself to go onto a field and do something crazy, and then all of the sudden I'm out. What I need to be around for is Sundays and that's what I try to be around for. So I mean, if you've got a problem with me not practicing and can't do it that way, maybe you feel like you need to sever ties, split ties with me? Split ties with me. But don't sit here and throw me out like I don't pay attention, like I don't know what's going on, like I'm making mistakes, I'm the problem. You know, so, it is what it is, bro.

He's exactly right. Mr. Irrelevant writes that Zorn's benching of Portis reeked of "desperation and panic". On my other, Redskins-centric, blog, I side with CP and detail how he might soon exit D.C. as a miscast villian, reminiscent of Manny Ramirez's departure from Boston.

Jim Zorn has had a nasty habit of blaming players and execution for the Redskins offensive woes. The benching of Portis fits into his belief. In Zorn's eyes, it couldn't possibly have been the system that failed against the Ravens defense, it had to have been the players. Since the 'Skins offensive line is already thin enough, benching Portis was the next logical step. After today's radio interview, it might be Clinton's first step out the door at Redskins Park.

Photo: Getty Images

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