- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2006

Clinton Portis is having the least productive season of his five-year career. He was sidelined for almost a month because of a left shoulder dislocated in preseason, and he sprained an ankle last month. Even his character-of-the-week act has been shelved.

The Washington Redskins’ franchise running back, however, isn’t unhappy.

“This year has been difficult … but I’m at peace with myself,” said Portis, who has averaged 76.5 yards a start. “I’m happy right now. I love being part of this organization. You look at the big picture. This is a game. You want to win all the time, but look at life. My life off the field is marvelous.”

The injuries, relative lack of production and the Redskins’ 3-5 record haven’t dampened Portis’ spirits too much.

“When you go through hard times, it will only get better,” Portis said. “One day, I’m going to be sitting here smiling looking back, and we’re going to look at coming out of this slump and be proud of it.”

Portis didn’t have much to be proud of on the opening drive of the Redskins’ 22-19 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday. He managed just 2 yards on five carries from inside the Dallas 4-yard line as the Redskins failed to reach the end zone.

“I just looked at that film again today,” Portis said. “… They made a great goal-line stand. It ain’t my fault.”

Associate head coach-offense Al Saunders said that sequence was as “disappointing a thing as I’ve ever been around in football. There were a lot of reasons for it, some of which we have corrected and some of which we have to adjust.”

Portis said he wouldn’t be upset if the Redskins replaced him in such situations with burly third-stringer T.J. Duckett, who outweighs him by 42 pounds.

“I’m just a part of this team,” Portis said. “I don’t call the shots. If they choose to go elsewhere, they choose to go elsewhere.”

The series was the fifth this season in which the Redskins have been inside the 10 and failed to score a touchdown.

Don’t mess with mom

When the Redskins played the Eagles in Philadelphia on New Year’s Day, Portis’ mother was accused of hitting a fan she believed had thrown beer on her. The fan, Lisa Walters, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, seeking more than $75,000 in damages. Trial is set for Jan. 22.

The Redskins return to Philadelphia on Sunday, and Portis’ mother, Rhonnel Hearn, will be back in the same spot in Lincoln Financial Field.

“It’s a little bogus lawsuit,” Portis said. “My mom said she didn’t do it. You know how people get when they find out who it is, all of a sudden you want to find a shortcut, take the easy way out. Ain’t nothing going to change. My mom’s going to continue to cheer me on. If somebody’s got a problem and got something to say, whatever happens, happens. She wears a No. 26 Portis jersey with rhinestones on it. You’re going to know she’s there.”

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