Noted preseason enthusiast Clinton Portis will be in the Washington Redskins’ lineup Saturday against Pittsburgh after sitting out last week’s loss to Baltimore.
Although he may play less than a quarter, Portis usually loathes any August carries.
“Why would I not be [excited]? Don’t I look ecstatic?” he said after practice Monday. “I’m good. I’ll be in there this weekend.”
In his first five years with the Redskins, Portis has 47 preseason carries, including one in 2006 (injured against Cincinnati) and zero in 2007 (knee tendinitis). He had 15 attempts last year.
Coach Jim Zorn would not speculate on how many carries Portis will get. Marcus Mason and Dominique Dorsey are expected to get the bulk of the work.
Portis has stayed healthy during training camp and taken part in 20 of the 21 full-squad practices.
“When he’s participated, he’s been awesome,” Zorn said. “He’s worked hard, he’s run hard and he’s learning as well. This is the part of camp [when] he gets himself game ready. As we get closer, he’ll pick up his pace and we’ll get him more and more reps. For the stuff we’ve asked Clinton to do and the stuff Clinton has done, I’m pleased.”
Portis said the offense can take a step forward if it eliminates self-inflicted errors.
“Our No. 1 thing is just to focus,” he said. “After watching the Baltimore film, we had a lot of mental mistakes and we have to cut that out. Of course we need to score more points and we want to come out of these games with wins, but at the same time you need to see progress.”
Although Zorn doesn’t allow organized hazing for rookies, a couple of veteran defensive players had fun with rookies Kevin Barnes and Robert Henson, taping them to the goal post and dumping a cooler full of water on them following practice.
The rookies were stranded for about 25 minutes until Andre Carter and Phillip Daniels returned to the field.
“[London Fletcher] said [Cornelius] Griffin wanted to talk to me about something, and Grif put his around me and said, ‘Don’t fight it,’ ” Henson said. “When somebody that big tells you to not fight it, they mean it.”
The hazing capped a whirlwind few days for Henson, who’s trying to make the team as a reserve linebacker. His wife, Sarah, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a daughter named Makenzie, on Friday night.
“It’s been a little bit of everything emotionally, but I’m glad everybody is safe and at home,” he said.
More toughness needed
Quarterback Jason Campbell took Zorn’s comments that the Redskins played “soft” as the coach wanting a different approach.
“He wasn’t speaking to everybody, but at the same time, if you’re speaking to one, you’re speaking to all,” Campbell said. “We need to have more of an attitude when we get to the line of scrimmage, play a little bit harder and play a little bit faster.”
Moss catching up
Receiver Santana Moss is slowly working his way back up to speed after missing a week with a hamstring injury. He has been involved in all of practice since Saturday and is expected to play against Pittsburgh.
“He’s fresh, but he still isn’t all the way there,” receivers coach Stan Hixon said. “Santana is more of a little-by-little guy. You don’t give him everything, so we’re holding off on the deep balls. We take his word for it, and when the trainer gives him to me, I try to monitor his reps and go from there.”
Alridge still out
Reserve running back Anthony Alridge (toe) will get the boot off Tuesday but has been ruled out for Saturday’s game.
“We’ll start working him on low impact rehab and then start revving it up so he can get back on the field,” Zorn said.
Offensive lineman Scott Burley (quadriceps) returned to practice, and safety Chris Horton (flu) was limited.
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