- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A circus that started with racquetball glasses in late September and morphed into a weekly event that included wigs, fake teeth, an array of eyewear and several teammates ended for at least one week yesterday when Clinton Portis appeared at his press conference as — surprise, surprise — Clinton Portis.

Portis, the Washington Redskins’ record-setting running back, began dressing up before the team’s Week 4 game against Seattle. For 11 of the next 13 weeks, he became a different alter ego.

But he threw a curveball yesterday, opting to be himself while talking about the Redskins’ NFC Divisional playoff game against the Seahawks.

“Week in and week out, everybody was looking forward to it, and hopefully getting a win this week by being myself, that’ll take the pressure off,” Portis said. “We don’t want people to think the skit has been the reason we’re successful. I didn’t dress up before the Dallas game, and we played spectacular.”

Throughout the final half of the season, Portis called himself “Coach Janky Spanky,” “Dollar Bill,” “Inspector Two-Two,” “Kid Bro Sweets,” “Rev. Gonna Change,” “Sheriff Gonna Getcha,” “Southeast Jerome,” and, two weeks ago, “Southeast Jerome In Heaven.”

Portis, calling himself “Hot Stuff” but without props, read a letter he claimed was signed by a “very famous” singer and actress who asked him to be himself.

“I had to come out and show my beautiful face for this young lady,” he said. “It’s not really a superstition. I know we can win without me doing that, and the team morale will be just as high. We’re at a point of the season where we don’t need anything to motivate us or get us through the week.”

Portis said his shoulders feel fine after injuries caused him to miss several series last week at Tampa Bay. He rushed 16 times for 53 yards, breaking his streak of five consecutive 100-yard games.

Taylor trial postponed?

Sean Taylor’s attorney, Edward Carhart, will file a motion tomorrow to push back the safety’s trial in Miami yet again. Taylor was due in court Tuesday to face one count of felony assault and another of simple battery stemming from a June 1 incident.

“I’m going to file a motion for a continuance on the grounds that our preparation for the trial is not complete yet,” Carhart said. “I have another big trial that begins Jan. 23 and could take two to three weeks, so we would like Sean’s trial to be continued until mid-February.”

State’s attorney Michael Grieco couldn’t be reached for comment, but Carhart said Grieco told him the state wouldn’t fight the third continuance of the trial, which originally was set for Sept. 12, if the Redskins win their playoff game Saturday in Seattle.

Carhart said Grieco planned to object to the continuance before Judge Mary Barzee if the Redskins’ season ended Saturday and Taylor then would be free to focus on the trial. However, tomorrow is the last day for motions and discussion in the case before the trial date because Monday is Martin Luther King Day and the courts are closed. So Judge Barzee will have to make her ruling before the Redskins’ fate is known.

Under Florida law, Taylor, 22, faces a mandatory minimum three-year sentence and a maximum 16 years if convicted of the felony.

Monk, Grimm finalists

Receiver Art Monk, who left the Redskins in 1993 with NFL records for career catches and consecutive games with a catch, and guard Russ Grimm, a member of the all-1980s team, are among 15 finalists for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Feb. 4.

“Russ was one of the greatest players of his time,” said Joe Bugel, then and now the Redskins’ offensive line coach. “Russ was born to play guard, but he could’ve been an All-Pro center, too. And [in 1985] Joe Jacoby got hurt in warmups, and Russ went in at left tackle and had a great game against [New York Giants Hall of Famer] Lawrence Taylor.”

Bugel called Monk “the ultimate go-to guy on third down.”

“Art said very little, but when he talked, people listened,” Bugel added. “He deserves to be a Hall of Famer.”

Rain won’t go away

Saturday’s forecast in Seattle calls for a 60 percent chance of showers and a high of 46 degrees. Showers there Tuesday marked the 23rd consecutive day of measurable rain.

The Redskins are preparing for the conditions by soaking footballs for practice. Quarterback Mark Brunell, who played at the University of Washington, knows about Seattle’s wind and rain.

“That’s one good thing about having played in Seattle all those years,” he said. “When it rains, the officials do a good job of keeping the ball dry. It’s never really as big a factor as you might think. I’m going to have to be smart gripping and throwing the ball.”

Injury report

Offensive linemen Chris Samuels, Jon Jansen and Ray Brown all returned to practice yesterday. Samuels is probable because of an ankle injury, and Jansen and Brown were given Tuesday off to rest.

Receiver James Thrash (thumb) was the only player not at practice.

Staff writer David Elfin contributed to this article.

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