Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis said yesterday his comments defending Michael Vick and making light of dogfighting last month during a television interview in Norfolk were “inconsiderate.”

Portis spoke with local reporters after the Redskins’ first offseason practice since May 24.

“I didn’t understand the seriousness behind them,” Portis said. “I didn’t know it would affect that many people, and I didn’t think what I said was offensive. … After seeing how serious people took them, I shouldn’t have made the comments.

“I’m going to leave it alone, hope it dies down and I hope people understand that, at the time, I had no idea the love people have for animals. I was inconsiderate for making those comments.”

In the Norfolk area for the Redskins’ Beach Blitz fan festival, Portis said Vick had a right do what he wanted on his property. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback is being investigated for his involvement in possible dogfighting on property he owns in Virginia.

“If you would have seen the whole interview, you would seen that we were playing around and trying to have a good time,” Portis said. “But they took a lot out, and people didn’t get to actually see the body [language] we had. If you knew me, you would have understand the comments. … I made the comments not knowing the seriousness of [dogfighting].”

Portis has never owned a dog nor any kind of animal besides fish.

“I’ve never really been a pets man and never really been into dogs,” he said. “But people treat their animals like they treat kids, and I wouldn’t say that about kids, so I shouldn’t have said that about animals.”

Portis also said his hand, shoulder and knee injuries won’t prevent him from being ready for training camp in late July. He will be limited to walkthroughs and rehabilitation during the Redskins’ full-squad minicamp June 15-17.

In mid-May, Portis complained of knee soreness that was diagnosed as patella tendinitis.

“I’ll definitely be ready for training camp,” he said. “The knee is fine. Everything is on schedule and healing.”

Notes — Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs was at the complex yesterday and scheduled to meet with reporters but left around noon to be with his pregnant wife. Springs was the last Redskins starter to join the team for offseason workouts. He has spent much of the offseason training in Arizona. …

Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer said linebacker Marcus Washington (hip surgery) has been cleared by doctors to resume normal football activities. Tyer said receiver Santana Moss (groin/hip flexor) will be limited in his work through the minicamp.

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