Clinton Portis started off in Washington in a blaze of glory. His first carry as a Redskin came in the 2004 season opener at FedEx Field and it went for 64 yards and a touchdown. Portis Redskins career and the Joe Gibbs II era was off to a glorious start.His last carry in the NFL was not bathed in much glory. It came in Week 10 of the 2010 season at LP Field in Nashville. Portis had missed the previous five games trying to recover from a groin injury. With 1:29 left in the first half, he took a handoff from Donovan McNabb and gained three yards off of left guard. He got up but he immediately headed to the sidelines. It was apparent that the groin was bothering him again. The Redskins put him on injured reserve soon after that and he was released in March of 2011.According to reports Portistried out for a few NFL teams but he never did sign with one of them. Today heannounced is retirement at a news conference at Redskins Park. Portis wasclearly emotional during parts of a talk that lasted nearly 30 minutes.I think I had a great careeron and off the field, he said. I was truly blessed to play for two greatorganizations.Portis played his first twoyears in the NFL under Mike Shanahan in Denver. When Joe Gibbs, who Portis saidwas one of his favorite people, came to Washington in 2004 one of his firstmoves was to engineer a controversial trade that sent perennial Pro Bowlcornerback Champ Bailey and a second-round pick to the Broncos in exchange forPortis. The knock on Portis was that heskipped practice too much and didnt work hard enough in the offseason. Andmaybe he could have been better. Perhaps some of those 1300-yard seasons couldhave been 1500-yard seasons and the years where he gained 1500 or more couldhave been truly special.The criticism didnt botherhim. The negativity made me a man, said Portis.It is hard to see Portisgetting much more out of his body than he did. He had 2,230 rushing attempts inhis career, including four seasons with 325 or more carries in a five-yearspan. And you cant forget the wearand tear he created while dishing out punishment to blitzing linebackers. Hemay not have been the best overall running back in the business but none werebetter when it came to pass protection. Rarely would a game go by when hewouldnt stonewall someone trying to come in and do harm to his quarterback. Most games, it was more than one.He blocked and played physicalfootball like no one else, said Redskins owner Daniel SnyderHis career numbers were good but what Redskins fans will remember most about him, besides the costumes hewore to press conferences during the 2005 season, are the two season-ending stretches where Portis put the teams on his back and carried them into theplayoffs.The first was in 2005. TheRedskins had lost to the Chargers to fall to 5-6. Everyone knew they had to win out to get into the playoffs. They did it and Portis led the way, gaining over100 yards in five straight games as the Redskins won five straight games. They needed a similar miracle in 2007 and this time the mountain seemed even taller. Sean Taylor, one of Portis best friends on the team, was murdered in his home in Miami in late November.The day before his funeral, they lost to the Bills to fall to 5-7.Portis was not the statistical leader during the four-game winning streak they pulled off in Taylors honorbut he served as the emotional leader. Against Dallas in the season finale hescored on a 23-yard run and lifted up his jersey to reveal a T-shirt honoringTaylor.I cant think of a team that won a Super Bowl that had a better bond than us, on those 2005 and 2007 teamsthat I played on, said Portis.
Is it crazy to give a quarterback who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season the same MVP odds as a guy who went 0-3 in three starts and tossed just four scores in 2015?
According to the sportsbook Bovada.lv, no, it's not crazy at all. So that's why, when looking at their opening odds for the 2016/17 NFL MVP, you'll find Kirk Cousins right next to Mark Sanchez, with both signal callers listed at a long 150/1.
Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, David Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Le'Veon Bell and Sam Bradford also check in at 150/1. Some of those names, like Jeffrey and Bell, should makes Redskins fans feel good, since they're both premier players at their position. But others, such as Sanchez and Bradford? Yeah, not so much.
The top five guys most likely to win the award are Aaron Rodgers (4/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1) and Tom Brady (9/1). Meanwhile, if you squint hard enough, you can see Robert Griffin III near the bottom of the list at 250/1.
Not that this reminder is necessary, but here's a reminder anyway: Anything can happen in this league, so these rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Last year, for instance, Newton had 50/1 odds of being named MVP, and then he went out and did it anyway.
So, with that in mind, while Cousins is no favorite, perhaps his loaded arsenal of targets can help him claim the valuable piece of hardware. The NFL is a wild place, after all — but still probably not wild enough for Sanchez to rise to the top of the sport, which is why him landing next to Cousins hurts more than a little bit.
Longtime Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday morning from complications stemming from a cardiac arrest.
He was 67.
Green spent ten seasons as the Vikings head coach, amassing a 97-62 record which included four NFC North titles, eight playoff appearances and one NFC Champuionship game appearance.
After taking a break from coaching, he returned in 2003 to coach the Cardinals, spending three years at the helm, finishing with a 16-32 record.
Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was lined up across from Smith-coached offenses throughout much of his career.
As a former Penn State Nittany Lion, Arrington had much respect for Green, a Harrisburg, Penn. native and former coach at Northwestern, a fellow Big Ten school.
Green was one of the NFL's great people and great characters.
While he will always be remembered for his most-game meltdown after the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead to the Bears in a Monday Night Football game in 2006, Green's lasting memory will be his commitment to respecting the game and teaching it the right way.
For a franchise that's known for assembling some incredibly stout defenses throughout its history, the Steelers have recently constructed an offense with a surplus of talent all over the depth chart.
But that offense was dealt a major blow Friday morning.
Le'Veon Bell, the team's star running back who in just three seasons has become one of the league's most feared players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, according to ESPN. The reason for the penalty, though, isn't because he failed a test, it's because he missed one.
The appeal process is reportedly still going on, but if Bell doesn't win that process, he'll miss the first quarter of the 2016 schedule.
While the news obviously hurts the Steelers, it benefits the Redskins.
Washington is hosting Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 12, and its run defense wouldn't mind seeing No. 26 on the sidelines in a sweatshirt during the matchup. The Black and Gold do still have the very capable DeAngelo Williams — who rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 while filling in for an injured Bell — plus the always dangerous Antonio Brown, but their unit will of course be less threatening without its top tailback.
ESPN reports that Bell's appeal date hasn't been determined yet, but it should be heard before any meaningful football starts. He was also suspended for the first two contests last year following an arrest for a DUI and marijuana possession that occurred in August 2014.