So all of those rumors last season and during the off-season took a toll on Clinton Portis' reputation. And when rumors started flying about who was going to be the team's next head coach after Zorn, there was definitely some uncertainty about his own future with the team.
But in the end, Mike Shanahan got the job. Portis said that if someone else was head coach besides Shanahan, he might have been looking for work elsewhere.Anybody else would have bought into the criticism of me," Portis said. "You're talking a year ago from the day they claimed I 'lost it,' I was leading the NFL in rushing. Then a year later it is, 'He's was washed up.' I can't do it."
Even still, the Redskins brought in plenty of competition for Portis over the off-season, adding Larry Johnson and Willie Parker, making the Skins' backfield one of the most-crowded in the league.
Once again, rumors started flying that Portis wasn't happy and that he thought the team was trying to push him out.
Not so, Portis said.
"Once I talked to Coach Shanahan and Bruce Allen, I realized I was a part of the plan, that their goal was to go out and make sure the Redskins were in position to compete," Portis said. "They brought in competition. They brought in guys who got the same hunger and desire. If anything happens, knock on wood, or goes wrong, we -- as in the Redskins organization -- will be fine. Whoever is in the backfield will be able to carry the load. I think that was a great idea."