Mitchell: 'Clinton could've worked harder'

Not many - if any - of Jim Zorn's assistants are expected to be around next season. We know now for sure that running backs coach Stump Mitchell won't be.

Mitchell, who has taken the head-coaching job at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., had a lot to say today about Clinton Portis - and it's clear that this will be one of the toughest, most important and most pressing questions Mike Shanahan and his staff will face.

Mitchell gave Shanahan his final report on the 2009 running backs, and while he didn't reveal the report's details, he didn't mince words in a telephone conversation Monday afternoon.

Asked whether Portis would benefit from improved practice habits and better conditioning, Mitchell said, "that's a slam dunk. Clinton could've worked harder."

"He's got to do that, and Dan" -- owner Daniel Snyder -- "has to understand that that's what has to be done. In order for the Redskins to be successful, that's what Clinton has to do. He has to change the way he's done things in the past, in order for them to be successful as a team."

Mitchell thinks Portis is still capable of being a Pro Bowl-caliber running back in the league, but only if he prepares like one.

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