Portis On Mike Sellers In Hawaii and “The Worst Coach In America”

Photo by Ned Dishman

Photo by Ned Dishman

After his relatively quiet radio show yesterday, newly-minted Pro Bowler Clinton Portis came to the media session at Redskins Park today a little bit jauntier, a little more ready to banter, and with two football cards taped to his chest. The media, no pack of dummies, immediately focused in on the cards, one of which featured Eric Dickerson, the other Barry Sanders.

“Me and [Chris] Cooley was just playing Pack Wars,” Portis said, “and I won these two cards off of him. So I figured I fall somewhere in between these two guys. And if I don’t, these are the two guys I’m shooting to fall between, so … I think it’s pretty nice company.”

(I’m told that more on this epic pack wars contest will show up on Cooley’s blog in the not-too-distant future.)

First-time Pro Bowler Mike Sellers came down the steps behind Portis and said, “They all had good fullbacks, too.”
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Thursday, October 23: Still Another Reason to Vote the Redskins Ticket

In other campaign news, Matt Moseley, writer of ESPN.com’s NFC East blog, has … well not precisely endorsed Mike Sellers, per se, but he’s certainly thrown some support behind the Pro Bowl candidacy of the Redskins fullback:

Despite all his success as the lead blocker in the Redskins’ vaunted running game, Sellers has never been to a Pro Bowl. Last season, he was a first alternate. This season, though, the Redskins are taking advantage of their close proximity to the White House. With the presidential election less than three weeks away, Washington has launched its official Pro Bowl campaign. It’s worth watching the video just to see a legendary quarterback say, “I’m Sonny Jurgensen, and I approve this message.”

If Sellers doesn’t make it this season, blame it on voter irregularities in Florida. He’s one of the most devastating blockers in the league, and to watch him on an isolation play is pretty impressive.

It is frankly bizarre that Sellers and London Fletcher have never been to the Pro Bowl, and those two alone would be reason enough to vote.

Video Jason Campbell Quiets The Crowd Effectively, Is Appropriately Auburn

I mentioned a couple of times during the Rams game just how disconcerting I found Video Jason Campbell and his efforts to quiet the crowd. What I didn’t notice at the time, because I was behind the soundproofed glass of the press box, was that Video Campbell was apparently very effective at his job.

“It worked,” said Fred Smoot. “Normally our crowd don’t be quiet for no reason, but they kinda shushed for that one. It was pretty cool … we’re all Madden fans, you know?”

Actual Jason Campbell seemed fairly pleased with his pixelated counterpart. “He’s pretty cool,” he said. And was the quieting motion good enough? “Oh, most definitely. Just seemed like the war eagle, you know?” The knowledge that Video Campbell is familiar with the symbol of Actual Campbell’s alma mater seemed to settle the subject for him.

Mike Sellers had some further thoughts. “Why is it always the quarterback? You need a more imposing type person,” he said. And the war eagle flapping? “It didn’t have enough style, it was too mechanical.” Well, what would you do, if it was Video Mike Sellers? “I’d be like, ‘Just SHUT UP!'” He laughed, then said, “You know, with the fans, it’s always nice to have that, but sometimes they get too excited and you can’t hear the plays.”

Sellers had one other concern. “There’s some people that don’t know football, when you’re out there just like this” — he flapped his arms elaborately — “some people don’t know that means quiet down. He might just be flapping his arms.”

LaRon Landry was also enthused about being the video embodiment of getting the crowd fired up for defense. “That’s pretty cool, man,” he said, “In the game I’m focused on the game, but I look up at the Jumbotron to see what’s going on and I see myself on there.”

I thought Marcus Washington — himself a pretty animated dude — might have been jealous, but he supported the choice of Video Landry. “He’s a hyped guy – Dirty Thirty, we call him,” Washington said.” He’s always full speed so he’s definitely a good guy to use for that.”

“If it was me,” he said, laughing, “I’d probably be jumping around doing something spastic. I’m a big spaz sometimes on the field.”

Todd Yoder was the only guy I asked about this who had no idea what I was talking about. “I don’t think I paid any attention to that,” he said, so I guess what really surprised me in all of this was just how much the guys actually notice the stuff on the stadium Jumbotron.

“Oh, yeah,” said Washington. “My favorite is the one from Gladiator. I get so hype when I see Russell Crowe get on his horse and say ‘At my signal, unleash hell.‘”

One interesting note, though, is that it’s not Jason Campbell’s voice shushing the crowd during the Video Campbell clip — it’s actually Brad Baker, of Redskins.com TV. This is a fact that Actual Campbell found mildly disappointing. “It’s not me, but it should be,” he said. “I could do that.” Then he proved it: “Shhhh.” I found it perfectly convincing, anyhow.

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More Offensive Players Making Playcalls, At Least Theoretically

So on the fourth down to ice the game, Clinton Portis called the play. Here’s Peter King’s summary:

Fourth-and-one at the Eagles’ 38, 2:48 left, Washington up 23-17, Philly out of timeouts. Tricky call here. If Washington gets stopped, the Eagles take over with about 2:40 left and 62 yards to travel for the winning score. If Washington makes it on a running play and stays inbounds and plays its time-strategy cards right, the ‘Skins should be able to run out the clock by kneeling three times and going home with a dramatic win.

Zorn had his thinking cap on, with Jason Campbell and Portis and a couple of the coaches on the sidelines. “I called the formation first,” he said, “and then he called the play.”

In his press conference a few minutes ago, Coach Zorn described thinking about three different plays for the situation. And then “Clinton rolls by me and says, ‘Gimme the draw.'” Thinking about it further, Zorn added, “It wasn’t necessarily there — he WILLED it…. We got the first down because Clinton willed his way to those two yards.”

I wrote at the time that it was “one of the single gutsiest calls I’ve seen in recent memory,” although my original draft described Coach Zorn as possessed of “guts of tungsten,” only I didn’t write “guts.” See the DC Sports Bog’s attempts to find a newspaper-friendly way to describe that playcall for much more in that vein; the point is, it was a heck of a call, and it turns out that Portis was the one who made it.

So I asked around a bit today to see what some other guys would’ve gone for.

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AM Update – Happy Birthday, Mike Sellers

  • #45 turns 33 today, and he’s got a bunch of well-wishers with signs, including his family.  It’s very cute.
  • Heat doesn’t feel as rough today, although I’m sure it will.   Dragonflies are swarming over the artificial turf field for some reason.
  • Nice to see Erasmus James jogging, however slowly, even if it isn’t as important as it seemed like it might be prior to the Taylor acquisition.
  • The RBs initially seemed to be having some trouble pulling in passes in drills, but a sharp grab-and-cut from the birthday boy seemed to spark something and the drills picked up intensity from there.