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Clinton Portis Press Conference

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HEAD COACH JOE GIBBS
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Opening remarks:

"Clinton's been with us here for a couple days and it's been fun for me to get to know him and his family and some of his friends. We're real excited to have all of them in Redskin territory.

"I think if all of you have done your homework, you probably already know a lot about Clinton and watched him as he's played in the NFL for the last two years.

"The easiest way to introduce Clinton is to say we are all a fan of production and somebody who actually gets it done. His first two years in the league, the first year he had 1,508 yards and was named Rookie of the Year and the second year he backed that up with 1,591 yards. We are hoping that continues and we're going to move ahead next year. He also scored 31 touchdowns.

"His season stats speak for themselves. Also coming out of Miami, they have a tremendous bunch of athletes down there. What I love is that they have a great team feeling and I kind of saw that also in Clinton as I was down there visiting with him and the way he interacts with his teammates. For all those reasons, it's very exciting for us to be able to introduce Clinton Portis."

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CLINTON PORTIS
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Opening remarks:

"First off, I'd like you thank everyone for coming out and thank coach for getting me to this wonderful city.

"I think no one would have ever imagined that I would be getting out of Denver any time soon and for Coach and Mr. Snyder to go and make that happen was great on my behalf. I'd like to thank this organization and the Denver Broncos organization for allowing me to go out and test the waters. Coach Shanahan approached the situation like a real gentleman.

"He called me before any of this ever happened just to clear it up. He called me one-on-one and basically said, 'Well, Clinton, thank you for what you've done for this organization but I can't pay you what you're worth. I would love to pay you and I would love to have you here but I can't give you the type of money you're asking for and you deserve to be paid as one of the top players in the NFL.'

"He gave me the opportunity to come out and talk with the Redskins and they made it happen so I would like to thank the Broncos because they could have been nasty and kept me in Denver for the next three years. But instead I'm hanging here with Coach Gibbs."

"At the same time, I would like to thank my mom for staying on me. My best friends were just talking about it and they were saying that the person I need to thank most is my mom because I kept everybody from getting into trouble in high school.

"I want to thank God because I know without Him none of this would be happening. I just reflect on the situation that most players never get the opportunity to enjoy themselves and I think I had the opportunity to play for a great owner in Denver and now you come and bring me to the owner that everyone in the NFL wants to play for in Mr. Snyder.

"I know everybody is trying to get here. After my deal was announced I probably got a hundred phone calls like, 'Man, tell them to come get me.'

"I think this is a great situation for me to be in, coming into this market and coming into this area. I think a lot will be expected of me. I know a lot will be expected of me and placed on these shoulders. These shoulders aren't that big so I can't carry everything but I can carry my share of the load.

"I have Mark Brunell and Laveranues Coles and Taylor Jacobs and Rod Gardner to share that with--as well as a great O-line with Chris Samuels, Jon Jansen, Derrick Dockery and Lennie Friedman who I had the chance to spend time with in Denver. I think I have a great line, a great foundation in front of me. Hopefully we'll carry this team to where they want to be and that's the Super Bowl."

On playing for a coach who is known to run the ball:

"It's flattering and an honor to me to have the opportunity to play for Coach Gibbs and with Earnest Byner being the running backs coach now. Hopefully they've had a lot of conversations about giving me the ball. You don't have to throw it to me, just give it to me. Why make it difficult? Being in this situation and knowing this is a running team and a lot is going to be placed on me and we are going to run the ball, I have to step up to the challenge. I have asked for that challenge and luckily Coach Gibbs gave me that opportunity so now I have to respond."

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"It's a fresh start, a new beginning for everyone with Coach Gibbs coming back and the whole team changing. Everyone has to learn the plays at the same time. Instead of guys not being able to get along, we have to find a way to come together and fight through this. Everyone is going to be confused learning a new system so I think that will bring us closer. By the time the season starts, we should be team-oriented enough to go out and perform."

On being traded for Champ Bailey:

"I think Champ is a great player. Champ Bailey has been to four Pro Bowls. I've been to one. So for you to go out and trade Champ Bailey, a proven guy in this league, for myself that speaks highly enough of me. I think both teams will benefit from this but if you want to take Champ out of the game, just don't throw it his way.

"If you go out and get two top-notch receivers, he can't cover both of them. With me, I think I have the opportunity to control what happens in a game. I think Champ has the opportunity to control one player or take one player out of the game, but as an individual I can control the whole game because I have the ball in my hands and I'm the only one who is going to know what I'm doing with it. I think Denver got a great player in Champ Bailey and I think the Redskins got a great player here. Only time will tell."

On Denver coach Mike Shanahan and his streak of great running backs:

"Coach Shanahan is a great coach. That's what great coaches do--they get players to adapt to their system and excel in that system. I can't take anything away from him by saying he can turn anybody into a 1,000-yard rusher. I'm sure you can. If you give anyone enough carries they should have 1,000 yards over a 16-game season.

"I think it's more about what else you bring to the table. I think any running back in the NFL can go out and get 1,000 yards, but what will your average be like? How many touchdowns will you contribute? Turnovers? How much heart do you go out and inspire your teammates with? I think that's what makes me excel more as a player. I play with heart and I try to inspire my teammates and they know at any time you can give me the ball and put the team on my shoulders."

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