Clinton Portis admitted that it was difficult for him to watch a chunk of Sunday's 16-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers from the sidelines, but he was more frustrated that the offense was unable to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
Portis logged just six carries for 17 yards in the game and caught one pass. It was his fewest rushing opportunities in a game this season.
In his post-game comments, Portis praised the play of backup Ladell Betts, who had eight carries for 34 yards, including a 26-yard run that helped set up the Redskins' only touchdown of the game.
"I'm not upset about the [number of] carries," Portis said in the Redskins' locker room at Heinz Field. "I'm upset that we didn't win. Week in and week-out, we've been getting opportunities and we're just not taking advantage of them,"
With the Steelers' defense exceptionally stout against the run and the Redskins falling behind in the first half, head coach Joe Gibbs said the offense needed to get the passing game in gear to better move the ball downfield.
"We were just trying to move the ball as best we could and get the most out of what we have," Gibbs said. "I felt like with our team, it was our decision to throw it quite a bit. We felt like that was our best way to get downfield."
When asked whether it was difficult to watch a portion of the game from the sidelines, Portis replied: "If only you knew. You can't do anything standing on the sidelines. You're not a threat to the other team. This is hard for me, but I think Ladell went out in the situation and played great. He had some key runs and some key first downs. He took advantage of the opportunity and played great."
Portis is no longer on pace to rush for 1, 500-plus yards for the third consecutive NFL season, but he remains the Redskins' top running back this season. He has logged 945 rushing yards on 244 carries (3.8 yards-per-carry average) and has caught 30 passes for 179 yards.
Portis also went out of his way to praise the Redskins' defense, a unit that limited the Steelers to just 207 total yards and 100 passing yards. The defense recorded four sacks of Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger.
"They're not giving up more than 20 points, and we're not scoring more than 20 points," he said. "We've got to put the defense in a better position. Special teams does, too, but Randle El came up with some big plays and our special teams doesn't usually give up those plays.
"Our defense played too hard. Pittsburgh had a short field most of the time and our defense still went out and responded. They never gave up. They kept playing, they kept plugging, and I think that's the kind of effort you get from our defense week-in and week-out."