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Portis and Zorn Are Just Fine, Thanks

Last Friday, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio posted an item claiming that “the Redskins have a problem. And its name is Clinton Portis.” Dramatic. So, what was the problem? Well, according to a “source” who could quite literally be anyone, CP and Zorn’s relationship is having some issues:

Multiple sources have advised us that Portis shows little or no respect to coach Jim Zorn, and that the situation bubbled over at least once during the team’s OTA sessions, with Portis telling the coach off in front of other players.

Said one source:  “Portis totally has no regard for [Zorn] and thinks he’s above everyone.”

Florio then took this and added it together with something John Riggins said back in January, plus the fact that the two feuded a bit last season, and — presto — PORTIS IS CAUSING PROBLEMS AGAIN! So, a reporter asked Portis about Florio’s report. Portis had this to say:

“How this story came about, I have no idea,” Portis said. “There’s nothing going on. There’s no beef between me and Coach Zorn. We’re on good terms at this present moment. There’s no problem.”

Jason Campbell corroborated CP’s claim that there’s no rift.

Florio, never one to back down from his “source + past history = must be true!” formula (not to be confused with the previously dissected “past history = must be true!” formula), defended his original post about Portis-Zorn today while taking a shot at Skins bloggers and fans:

We use the stuff we get that we think our readers will find interesting.  And when a credible source tells us that [Portis] mouthed off to [Zorn] during offseason workouts and another credible source corroborates the notion that [Portis has] no regard for Zorn, then it’s something we’re going to share with our audience.

And we assume that Redskins fans (including some bloggers who lack the ability to be objective because they’re more concerned about seeing their favorite team be successful than they are about getting to the truth) will blindly accept the version of the events being told by Portis and quarterback Jason Campbell and anyone else with a vested interest in keeping the team’s dirty laundry in the locker room.

Here’s the thing: We aren’t “blindly accepting” anything. We are accepting, for now, CP and Campbell’s version of the story because it is the more believable side. Florio’s Redskins speculation is inaccurate more often than not (he’s 0-3 this month), and there has not been one report — not even a whisper — from anywhere else that Portis has treated his head coach this offseason in the manner in which Florio’s source suggest. In fact, believing Florio’s report would be the very definition of blind acceptance — simply trusting that Florio’s unnamed informant knows something that has not been mentioned anywhere else.

So, yeah, given all of that, we’re going to give the players the benefit of the doubt here. I think most rational people would — it has nothing to do with being subjective.

RELATED: Stet says that even if Florio’s speculation is true, the Skins — and more specifically, Zorn — still need Portis around.

Former Managing Editor at UPROXX; former Senior Editor at @SBNation; former ska-zine editor, fan of bad sports teams and good beer.



  1. trollymd

    June 22, 2009 at 4:07 PM

    I really love this blog. Thanks for calling Florio out, again, on another fantasy land piece. The only reason he gets away with it is probably because these things are all under “rumors”, like you noted in another post. Must be a convenient option when, you know, you wanna just make up stuff.

  2. Walking Deadman

    June 22, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    I used to enjoy PFT’s rumor mill b/c Florio threw it out there and usually it was more humorous than anything b/c PFT was the Weekly World News of football that occasionally had a story that was true. Now that he has sponsors like Sporting News, Sprint and NBC I guess Florio now thinks he’s a legitimate journalist so anything that has a “source” means fact.

    I also loved how he attacked DC bloggers. Since, that’s what Florio has been and still is. And he’s been one of the blogging sites that the print media has attacked in the past. Now, he’s attacking the bloggers?

    I guess Larry Michale will have to bring back the source meter……heh.

  3. Chris Mottram

    June 22, 2009 at 7:11 PM

    You both make good points. I don’t know if I’ve just wised up to him, or if he’s actually changed, but basically here’s what he does: throws out a rumor based on a) total speculation created by himself; b) some unnamed source; c) both and then basically says, “well, it could be true. You can’t prove otherwise!”

    Kinda like when he tries to confirm his shit and writes, “a team official neither confirmed nor denied our report,” which Florio then equates to “our report must be accurate.”

    Certainly, his training as a lawyer and use of legal speak helps make him successful.

  4. StetSportsBlog

    June 23, 2009 at 6:31 AM

    Here’s the thing – with the way the local media jumps all over anything Washington football related, you would think LaCanfora would’ve come back to cameo for WaPo if something like this truly jumped off.

    Like Florio’s sources are the only ones at OTA’s, and no other forms of media are present.

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