Seahawks Insider

Report: Josh Portis headed back to Seattle

Post by Eric Williams on April 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm with 62 Comments »
April 1, 2013 9:48 pm

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that the Seattle Seahawks are expected to bring back Josh Portis. He was released from the practice squad two days after the team’s 24-21 loss at Miami on Nov. 25.

The Seahawks signed Portis out of California (Pa.) as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2011. At 6-3 and 213 pounds, Portis is a rangy athlete who showed promise during preseason play, finishing 10 of 24 for 124 yards and a touchdown pass in two exhibition appearances in 2011 as a rookie. Portis also ran 10 times for 51 yards.

Portis, 25, spent his rookie season on Seattle’s 53-man roster, and was active for one game against Cleveland, serving as the backup for Charlie Whitehurst when Tarvaris Jackson could not play because of a pectoral injury.

Street free agents
Leave a comment Comments → 62
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Well, he fits the “similar skill-set” profile that Carroll has laid out. Have to say I’m a little surprised but I suppose it makes some sense considering they desperately need someone and he’s familiar.

  2. Thank you… I like this decision…

    Cue the fallout of bloggers treating this guy like a two time felon… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Portis isn’t given a fair shake here with the diatribe running on him about his “personal character flaws” which is ironically the same reason that a lot of people criticized Tim Ruskell.

    Josh Portis fits the bill.. He’s big, he’s mobile, and I’ll re-iterate he throws a beautiful ball. He knows the system and he’s familiar with with the receivers.

    Welcome back Josh

  3. DanielleMND says:

    Portis reminded me a bit of Randall Cunningham when I saw him play in the 2011 pre-season. I’m sure we’ll sign another veteran and then draft a player, too.

  4. sluggo42 says:

    Jury out…gots the game, but doth he the brain? Only yanker truly knows ….

  5. Dukeshire says:

    “I’m sure we’ll sign another veteran and then draft a player, too.”

    I expect that as well.

  6. Hopefully JP is ready to step in in case Wilson is injured. I am glad he’s back.

  7. bigmike04 says:

    Hey Eric
    How did Josh Portis get out of his contract with Toronto Argonauts of CFL???

  8. FleaFlicker says:

    Seems like a pretty good value-for-money move. To echo HawksKD and Duke, he already knows the system. And he’s got a couple offseason’s worth of development under his belt.

    Takes care of a very immediate need. Will be interesting to see if there is a QB on our draft list in a few weeks.

    Hopefully with Percy in the line-up, RW can be more pocket oriented and not have to run and take any tough hits. Russell, for my own sanity, please stay healthy.

    And thanks to Eric, who not only proves theres is no offseason, but Seahawks Insider is a place where there is no vacation either. Hope you can still enjoy a bit of that spring break, E.

  9. Singularitarian says:

    Hate to say I called it, but…

  10. Singularitarian says:

    I have always liked Portis. Kid is a Playmaker

  11. freedom_X says:

    I wonder why Seattle soured on Portis in the first place? They let him go – perhaps they needed the roster spot, though wasn’t he on the practice squad at the time?

    Regardless, they didn’t re-sign him as soon as the season ended. And it’s not like they wanted him to go off the CFL for seasoning (never heard anyone doing that before.)

    So that led me to believe they had lost interest in Portis for some reason. I figured it was because he didn’t show any growth last year, either in offseason, preseason or practices.

  12. Singularitarian says:

    Also not to sound like I’m trying to disagree, but Portis really doesn’t know the system. I mean he knows it somewhat but I don’t think he knows it through and through. He was treated like an artistic stepchild in a large family most his time in Seattle with Bevell’s offense. He has read the playbook. I don’t really see us drafting a qb to be honest. Perhaps a veteran, although a name doesn’t really come to mind. I have this feeling we draft 2 recievers this year. This draft will be great, so many ways we can go.

  13. grizindabox24 says:

    I do not see Portis as the answer at backup QB, but he will add to the numbers. I still think they look for another veteran to bring in and draft someone.

    BigMike, almost every guy in the CFL has an out to play in the NFL.

  14. AwffKkilter says:

    I thought JP should have been the number 2 QB in 2011. Pete and Russ will bring the best out in him and he will be a more than adequate backup.

    I really can’t see drafting receivers with the need for depth at linebacker, O-line and…we don’t have a kicker at present.

    At the rate they are going, having many players who have played multiple positions, maybe they will find a backup QB who can also kick. :)
    Don’t knock the CFL…Ask Brandon Browner and Warren Moon
    about the CFL.

  15. raymaines says:

    I sure hope JP makes a great backup, but everything I’ve read indicates he isn’t very accurate. I don’t know how accurate a guy has to be to get it to Lynch or Harvin, but more is always better than less. As always, I’m cheering for Seahawk laundry and am only mildly interested in the guy in the uniform. Go Hawks.

  16. TechWorlds says:

    Camp arm.

  17. SandpointHawk says:

    John Schneider says we now have 10 mil in cap room this year. Also It’s been reported the Vince Young drama can now be put to rest…

  18. montanamike2 says:

    Thanks for the link SandpointHawk. I think they cut Portis having in mind they could snag him later, that had to be after Flynn was released or we might be tipping our hand. Portis baffles me, he was lights out in the few pre season games that i saw him and then nothing.
    He’s got a lot of heat on his throws but i don’t know about his ability to make reads at NFL level. He won’t undermine Wilson as a backup, (i’m not saying that Flynn did) and might really learn from Wilson. He’s been with us for a few years now which is puzzling as well. Or he might either be camp fodder, or a decoy while our FO gets the guy they really want we’ll see.

  19. montanamike2 says:

    Lots of players don’t “click” until after some CFL experience.

  20. Some idiotic New York based website is pushing a Tebow to the Seahawks story:

    I know this is the dumb rumor of the off season … but I’d rather have Whitehurst back than take Tebow.

  21. montanamike2 says:

    Didn’t that website know that April fools day is over?

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I like that they are bringing Portis back too. He really played well in the 2011 pre-season, and he didn’t have much of a chance getting enough reps last year with Wilson/Flynn/Jackson sharing most of them imo.
    I also agree with DanielleMND about his resemblance to Cunningham.

  23. GeorgiaHawk says:

    And HawksKD,
    Where have you been hiding? Are you going to give us some practice reports this year? I look forward to them, and to the practice reports from other fans too.

  24. seahawkNJ says:

    All this east cost bashing is starting to hurt my feelings… Let’s just be clear that the author is speculating. “The Seattle Seahawks pulled off a trade to the Oakland Raiders for backup quarterback Matt Flynn, bringing back some of the draft picks they gave up in the Percy Harvin deal, but that might not be the end of it for the team, as they could make a play for Tim Tebow to be the backup quarterback.

    Crazy yes, but head coach Pete Carroll is known for his out of the box thinking and this could be another one of those moves.”
    I wouldn’t see any chance of this ever happening. I’m still on the Vince Young train. Atypical skill set, probably comes cheap and seems to be straightening up a bit. I like him as a 1-2 year rental along with a development guy. I don’t think Portis can be added to the practice squad again so let Portis and VY duke it out for the backup job.

  25. montanamike2 says:

    I understand that a lot of Hawks fans are from the East coast, in the past i’ve bashed the media, not the fans but i’ll refrain from it again.

  26. chuck_easton says:


    It’s not so much media bashing as it is calling out the fact that the vast majority of East Coast media people know little or nothing about the Seahawks.

    It’s is understandable given that the closest NFL cities to Seattle are SF/Oakland and they are 800 miles away.

    Look at the cluster of teams right in the NE US. You have 7 or 8 teams that are within a couple of hours drive from each other let alone a 2 hour plane flight for Seattle’s closest competitor.

  27. SideWalkHawk says:

    Summer camp will be interesting, they’ll bring in a few guys for the competition at number two. RW will be taking first team reps and we’ll all watch another qb drama for #2.

  28. confucious says:

    Although Portis has some of the athletic intangibles, I have thought he lacks the moxy between the earlobes. (On the field at least). That being said, He has not seen much play time and my judgement comes from a small sample size. His experience with the team and system provides a decent gap fill until another gem is unearthed by JS.

  29. seahawkNJ says:

    All in good fun montanaMike. The media is always going to jump on the hot story and attack it from every angle until exhaustion. Last year it was ‘All Tebow, all the time” both locally and nationally. Glad to see the Hawks getting a lot of love this year, even if some of the articles are grasping at straws.

  30. yankinta says:

    lol, @ the comments above. This dude cannot play. He’s a practice squad QB at best. I will be surprised if he makes it to the roster as a 3rd stringer day one. I seriously doubt if he can beat whomever we draft in the late round.

    Very likely, that this is just a smoke screen for us to be able to wait for QB to fall to our lap in the 6th or 7th round, a QB like BJ Daniel.

  31. I’m fine with bringing back Portis, but I’m not sure if he fits better at #2 or #3.

    I wish they would bring back Haushchka and sign a veteran OLB. I would hate for our season to hinge on not taking care of the kicker position.

  32. yankinta says:

    why would you pay Haushchka 2 to 3 million, when you can draft a kicker in the later rounds like what Ravens and Rams did last year? Haushchka does not have a strong leg. Kickers are getting stronger and better, coming out of college these days, not to mention, Cheap.

  33. I am fine with drafting a kicker, but I would still bring back Hauschka on a short modest deal. Can’t go into a season like we think we can have with only one rookie kicker in traing camp – that would be dumb.

  34. Dukeshire says:

    I too think its wise to draft a kicker late in the draft, presuming there’s one available worthy of spending draft capital on. However, the way Carroll devalues field goals, I think it’s more likely they bring in FAs for mini-camps.

  35. yankinta says:

    blocis, Hauschka wants to get paid. I’ve read reports that he doesn’t want a short modest deal. Would you really pay him?

    lol, Carroll devalues field goals?? based on the ATL game?? Okay that was a painful reminder. There’s NO CALL for it!!!!

  36. SandpointHawk says:

    If you look at Carroll’s history you will understand Dukes statement. If you take a moment to think about it you will agree fully.

  37. LeePHilI says:

    Teabow could only pray to be on the Hawks roster….

  38. montanamike2 says:

    I hope we draft a stud like “legatron” for the Rams because that kid scares the hell out of me. I don’t remember how many 60+ yarders he hit last year but i know one of them was against us. At this point Hauschka is going downhill in his career and he’s coming off a season ending injury although it’s not supposed to be serious. I don’t know how we’ll aquire one, although if they pick the best kicker higher than anticipated, it’s a good pick; however, i’m not opposed to somebody with playoff experience(in a good way), either.

  39. montanamike2 says:
  40. Everyone wants to get paid, but at this stage of free agency the big pay days are likely gone.

  41. yankinta says:

    SandpointHawk, believe it or not, I was okay with going for it at the time (the ATL game),,, I mean, if we claim to be a physical team, and we have Beast Mode and we play like Beast Mode, then we should be able to convert that 4th down.

    But I was mad at Carroll for not managing the clock at the end of the half and missing out on the FG…. okay that was painful recalling that game. I’m done. don’t wanna think about it, anymore…

  42. Hi Georgia
    I have been lurking more than normal lately. I will be back to contribute during training camp.

    Some of the not so obvious things I’m excited to see is:

    The development of Gregg Scruggs as he was a breakout guy for me last training camp.

    Who steps up between Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan

    Being able to compare the maturation of Russell Wilson in an established role rather than fighting for one

    Back on subject of Josh Portis – it may be that his ceiling is a career back up. He has the physical tools to play the game and similarly to they way Wilson is able to.. He has the physical attributes that you cannot teach someone. The question is.. Can he develop the learned nuances of the game to progress into something that we can trust to use if needed. Reading defenses and timing passes is learned attributes (more/less). I trust that Seahawks staff can accurately evaluate his progress for the past two years and they obviously see something that they like. I think Portis can learn more from Wilson than what Wilson can learn from a *Tyler Thigpen…

    If you argue that we need a veteran to mentor Wilson, I think your missing what’s so special about him. Wilson was ready to take the reigns before he knew he was a seahawk. He is a rare specimen not in what he can physically do but what he’s mentally capable of. He doesn’t need to learn how to lead, he doesn’t need to learn how to prepare, he doesn’t need to learn how to handle adversity.

    Wilson is a rarity that would probably benefit from granting tutelage to another whether its Portis or someone drafted.. (Docendo Discimus)

  43. OregonHawk says:

    I am not sure what the game plan is for the coming year, but in year’s past it has been to pound the ball and play a close game.

    That to me says that you need a reliable kicker, and that the kicker is a very important pawn.

    The trend in the NFL is to try and draft an inexpensive kicker, will that work for an offence that is ball control and needs a last second kick to win?

  44. Im glad to see Portis get another chance, even if he is being brought in only as a “camp arm’. Any shot is better than no shot at all…and anything is better than the CFL!

    Im sure Bobbyk is cussing under his breath at work right now…hope the kids dont hear him! (Come back Bobby! Dont let the idiotic comments of a few drive you away!)

    It wouldnt surprise me to see Portis work out fine. Nor would it surprise me to see Seattle sign Thigpen AND draft a qb. You never know with JS and PC.

  45. ChrisHolmes says:

    “Camp arm.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    I think if Portis was going to show the staff something, he would have done it by now.

    I suppose there’s a chance the kid makes it as the backup. He’s athletic. But I never got the sense he was anything more than a cheaper copy of Tavaris Jackson when it came to reading a defense and making a quick (and correct) decision.

    Time will tell.

  46. bbnate420 says:

    The Hawks only had RW at QB and their off-season program begins April 15th. Do we want RW to develop a Flynn-elbow because PC is the only other person that can throw to the receivers?

  47. bbnate420 says:

    ChrisHolmes, yes MENSA uses the wonderlic and I’m not saying it has no value, but I am saying that it is not an official IQ test. In that it’s not used in a clinical or legal capacity, like when someone goes to a psychologist to take one to qualify for a mental disability. My father is a psychologist and I have taken a number of them in my life. They are timed, but you generally get like 45 minutes per section. It’s not 12 minutes like with the wonderlic. The SATs are timed as well, but not considered an IQ test.

    More than that, as a few people pointed out, IQ tests are highly dependent on your educational background and test a somewhat narrow definition of intelligence. I’m not saying they are worthless, but they’re no where an absolute judge of intelligence either. If you tested a person that is a part of one of the few hunter and gatherer groups left on Earth, they would most likely do very poorly on a Western IQ test. But if you took Albert Einstein and dropped him in the sub-saharan african jungle, he’d most likely be dead in a couple of days at most. Assuming he wasn’t dead already of course. He doesn’t know the geography, the flora and fauna, or how to shelter himself. Intelligence isn’t simply defined by Western ideas of it. I’m not saying whether or not VY is intelligent. I don’t know him. I am saying that a low wonderlic score doesn’t mean that a person can’t be a good QB, much less an adequate backup.

  48. bbnate420 says:

    BTW, Mensa uses a number of different tests, not just the wonderlic. It also depends what part of the world you’re applying in. In America, they give you 3 different tests and it takes 2 hours.

  49. bird_spit says:

    I’m pulling for Portis. Loved his play in 2011. 2012 he had zero reps, so call it what it was..mental reps only.

    I hope RW can take a Portis or rookie and teach him. Portis has the physical attributes, and needs guidance on his preparation.

    We are so lucky that we have RW. I used to watch the great Fran Tarkenton as a kid. If we have a young Fran Turkenton, as the talking heads propose, then OH MY GOD will this be a fun ride. Does any one remember the back up to Fran Tarkenton? Yeah, neither do I.

    It does not really matter who backs RW up. We wont go to the big game with out him.

  50. SandpointHawk says:

    Bbnate420….right you are concerning the Wonderlic and Mensa both.

  51. Heh, I wouldnt know anything about Mensa, but y’all probably knew that, right?! ;p

  52. bbnate–Excellent points on intelligence and how to define it. Color me impressed.

  53. If I were Portis, I’d stalk Russell Wilson. I hope he sees this as an amazing opportunity to learn from a future superstar.

    If he’s smart enough to pick up Wilson’s work ethic, that kid may turn into something at QB.

  54. ChrisHolmes says:

    @bbnate420 I don’t know how the other thread’s conversation about IQ tests managed to follow us over to here to this thread, but I am assuming you brought it up because you are fishing for some kind of a reply. So here is.

    Yes, I know how the Mensa tests are administered here in the USA. I have sat both exams at Gonzaga.

    Your hunter-gatherer/Eistein analogy is, unfortunately, invalid and inaccurate. Knowledge and intelligence are not the same thing, and IQ tests do not attempt to measure knowledge. This is why Mensa has various tests and testing methods – to account for the fact that different groups of people have acquired different sets of knowledge. But it is within these spheres of knowledge that one’s intelligence can be tested.

    “But if you took Albert Einstein and dropped him in the sub-saharan african jungle, he’d most likely be dead in a couple of days at most.”

    I doubt it. Intelligence, as we measure it today, is a measure of an individual’s ability to problem-solve, to recognize patterns, to see and find solutions. Eintsein was a master problem solver. If he died in the setting you propose, he would die because of a lack of knowledge (he didn’t know you shouldn’t eat that root, or that berry), but he wouldn’t die from being dumb. I daresay his problem-solving skills would be quite valuable in any setting. The best problem-solvers I’ve met are able to make use of their skills in any setting. They’re “smart” for a reason. They might be smart-er, or more well-compensated for being smart in their particular domain of knowledge, but you put them in a new setting and their problem-solving skills – their IQ – doesn’t just magically go away. It’s still there.

    Now, to make this conversation relevant: we were talking about Vince Young’s IQ. Or, more to the point, his lack of IQ, and his inability to make good decisions on the playing field. I am of the mind that he is incapable of being a good NFL QB, or even a competent backup, because of his brain. In his time as a professional athlete, he never showed (me) that he had what it takes mentally to be a good QB. The league seems to agree – he’s not on anyone’s roster at the moment.

    In addition, VY never struck me as a guy with good work ethic. I think excelled in college due to his superior physical tools, and when he got to the NFL he thought he could keep doing that. And he failed.

    You can debate the merits of the Wonderlic all you like. The facts are still the same: Vince Young scored a 6. He lives in the USA. He went to Texas for college. I don’t think he was at any sort of a disadvantage compared to anyone else when he took the test.

    Vince Young didn’t score a 6 because he was a hunter-gather from some far away land. Vince Young scored a 6 because he’s just not that bright.

    You might think that intelligence isn’t important for a guy to be a quarterback. Okay. Then we just disagree.

    And that’s okay too.

  55. Sarcasticus says:

    nailed it

  56. bbnate420 says:

    ChrisHolmes, I wasn’t suggesting that VY is a hunter-gather. It’s called an analogy. But if you think that he had no disadvantage to a rich person growing up in an excellent school system or going to expensive private schools, then you don’t have much of a clue about the inequality between American school systems. That’s not the only factor though. The amount of value that the family and community you come from also play a major factor. You seem to be intelligent, so you should know as well as I that VY didn’t get a scholarship to UT because of his academic record. Colleges just use kids like this to make money, they don’t care so much if they really learn or are prepared when they leave.

    And yes I know that IQ tests don’t test knowledge, but I would disagree if you think they are anywhere close to being a perfect test of intelligence. I wasn’t talking about the hunter-gather because of their specific knowledge, just that they have the ability to learn and retain large amounts of information. Many people in Western society do not place value on the information they hold, so they are seen as less intelligent. Do you not agree that the ability to learn and retain information is a large component of intelligence? If you can’t remember what you learn, there’s really no point to learning it.

    And yes, people with good problem solving skills will adapt to different situations better than those who don’t. But be it Einstein or 99% of the people on this blog, we would die in a matter of a week or less if dropped in the middle of the woods and not rescued. Problem solving isn’t the end all be all.

  57. bbnate420 says:

    Also, it’s clear that the NFL and media doesn’t agree with you that VY could never be a good QB. He won OROY and was 2 time pro bowler. I guess they just give those to bad players? He doesn’t have a job now due to his personal issues and lack of work ethic in the past. Has he changed? I don’t know. But it may be work bringing him in for a workout and interview. If PC/JS aren’t impressed then fine. If they sign him and he messes up during OTAs or TC they can simply cut him. I was just suggesting that it might be smart to take a look at him. I’m not predicting that he will be a good QB anymore.

    As far as the 6 on the Wonderlic, yes it’s not a glowing endorsement of his intelligence. But as someone else posted and I have read before, there are plenty of QBs that did poorly on the Wonderlic and were good QBs. You are suggesting that there is a causative relationship between Wonderlic scores and success as a QB in the NFL when a correlative relationship hasn’t even been established.

    I posted about the IQ issue on this thread, because the other thread was long dead. Fell free to not respond if you choose.

  58. bbnate420 says:

    *don’t agree

  59. bbnate420 says:


    Need to proof read I guess.

  60. Thank God this thread is over.

  61. ChrisHolmes says:

    “I wasn’t suggesting that VY is a hunter-gather. It’s called an analogy.”

    And it was not accurate or correct. Intelligence != knowledge. That was the only thing I’m trying to get across to you. You seem to want to confuse the two.

    “you should know as well as I that VY didn’t get a scholarship to UT because of his academic record.”

    And yet, kids from underprivileged schools, homes and environments come into college all the time and do very well, get straight A’s, and some have very high IQ’s.

    So what’s Vince Young’s excuse?

    I’ll tell you: He’s just not very smart.

    “Do you not agree that the ability to learn and retain information is a large component of intelligence?”

    No, because it’s not. Memory retention is a separate capability of your brain.

    Certainly memory plays a part in allowing you to solve every-day problems. This is why IQ tests try their best to eliminate outside knowledge as a factor from the presented problems.

    You have a completely separate area of the brain just for memory retention, called the hippocampus. English cabbies with “The Knowledge” (wiki that) have immense memory stores, to the point where CT scans show they actually have an enlarged hippocampus. And yet that is *independent* of their IQ.

    Last: Mensa’s youngest members are under the age of 3. How much knowledge do you think they have managed to acquire in their relatively young lives? Yet they can recognize patterns and solve problems better than 98% of the population.

    Memory is a capability of your brain. It’s not your IQ.

    “If you can’t remember what you learn, there’s really no point to learning it.”

    And there you are wrong, once again.

    Transient knowledge has always had its uses. Just ask college students trying to pass an exam (memorize, test, dump). Do you remember how to run the fryer at your first burger joint job in high school? Or do you remember the nuances of the cash register? I don’t, but it was useful at the time – it got me employment and I got paid.

    We acquire knowledge all the time and then “forget” how to do things as new (and more important) knowledge comes into our minds, and the old knowledge loses it’s value.

    Unless you have the greatest memory in the world, you, too, lose knowledge. That doesn’t make your smart or dumb.

    “Problem solving isn’t the end all be all.”

    Then you and I value intelligence differently.

    Which is not surprising, given your repeated efforts to equate two things that are not the same, and your staunch and repeated excuses for Vince Young’s poor performance on the Wonderlic (it seems, to you, that every possible excuse is more plausible than the simple fact that he’s just not that smart – I submit to you Occam’s Razor).

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