Redskins Insider: Portis Isn't Winning Any Fans Among Teammates

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By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 9, 2009; 11:53 AM

I just received a few more texts and calls from league sources about the Mike Sellers-Clinton Portis incident, and this is not good for the Redskins.

Some people in the locker room wouldn't have been too upset if Sellers had landed a couple of blows (no punches were thrown), because Portis's act has worn real thin with some of his teammates, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. His teammates long ago accepted that Portis holds himself to a different standard and often has simply chosen not to practice, and that Portis's chummy relationship, at least in prior seasons, with owner Daniel Snyder is what it is.

But for Portis to actually go to coaches to request/demand that a teammate be removed from a game? As word emerged about Portis's effort to essentially have Sellers demoted during Sunday's16-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many players were upset that Portis even felt emboldened enough to attempt to make such a play.

But, really, why should they have been surprised? In an excellent piece on Portis written by my guy, Barry Svrluga, back in August Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, said former coach Joe Gibbs referred to Portis as an assistant general manager. On Wednesday, Potis jokingly said he got "fired. They released me from that duty. Right now, I'm just a part-time running back."

To be sure, Portis has been a productive player throughout his career with the Denver Broncos and the Redskins. He hasn't attained the type of superstar level, however, that leads some players to set themselves apart from their teammates, sources said. Portis had played through pain, runs hard in games and has been effective in blitz pick-up -- but so what? All these guys have some form of pain.

Middle linebacker London Fletcher also has been among the most productive players at his position in the league, and he continued to practice hard last season while dealing with various injuries. Left tackle Chris Samuels takes practice reps despite a knee problem that could eventually cut short his season. And right guard Randy Thomas also continued to apply himself during practice while dealing with, well, pain from many areas on his body until his season ended because of a triceps injury.

Sellers has been an effective blocker for many years. He has opened many holes that have helped Portis become the league's highest-paid running back at the moment.

Granted, Sellers did mess up on that goal-line play. He blocked the wrong guy and acknowledged he did, but no one is perfect.

Apparently, though, Portis believes differently.


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