Correction to This Article
The article incorrectly said that the altercation between Redskins running back Clinton Portis and fullback Mike Sellers was first reported by WRC (Channel 4). It was first reported by Comcast SportsNet.

Clinton Portis and Mike Sellers Have Heated Exchange Over Sellers's Blocking

Clinton Portis (26) expressed his frustration with the blocking of Mike Sellers (45) during an argument between the two on Monday.
Clinton Portis (26) expressed his frustration with the blocking of Mike Sellers (45) during an argument between the two on Monday. (By Jonathan Newton -- The Washington Post)
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By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 10, 2009

Redskins running back Clinton Portis and fullback Mike Sellers had a heated exchange this week over Portis's frustration with Sellers's blocking this season, confronting the team with another potentially divisive issue as it prepares to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

No punches were thrown during the argument, which occurred Monday at Redskins Park, but the players had to be separated and restrained, according to the multiple sources. According to their account, Sellers confronted Portis after learning the team's star running back requested to have Sellers removed from the game during Sunday's 16-13 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field.

Portis and Sellers declined through a team spokesman to comment about the altercation.

Asked about the incident after practice Friday, Coach Jim Zorn played down the argument.

"These guys love each other. They absolutely love each other," Zorn said. "This is just how a team goes. I thought it was great. There's no fisticuffs. There's no shoving and pushing. These guys just, you know, ah, 'You didn't say hi to me.' 'No, you didn't say hi to me.' You know? I don't know really what the discussion was.

"In reality it's just a lot of nudging and posturing. It's just something that goes on. These guys are like brothers. And they care about each other. Seriously, it's not an issue."

The altercation was first reported Thursday night by WRC (Channel 4).

In a text message to a reporter, one source emphasized no punches were exchanged, and he played down the argument as players "simply letting off some steam."

But the Sellers-Portis incident underscores the tension at Redskins Park during a week in which Redskins owner Daniel Snyder hired an offensive consultant, Sherman Lewis, because of dissatisfaction with the poor point production of Zorn's offense, and in which defensive coordinator Greg Blache, a week after emphasizing the need for personal accountability, informed team officials he no longer would answer questions from reporters.

Speaking with members of the media is a mandated duty under NFL rules for all coordinators, but Redskins officials say the league okayed Blache handing over the responsibility to defensive backs coach Jerry Gray.

Zorn was asked if the sequence of events had created a perception that things aren't going well for the Redskins, who have a 2-2 record.

"Only if you [reporters] create that perception," Zorn said. "There's nothing in our locker room that would cite that"


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