Biggs: Portis-Sellers skirmish a sign of the times

There is one way out of this for the Washington Redskins: Win. Now.

Otherwise, as the 2009 season disintegrates in Ashburn, Va., skirmishes between running back Clinton Portis and fullback Mike Sellers, like what was reported this morning, are just going to be tiny sideshows in a spectacular collapse.

Sherman Lewis was brought in as an offensive consultant for head coach Jim Zorn this week. That’s the kind of move of desperation that is made for a defensive head coach. Zorn was initially hired as the Redskins offensive coordinator before owner Daniel Snyder made him the head coach. He’s supposed to know offense, the West Coast offense he brought with him from Seattle. But the Redskins have been packing as much firepower as you can find in a dry water pistol under Zorn.

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache is no longer fielding questions from the media, a decision that riled up local press that will no longer have his one-liners to run with. The team will have secondary coach Jerry Gray handle those duties. Now, word is that Portis wanted Sellers out of the game last week against Tampa Bay, a narrow victory over a winless club. According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post, Portis was still upset at Sellers for failing to execute a block on a goalline play a week earlier when the Redskins (2-2) managed to end the Detroit Lions’ 19-game losing streak.

Washington has another winless team on it schedule Sunday, playing at Carolina (0-3). Next week, they host the Kansas City Chiefs, another club yet to visit the left side of the win/loss column. The Redskins should be 3-1 right now with a chance to go to 5-1 before the schedule heats up. Now, if they can improve their play at Carolina, which is coming off a bye, they can mount a little momentum. But the way Zorn’s offense is playing, there is almost no room for error. Blache said he would take the heat a week earlier for a defense that has been making mistakes, but his defense has been forced to play flawlessly for the team to have a chance.

Even a three-game winning streak to get to 4-2 isn’t going to ease tension. The schedule turns difficult from there with Philadelphia, Atlanta, Denver, Philadelphia, Dallas and New Orleans in successive games. Washington has two weeks to get this thing sorted out or a little shouting match between players won’t even register.

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