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No Quit In Sellers

Posted Feb 8, 2012

Despite a limited role with the Redskins last year, veteran fullback/tight end Mike Sellers is not ready to hang up his cleats. He is looking forward to playing next season, whether it's in Washington or somewhere else.


Mike Sellers has seen and heard plenty in his 11 seasons in Washington.

His rookie year was 1998, when Trent Green was the Redskins’ starting quarterback, Terry Allen was the lead running back and Brian Mitchell tied Michael Westbrook for the team lead in receptions.

He is the only current player who has played on each of the Redskins’ last three playoff seasons: 1999, 2005 and 2007.

Through the years, the veteran fullback has played alongside the likes of Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, Stephen Davis, LaVar Arrington, Clinton Portis, Chris Samuels, Chris Cooley, Sean Taylor, London Fletcher, Jason Taylor, Donovan McNabb...

The list goes on.

After 12 NFL seasons – he played one year with the Cleveland Browns – and five seasons in the Canadian Football League, the 36-year-old Sellers says he is not ready to hang up his cleats.

He is looking forward to playing next season, whether it’s in Washington or with another team.

“I’ll keep playing until the wheels fall off,” Sellers said in late December, just before the end of the regular season. “I feel great. My shoulders, my legs – I take care of my body. I feel great.”

Last season, Sellers was questionable to even make the Redskins’ roster, but he proved his versatility by learning the tight end position.

He played in 12 games, all in a reserve role to starter Darrel Young.

He caught just one pass for 15 yards on offense. He was more of a presence on special teams, recording nine tackles on kick and punt coverage.

Sellers is a competitor, though.

This is a player who has 123 catches for 1,095 yards, 18 receiving touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns in his career.

He earned a Pro Bowl berth in 2008, the first Redskins fullback to do so in 54 years, and was named a team captain in 2009.

Heading into next season, Sellers knows this much for sure: he doesn’t want to settle for a limited role on game days.

“When you know you can still compete at a high level, it is frustrating,” he said. “But you know how this league works. You can’t play forever – but I’m not done by any means.”

Asked if he could envision coming back to Washington in a similar role, Sellers replied simply: “Next question.”

There is no bitterness, though.

He understood his role last season.

Sellers was asked to serve as a mentor to Young, the 24-year-old, second-year fullback out of Villanova. Young logged six carries for 33 yards and one touchdown and caught 14 passes for 138 yards.

Said Sellers" “I helped these guys as much as I could, whether it was yelling at D.Y. for missing a block, or if it was Fred [Davis], Logan [Paulsen] or the offensive line. “That’s what I’m supposed to do. Just because I’m not starting doesn’t mean that I can’t set a good example.”

Head coach Mike Shanahan praised Sellers’ attitude through the course of the season.

“What makes a person stay on a football team as they get older is their attitude,” Shanahan said. “If the person is really down or disappointed, a lot of times it shows up with the way he handles himself on the scout team to the way he practices. Those people don’t last very long.

“I like the way Mike has handled himself. I like the way he has prepared.”

In Week 13, with Young sidelined due to a concussion, Sellers’ role expanded for a week. As a lead blocker, he helped Roy Heu rush for 100 yards against a stout New York Jets run defense.

“He took advantage of that opportunity,” Shanahan said. “That’s why he’s in the league at his age.”