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'Big Mike' Makes His Presence Known


Sometimes, coaches and players, commentators and fans, all speak of the game of football as though it were such a complex enterprise.

And then, there's Mike Sellers. Sellers makes the game seem simple.

Just ask Detroit Lions strong safety Kenoy Kennedy.

When Mike Sellers handles the ball, squares up his shoulders and heads North to South, the game can become easier to understand.

Sellers turned in his most productive NFL game on Sunday. He's a big reason the Redskins beat up on the Lions 34-3 in front of 88,944 at FedExField.

Sellers, the fullback who stands 6-3 and weighs in at 284 pounds, is fond of lobbying head coach Joe Gibbs in hopes of getting more involved in the offense.

That was the case on Week 5. Sellers delivered.

"I was just prepared, and when my number was called I was ready," Sellers said after he and his teammates dismantled the Lions, thus keeping the Detroit franchise winless all time in trips to the Nation's Capital.

Added Sellers: "I have been begging for this opportunity. Sometimes I think Coach [Joe] Gibbs avoids me because he knows what I want. But it's just satisfying to be given an opportunity to help your team win."

Kennedy, a 6-1, 218-pound eight-year veteran, felt the brunt of one of Sellers' charges. Overall, the Lions' linebackers are on the relatively smallish side, another factor that worked in Sellers' favor.

Sellers carried the ball five times for 24 yards, including a 1-yard TD plunge just before halftime when the game was tight.

Sellers grabbed an eight-yard TD pass from an extremely sharp Jason Campbell with 10:47 left in the game in a sequence that closed the drama for the day with the Redskins up 24-3.

Joked Campbell: "I got tired of Mike grabbing and pulling on me, saying, 'J, look at me, look at me in the flat. You know I'm going to catch the ball and run somebody over.'

"Mike's a great person. He also lived in my neighborhood, so I have to watch out for me back. So I have to make sure I get him involved."

Sellers, now in his eighth NFL season, began playing football at Walla Walla Community College in the state of Washington before become something of a landmark in the Canadian Football League. He played in the CFL at the age of 18.

Sellers first signed as an undrafted free agent by the Redskins in 1998. He returned to the club in 2004 after a second stint with the CFL.

Only James Thrash, a rookie in 1997, has been a part of the Redskins' scene longer than Sellers.

Sellers is one of the few players to have played in both the 1999 and 2005 postseason for Washington.

Most of all, the versatile Sellers, who also is very valuable on special teams, gives the Redskins a punishing first-wave blocker in the backfield for running backs Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts.

Said Betts, who benefited greatly from the presence of Sellers late in 2006: "Mike's one of the more hard-nosed players in the league. He's aggressive and never afraid of contact. He knows that's what football is all about."

Gibbs said that offensive coaches continue to expand Sellers' role.

"It really kind of started out as a short yardage role, but he did such a great job that we started expanding things with him," Gibbs said. "Obviously, he is a force. You are talking about somebody that is huge and can really run.

"He loves football. He has been playing pro football for 13 years, in Canada and [the NFL]. He seems to, if anything, get younger."

Sellers, now 32, has proven that he can be an asset to an offense in more ways than one.

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