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Sellers Is Like Having An Extra O-Lineman

At 6-3 and 278 pounds, Mike Sellers, now in his seventh NFL season and sixth with the Redskins, is a versatile kind of player.

When the Redskins need a key block out of the backfield, Sellers can be their man. When they need a sneaky short pass into the end zone, Sellers can get the job done. When they need a huge tackle on special teams or a block for Clinton Portis, Sellers can step in.

Listed as a fullback but called on at times to act as another offensive lineman, Sellers will do most anything to help the Redskins win. He's a veteran who appreciates his roster spot and will fight hard to keep hold of it.

Said teammate Ladell Betts: "Mike's one of the more hard-nosed players we have. He's aggressive and never afraid of contact. He's one of our leaders this year. On special teams, Mike's running around hitting everybody. That's what football is all about."

Running backs like Portis, Betts and Rock Cartwright love the way Sellers can pull out for them and lead sweeps. The image of Portis grabbing hold of the back of Sellers' shirt to gain extra yardage has become almost commonplace.

A native of the Seattle area, Sellers became the youngest player in the history of the Canadian Football League when he signed with the Edmonton Eskimos at the age of 19. He played for three seasons in Edmonton on both sides of the ball.

In 1998, at the age of 23, Sellers got his first big break when the Redskins signed him as an undrafted free agent.

In three seasons with the burgundy and gold, Sellers became a special teams standout, making 39 tackles. He also became a pass-catching threat, with 18 receptions.

Sellers had stints with the Browns in 2001 and in the CFL in Canada with Winnipeg in subsequent years. In 2004, he was back with the Redskins.

This season, Sellers is catching less passes but running the ball occasionally in associate head coach Al Saunders' new offense.

"I'm pretty much playing a new position in a new offense," said Sellers. "It feels nice to run the ball in the NFL. This is my first chance to really do it."

He had three carries for 15 yards in the 25-22 setback to Tennessee on Week 6 at FedExField. He says he feeds off the energy of Redskins home crowds.

"The fans make us what we are," said Sellers. "There's no better way to play this game than get the fans involved. They enjoy it when you acknowledge them."

"There's no way to fully show my appreciation of where I am right now. This game has changed my life. Just to make the NFL is something special."

Last year's return to the playoffs was especially important for Redskins such as Sellers, one of a handful of players with the team in its previous playoff season of 1999. The second-round playoff contest in Seattle was staged in Sellers' hometown.

Last year, against the Seahawks on Week 4 at FedExField, Sellers began to emerge. He latched on to a four-yard TD from Mark Brunell as the Redskins edged Seattle 20-17 in overtime.

Throughout the balance of the 2005 campaign, he stood out as a dominant lead blocker and special teams player as well as a serious scoring threat in the red zone.

Sellers finished the 2005 campaign with 12 catches, seven of which went for six points. He added a TD run, versus Philadelphia at FedExField.

That's in addition to coming up with 30 special teams tackles in 2005, second on the team to Khary Campbell with 34.

On Sunday, Nov. 5, versus the Cowboys, Sellers will be facing a team against whom he's had some success in the past.

He had a 33-yard TD catch and run versus Dallas in 1999. The year before, 1998, he made his first career start versus the Cowboys.

What's more, Sellers scored on a seven-yard pass from Brad Johnson in a Sept. 18, 2000 Monday Night matchup between the Redskins and Cowboys and Dallas af FedExField.

As Dallas and other opponents know, Mike Sellers can be a problem for opposing defenses in a lot of ways.

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