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Young Salutes Departed Veteran Sellers

Posted by Brian Tinsman on April 5, 2012 – 2:00 pm

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In the extensive discussions of player productivity that fans and media have, sometimes it’s easy to lose the human element that makes players real.

Football fans don’t need to be reminded that some of the greatest talents to ever take the field were some of the worst human beings off of it.  Redskins fans remember that some of the favorite sons in Washington were those that gave back to their teammates and community as much as they produced on the field.

Players choose how they want to be remembered, both for better and worse.  Take, for example, former fullback Mike Sellers.  Sellers was an undrafted free agent from a small school (Walla Walla CC), who needed a second chance and second stint with the team in order to make an impact.

He played in Washington for a total of 11 seasons, made a Pro Bowl, and blocked for dozens of 100-yard games.  But his lasting legacy was his unselfish willingness to train and mold his eventual replacement, breakout player Darrel Young.

In his most recent blog entry, Young discussed the two-year impact that Sellers had on his career, and thanked him for being a mentor that he needed, but didn’t have to be. Read more »

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Ol’ No. 28 Still Popular At Redskins Park

Posted by Brian Tinsman on December 13, 2011 – 12:05 pm

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Conducting an interview with Redskins legend Darrell Green was a real treat for me yesterday.  Trying to monopolize the attention of one of the most iconic Redskins ever, proved to be more difficult.

But it actually turned out to be the story within the story.

Fullback Mike Sellers is the last current Redskins player that was a teammate to Green during his latter years in Washington.  From 1998-2000, Sellers was one of the young fullback/tight ends on the roster, trying to make it in the pros.

“What’s up, young boy?  Was that a shoulder or an elbow?” Green asked as Sellers walked by.

“Hey man,” Sellers replied, looking down at his hyper-extended elbow.  “It was an elbow.”

“Okay, ’cause I wasn’t sure.  That’s better than a shoulder,” Green offered.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Sellers said, walking down the steps.

“I saw your boy came through and hit you,” Green said sympathetically, before saying, “Well, you should be back with that, rub some dirt on it!”

They both laughed, and we returned to talking about Green’s walking program.

Shortly following that, head coach Mike Shanahan walked past Sonny Jurgensen’s couch where we were seated, on the way to his office. Read more »

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on November 27, 2011 – 6:35 pm

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After a first half full of offensive utility, it was a third quarter of offensive futility, with both sides failing to capitalize on opportunities.

They may not have been golden, but they were there.

First Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missed a field goal in one of the worst end zones in football.  If you look at the goalpost ribbons in the south end zone, they barely move.  The ribbons in the north end zone will gust in any and all directions in any given minute of time.  The flags atop the “Hawks Nest” end zone seating have officially shifted from blowing steadily northwest, to blowing northeast.  This likely explains the Hauschka kick, which was pushed wide right with the wind.

The ensuing prime field position was squandered immediately by a downfield interception at the 20-yard line, which essentially amounted to a Redskins punt.  This was followed by a Seattle punt and a Washington punt, before the Seahawks were finally able to piece something together in the form of a field goal.

The Redskins’ personnel decision to keep two fullbacks and three tight ends on the active roster is continuing to pay dividends, as fullback Darrel Young went back into the locker room to have a possible head injury examined.  His return is questionable.  In his place, the Redskins have turned to old reliable Mike Sellers, as well as tight end Logan Paulsen, who has been involved in a lot of two tight end sets this afternoon.

The Redskins need a spark going into the fourth quarter.  Can we have another honorary coin flip?  Redskins trail by three: Washington 7, Seattle 10.

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Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Brian Tinsman on October 23, 2011 – 3:32 pm

Imitation is said to be the greatest form of flattery.

The Panthers took their first drive of the half, the length of the field for a touchdown.  The drive was capped off by a quarterback-keeper run up the middle for a touchdown.

The Redskins responded by marching the length of the field for a–you guessed it–quarterback-keeper up the middle for a touchdown.

Redskins fans heard all week (and throughout training camp), that Beck was a mobile quarterback.  He has now proven that with back-to-back weeks with a rushing touchdown.  Trailing by 10, the Redskins really needed to put points on the board, and when the play broke down, Beck did it himself.

This was a gritty finish to the best drive of the day.  The Redskins turned to their tight ends on the drive, tallying 81 yards through the air.  Fred Davis finally got involved on offense, with two catches for 33 yards.  Logan Paulsen had a career-drive, with a pair of 24-yard catches, the longest of his career.  It is also a career-high two catches in a single game.

Not bad for a ‘blocking tight end.’

The drive did come at a price, however, as running back Tim Hightower planted on a cutback, and crumpled holding his knee.  Teammates Mike Sellers and Donte Stallworth assisted him off the field, as he seemed very uncomfortable putting weight on it.

As the quarter wound down, the Panthers had found the end zone again to extend their lead back to 10.  The Panthers are driving again, and the Redskins need a big play and a defensive hold in the fourth quarter.

Redskins trail after three, 13-23.

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DY Breaks Down The Revamped RB’s

Posted by Christopher Mudd on September 24, 2011 – 4:37 pm

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By the end of last season, the Redskins running attack was spear-headed by fullback Mike Sellers, and running backs Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams.

Through the first two games, none of the aforementioned backs have seen offensive snaps, and Williams is no longer a member of the Redskins running back stable.

It’s amazing the difference nine months can make.

Two months ago, Darrel Young, Tim Hightower, and Roy Helu didn’t know each other.  Last Sunday, they rushed for a combined 172 yards, a feat that was accomplished only once all of last year.

Young, the bulldozer for the group, sees only one main difference.

“We believed,” he said simply.  “All week we talked about if we get the running game going, it opens up everything else.”

And it certainly did.  The offense’s 455 total yards against the Cardinals exceeded every regulation four-quarter output from last season, and led the way to their second victory on the season.

Even though Young is usually blowing holes in the defense for his running backs to run through, he still has an assessment of how they run.

“Y’know, Hightower’s aggressive guy, you can’t coach what he does,” he explained.  “And Helu–the things that we did coach, he did that–but the running style, that’s him.  We got two guys like that, and basically you got a two-headed monster.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Young made sure to note that the group got off to a “slow start” in the game against the Cardinals, and made no excuses for the performance. Read more »

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Redskins Get Nods On All-Division Team

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 14, 2011 – 4:09 pm

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For Week 2 of the regular season, ESPN’s NFC East blogger Dan Graziano compiled his all-division team.

Last week, I was critical of a few selections, particularly of Mike Sellers as the top fullback in the division when he went on to be deactivated for Sunday’s game.

This week, the Redskins secured six awards, up one from last week.  Graziano notes that the criteria for this week is based strictly on a player’s performance in Week 1:

Fullback: Darrel Young, Redskins (Mike Sellers)

Left guard: Kory Lichtensteiger, Redskins (David Diehl)

Outside linebacker: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys, Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins (Ware, Brian Orakpo)

Punter: Sav Rocca, Redskins (Steve Weatherford)

Kick returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Banks)

Punt returner: Brandon Banks, Redskins (Dez Bryant)

Not a bad list for the boys in Burgundy and Gold. Read more »

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Tight End Tights Wednesday

Posted by Brian Tinsman on September 14, 2011 – 3:20 pm

We can now expect “Tight End Tights Wednesday” to be a weekly occurrence at practice throughout the season.

Chris Cooley initiated the idea, and Logan Paulsen pitched his idea for “No F-Ups Wedneday.”  Essentially, perfect Wednesdays will now be accompanied by the perfect choice of clothing.

When asked how macho tights are on the gridiron, Cooley replied, “It takes a real man to wear tights.”

Fred Davis added, “Peter Pan wore tights.”

Yes he did, and we all know that Peter Pan is a model of masculinity.

Cooley reported the he would like for the rest of the Redskins offense, and eventually the team, to join in the trend.

Sadly, Mike Sellers refused to join the trend, despite auditioning throughout the preseason as a member of the tight end crew.  When asked why he bucked the latest Redskins fashion statement, he said, “I’m not a tight end.”

He’ll come around soon enough.

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Shanahan Wraps Up A Busy Day

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 4, 2011 – 9:05 pm

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Thursday marked one of the most eventful days at camp so far, and Shanahan had a lot to discuss with the media after practice.  Here are the highlights:

1. Ryan Torain has a broken hand that required four screws and is out at least a week.

This is not what he wants or needs to seize that starting job.  The only drawback to Torain has always been the injury bug, and he got bitten early this year.

2. Cooley hasn’t been a big part of the offense yet, and is dealing with soreness and fluid in his knee.  He has been intentionally held out so far, and “will be monitored day-to-day.”

This isn’t good, per se, but it has allowed more snaps for tight ends Fred Davis, Mike Sellers, and Logan Paulsen.

3. Reed Doughty, Rocky McIntosh, and Kedric Golston were brought back today, and are part of what Shanahan referred to as a “core group of players,” and “guys that are full-go, give you everything they have.”

He did not elaborate on their roles, but clearly expects each of them to contribute.

4. Wide receiver Malcolm Kelly was held out this afternoon because of a tweaked hamstring/groin.  “He was a little sore today.  The trainers felt like he couldn’t go.”

Hopefully Kelly can shake this injury and get back out on the field.  With 10 other receivers in camp, he needs to stand out in a good way.

Check out the full video below: Read more »

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Bobby Turner Talks About The Current Running Backs

Posted by Matt Terl on April 21, 2011 – 2:01 pm

Redskins running back coach Bobby Turner recently sat down with Larry Michael for Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. Shortly afterward, Redskins.com intern Brian Tinsman wrote about Turner’s approach to finding running backs in the NFL Draft; now he explains what the coach has to say about the guys who are currently on the roster. (You can watch the entire interview in three parts here, here, and here.)

by Brian Tinsman

Birds come in flocks, wolves come in packs, and running backs come in stables. Well, if that last one is true, then Redskins running backs coach Bobby Turner is the horse whisperer.

A coach long-renowned for getting the most out of his players, Turner didn’t mince words when he assessed the position with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. Among other things, Turner addressed the need to add depth to the position this offseason.

But before looking ahead to the draft or free agency, he reviewed what the team already has.

Ryan Torain, the team’s primary back last season, has had a tough time staying on the field in his career. In his three seasons in Denver and Washington, Torain suited up for only 12 games, missing all of 2009 with injury.

“He has had a history, y’know, of being injured,” Turner said. “If he could have stayed healthy, better things could have happened to us.”

Turner has been Torain’s only running backs coach in the NFL, first with the Broncos and then following him to the Redskins. Over that time, Torain has had “a lot of freak things happen,” according to Turner.

Freaky indeed. In his rookie campaign in Denver, he dislocated and broke a bone in his elbow in training camp. After coming back midway through the season, he played only two games before tearing his ACL against Cleveland in Week 10, missing the rest of the season. He did not play at all in 2009 after being waived due to injury in training camp.

Despite only appearing in 10 games in 2010, starting eight, Torain gained a team-high 742 yards, at a 4.5 yard/carry clip. Not bad for a guy who started the year on the practice squad.

So what does he need to do to get better?

“Quite a few things,” Turner noted. “Number one is we’re never complacent, you know, we’re never content. We want to improve in every area.”

Turner cited a few specific spots where Torain needs to improve: Read more »

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Mike Sellers And Chris Cooley With Snooki At The Auto Show

Posted by Matt Terl on February 1, 2011 – 9:19 am

The Washington Auto Show is running from January 28 to February 6 — you may have seen the ubiquitous commercials with the fake doctor guy on local TV — and features not just autos (as the name would lead you to believe) but different celebrity appearances every day of the show.

If you are my daughter, the biggest day was probably Saturday — Dora the explorer AND Captain Planet AND Wizards mascot G-Wiz AND Clifford the big red dog, all on the same day! — but if (as seems likely) you are a Redskins fan who is more than two years old, yesterday was probably the big one: current Redskins Chris Cooley and Mike Sellers, former Redskins great Brian Mitchell, and Snooki from MTV’s mega-hit reality show Jersey Shore.

I’m actually pretty much Jersey Shore illiterate, but even I know that Snooki’s presence is a pretty big deal — and if I had any doubt, this gallery from the always-excellent Jay Westcott at TBD would make it abundantly clear. But there’s one thing you won’t see in Westcott’s gallery: the Redskins meeting Snooki. Thank goodness for Twitter — and, more specifically, thank goodness for Susie Huitz (@barbque711). Huitz is (based on her tweets) an enormous fan of Snooki AND of DC sports, and she captured this image for posterity:

That’s Sellers in the green, Cooley next to him, and Snooki seated. I don’t think Huitz is going to replace Westcott at TBD anytime soon, but it’s solid work for now. Also worthy noting as far as this goes is The Examiner’s “Yeas & Nays” column, specifically this snippet from the January 3 edition entitled “Redskins pumped to meet Snooki”:

The pint-sized star plans to sign autographs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Washington Auto Show alongside the Washington Redskins’ Chris Cooley and Mike Sellers. We hear Cooley and Sellers are pumped.

“They are, like, so charged about meeting Snooki,” a source close to the event told Yeas & Nays.

I guess I’m the only one who’s not a Snooki fan.

Read more »

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