Hogs Haven Memorial Day Classic: Mike Sellers, 11 Years of Service

Patrick Smith

Mike "Caveman" Sellers was toughness personified. He played 11 years in a Redskins uniform and should be remembered for his subtle yet integral impact on the franchise.

Stats (with Washington):

164 Games

Rushing: 158 Yards, 3 Touchdowns

Receiving: 116 Receptions, 1022 Yards, 16 Touchdowns

Special Teams: 98 Tackles

Overview

Talk about a diamond in the rough. Mike "Caveman" Sellers was the pride of Walla Walla Community College, in Washington state. He came to the Redskins by way of our friends up north in the CFL where he played for 3 years. Sellers was signed as an undrafted free agent in 1998 and immediately saw the field, being on the active roster for 14 games in just his rookie year. He spent the next two years starting at tight end/fullback before being released and picked up by Cleveland in 2001. He was cut from Cleveland halfway through their season and was unable to find a home for the next 2 years (100 Respect Points for anyone that can name the Redskins' FB during those 2 years). In 2004, the Redskins brought him back for good. He played the next 8 seasons in a Burgundy and Gold uniform, sporting a blond goatee along the way.

Believe it or not, Mike Sellers is ranked 10th in career games played as a Redskin (post-merger). He is the last Redskins player to 'serve' the team for at least 11 years, and unless Santana Moss makes it through another 3 years, Sellers's mark will stand for many more years to come. Over the years he paved the way for Stephen Davis and Clinton Portis (a little Ryan Torain at the end too). During the Joe Gibbs 2.0 era, Sellers helped the Redskins rank in the top 12 in rushing yards for all 4 years. He was the type of gritty "utility" player every team wants to have. It's safe to say he was a special teams "ace" when it came to kick and punt coverage. Our Lorenzo Alexander before there was Lorenzo Alexander.

Career Hightlights

2005: The Gibbs 2.0 era began with a bang. Not only did the Redskins make the playoffs but they won their Wild Card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you remember back to this season, the Redskins had (for all practical purposes) three options: Run Clinton Portis, throw to Santana Moss, or throw to Chris Cooley. That was basically it. However, there did emerge a fourth option when the ball was in the Red Zone. Mike Sellers finished the 2005 season with as many receiving touchdowns as Chris Cooley (7), tied for second on the team. This is added to role he played in Portis's 1,516 yard season as well.

2008: Portis went off once again, rushing for 1,487 yards. Sellers's stellar lead blocking got him chosen for the 2009 Pro Bowl as the lone fullback for the NFC team. This was his one and only Pro Bowl year.

2010: In his last full year as the starter, Sellers recorded career highs in receptions (20), targets (40), and receiving yards (224). In fact, he was targeted more than Fred Davis and Joey Galloway. He also forced two fumbles on special teams coverage.

Standout Moment

Fullbacks rarely get their moment in the sun but in 2007 Mike Sellers got his. The Caveman moment we hope we never forget was when Sellers flattened Kenoy Kennedy from the Detroit Lions. For your viewing pleasure below:

Bottom Line

Mike Sellers is as tough as they come. He never saw a defender he didn't want to truck. Seeking contact wherever he could find it, Sellers was never afraid. Why would he be? He was a 6'3", 280 pound bulldozer. However, as menacing he was on the field, Sellers was a kind soul off it.

After his flag throwing fiasco in 2009, Sellers met with then U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Brian Havens (Hogs Havens...+1 point for me). Havens, a lifelong Redskins fan, was absolutely "thrilled" to meet with Sellers, have him sign memorabilia for his family, and present Sellers with a flag. Sellers grew up as an "army brat." His father was a 30+ year Army veteran himself and thus is well-deserving of our thanks.

So, on this Memorial Day Weekend, let's take a moment to thank our veterans and honor those that have fallen with our thoughts and prayers.

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