Steinberg at the Sports Bog mentions that "a lot of fans have gotten over their previous infatuation with Mike Sellers, who might not qualify as `fan favorite' any more."
The shift in the public perception of Sellers was amazingly fast, and seems to all go back to the confrontation between Sellers and Portis in early October, which led to a lot of close examination of Sellers' performance. Shortly thereafter, in the Panthers game, Portis was tackled for a safety and color commentator Brian Billick excoriated Sellers. Here is my comment from that play, taken from the game review:
"Color commentator Brian Billick rips Mike Sellers on this play (on his note cards due to the Portis-Sellers spat from earlier in the week), saying the fullback’s responsibility on a goal line play is to punch a hole through the line rather than move laterally to try to get to the corner. But my read is that Sellers was never able to get forward momentum because Stephon Heyer was getting thrown backward into his face. If Sellers hadn’t dodged him and tried to get to the outside, I think Portis would have been flattened under Heyer’s and Sellers’ bodies and Peppers wouldn’t have even needed to tackle him."
And here is my comment from the play that led to Portis' well-publicized consternation:
"Jumbo package with Davis and Yoder on the right and Cooley on the left. We run left. Guess who gets beat to allow the defense to penetrate and stuff Portis. Cooley has always been known as a mediocre blocker, but I don’t remember him being quite this awful last year. Has he gotten worse? And why the hell would we run behind him in a power situation? Sellers was lead blocking, but Cooley’s failure neutralized Sellers by not giving him a gap to lead through."
Sellers' job is leading through the hole and taking out LBs - if the hole is never opened or if he has to dodge his own linemen to get there, there's not a whole lot Sellers can do. In my opinion Sellers is a very good fullback but not a perfect one - and I think I mentioned in one of my post-review wrap-ups without Sellers the Redskins might not have any running game at all.
Sellers has always been a little overrated by the Redskins fan base. But overrated doesn't mean he was lousy. He was, in general, a devastating lead blocker but was widely acknowledged to have a tendency to whiff on occasion. And yet the same fan base that once adored him unconditionally turned on him with a vengeance simply because Brian Billick told them to. Within a matter of days, Sellers was constantly being referenced as one of the primary culprits in the offense's collapse. Almost overnight he went from slightly overrated to horrendously underrated.
Maybe Sellers should have been more decisive at times this year - and maybe on the plays referenced above there was more he could have done to ensure a positive gain. But after Cooley I have a hard time finding a player on this offense who has performed more consistently, although if you look closesly enough you can find flaws in anyone's game.
Remember - just because someone says something on TV doesn't make it true. And even if it contains kernels of truth, it doesn't need to be immediately accepted as religious truth.