Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2009 Fullbacks Review

Mike Sellers started taking a lot of heat after his locker room confrontation with Clinton Portis made its way into the press. Suddenly, people started to come out of the woodwork to argue that Sellers was a terrible run blocker. My own opinion is that Sellers has been a very good blocker throughout his tenure with the Redskins, but has naturally declined with age (he’s 34 years old). Nonetheless, he has probably been somewhat overrated by Redskins fans. That made the viciousness with which the fans turned on him pretty startling.

I wrote a post defending him at one point, although you may note that a commenter took strong exception.

I will admit that as the year went on I started to come around and see more and more missed assignments and failed blocks. I honestly can’t tell you if his performance declined or if I started to notice his flaws more readily.

Now will Sellers be a Redskin next year? Some argue that he is more effective as a blocking tight end, where he lined up (or motioned to) almost as often as at fullback last year. But Todd Yoder is already a pretty good blocking tight end, and in case you’re unaware we already have two pretty good pass catchers in addition. So that may be a hard place for Sellers to find a spot.

And I hope that someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but I am under the impression that the Shanahans (Mike and Kyle) are more inclined to use smaller, receiving-threat fullbacks than big 300+ pound leadblockers. If that’s the case, Sellers could be in serious trouble.

Eddie Williams, largely forgotten even before his injury last year, may be a viable possibility – he is more of a smaller, receiving H-back type who could be valuable in the passing game.

So before the coaching change, I was of a mind that Sellers should probably be replaced, but more due to age than performance. But under the Shanahan regime it may be even more difficult for him to find a role. I would give pretty decent odds that either Eddie Williams or an addition from outside will be the Redskins starting fullback in 2010.


  1. I really don't like to hear that Sellers may not play for the Redskins next year, but with his ocntract, it's not likely they pay him to sit on the bench and look pretty no matter how dominating he is on special teams. The problem with that is, miracle zone-blocking scheme or no, I don't see the OL being dominant enough in 2010. To run the ball between the tackles without some sort of leadblocker or jumbo-package 6th lineman (Sellers is effectively both) we're likely to need either him or Touchdown Todd Yoder at FB in order to create an up-the-gut run game.
    Based on the Shanahan FB type, Yoder fits in better; he's more agile, more of a receiving threat, a lower salary, and performed VERY well in spot work as the leadblocker. The only 100-yard rushing game we had this season came behind Yoder's less massive (but more dependable?) leadblocking...plus that would open up possibilities for what Yoder noticeably does best, ie making impossible two-yard catches for touchdowns.
    Seems to me like a very real possibility. Do you have any thoughts on the notion, Dave?

  2. I agree that Yoder could do well in the role. I had him figured mostly as a blocking tight end to make up for Cooley's and Davis' shortcomings in that area, but you're right he could be a FB option if we can't add someone. But I see him more helping out our tackles in the quasi-double teams that zone blocking is based on.