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Smith, Neild made most of opportunity to crack Redskins roster
Perseverance paid off for two linemen
Switch doesn’t hurt Sellers
Mike Sellers’ chance of making the roster seemingly diminished at the outset of training camp when coaches moved him from fullback to tight end. Coaches don’t ask 11-year veterans to switch positions because they’re playing exceptionally well.
Sellers, however, made the roster as the backup fullback to Darrel Young and the fourth tight end.
“Mike helped himself by having the mindset to go in there and not be disappointed that DY was getting a shot to be the starting fullback,” Shanahan said. “Mike is a pretty strong guy mentally. It’s always tough when you get a little bit older to go and work as a third-, fourth-team tight end, being the first-team fullback. But he never wavered.
“He’s a guy that can help us in a number of different ways, and I appreciate how hard he’s been working.”
Sellers has not granted interviews since the first week of training camp.
New rules help shape roster
Shanahan’s decision to keep only two quarterbacks on the roster was partly based on the new rule this season that allows teams to activate 46 players on game day. In previous seasons, teams activated 45 players and designated an inactive player as their emergency third quarterback.
“This year with the 46, a lot of people, I think, will go with two quarterbacks, take the chance and go with that third player a specialist on special teams.,” Shanahan said.
On a related note, Shanahan said he is treating Brandon Banks as a return specialist and not a receiver because of his ailing knee. But Banks would have made the team regardless of the new rule, so it likely opened a roster spot for one of the Redskins‘ seven wide receivers.
“I thought [Banks] did such a great job on punt returns and kickoff returns it would be silly not to dress him on game day,” Shanahan said. “He’s a difference maker out there.”
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