- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2009

Last month, Mike Sellers complained he’s not being paid like the Pro Bowl fullback he was last season.

That changed Wednesday when the Washington Redskins gave the 34-year-old $1 million worth of bonus money and extended his contract through 2014, including two voidable years.

“I had a point to make to them that just because I’m not here in the offseason, I’m [still] going to be in shape,” said Sellers, who skipped most of the offseason workouts because he was unhappy about his scheduled $945,000 in compensation for 2009. “It showed [the coaches] that I’m a hard worker on and off the field.”

Sellers said he now feels appreciated for what he does on offense, operating as Clinton Portis’ lead blocker, and on special teams, where he’s the top returning tackler.

“I felt it was time,” Sellers said. “For years, I sat here and watched everybody else around me get these great contracts. I was the only one [who didn’t]. I had a good talk with [owner Dan Snyder]. I voiced my opinions. He understood, and he blessed me with an extension. … I got what I want, and now it’s time to go play.”

Coach Jim Zorn said he knows how valuable Sellers is.

“Mike is really a team guy,” Zorn said. “He’s been very vocal about pulling guys together and holding guys accountable.”

Sellers, who was elected a co-captain last week, has impressed Zorn on the field, too.

“He’s done a great job at the point of attack,” Zorn said. “When he gets there, he’s bringing all of his [273 pounds]. He just knows the offense like he’s read the book five times. … He’s just been playing free. You can run at a higher speed when you know what you’re doing.”

Horton gets corrected

Although second-year strong safety Chris Horton played only five second-half snaps Sunday against the New York Giants, safeties coach Steve Jackson said Horton was not benched for poor play. But after practice, Horton cited a first-quarter mistake that resulted in a 22-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw for his limited action.

“I kind of lined up in the wrong spot one time,” Horton said. “It kind of cost us even though I got myself back into position. I was disguising, and if I would have started outside where I should have been, I would have hit that thing in the backfield.”

Horton met with Jackson to go over the game video.

“I guess there was kind of a misunderstanding between me and my coach,” Horton said. “We got it corrected.”

Horton played every snap of the first two quarters but was replaced by former starter Reed Doughty for most of the second half.

“It’s like having two good pitchers: You can switch it up to change the tempo of the game,” Jackson said. “Both of them did well.”

Listen to the music

When the Redskins performed their usual calisthenics before practice Wednesday, the music of Jay-Z was blaring from speakers near the field. Metallica followed later.

Zorn, who had heard that other teams use music to pump up the players before practice, finally acted on a suggestion made in 2008 by tight end Chris Cooley.

“Chris asked me about a year ago, ‘Can’t we have music out here?’ ” Zorn said. “It took me a long time to decide. I just thought it would loosen everybody up, and it did. I thought our guys enjoyed it. [I’ll] probably keep it up for a while.”

Receiver Santana Moss said he hadn’t experienced pre-practice music since he was in college at Miami.

“That’s how we’re going to have it in the stadium, so I guess we want a game atmosphere,” Moss said.

Sellers said the music “boosted everybody up. We had a great practice.”

Extra points

The Redskins’ run of good health continued; the entire roster was available for practice. …

After practice, the Redskins met for more than two hours with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith to discuss the negotiations with the league on a new collective bargaining agreement and preparations for a possible lockout by the owners in 2011.

London Fletcher was voted the team’s player representative, replacing the retired James Thrash. Ethan Albright, who had been the interim player rep, was elected an alternate along with Antwaan Randle El.

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