Justin K. Aller
Redskins Quick Takes: Shanahan proud of Hall, to a point | WashingtonExaminer.com
Yes, there’s some regret over the failed pass back play to Robert Griffin III. Joshua Morgan took a handoff on an end around, then stopped and threw back to Griffin, who was covered. Safety Ryan Clark drilled Griffin as he attempted to catch the ball. "After looking at that play you feel like a dumb [expletive]," Shanahan said. "If I had to do it over, I would tell Josh, unless he’s wide open. Of course, from his perspective, he was. But it’s part of the growing process for me having a guy throw a pass from the backfield."
Mike Shanahan Monday Press Conference " CBS DC
Shanahan said punter Sav Rocca is punting through a torn meniscus in his right knee and linebacker Perry Riley (hamstring) should be able to play next Sunday barring any setback.
Five observations from the Redskins’ loss to the Steelers
The Redskins had their worst offensive outing of the season, but it wasn’t because they had a rookie quarterback going against a veteran defense. Robert Griffin III put his teammates in position to make plays, but the pass-catchers didn’t hold up their end of the deal, dropping ten passes.
"I didn’t expect to have a huge impact on the game other than playing a role," he said. "I obviously knew going in that it wasn't going to be a huge production game for me, but maybe I could go in and help the team a little bit." Tight end Logan Paulsen – who got the start today in place of Davis – said Cooley’s veteran presence was felt on two plays specifically. "It was really nice having him out there and his intelligence and his savvy," Paulsen said. "There were a couple times where the play comes in wrong and he’s able to get everybody lined up because that’s the kind of guy he is."
Though the Washington Redskins lost the game yesterday to the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them 3-5 and on the outside looking in for the NFC playoff race, the biggest loss for the Skins, could be the idea that London Fletcher is a key member of this defense. Fletcher did have six tackles and snuffed out a screen pass, but missed multiple tackles and was once again a liability in coverage.
The Redskins don't have better options, but I still don't see why that should keep them from getting rid of him. It's hard to see how you could really damage your 32nd-ranked pass defense by cutting a guy who is, statistically, the worst cover corner in the league. Especially if he's going to embarrass you. Especially if he's a nine-year veteran who needs to be restrained by actual team leaders London Fletcher and Lorenzo Alexander because he got so upset about an Emmanuel Sanders block (admittedly, a filthy one) that he felt the need to scream and curse out the officials.
"I think everybody knows it's a must-win game if you're 3-5 at the bye week," Shanahan said on a conference call with reporters. "If you have any chance at the playoffs, everybody understands at the midway point that you've got to start playing your best football or you're eliminated awful quick, What he meant, of course, is that the Redskins are now 3-5 and their bye week will start after the Carolina game. Eight NFC teams, half of the conference, have either three or four wins. The current Wild Card leaders, Minnesota and Green Bay, have five wins. Going into the last seven games of the season with four wins means that you have a chance to be in the playoff conversation.
Instead of having his franchise quarterback run a go route, Kyle Shanahan might want to get the ball in the hands of Santana Moss more often. He’s the only receiver with much familiarity with the end zone (having scored five of the wideouts’ eight touchdowns). Granted, he’s 33, and the Redskins are trying to develop Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson, but he’s still the most dangerous weapon the passing game has.
I’ll be the first one to respect Fletcher and acknowledge his perseverance through injuries. But when it hurts the team, it’s counter-productive. Although his heart is in the right place it was a bad move for him to play. I think there were more able bodies ready to go that should have been on the field.
Paulsen played 56 of Washington’s 59 offensive snaps. He had four receptions for 43 yards, including a 31-yard catch. He also helped block in the running game – tailback Alfred Morris averaged 4.5 yards on 13 rushes – and he was penalized for two false starts. "I feel like I played OK," he said. "I had two offsides, which were unfortunate. It could have been a little cleaner in certain aspects, but overall I feel pretty positive about the whole experience."
"Jim is, I think, an average coordinator right now," the former Redskins cornerback said. "He might not have the players he wants. But I also think he’s so pig-headed right now, he’s gonna continue to run his style of defense, even though it’s killing the team." He didn’t mean "pig-headed" as an homage to the Hogs, either. There was more. "I’m embarrassed for them," Smoot said. "Because I used to wear those colors. I wore that on my helmet. I represent that to this day. And I know the one thing we always prided ourselves on was going out there and playing defense the best we could. We might not have been the greatest defense, but we played with our heart on our sleeve, and we went out there and laid it on the line.