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Alex Ovechkin Was Available For Field Goals

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 7:12 pm

Shaun Suisham
filling in on punting duties for Hunter Smith was the only in-game kicking switcheroo, but it wasn’t the only story about a guy getting some out-of-position special teams work at FedExField on Sunday. Michael Green, Nicklas Backstrom, and Alex Ovechkin of the 2-0 Washington Capitals were on-hand before pregame warmups, and the three players got in some work kicking field goals. (Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was present as well, but skipped the kickoff competition.

“It increased my respect for Suisham,” Green — who was 2-for-2 — said of his fellow Canadian countryman. “We were at the 20-yard line, and he kicks that ball from forty, fifty yards. That’s incredible.”

Ovechkin went 2-for-3, and Backstrom made 1-of-2.

Suisham was not surprised by Ovechkin’s success kicking the ball. “He’s an explosive guy. Powerful, good athlete,” Suisham said. “Any time you have someone who’s athletic, they’ll be able to put it through the uprights when there’s no pressure.”

I wasn’t able to catch up with Ovechkin, so I posed my one crucial question about his field goals to Green and Suisham instead: had Ovechkin celebrated his successful kicks with a variation on his traditional jump into the boards?

“He gave the two hands in the air, high five to someone,” Green said. “He was pretty excited. I was pretty excited too.”

That “someone” Green mentioned? It would be Suisham. “There was an awkward high five,” Suisham said. ” I was coaching him up, and it was like I had a student that I was working with. He was legitimately excited, and I was happy for him. Not often you see Russians kicking field goals.”

Or Canadians punting. Wacky special teams all around at FedExField.

The video, courtesy of the intrepid folks at Redskins Broadcast Network, is after the jump. Read more »

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Still, "Shaun The Punter" Does Not Have The Same Ring

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 6:11 pm

In a relieved, loose Redskins postgame locker room, a whole lot of the players were going out of their way to congratulate Shaun Suisham — a guy who didn’t score a touchdown and had a stat line that was below league average in every major statistical category for the position.

Of course, that was because he performed admirably even when the position in question wasn’t one that he usually plays. Or practices for.

When Suisham was asked the last time he practiced a punt, he stopped, though for a second, and then gave a terrifyingly precise answer. “I punted two balls in training camp with the team,” he said.

And the last time he punted in a game? “High school.” David Elfin of the Washington Times asked if he had been good in high school and Suisham laughed. “We didn’t keep stats. Playing football in Canada, we didn’t keep punting stats in high school.” Read more »

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Redskins v. Buccaneers – Brief Fourth Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 3:52 pm

The Redskins only put together one really good quarter of football today, but — against this Bucs team — it was enough for the win, 16-13. The defense looked much better today, which they should’ve against this team. Interested to see what the tenor of the locker room is, which is where I’m headed now.

Not pretty, but much better than the result last week. Much. Read more »

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Redskins v. Buccaneers – Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 3:13 pm

Things started looking up for the Redskins this quarter, maybe for the first time this year. Jason Campbell looked much more like the guy I’ve been in favor of, going 7-for-9 for 110 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yarder to Santana Moss down the sidelines.

And that touchdown was crucial, because the team had the extra point blocked after the hard-earned first touchdown (a 17-yarder to Chris Cooley), and it would’ve been really easy for that to have negated any momentum gain.

The defense remained strong, and actually seems to have addressed some of their problems stopping teams on third down, having held the Bucs to 1-of-9 through the third quarter.

Unfortunately, given the way this season has gone, I’m going to need to see that kind of performance continue on both sides of the ball for a while before I let myself get too excited. Read more »

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Redskins v. Buccaneers – Second Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 2:26 pm

So far, this has been the opposite of fun to watch. I’m sitting here in the pressbox at halftime watching kicker Shaun Suisham work on punts, and it isn’t the worst thing I’ve seen today.

Not that I’m sure what would get that honor. Jason Campbell‘s nightmare day improved only slightly in the second quarter, with one more interception and a truly horrendous pass bounced off the official’s head. The Redskins trail Tampa Bay — previously thought to be the worst team in the league — by 10, and it would be worse if not for two missed field goals.

So, essentially, it was the first quarter all over again. And the Redskins elected to receive the opening kickoff, so they’ll be kicking off to start the third. This day just keeps getting better. Read more »

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Redskins v. Buccaneers – First Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 1:45 pm

The good news is that the Redskins are only down 7. The bad news is pretty much everything else. A quick recap, if you haven’t been able to focus on the TV:

  • I’m generally a pretty big Jason Campbell supporter, but he hasn’t looked good today: 2 of 6 passing for 22 yards with one interception and one fumble for a quarterback rating of 5.6. When your QB rating is lower than your number of attempts, something has gone wrong.
  • Of course, part of the problem there has been the offensive line, which has given Campbell little to no time, and has made the running backs work for every yard.
  • Hunter The Punter Smith is questionable to return from a groin injury, which has put Shuan Suisham in the awkward position of punting out of his own endzone.
  • The defense has not looked terrible, actually, but the turnovers have given the Bucs such good field position that it’s easy to forget that. There actually have been more blitzes and “gambling” plays, just as Greg Blache promised this week, and so far they’ve worked out in the Redskins favor.

The fans have been much more supportive than the drama of the week might’ve led you to expect, but they’re certainly not hesitating to express their displeasure at the miscues. If the offense doesn’t get on track, though, I expect some of their patience is going to run out Read more »

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Follow Redskins v. Buccaneers On Twitter

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 1:03 pm

As per usual, for those of you who don’t use Twitter, follow on the Twackle module below for Twitter updates from me (@redskinsblog), Gary Fitzgerald (@redskinsdotcom), and Larry Weisman (@LarryWeisman). Offer your thoughts either with the gold colored respond button on the module, or in the comments section right here.

http://www.twackle.com/widget/generate_widget/redskins Read more »

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Redskins v. Buccaneers – Mike Sellers Is Wearing Coach Zorn's Pads

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 12:01 pm

Mike Sellers came out of the Lions game with a painful bruised thigh, but he’ll be playing today thanks to a combination of very new pads and very old pads. Read more »

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Sunday, October 4: Breast Cancer Awareness Via Football Uniforms

Posted by Matt Terl on October 4, 2009 – 10:00 am

The Redskins will be wearing the traditional white jerseys and burgundy pants for today’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, along with the decidedly non-traditional pink gloves, pink wristbands, and — in some cases — pink cleats, as part of the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” breast cancer awareness campaign.
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