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Hunter Smith Did Not Have Faith In Shaun Suisham As A Receiver

Posted by Matt Terl on November 16, 2009 – 3:00 pm

Hey, maybe you heard somewhere that punter Hunter Smith threw a touchdown pass yesterday? It’s true!

You’ve probably also heard by now that Smith was a multiple-position threat at Sherman High School, including quarterback — “I was a better receiver than anything, and went to college as that,” he said after the game, before settling into much more standard athlete-speak. “I just count myself as a punter who happened to be healthy enough to be on the field and threw a ball.”

But you may not have realized that — because the play started in field goal formation –kicker Shaun Suisham was running a route as a receiver on the play. Which is not to say that he was a valid check-down option, of course. Read more »

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Brian Orakpo Talks About The Sack Race

Posted by Matt Terl on November 16, 2009 – 1:52 pm

For all that went well for Brian Orakpo yesterday, there were a couple things that could’ve gone a little better. For example: he broke the Redskins rookie sack record, but he did it after the team’s PR staff and a large chunk of the media contingent had already gone down to the locker room. So there was no announcement of the feat — in either the press box OR the stadium.

Which also meant that the press didn’t realize there was anything specific to discuss with the rookie, so he got dressed and left, talking to only a couple of people and avoiding the usual media hordes. Which is, of course, why he didn’t actually get any say in my post from yesterday about the sack competition that’s developing between him and Andre Carter.

I thought leaving in a hurry might have been a deliberate move, actually. Orakpo had been extremely frustrated after the Falcons loss, and it was possible that he just didn’t feel like facing the press even after a win. But, based on his demeanor at his press availability today, that didn’t seem to be the case.

“You just feel so much better,” he said, when asked to describe the atmosphere at Redskins Park today. “Everybody’s just so upbeat, you know, everybody’s real excited. You can use this as momentum to the next game, ’cause it feels so good when you win. At the same time, you don’t wanna feel like, that’s it, we’re done, and then go back and lose four more. We gotta continue to keep progressing as a team, take this game as motivation, and keep moving forward.”

And, fortunately for this imaginary sack race that I’ve been babbling about, he also addressed Andre Carter’s 2009 sack total. Read more »

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Monday, November 16: When Does The Offensive Line Stop Being Makeshift

Posted by Matt Terl on November 16, 2009 – 11:24 am

For weeks now, any discussion of the Redskins offensive line has been prefaced with the word “makeshift”. Between guys being lost to injury and guys being shuttled from position to position in relief, there’s been very little continuity on a unit that — according to conventional NFL wisdom — thrives on continuity.

Of course, no one has particularly WANTED to see continuity in an offensive line that seemed at times to be actively forcing Jason Campbell to run for his life, and that Clinton Portis had been unable to run behind. But that changed yesterday, when the combination of mid-season free-agent acquisition Levi Jones, season-long starters Derrick Dockery and Casey Rabach, 2008 third-round draft pick Chad Rinehart, and roving lineman Stephon Heyer finally seemed to click.

This group managed to go through the entire game together, surrendering just three sacks (all in the second half) and opening holes for the Redskins backup running backs to rush for 174 yards against what had been the eighth-ranked rushing defense coming into the game. So I found myself asking when people could stop using the word “makeshift” to describe these guys. Read more »

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