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About That Trick Play…

Posted by Matt Terl on December 22, 2009 – 4:12 pm

Personally, I think they should’ve kicked the field goal. Let me get that out of the way first.

Limping in to halftime after a severe beat-down, knowing you’ll be receiving the second-half kickoff, I say you take the three points, call it a moral victory that ends the shutout and cuts the deficit to a scant three touchdowns, and try to to build on it after the break.

But I will say this: it was a designed play. I’ve seen it work in practice. And it was not nearly as stupid as the TV announcers would have you believe.

If you watch the video above, you’ll hear the announcing team go from giddy anticipation of a go-for-broke, nothing-to-lose attempt from a team that’s been successful at them before to disdainfully scorning. “What is the wide world is that?” play-by-play voice Mike Tirico says, adding, “This is embarrassing” before getting back to the play-by-play.

“I’ve never seen that play,” Jon Gruden froths to Ron Jaworski, in his overcaffeinated way. “I hope I never see it again, Jaws!”

“I’m speechless,” Jaworksi responds. “I … I don’t know what to say.”

And, a few seconds later, Gruden says, “They don’t even protect their kickers here!” Which is an amusing line, but it also fundamentally ignores the concept of the play — a concept that the players involved were defending in the postgame locker room, and STILL defending at the facility today.

“When you run it in practice,” Hunter Smith started, and then paused. “Theoretically, you catch them off guard and they go safe mode and leave me alone, and just make sure I have nowhere to go and nowhere to run beyond the line of scrimmage. And, in some cases, it might work that way. But in their case…”

He didn’t finish the sentence, so I’ll finish it for him: in their case, it didn’t. Read more »

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DeAngelo Hall Tries To Remain Silent, Doesn't Succeed

Posted by Matt Terl on December 22, 2009 – 1:56 am

DeAngelo Hall tried not to discuss the fight. He really did. He was standing at his locker getting dressed, a mob of reporters slowly forming, and he was really trying not to give them what they wanted. From the locker next door, Fred Smoot encouraged Hall to start his own media boycott.

Then John Pappas of Warpath Confidential spoke up. “I’ll tell you what I saw,” Pappas said. “What I saw was two guys mugging you, and then Albert getting involved and him getting flagged.”

“There you go,” Hall said. And for a second, it seemed like that would be all he had to say.

It wasn’t.
Read more »

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Tuesday, December 22: More Cheery Postgame Thoughts With Albert Haynesworth

Posted by Matt Terl on December 22, 2009 – 1:08 am

It was after the last Redskins Monday night game — also against a division rival, also a loss, also frustrating — that Albert Haynesworth came to the media with a message of despair and disappointment.

“I mean, this is one of the most talented teams I’ve been on,” he said at the time, “and just not to get it done is … I dunno, shocking. And whatever happened, you go out there and play hard and then nothing really happens, you don’t get a spark. I mean, the fans are losing interest — the more games we play, the fewer the fans come. It’s just gettin’ … it’s gettin’ bad. This bye week [is] comin’ at a good time right now. Maybe we can come back and come back as a new team.”

To the best of my knowledge he never revisited that idea during the post-bye games, but he more than made up for lost time after this one, and if this is a new Redskins team, Haynesworth does not seem to be of the opinion that it’s a better one.

“I don’t think this team is really that bad,” he said, which seems like a bit of a come-down from “one of the most talented teams I’ve been on.” He continued, “I don’t think the players are that bad. I dunno.”

A reporter asked him to define “not that bad,” and Haynesworth clarified with the obvious: “I mean, the score, the record, it’d say that we’re horrible, that we don’t know how to play football. But I been around these guys a lot and I think they know how to play football, I just think we’re all goin’ different directions and we need somebody to lead us in the right direction.”

While “I think they know how to play football” still doesn’t sound a whole lot like “one of the most talented teams,” this returned to one of Haynesworth’s earlier points. Here he is back in October again: “If we just keep going our separate ways, then we’ll just keep getting slaughtered like we have.”

And he was right about that one, too. But after the Eagles game, that was about as far as Haynesworth was willing to go. This time, he pressed onward a bit. Read more »

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