The blocked field goal (painfully depicted above) from Monday night’s game, served as a reminder that a vastly improved special teams still has some work to do.
Already in 2010, kicker Graham Gano has kicked the longest field goal of his career (50 yards against Dallas), and punter Sav Rocca leads the league in punts downed inside the 20-yard line (9).
But the blocked kick on Monday night also could have been the deciding factor in a game the Redskins should have won.
“I came in yesterday and watched all the film,” said long snapper Nick Sundberg, “and I think it’s just one of those things. The outcome didn’t turn out perfect like it usually does, and the outcome wasn’t in our favor.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, might be the most politically correct answer ever told in an NFL locker room.
Clearly Sundberg didn’t want to put blame on a teammate for not executing the play perfectly, but replay showed that the error occurred on the hold. Head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed that this afternoon.
“Basically, the snap was good and we just didn’t get it down and we just didn’t get it done,” Shanahan said. ”Those things do happen, and you can take a look at film, and it’s very easy to see. You just keep on practicing and get some more reps, and hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Sundberg echoed those sentiments hour earlier, but refused to put the blame squarely on Rocca as the holder. Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, dallas cowboys, graham gano, nick sundberg, sav rocca, special teams, washington redskins
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There’s a theory in behavioral psychology that all stress is the product of internal pressure. Perhaps in your case, it’s not your boss or spouse that stresses you out, but rather how you respond to their provocation.
Another example (conveniently chosen at random) would be Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman. In his first three games, he’s done exceptionally well, reasonably well, and not well enough to win.
He was clearly unhappy with the results of Monday night’s game, but was cool and confident by Wednesday morning.
“The only pressure I feel, is the pressure that I put on myself to be a great quarterback, and lead our team to victory,” he told the media. ”That’s all I really worry about. That’s what allows me to work hard and get better, and that’s the truth.”
Just in case you were questioning anything else he said, you can be sure that this part was true.
Yesterday and today were the first days for players to go back and look at tape of the game from the previous week. Naturally, this process is always harder after a loss.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to play at a Pro Bowl level every week, and when I don’t, y’know, it’s frustrating,” he said. ”I go back and watch the tape, be hard on myself, and fix the things that didn’t allow me to play as well as I can.”
Media-created controversies spring up any time a team suffers a setback, but Grossman has been around long enough to be impervious to the drama.
“That’s life in the NFL,” he said. ”Worrying about other things is a distraction. Like I said before: the pressure I feel is the pressure that I put on myself to lead this team to victory.”
For more Rexisms, watch the video below: Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, dallas cowboys, rex grossman, washington redskins
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Despite missing out on the opportunity for offseason workouts with his new teammates, Oshiomogho Atogwe has already grown into a force on defense and a leader in the secondary.
Head coach Mike Shanahan has been impressed with his level of preparation through the first three games.
“He’s a student of the game, he’s very smart. He likes to play and he’s very accountable,” he said. ”He’s a team leader both on and off the field. You like people that prepare themselves every week, and he’s one of those guys.”
Despite learning on the fly, Atogwe has been a capable free safety through the first three games and should improve as time goes one.
“He’s feeling better and he’s more familiar with our system and our terminology,” Shanahan said. ”The better he feels, the better he gets.”
Safety-mate LaRon Landry got his first start of the season on Monday, and was impressed with the degree of communication that the pair had already.
“Y’know, the chemistry was there,” he said. ”For the number of practices we’ve had together, we were able to go out there an communicate well. We did okay. The more repititions we get, the better we’re gonna get.”
Atogwe leads his secondary back to the gridiron that he used to patrol in St. Louis, this Sunday. He understands that in order to beat the Rams, he and his teammates will need to be more consistent.
“You saw it in pieces on Monday night–when you finally have us all working together, it’s just gonna continue to be dominant force out there,” he explained. ”That’s what we envisioned at the beginning of the season, back in training camp. And that’s what we’re gonna continue to work to put out on the field.”
For more of Atogwe’s comments, watch below: Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, LaRon Landry, mike shanahan, oshiomogho atogwe, st. louis rams, washington redskins
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The NFL has announced the latest candidates for the next class of Canton-bound Pro Football Hall Of Famers.
Any player, coach, owner, or official is eligible for enshrinement after five years of retirement from the game. This initial list of 103 candidates is officially called “The Final List of Preliminary Nominees.”
This year’s class of nominees has a distinctive Burgundy and Gold flair. To make it more interesting, I turn the voting over to you to decide:
Tags: Hall of Famers, the final list of preliminary nominees, washington redskins
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In the most violent collision of Monday night’s game, Redskins safety LaRon Landry finally got a chance to unload all of his frustrations of the past 10 months.
And while you were jumping around your living room, spilling beer and salsa on the carpet, I bet you never thought about it from the other perspective, did you?
As a matter of fact, Cowboys receiver Laurent Robinson has had a lot of up and downs over the last three weeks too:
UP: Signed by the Cowboys on Sept. 7.
DOWN: Released by the Cowboys on Sept. 13.
UP: Re-signed by the Cowboys on September 20.
DOWN: Trying to catch Tony Romo’s overthrown pass:
On a play where the Redskins overloaded the pressure in Romo’s face with outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, it appeared that Robinson was open. Romo made the snap decision and lofted the ball to his receiver.
Landry read Romo’s eyes and broke for Robinson as soon as the pass was released. Proving that legal hits can still be vicious, Landry punished Robinson for being open, and forced a fourth down.
All in a day’s work for Landry. Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, dallas cowboys, LaRon Landry, oshiomogho atogwe, ryan kerrigan, washington redskins
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Of the many storylines that came out of the Monday night loss to the Cowboys, perhaps the strangest was the explanation for the botched shotgun exchanges between Cowboys center Phil Costa and Tony Romo.
ESPNDallas.com picked up the story, as proclaimed by Costa and Romo after the game, and suggested that former Cowboys defensive end Stephen Bowen was responsible for the early snaps.
“We’ve got to get the snap thing worked out,” Romo told the media after the game. “Costa said the D-line kept calling out the snap count. We’ll tell the league and see if that’s something that can be fixed because you’re not supposed to be able to do that.”
The next day on a radio show on ESPN 103.3 in Dallas, Costa backed down from the Bowen accusation, but attributed it to a nameless defensive players “barking out the snap count,” on the line.
“[Bowen] wasn’t really doing it, but whoever was doing the snap count or whatever,” he said. ”And y’know, we’re hearing the D-line barking a little bit, and either way, it’s on me.”
So was it an issue that “we’ll tell the league” about, or is it “either way, it’s on me?” I’ve heard Bowen, and I’ve heard Romo, and they don’t sound anything alike.
Must be those pesky barking spiders on the field.
Sitting in the press box at a game, I’m about as far removed from the action as you are at home, so I can’t say for sure what happened on the field. But given that these violations are something that officials are trained to look for, and assigned to look for, I had to approach these accusations with a degree of journalistic skepticism.
So I turned to Redskins defensive end Kedric Golston for clarity. Read more »
Tags: 2011 season, dallas cowboys, Kedric Golston, phil costa, snap count violation, stephen bowen, tony romo, washington redskins
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