Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon has taken to spinning the football on the ground after several catches this season.
It’s an act that teammate Santana Moss made famous years ago, but head coach Mike Shanahan recently praised this specific display of excitement after a big play or a first down that, when done correctly, in no way should be looked at as taunting the opposing team.
But the officials in last Sunday’s Redskins-Browns game apparently took exception to Garçon spinning the football on the ground after the catch and pointing at it, and flagged him for taunting — a 15-yard penalty.
Shanahan was asked today by the media if Garçon was guilty of taunting.
“He didn’t taunt the ball,” Shanahan said. “[If] the ball doesn’t taunt back, you’re all right.”
It was immediately unclear if Wilson — which makes the NFL’s official football — had a response to Garçon’s “taunting” of their product.
Anyway, Shanahan said he didn’t necessarily agree with the taunting penalty, saying the spin is more an act of enthusiasm.
“A guy like Pierre Garçon, I love what he does. He is so into the game,” Shanahan said. “When he spun that ball, he was just looking at that ball … So those type of things I like. But there is a fine line between enthusiasm and taunting, so you have to play within the rules. So, you have to be yourself, whoever you are.”
Shanahan said he’s “never been big on trash talking.”
“A guy like Jerry Rice with all the touchdowns he scored, or Terrell Davis, he just flipped [the ball] back to the official,” Shanahan recalled, adding that he wouldn’t necessarily classify Garçon as a trash-talker.
“You just watch him. He keeps his point out there and he will compete. Well, maybe a little trash talk,” Shanahan said with a laugh.
The Redskins’ third-year head coach said he’s been impressed by Garçon’s “angry” style of play in his first year in Washington.
“That means you’re very physical,” Shanahan said. “A lot of times receivers don’t block. He takes as much pride in blocking as he does in running routes. Every time he catches the ball, he wants to go the distance. At least the great receivers that I have been around have that mindset, that anytime they touch the ball, they are going to go the distance.”
It’s a style of play that’s rubbing off on the Redskins’ younger receivers.
“Without a question — and you learn how to be pros,” Shanahan said. “And you have a guy like Pierre who takes pride in blocking and every time he catches it, he wants to go the distance. Yeah, it gets everybody to play at that high level.”
Tags: mike shanahan, Pierre Garcon, taunting, trash talking, washington redskins
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