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Fred Davis and the blocked field goal

If you watched the Redskins broadcast on CBS, you probably remember that Dan Fouts singled out Fred Davis as the culprit on the blocked field goal midway through the fourth quarter. As Samuel Chamberlain noted, there were a slew of plays that could have virtually clinched the game for the Redskins -- from the missed bomb to Joey Galloway to the Chris Horton offsides call to the missed deep ball to Santana Moss to the fourth-down catch by Andre Johnson to the field-goal shenanigans in overtime -- but failing to cash in on a 29-yard field goal is certainly a prime member of that list. It was the Texans' first blocked field goal since 2007.

"No. 86 is the tight end, Fred Davis," Fouts said. "He doesn't get a big enough chip on [Bernard] Pollard, doesn't touch him hardly at all."

After the game, a few reporters -- led, I believe, by CSNWashington's Ryan O'Halloran -- asked Davis about his blocking on that play. I'm taking the audio from 106.7 The Fan.

You can see the overload pretty clearly here, with seven Texans -- including Pollard -- lined up left of the center.

Davis was responsible for two guys, and it sure looks like he got no piece of Pollard.

"I just tried to put my arm on him. and had him for a second, but you know, you can't hold him," Davis said. "I didn't want to hold him either, so he ducked under and just jumped [and knocked] it away."

The follow-up was whether Pollard did something unusual to break free.

"He did stuff that we usually see on film," Davis said. "It just felt like the ball got there slow or something. I don't know, it just felt real slow, like I had him, and usually the ball gets out way quicker than that. It was one of them situations that there's nothing you can do."

I'm guessing he'll have a different take on it after watching the film.

By Dan Steinberg  | September 20, 2010; 11:11 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: DeAngelo Hall: Redskins should have made a play


I guess this is one of those instances where, if you have the choice between holding someone or letting him roll straight by you to destroy the play, then hold him.

I only say this because Davis mentioned specifically that he didn't want to hold him.

Posted by: Goat_74 | September 20, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Watching Pollard when he was with the Chiefs, he has a real knack for blocking kicks. Of course, it helps if you're not blocked.

Posted by: kchoya | September 20, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

not many people know this but that outside guy shouldnt be davis responsibility. the iniside guy is his because he is more of a danger to block the kick with a shorter distance to the ball. if you get a good snap and hold that ball should never ever be blocked. that guy is the responsibility of the center, holder, and kicker doing their job and having the right timing.

Posted by: MondoTE11 | September 20, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

From the pictures, it looks like Fred had 2 guys to block and he took the inside guy. If that's the case, I can't fault him. He took the guy with the shortest path to the ball.

I blame whoever is responsible for making line calls for not noticing the overload and shifting to the right.

Posted by: tundey | September 20, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

@MondoTE11: I totally agree with you. Either snap and kick faster or shift to the right to block that guy. Why have 5 to block 4 on the left side, leaving 4 to block 7 on the right side.

Still, if anything this game shows that we lack depth. If you read article linked above, every time a redskins backup came in the game, he either gave up a big gain or committed a costly foul.

Posted by: tundey | September 20, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@tundey: You can't necessarily just move a guy from the left to right. It changes the eligibilty of potential receivers if the play ends up with a bad snap and turns into a fire play. The coaches should have noticed from the sidelines that the right side (where he needed to push the ball, by the way, since they were on the left hash mark) was overloaded. But Davis did block the correct guy. You always block inside to out.

Posted by: smm4c2000 | September 20, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

in this case the pollard made a hustle play. the timing was just too slow on the snap. on every kick there are the possibility for 2 unblocked guys since the kicker and holder are not blocking. that's why its the job of the snapper, holder, and kicker to make sure those outside men with the longest distance to the block point dont get there in time. too slow here and it cost us the game

Posted by: MondoTE11 | September 20, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Ok here is the real issue, and I do blame everyone in the organization for it. Our long snapper SUCKS! We got rid of Albright who hasn't had a botched snap since the Turk brothers were here and brought this clown in here. He stunk up the joint in preseason so you bring in someone else who does a decent job, and then let him go and hand this guy the job.

If you wanted someone who could do more than long snap, then I would understand replacing Ethan Albright, but you didn't. you brought in a guy that does the same thing only much much worse. He screwed up with a high snap last week that cost us points, he screwed up with a high snap this week that luckily we got down in time, and then this lame duck snap that took so long it allowed the kick to get blocked. This guy has to go!

Posted by: dbrine1261 | September 20, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

didn't want to hold him? He didn't even touch him. He completely missed on that "touch"

Posted by: poeticfire | September 20, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"I'm guessing he'll have a different take on it after watching the film."

So he should be able to block 2 guys?

Posted by: Barno1 | September 20, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

How is he supposed to block two guys? How do teams normally adjust when they overload a side of the line? I can't believe they don't do anything other than say, "Hey you, you have to block two guys"

Posted by: nuzuw | September 20, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

YES! He should be able to block two guys! Did you ever notice that it's always 11 defenders vs. 9 linemen?

It's very simple...if he takes one sidestep to the right, he can actually touch Bernard Pollard, and his body will still shield the inside guy from making a rush.

He's a total punk for blaming the long snapper (even if it was a little slower than it should have been). a) Don't say that to the media and b) YOU messed up and cost us a field goal to ice the game. Own up to it.

Posted by: JR1187 | September 20, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The defense always has an extra man on the line of scrimmage with a deep safey in the event of a fake or blocked kick. One of the TE's will always have the responsibility to get a chip on the outside guy AND block the guy in front of him. Davis did a very poor job as pointed out by Fouts of doing anything to slow down Pollard which led to him having an easy path to the ball. The snap was good and the holder got it down quickly. Blame resides with Davis for a poor effort.

Posted by: wizfan89 | September 20, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he needs an alarm clock while he's on the field too.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 20, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Davis made the correct play. I was always taught playing football that you block the nearest player to the ball. What if Davis had just ignored the gut in front of him then he would have had a direct line to the kicker. If the coaching staff is asking Davis or any player to block 2 players then something wrong. Give Pollard credit, he made a great play.

Posted by: armorgan2 | September 20, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I don't think this overload thing is uncommon - I think that most teams expect that to happen. And in that situation, the guy on the end of the line is expected to block two men. The thinking is that the rusher coming from the wing like Pollard did has to go a long way to get to the path of the kick. The only way he gets there is if he pretty much has an unimpeded line to the ball. If the guy on the end of the line for the kicking team gets just a decent push on the rushing wing man to force him just a little more outside and then collapse down on the inside man (who in this case didn't even make much of an effort to rush), then the kick gets off. That's the way they draw it up. How many times have you seen a field goal or extra point attempt where the rushing wing man goes flying past the holder just a split second after the kick is away - happens all the time. We don't think anything of it but it's usually because the guy on the end of the line did his job. In this case, Davis did not do his job.

But, I do agree with previous comments suggesting that we need to get a new long snapper. This guy is killing us. Earlier in the game on an extra point attempt, if Bidwill doesn't make an exceptional play to handle a very high snap, then we miss the kick and would have never made it to overtime. Bring back Ethan Allen.

Posted by: willypops | September 20, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't his fault! He blocked the inside guy like he should have!

Posted by: MaxnDC | September 20, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

2 guys??????

Posted by: Badwisky | September 20, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

As my friend, an all-conference college kicker, will say, the outside guy should never be able to block the kick if the timing is right - speed of snap to holder, placement, and kick. However, it looks to me by the screen captures that Gano is slow in starting his approach.

Davis should get a better punch on Pollard than he did, but if Pollard was far enough out to basically avoid Davis's punch-block, then the timing is even further off. I have to believe that Gano's slow approach may have been the result of last week's bad snap (and a bad snap earlier in the game that was controlled for a successful kick) causing him to want to be more certain of the snap and placement. Just a theory.

Posted by: grounder | September 20, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

So that's why we lost the game. Thanks for clearing that up - well, it's settled Davis is a bust CUT HIM NOW!!

Posted by: guisher | September 20, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Maybe the kicker and holder should have seen the overload and shifted a bit to the left of center where only 3 were rushing. Its eitehr that or get a faster snap and a faster kicker or even go back an extra yard or 2.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | September 20, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

" probably remember that Dan Fouts singled out Fred Davis...."

Dan Fouts is terrible.

I lost all respect I had for him after that broadcast. I have never heard one announcer kiss so much butt in my life.

According to him, every play the Redskins had was a horrible call and every play the Texans did was near perfect.

Such an AFC bias.

I agree above, our long snapper sucks. Fred can't block 2 dudes.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | September 20, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Davis didn't line up properly. See the second photo. He's too square to the line of scrimmage. He needs to be angled back as Cooley is on the left side. That way he can "chip" the outside guy on the way past.

Posted by: LeeM9308 | September 20, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

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