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Randle El accepts role but doesn't doubt ability

Although Antwaan Randle El still is part of Washington's punt-return rotation, the coaches plan to make "some adjustments," Coach Jim Zorn said the other day.

For the first time this season, Devin Thomas is expected to be involved on punt returns Monday night against the New York Giants at FedEx Field. Change-of-pace-returner Santana Moss will continue to be involved and DeAngelo Hall, sidelined the last three games because of a knee injury, also might rejoin the group.

Randle El is not pleased about his reduced role, but he accepts it.

"I don't doubt my ability one bit," Randle El said. "It's just what it is right now. I can't even go into more detail than what it is. I'm not going to get weary about it. I'm just going to keep pushing forward. It is what it is."

Randle El had a shaky performance in the 34-13 victory over the Oakland Raiders. On a fair catch, he misplayed one ball that rolled a long way and resulted in poor field position for the Redskins. The Raiders also recovered the ball on Randle El's muff in the fourth quarter.

Randle El is averaging only 3.9 yards per punt, which is not among the top 24 return averages in the league. His 18 fair catches would be the highest total in the league if Randle El had returned enough punts to qualify among the league's leaders.

Randle El acknowledged he has not been productive "but it's not just that I'm just catching the ball and having a lot of space to do anything. When I have some room, then I can get something done. But that just hasn't happened this year as often as I would like.

"It is a collective thing on punt returns. It's not just one guy, you know, just catching the ball and outrunning guys to the left of the right. That's the way it's looked at ... but that's not the way it is."

By Jason Reid  |  December 16, 2009; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Next: Thomas: Punt returns won't be distraction

Comments

It's not his blockers fault that he can't catch the ball. What a loser

Posted by: Salinas1 | December 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How about not letting the ball bounce El? How about catching all those darn fair catches you keep calling? How about trying to make something happen? Give it up man. Unless it's in your contract or something. 'Cos you obviously want no part of it and aren't good at it.

Posted by: tundey | December 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

He's right...It IS what it IS....

And that's why he can't go into it any further. Eyes don't lie.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Nice veteran leadership from ARE.

The dude is at the bottom of several important punt return stats, and the best stuff he can come up with to say is:

1) I don't doubt my ability
2) The blockers suck

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Cut him now. He is of no use to the team.

Posted by: phk28 | December 16, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

ARE Blows. Next year, Thomas and Kelly should be 1-2 with Moss in the slot, Mitchell the #4. ARE gone. Hes bringing nothing to the table.

Posted by: Rypien11 | December 16, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

'When I have some room, then I can get something done.'


...like take 4, maybe even 5 steps before falling down.

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 16, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

ARE sucks the sweat of Danny and Vinnys sacks. He is and always will be a LOSER.

Posted by: BigDaddyLongStroke | December 16, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

ARE sucks the sweat off Danny and Vinnys sacks. He is and always will be a LOSER.

Posted by: BigDaddyLongStroke | December 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"It's just what it is right now. I can't even go into more detail than what it is. I'm not going to get weary about it. I'm just going to keep pushing forward. It is what it is."


I can. You suck!!!

Posted by: jm220 | December 16, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Caludia is also a Cheerleader....Get her back on the phone ASAP and then call me on 3-way!

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 1:28 PM

4thFloor = Tiger Woods?

Posted by: 4-12 | December 16, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Is there any area where there is LESS disagreement on RI than this?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | December 16, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

You talked about Rogers, ARE and Portis being key cogs for this team, and that we need them back now that it has "come together".

The facts of the season indicate that the team started playing better and "coming together" when these players saw their roles on the team diminished.

Now you are the one that needs to explain to us why this team desperately needs these guys back next year in order to be good, when the team has been better without them orhaving them playing diminished roles.

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Let me help pabrien out here. Rogers is the best cover guy on team. He was put down to protect his psyche. Sometimes db's need that. He has come back, and is playing well again.

With CP, he is guaranteed $7 mill, whether he plays or not. He is still a stud, probably best blocking back on team. Still has good speed, can still gain 1000 yds is a full season. He would still be a strong addition for next year.

I think we are watching the last 3 games of ARE's career as a skin. He just doesn't bring anything to the team that is irreplaceable. Good guy, good teammate, good leader, but will not be with skins next year.

Posted by: frediefritz | December 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

You know what pisses me off about some of these players?

Why is that when they're stinking the joint up, they always come up with these excuses of why they're stinking said joint up? And then they like to suggest what it looks like (to someone who doesn't play football aka THE FANS), as if EVERY single person who watches football is complete idiot and straight up clueless on how the game is played.

F ARE!!!

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"...but it's not just that I'm just catching the ball and having a lot of space to do anything..."

Just catch the damn ball. Really, that would be such an improvement right there.

Posted by: 4-12 | December 16, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

ARE doesn't have a clue.

Posted by: League-Source | December 16, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

agreed the blocking hasn't been good. he's having a bad year as a PR, yes. But, the blocking hasn't been good.

Thanks Are for being a good solid WR.

DT has some serious ability, I never doubted his success.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Don't ya'll see what's happening? It's the Gibbs 2.0 era coming to an end

PORTIS....DONE
ARE....DONE
MOSS...ALMOST DONE
CARTWRIGHT....DONE
R. THOMAS.....DONE

...and as crazy as things seem, this is how it should be.

Zorn's obsession with ARE at PR alone should cost him his job.

Posted by: rickyroge | December 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

There should be 4 QB taken in the top 15, Bradford, Locher, Clausen and McCoy. Suh will go top 5, as will Berry. Mays will go before -- or to -- OAK.

Right now, WAS has the 6th pick in the draft. Based on they way they're playing, and who's "behind" them, I can see them dropping another 2-3 slots, which means a top 10 pick.

1 - STL QB probably Bradford
2 - TB Suh DT NEB
3 - CLE Okung OT OSU
4 - DET Berry FS TEN
5 - KC Lafell WR LSU
6 - OAK Mays FS USC
7 - BUF QB McCoy? Clausen?
8 - WAS ??

Does Vinny draft an OL? Does he draft Clausen, or Locher?

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Zorn's obsession with ARE at PR alone should cost him his job.

Posted by: rickyroge

Agreed

Posted by: jm220 | December 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

ARE could be the worst performer on the entire team (that says something) and now he's throwing his ST guys under the bus... Good for you...

Posted by: atrain1 | December 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

ARE could be the worst performer on the entire team (that says something) and now he's throwing his ST guys under the bus... Good for you...

Posted by: atrain1 | December 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

ARE could be the worst performer on the entire team (that says something) and now he's throwing his ST guys under the bus... Good for you...

Posted by: atrain1 | December 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

not developing/using all the players on the roster, ie, Davis, Kelly, Thomas, Betts, Cartwright, is way ahead of trotting out ARE on that list...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

1 - STL QB probably Bradford
2 - TB Suh DT NEB
3 - CLE Okung OT OSU
4 - DET Berry FS TEN
5 - KC Lafell WR LSU
6 - OAK Mays FS USC
7 - BUF QB McCoy? Clausen?
8 - WAS ??

Does Vinny draft an OL? Does he draft Clausen, or Locher?

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

No way cleveland takes a top left tackle with Joe Thomas already on the roster. They need playmakers and help on the right side of the line. I could see a QB but I doubt they take a right tackle or guard that high. Defense is also a possiblity. I couldn't imagine a 4-3 with shaun rogers and suh in the middle. That would be sick.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | December 16, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"It is a collective thing on punt returns. It's not just one guy, you know, just catching the ball and outrunning guys to the left or the right. That's the way it's looked at ... but that's not the way it is."

What a chooch. It's not ONE guy? It's always ONE guy.

DeSean Jackson, Reggie Bush, Eddie Royal, don't seem to have any problems catching the ball, making people miss and getting positive yards, and sometimes a touchdown

How many does ARE have again as a Skin?


Right. Isn't that what this guy used to do in Pittsburgh, and part of the reason they signed him.

Posted by: ksquare | December 16, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute, did I read his quote right when he said, "When I have some room, then I can get something done"? He has called for a fair catch when there has been no one within ten or fifteen yards of him! What kind of room is he asking for, that the punt team doesn't head down field until he has actually caught the ball, assuming of coarse it doesn't bounce off his chest? ARE gives up way too much potential field position when he waves to the fans or heads straight for the sidelines.

Posted by: dmr0834 | December 16, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

...as if EVERY single person who watches football is complete idiot and straight up clueless on how the game is played.


Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse


It's true that I don't watch film on a regular basis but I don't think I need to to realize that falling down in the open field is not fundamentally sound football.

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 16, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Beyond my disappointment in ARE still working on PR (didn't we cover this WEEKS ago?!?), I now have to revile him for the only grammatical problem that irks me:

misuse of the term "Weary"! I don't believe he meant he wasn't going to get TIRED about it... I think he meant either Leary or Wary. He may as well have said Larry.

Posted by: DikShuttle | December 16, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods?

Posted by: 4-12 | December 16, 2009 1:41 PM

Only in my wildest billion dollar dreams....

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

ARE coundn't catch the f'ing swine flu in a nursing home

Posted by: BigDaddyLongStroke | December 16, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Zorn should have had ARE work at being a WR and nothing else. Focus ARE on the area he can provide the most benefit. But, instead, Zorn compromised both ARE as a WR and as a PR.

Now, we have a young WR who is finally starting to turn the corner -- and Zorn has him spending time returning punts and kickoffs. Devin Thomas needs to put everything into being a WR right now.

Have Mason return punts, he needs to find a job on this roster. Have Santana return punts, he has done it before and bee very effective. Then give him more plays off at WR, letting Thomans, Kelly and Marko develop.

Quite simply, Zorn is a bad coach and should have been fired a long time ago.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 16, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"With CP, he is guaranteed $7 mill, whether he plays or not. He is still a stud, probably best blocking back on team. Still has good speed, can still gain 1000 yds is a full season. He would still be a strong addition for next year."

Posted by: frediefritz

Portis' speed is non existent at this point in his career. Are you only watching games from 2002-'03?

Before Portis arrived in D.C. he was on a tear 1500 yds. in back to back seasons -- his first in the league. He was known for his quickness and speed... When Portis came here he had to put on weight, the weight cost him a little speed... he had to put on the weight because he was going to see 300+ carries running for Joe Gibbs EVERY YEAR.... not used to see that amount of carries, or just simply carrying the ball that much WORE. HIM. OUT.... Because he was worn, or winding down, he decided that he shouldn't have to practice. Injuries slowed him in practice... people always talk about how much Ladell Betts practiced with the team, well... that was because Betts wasn't getting pounded on Sunday like Portis was.

Portis is NOTHING like he used to be. I thank Joe Gibbs' scheme/philosophy, an all out sorry to halfway decent passing game and offensive line for that.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations, Antwaan Randle El, you are the James Thrash of the 2009 Washington Redskins. I cringe when I see you on the field, and I flinch when the football is in your vicinity. It's a shame you are a part of this team; it's a shame we rely on you to catch punts and passes.

Thanks for your years of service, thanks for being a good guy, and don't let the door hit you in the bottom on the way out.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

beepage

Posted by: ksquare | December 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

beepins

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Is there any area where there is LESS disagreement on RI than this?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | December 16, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse


Hatred for the Cowgirls?

...that's all I can think of...

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

ARE is making plays at WR. He's in a terrible funk trying to catch punts. I can't remember the Redskins putting a guy back there with such obvious problems.

Zorn is not a great personnel guy. Maybe he was afraid to mess with his veteran leadership, or just had guys he trusted. He should have kept Rayner and not Suisham in training camp. I watched both those guys, and on the day I was there, Rayner was clearly superior. Maybe Zorn thought he could trust SS in the clutch. Based on what, his league-worst 2008? Same goes with ARE: he's not getting it done, but Zorn resists the change.

I hate to say it, but injuries to Cooley, Samuels, Portis, Betts (maybe DHall) and Thomas probably made this a better team now, and in 2011. Accidents, not design.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I don't get DT11 returning punts.

He's got speed in the open field and he's got power.

But the best PRs we see in the league aren't necessarily power-speed guys.

They are quickness-speed guys.

Little guys like Eddie Royal, Dante Hall, Devin Hester, Darren Sproles, DeSean Jackson - the smaller guys have a lower center of gravity and shorter legs.

They may not have power-speed in the open field but they have better acceleration to hit the openings, quicker lateral movement to make guys miss, and an ability to slip through tackles instead of run through them.

Bottom line - Santana Moss should be our #1 punt-returner.

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Malcolm Kelly and Marko Mitchell should be playing. Put ARE on the bench. He has no future with the Skins.

Posted by: bricklacey | December 16, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

1 - STL QB probably Bradford
2 - TB Suh DT NEB
3 - CLE Okung OT OSU
4 - DET Berry FS TEN
5 - KC Lafell WR LSU
6 - OAK Mays FS USC
7 - BUF QB McCoy? Clausen?
8 - WAS ??

Does Vinny draft an OL? Does he draft Clausen, or Locher?

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Anyway to answer your question Okung will still be gone but I'd have to go with Spiller if Okung, Berry, and Suh are gone and we can't trade back.

My order would be:

#1 Okung-We desperately need him. If he's gone I'd try to trade back. If I couldn't trade back I'd keep working down this list in order.

#2 Berry-Could really turn our defense into a powerhouse

#3 Suh-Next to Haynesworth would be unstoppable

#4 Spiller-I think he could be really amazing in our offense and on teams with Ganther doing the short yardage and the between the tackles work.

#5 Brandon Spikes-Can play inside or outside. He would be a short term OLB that would be able to take over for London Fletcher when he hangs it up.

After that best tackle available:

#6 Bryan Bulaga
#7 Bruce Campbell
#8 Trent Williams
#9 Anthony Davis
#10 Charles Brown
#11 Selvish Capers

I'd also grab the next best tackle on the board in round 2.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | December 16, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Who is ARE? I thought he already changed his last name to Fair-Catch.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | December 16, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

PAskinsfan17 has it right. Those are great possibilities that address what is needed. What is not needed is drafting a QB that high in the draft. The thing with QB's in college is understanding the offensive system they played in college, their opponents (the conference they play in), and whether they can play at NFL speed. I still believe Campbell can be a functional QB for the Redskins and there a lot of 'basic' needs this team needs such as o-line, secondary, d-line, RB, and possible future replacement for Fletcher.

Posted by: impact32 | December 16, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Locker already announced he's going back to Washington. Claussen has proven he is very inconsistent in a pro style offense at ND. McCoy doesn't appear to have the arm strength to make the deep throws - reminds me in some ways of Heath Shuler with more football intellect. No need to draft a QB - keep JC and give him a 3-year deal with incentives to stay.

If anyone besides the best tackle prospect available is taken with our No. 1 pick which should be a Top 10 pick, the current or new GM should be fired. Good RB's are often found in the 2nd to 5th rounds. Look at Philly with drafting McCoy in the 3rd round last year or Chicago with Forte. A RB would be a wasted pick with our current offensive line.

Our 2nd rounder should be used for either another O-lineman who can start right away or possibly a linebacker given Fletcher's age and the fact that Rocky is a FA who might leave. We have no depth at that position either. A quality FS in free agency or the draft is another major need.

Posted by: wizfan89 | December 16, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Is there any area where there is LESS disagreement on RI than this?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston

Vinny is blowing Snyder?

Posted by: geotherm21 | December 16, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Is there any area where there is LESS disagreement on RI than this?

Posted by: JohnDinHouston


Vinny must have been blowing Snyder?

Posted by: geotherm21 | December 16, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

"It's not just one guy, you know, just catching the ball and outrunning guys to the left or to the right."

RUN STRAIGHT FOOL! RUN STRAIGHT! LMAO

Posted by: CaptMeasly | December 16, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

tryon and westbrook should have been given a chance to return punts also remember both of them were top returners in the conferences they played in and never got as far as I know any chance to return kicks for this team both of them are younger and faster than randle el. this is just another form of pumpkin puss zorn's stupidity and weakness.

Posted by: wathu19 | December 16, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Geez ARE, what a JERK you sound like!

Unless the Z-man has been told "You must put ARE on punt returns or else" by Vinny and/or Danny, then I agree this points out a serious flaw in his coaching ability. You put the players in who give you the best chance of succeeding (er, ah, winning). Duh!

B/t/w, same goes for you, Rock.

Posted by: clfrdj | December 16, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE get Randle El out as a punt returner.....the dude should not even be our third receiver...i HOPE this is his last year as a Redskin

Posted by: askhosh10 | December 16, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

He would be more consistent if he had said "I'll just keep pushing sideways." He has to lead the league in lateral yards per return.

Posted by: jmink4a5 | December 16, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

rock cartright was here long before gibbs

Posted by: SkinEm1 | December 17, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

rock cartright was here long before gibbs

Posted by: SkinEm1 | December 17, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

i'm not going to sit here and bash on randle el because his value as a slot receiver is tremendous. like everyone else here, i hate that danny smith allows him to return punts. he dances way too much when heading up the field is the objective. i could see him play more of the role of a wes welker. i really think he could hurt defenses in the same manner that pats utilize welker. once again, the braintrust that continues to tell us that someone else will return punts then suddenly randle el materializes back there are the ones to blame. it's obvious that way too many bad decisions have been made which is indicative of the team record. randle el is a classy guy but a poor choice at returner. danny smith should've realized a long time ago that we're NOT the pittsburg steelers!

Posted by: charronegro1971 | December 17, 2009 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Randle EL like many players on this team not performing look to put the blame else where than on themselves. I'm not saying he should bash himself but to say "I don't have the open room to run" is ludicris. What he needs to do is admit that younger, stronger, and faster guys are on his team and may be able to do a better job. He could also say, that he can now focus more on his receiving game which he has been effective at.

Posted by: SkinsFan1970 | December 17, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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