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Thomas: Punt returns won't be distraction

Devin Thomas is eager to increase his workload.

Coach Jim Zorn said the team plans to include Thomas in the punt-return rotation for Monday night's game against the New York Giants, which is cool with Thomas. He has worked hard to become the team's starting flanker and No. 1 kickoff returner, and returning a punt or two would not be too taxing for him.

"Honestly, the special teams part of things, as far as kick return and punt return, that stuff is almost like primal," he said. "You don't really have to do a lot. There's not a lot of studying you have to do as far as that job.

"It's just catching the ball and going. You have to catch the ball, obviously. That's the most important thing. You just catch the ball and know which way you have to go. Offense, I have to still stay on top of that. Returning punts won't distract me at all."

By Jason Reid  |  December 16, 2009; 1:51 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

I have a problem with having a new coach coming here who will accept having his assistants already selected for him a la Jim Zorn. That is no recipe for success. What's so hard with firing Vinnie, hiring a President of Football Ops, have that individual hire a GM, have that GM hire a coach, have that coach along with the GM assemble a staff. Please, no holdovers. Time to move on. Sadly I think we are in for another season of losing and a very grim future. No sell respecting coach will come to a team with a meddling owner, a clueless VP of operations who is the Owner's boy toy, and a staff pre-assembled for them. I don't agree with the glass half full views of some folks on here. The offensive line is in shambles Levi Jones and Mike "The Human Turnstile" Williams would not start for any .500 and above team in the NFL. Just accept it. Great the 2008 draft class are coming around, thats what they are supposed to do. Also, too little too late. Defensive line is aging terribly. Secondary has an overpaid diva and another one that misses on the most basic of tackles. Have Redskins fans become so petty that effort triumphs victories? The bottom line are wins and right now this team is 4 - 9. Lost to some of the most pathetic teams in the NFL this season. If, if, if, if, if, could have should have means nothing. The team is judged purely on wins and losses. They beat the f'in Raiders for God's sake not the Colts, not the Saints, not the Vikings, not the Chargers. If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle. There is hope, but a complete front office overhaul is in needed in the worst of ways.

Posted by: ElBigChroizo | December 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Famous last words

Posted by: DikShuttle | December 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Yes indeed stats are very misued especially by people on this board trumpeting the Skins having the top ranked passing defense in the league. That and $1.25 will getcha a blow job from Beantown Greg's mama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLoEtLJFMF0

Posted by: ElBigChroizo | December 16, 2009 2:04 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.

To be blunt, I don't like Thomas's comments. The idea that he doesn't need to do much work at punt returning is silly. I suspect BMitch would rip Thomas over these comments -- there are a lot of subtle judgments to be made. And if ARE has proven anything, even catching the ball isn't a given.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 16, 2009 2:06 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


Rock Cartwrigt is reportedly miffed that his role as this year's James Thrash is being reduced but notes that he will do whatever he is asked to do to help the team.

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 16, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"It's just catching the ball and going. You have to catch the ball, obviously. That's the most important thing. You just catch the ball and know which way you have to go.

Jason....we're gonna need you to go ahead and forward this quote to ARE......Thanks, that'd be great.

Posted by: ksquare | December 16, 2009 2:08 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

Yup, that's about it.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | December 16, 2009 2:10 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.


-- PASkins -- So would CLE draft a WR? Do they give up on Brady Quinn, Medicine Woman and draft a QB?

Honestly, their offense is dreadful.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The more the 'wr-te-wr' perform, the more definite that Zorn will be fired, since he was the one holdnig them back....

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Rotate Moss, DT, Hall.

If it's a long field DT, if they're trying to pin us against the goal line, Moss, or if they're punting from their end zone Hall.

As much as I love Randel El for being a class act and making huge crucial catches for us over they years - and maybe there're more to the punt return situation than what we are aware of - I'm nervous with him back there. He is nervous back there, or something just as bad. Time for him to take a breather.

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

"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".

F that..he can do both. Jackson and Royal don't seem to have a problem doing both.

I'd rather have younger, faster, and fearless versus aging, slower, and timid anyday of the week.

Posted by: ksquare | December 16, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

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

I'm guessing

1 - STL Clausen
2 - TB Suh
3 - CLE Berry
4 - DET McCoy DT not the QB
5 - KC Okung
6 - OAK Mays
7 - BUF QB Bradford
8 - WAS ??

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 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't put DHall back to return punts. Remember Jason Sehorn, and D. Green. Somehow, putting a corner back there is asking for trouble.

Yes to Moss, because they can get along without him if injured, and because they're not getting him many touches right now.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

One mans take on what the Redskins should do in the draft this year:
1st round: Russell Okung - T Oklahoma St
2nd round: Toby Gerhart - RB Stanford
3rd round: No pick (Used to pick Jarmon)
4th round: John Jerry - T/G Mississippi
5th round: Javier Arenas - CB/PR Alabama
6th round: No pick (Jason Taylor Trade)
7th round: Tony Pike - QB Cincinnati

No telling if these players will actually be available but it is a good outline of how we should go posistion wise. We can pick up S and LB in free agency. Vinny are you taking notes........O line and RB then take a QB latter. And please pick up someone who will not fair catch or drop every punt!

Posted by: B2WIN | December 16, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

I have one request for the game this week. Can we please, please not run short slant routes for Moss or ARE. They can't make those catches in traffic and don't seem to want to run the route. So use DT and MK for these routes. We have had so many drives killed because Moss can't handle the 5 yard slant pass.

Posted by: OffseasonChamps | December 16, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Toby Gerhart?

Maaaaaan, hell NO!

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

PA -- Clausen over Bradford? That's interesting. ND has put out some great QB's, but they've also put out a ton of busts. I'd be leery.

And that's what YOU'D do in the draft, grab the best OT available. The question is, WWVD?

hehehe... I said "VD". hehe...hehehe...

Myself, I'd take Mays over Berry. Some folks have Berry going to CB. But if the Redskins get either, LL goes back to FS and the secondary becomes the terror of the NFC.

What worries me is that some in the organization might think that Levi Jones is the answer at LT, and so grab a QB like Tebow "for the future".

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

This is a very welcome switch. Imagine how many more games we would have won, if Devin Thomas had been our punt returner insted of Antwan Randel El.

Posted by: Sports_Guru | December 16, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

red, why you hatin on TG??

bama.......

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

whiney beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

honkage

Posted by: ksquare | December 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Red, what don't you like about Gerhart? Hes big, smart, reasonably fast, and did well against top-flight competetion, on a middlin' team.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Claussen over Bradford is only because of the injury and the type of offense they played in. If Braford throws well sometime before the draft then he'll go before Claussen. Let's be honest, the draft projections are going to crap inside of 5 picks so it's really just throwing darts at a spinning wheel.

I'm only listing what I'd do because I vomit when I think about what Vinny may do and i just had a delicious pork chop. I'd hate to see it go to waste.

Mays worries me. I see him as a Laron Landry type. I think he would be better as a strong safety. I'd take Berry since he seems like almost a sure shot at corner or free safety.

We need a left tackle but that doesn't mean we'll get one in the first round. I'd sign Alex Boone off the niners practice squad and get Buges working with him now. Let him go through OTA's and see what he's got next year. I'd also look for an FA in case we don't get a top tackle. Sometimes the draft can screw you. What if Detroit, KC, and Buffalo all pick tackles before us and Berry is still on the board?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | December 16, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Toby Gerhart?

Maaaaaan, hell NO!

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Gerhart reminds me of John Riggins. If we beef up our line we could get back to Redskin football. Not this WC crap we have had to put up with the last few years. And he should be available in the 2nd round when we pick.

Posted by: B2WIN | December 16, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I think returning punts must be a performance thing on Randle El's contract. Never I have seen a guy who so obviously doesn't want to return punts being asked to do exactly. I don't blame the guy. WR typically aren't used to having all 11 defensive players kill them. But I keep hearing that El went to Jim Zorn to request punt return duties. So that leaves me to believe he's doing it to satisfy some contractual thing.

Posted by: tundey | December 16, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

paskinsfan

"#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."

Spikes or McClain from 'Bama would satisfy.

But I'm committed to Spiller so much I've painted mrsmoe Clemson orange, and have had a tiger paw tatooed to her hindquarters.

And she likes it.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 16, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

It seems clear to me, too, that Randle El hasn't wanted to return punts. I've never seen anyone call as many fair catches as he does. His mindset seems to be "How can I get off the field as quick as possible without getting hurt?" How could he possibly justify letting the ball roll in the last game, or not being able to catch the ball when he had a chance to grab it in the clear with running room? I like what Thomas says. How hard can it be? There's physical punishment, but these are highly paid gifted athletes. They're not getting paid to fair catch the ball every time so that they can avoid ever getting tackled.

Posted by: OintheSierras | December 16, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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