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Night of Ups, Downs for Special Teams

It was a night of mixed results for the Washington Redskins' special teams, which turned in two positive moments, but also struggled in kickoff return coverage.

Two plays from coach Danny Smith's special teams unit led directly to points for Washington.

Rock Cartwright kept the Redskins' opening drive going when he took a direct snap from the up-back position out of the punt formation and raced 15 yards for a first down, and the Redskins would eventually get a field goal on the drive.

"I knew it would work," Cartwright said. "We knew they had a certain look and that we wanted to run it against that look and they gave it to us that first punt and we took advantage of it."

In the fourth quarter, tight end Fred Davis forced a fumble on a punt return and linebacker Darrel Young recovered, setting up a Davis touchdown catch on the next play.

But while the Redskins' special teams came up with those big plays, they also had some worrisome breakdowns.

Safety Michael Grant jumped offside on a 53-yard Jeff Reed field goal attempt at the end of the first half, allowing Reed another try from 48-yards, though he would miss again.
Perhaps most troublesome was the Redskins' kickoff coverage.

On back-to-back kickoffs, Washington allowed returns of 60- and 45-yards from Pittsburgh's Stefan Logan, and Logan averaged 39.3 yards on four returns.

"I think it's a whole new ballgame without a wedge and I think guys sometimes are not knowing exactly where to go but we'll figure it out," said kicker Dave Rayner. "We'll watch film and Danny will figure out what we need to do differently but I couldn't tell you what it was. I felt like I was hitting the ball well and deep and good hang time. We had guys down the field and just missed some tackles and let them get some good returns. We'll figure that out and get it changed by next week."

Punter Hunter Smith again was solid for the Redskins, averaging 44 yards per punt on five punts, and Rayner, in competition with incumbent Shaun Suisham, turned in kickoffs that consistently went to the end zone, though Logan negated the long kicks with his big returns.

"Any time you get a turnover it's a positive, anytime you give the offense another four downs to make a first down it's a positive, so we definitely did some positive things " Cartwright said. "But you don't want to give up big returns like we did so like I said we've got to watch the tape and figure out what we can get better at."

Daniel Tweets

@ChaseDaniel Thanks for all the support! Great feeling to play well, but most importantly we WON! HTTR

By Cindy Boren  |  August 23, 2009; 12:11 AM ET
 | Tags: Paul Tenorio  
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Next: Davis, Mitchell Make Their Marks

Comments

Anyone else sleepy ?

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Anyone else sleepy ?

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Apparently somebody at The Post is. This is the same as the prior post just a different headline.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 23, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Betts... well to be honest, I just like the kid. I think he is a solid worker who is selfless and has done everything we have asked him. To me, its hard to cut a team player like him, a true Redskin. I agree we've seen his best, and its not great, but again thats why we have CP, to be great. If you have 2 great rbs, you have issues as both want the ball all the time, and Betts understands his role and doesn't complain or cause trouble. He could have after his big season, could have forced his way and gotten more carries or his outright release... but didn't. I respect that, respect him as a person, and a player.

However, if were looking for the future (which as a Redskin fan I understand we never, EVER, EVER, do) I think it might be time to let him go. I know i reversed right here, but you guys convinced me. We have nothing to lose to let a guy like Mason make the team and show us what hes got. Hes clearly hungry for it and clearly is not a bad option... it wont happen, but I think I agree with the consensus now... Mason>Betts

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:27 AM | Report abuse

JR, special teams are important but sanctius crapius, your starting QB went 1 for 7 gaining 10 yards.. Isnt that more important than Special Teams..??

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Jason Reid..why are the Wash Post writers ignoring this bigger story??

++++++++++++++

.......your starting QB went 1 for 7 gaining 10 yards.. Isnt that more important than Special Teams..??

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:28 AM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

"Okay, take that back. off to the next QB. Colt. Man, I really feel like we're drafting a QB next year."

hahahaha...sometimes I'm embarrassed to be a Skins fan. Oh well, I guess every team has their share of morons who call themselves "fans".

Here's a hint...if one play, let alone a game in pre-season, is going to change your opinion, you're better off not having one.

Posted by: Yoder-lay-hee-who | August 23, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

However, if were looking for the future (which as a Redskin fan I understand we never, EVER, EVER, do) I think it might be time to let him go. I know i reversed right here, but you guys convinced me. We have nothing to lose to let a guy like Mason make the team and show us what hes got. Hes clearly hungry for it and clearly is not a bad option... it wont happen, but I think I agree with the consensus now... Mason>Betts

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:26 AM

Nicely done people~. I'm glad you saw it's nothing personal against Betts, just makes sense. Can't agree more that it "won't happen", but glad you're onboard.

Even though it would have meant an ugly '08, I think we should have blown up the team and let Z make it his own, but again I knew it "wouldn't happen" given the current leadership.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 23, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

".......your starting QB went 1 for 7 gaining 10 yards.. Isnt that more important than Special Teams..??"


in the preseason?? that would be a resounding NO.

Posted by: Yoder-lay-hee-who | August 23, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wish I could run this team.. and by sometimes i mean every f*ing sjk day. It'd be night and day...

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

day is supposed to be in there somewhere

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse


Betts... well to be honest, I just like the kid. I think he is a solid worker who is selfless and has done everything we have asked him. To me, its hard to cut a team player like him, a true Redskin. I agree we've seen his best, and its not great, but again thats why we have CP, to be great. If you have 2 great rbs, you have issues as both want the ball all the time, and Betts understands his role and doesn't complain or cause trouble. He could have after his big season, could have forced his way and gotten more carries or his outright release... but didn't. I respect that, respect him as a person, and a player.

However, if were looking for the future (which as a Redskin fan I understand we never, EVER, EVER, do) I think it might be time to let him go. I know i reversed right here, but you guys convinced me. We have nothing to lose to let a guy like Mason make the team and show us what hes got. Hes clearly hungry for it and clearly is not a bad option... it wont happen, but I think I agree with the consensus now... Mason>Betts

Excellent Post! You Really Got It Going On!

Posted by: Spanglerg | August 23, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

ummm.... acceptance of mediocrity... why the Skins havent been to the SB in 18 years...
+++++++++++++++++++++++
".......your starting QB went 1 for 7 gaining 10 yards.. Isnt that more important than Special Teams..??"


in the preseason?? that would be a resounding NO.

Posted by: Yoder-lay-hee-who | August 23, 2009 12:34 AM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:43 AM | Report abuse

thank gawd for the Houston Texans..
++++++++

ummm.... acceptance of mediocrity... why the Skins havent been to the SB in 18 years...
+++++++++++++++++++++++
".......your starting QB went 1 for 7 gaining 10 yards.. Isnt that more important than Special Teams..??"


in the preseason?? that would be a resounding NO.

Posted by: Yoder-lay-hee-who | August 23, 2009 12:34 AM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:43 AM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:44 AM | Report abuse

acceptance that some "fans" are idiots who enjoy knee jerk reactions during the PRE-season.

Posted by: Yoder-lay-hee-who | August 23, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Campbell looked awful. The 'he's played in so-and-such many offensive systems in such-and-so many years' excuses are no longer meaningful. The kid is simply not an upper-tier NFL quarterback. He has the build, the arm-strength and he's a smart guy - as Shuler was - he's just not NFL smart. QB-ing isn't just about memorizing plays and sets, it's about improvising, anticipating and split-second synapsing. Street smartness - or turf smartness - or whatever you want to call it: Campbell just doesn't have it.

Marko Mitchell needs to stay a Redskin. He's more advanced than any of our three second-rounders were last year (maybe even in this, there second year, too) and will go on to be a real gamer somewhere else if we cut him. Logic stands that Cerrato would rather keep his high picks (Davis, Kelly, Thomas)out of pride, although it would also stroke his ego to have found such a 'gem' in a late round. Keep Mitchell Vinnie, and he and Horton will be feathers in your cap for a decade.

Posted by: SammyT1 | August 23, 2009 5:11 AM | Report abuse

How did Mitchell last to the 7th round? He has incredable speed (check nfl combine results), Great size, and nfl moxey. Is there something else? Vinny can't be that lucky two years in a row!

Posted by: Spanglerg | August 23, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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