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Special Teams Struggle Despite Big Plays

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.

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.

Punter Hunter Smith again was solid for the Redskins, averaging 44 yards per punt on five punts, and kicker Dave 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.

By Paul Tenorio  |  August 22, 2009; 11:15 PM ET
 
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Next: Night of Ups, Downs for Special Teams

Comments

""kicker Dave 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.""

Our coverage unit needs to get used to covering deep kickoffs.

They are used to Suisham's dinkers that get fielded at the 10.

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm not first.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 22, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

CP26 makes our offense click!

Lol, I can't wait for some of the RI regulars who feel Clinton only has one more productive season in him to be corrected. There will be no hard feelings though, cuz when Clinton continues to produce we'll all be happy to be wrong or right!

Posted by: Vicc | August 22, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Fred Davis can also join Devin Thomas on Best Damn's Worst TD celebrations.

Something about his gyrations made me feel a little dirty...

It's also a frickin preseason game. You don't dance when you catch a TD in a meaningless game against someone who will be selling magazines door-to-door in a couple weeks.

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

When the 'skins took a L last Thursday, there was a post on the loss about 15 minutes later.

They win, about 20 minutes pass, and we get a post on special teams.

This is why the haters hate on the Post.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 22, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

haters hate brilliant! painters paint too

Posted by: WWWPRINCENOTSOCHARMING09 | August 22, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Fred Davis can also join Devin Thomas on Best Damn's Worst TD celebrations.

Something about his gyrations made me feel a little dirty...

It's also a frickin preseason game. You don't dance when you catch a TD in a meaningless game against someone who will be selling magazines door-to-door in a couple weeks.

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:25 PM |

I laughed.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 22, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Our Special Teams struggled during the second half from what I saw. I wonder if it was our 3rd-string special teams unit, cuz I see a few players out there running with the unit that won't make the team?

Posted by: Vicc | August 22, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

CP26 makes our offense click!

Posted by: Vicc

I'm on record as saying that CP will be in the HOF. He just needs his Super Bowl. I hope it's with the Skins.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 22, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

If the season started next week, I would start both M. Mitchell and D.J. Hackett over Devin Thomas. Malcolm is good, but Devin might turn out to be just a special teams player. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: Salinas1 | August 22, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

can we seriously stop this talk about collins/brennan/or daniels leading our team? NONE have any ability to lead like Campbell. None have even half the physical tools that Campbell has, and none have any real ability to lead a team to the playoffs... AND DO NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT 2 YEARS AGO.. that was the D and CP... COllINS WAS MEDIOCRE AT BEST... he didn't lose games but he certainly didn't win any.

Moving on, Orakpo looked solid. Kid can really play. Tryon didn't embarrass himself but he certainly didn't impress either. On the TD run by Parker... gotta have Landry blow that up. He was a step behind and should have been there to at least slow him up, I'm expecting him to fix that next time out tho. D looked good minus that 1 short field td...

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 22, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

When the 'skins took a L last Thursday, there was a post on the loss about 15 minutes later.

They win, about 20 minutes pass, and we get a post on special teams.

This is why the haters hate on the Post.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 22, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse


Lol. I was thinking the same thing..I kept refreshing, waiting for a new thread on our Vicctory tonight..

Posted by: Vicc | August 22, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Let the rending of garments begin...

Posted by: MNSkinsFan | August 22, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm on record as saying that CP will be in the HOF.

posted by Kenbeatrizz


Of course..I've said this many times on this blog, but some folk here don't think HOF numbers are enough to get you into the HOF; like players without a SB on their resume can't make the HOF or sumthin???

Posted by: Vicc | August 22, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

It'll be real interesting reading this week's dose of positive spin put on another sub-par Jason Campbell performance.

Posted by: bones21 | August 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

On the TD run by Parker... gotta have Landry blow that up. He was a step behind and should have been there to at least slow him up, I'm expecting him to fix that next time out tho. D looked good minus that 1 short field td...

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 22, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse


Definitely Landry's play to make; he needs to attack that angle and get to the ball carrier. It seemed like he hesitated for a split second to see if Parker was going to cut-back or stretch...

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Night Night !

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I think P-Ten is more on the spot than the Mayor, who is probably collecting thoughts/quotes from players and coaches for the victory post.

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyboby else sleepy ?

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey JR, your lead layout story after the game is "The Special Teams struggling"???

It should be "7 attempts and 1 completion for 10 yards with 2 preseason games remaining", by the Skins starting QB.

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 22, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

There is no qb on the skins roster that has proven to be "the" starter, but there are two that have proven to "not" be the starter. This is why the lemmings are following anything new with potential.

mmmm, grey goose.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 22, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Hey,SkinsneedaGM

Calm down boy !

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

• Wondering what stats RI's premier Jason Campbell apologist, the one and only "psps," can possibly spin after this latest under performance by the starting quarterback for the Washington Redskins?

• Who gets cut? Colt Brennan or Todd Collins?

• Marko Mitchell, you are making a very strong case as 5th receiver.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Six Flags, Johnny Rockets, advertise in the Post..
Washingtonpost.com/redskins soon will be like Redskins.com.
+++++++++++++++++
When the 'skins took a L last Thursday, there was a post on the loss about 15 minutes later.

They win, about 20 minutes pass, and we get a post on special teams.

This is why the haters hate on the Post.

Posted by: RedDMV | August 22, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse


Lol. I was thinking the same thing..I kept refreshing, waiting for a new thread on our Vicctory tonight..

Posted by: Vicc | August 22, 2009 11:33 PM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

Sleep is for suckers! Not for sharks.

Posted by: Vicc | August 22, 2009 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Sleep in the grave!

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 22, 2009 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Jason La Confora still hatin' even on the national level:

http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/08/22/first-half-observations-from-washington/

Posted by: clark202 | August 22, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyboby else sleepy ?

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Anyboby else sleepy ?

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

• Marko Mitchell, you are making a very strong case as 5th receiver.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

5th receiver?

I'd say he's making a pretty strong case for #2...

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Jason doesn't think he will be a skin in 2010 ?
http://www.youtube.com/user/opinionguy2011

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

• Marko Mitchell, you are making a very strong case as 5th receiver.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

5th receiver?

I'd say he's making a pretty strong case for #2...

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:54 PM

Now you tawkin' ....f are. Da kids can make pretty good 3&4 receivers.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 22, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Betts with a back sprain...so it begins...

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Marko Mitchell, you are making a very strong case as 5th receiver.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 22, 2009 11:47 PM | Report abuse

5th receiver?

I'd say he's making a pretty strong case for #2...

Posted by: p1funk

Especially since ARE has been playing like, well, #2.

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | August 22, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

reporting on the stuttering Redskin's starting offense and Campbell's 7 attempts and 1 completion" for 10 yards performance is "hatin"?
+++++++++++++++++++++

Jason La Confora still hatin' even on the national level:

http://blogs.nfl.com/2009/08/22/first-half-observations-from-washington/

Posted by: clark202 | August 22, 2009 11:51 PM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 22, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Jason doesn't think he will be a skin in 2010 ?
http://www.youtube.com/user/opinionguy2011

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 22, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Betts with a back sprain...so it begins...

Posted by: p1funk | August 22, 2009 11:57 PM

I was done with this guy a year ago...not that my opinion matters.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 22, 2009 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Jason La Confora still hatin' even on the national level:

http://www.youtube.com/user/opinionguy2011

Posted by: HIRE_MARTY_S | August 23, 2009 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Campbell sucked
O-line surprisingly OK
D-line worse than advertised

Posted by: 8andeight | August 23, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

p1... i agree... he was hesitant a lot tonight. On that pass to hines down the middle... think it was hines, on their TD drive, he needed to be up a little quicker and needed to pop hines or however it was, but he was a little late and let the wr come down before he hit him... seems to be a little hesitant, but again thats why we play the preseason. I have no doubts in Landry...

Now the play calling from the goalline... that I doubt. Why is Betts in the game? Haven't we learned that he just doesn't have it? We've seen him come short so many times in that situation let we keep putting him in there... dont get it, eventually you have to learn from mistakes and we just dont seem to be able to do that

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Now the play calling from the goalline... that I doubt. Why is Betts in the game? Haven't we learned that he just doesn't have it? We've seen him come short so many times in that situation let we keep putting him in there... dont get it, eventually you have to learn from mistakes and we just dont seem to be able to do that

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:02 AM |

Thank you. Betts must go.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 23, 2009 12:05 AM | Report abuse

no... that is not at all what I am saying. I happen to think betts is a capable backup. Hes not flashy or super fast or great... but he does the job. He comes in, spells Portis, gets his 25 yards on 6 carries or so and then goes out. He may not break the big one, and he may fumble games away vrs the Rams when it matters... but I will say that he is not the worst guy to have backing up CP. I wish we had more space on our team to allow for an Alridge or a Dorsey... but neither of them have really proven anything to me as a running back, and while it would be nice to have some speed... its more important to have guys who can play consistantly...

Sorry to say it but Betts is our best option...

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Now the play calling from the goalline... that I doubt. Why is Betts in the game? Haven't we learned that he just doesn't have it? We've seen him come short so many times in that situation let we keep putting him in there... dont get it, eventually you have to learn from mistakes and we just dont seem to be able to do that

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:02 AM |
========================================
I can't remember Betts' contract details and how or what it counts against the cap, but we all saw two other backs play tonight who are hungry enough to have made that play. To be fair though, I do believe Betts got hurt on the play, so I say IR him and lets see what Portis, Mason and Dorsey can do.

Posted by: clark202 | August 23, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Shaun Suisam needs to go if we can get someone to kick into the end zone. Hopefully the coaches make the right choices during cuts this year, and not just choose players because of name recognition. Colt Brennan should be cut and replaced by Daniels, straight up.

Posted by: BMACattack | August 23, 2009 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Has Cody Glenn played in either game?

Posted by: will_ga | August 23, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

He may not break the big one, and he may fumble games away vrs the Rams when it matters...

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:10 AM

I hear ya, I was a big Betts fan at first, but I think this post says it all. If he can't break the big one and sometimes fumbles games away, can we really be that much worse off with a youngun? I'm not sayin' the others are that hot, just think we've seen what ladell can do and it's not all that.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 23, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't before but I'm in the tank for Marcus Mason. He's the scatback the Skins crave. He's got burn and power. He's faster and has better vision than Betts.

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 23, 2009 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Can somebody explain to me how Ledell Betts and Mark Cartwright have earned to be the 2nd and 3rd runnings backs on this Team?

From what I saw tonight, they should be 4th and 5th.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 23, 2009 12:19 AM | Report abuse

totally agree steveK ref Betts..

Unfortunately, the Redskins (Snyder) play the largest Contract. Not by performance. In the 2008 preseason, Billy Mullen, WR and Mason, RB, led the league in their respective categories at the end of the preseason, yet both were cut by the Skins. Its why the Skins never develop from within..

One of the most revealing interviews with Belichick was about personnel development.
He said he Starts the player that has the best practice during the week. Doesnt matter if he is making 100K per year.. or 10 Million per year. Its what he does during practice that decides if he Starts on Sunday. This is why the Pats do so well..and develop / uncover so many diamonds in the rough.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

Why is Betts in the game? Haven't we learned that he just doesn't have it? We've seen him come short so many times in that situation let we keep putting him in there... dont get it, eventually you have to learn from mistakes and we just dont seem to be able to do that

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | August 23, 2009 12:02 AM |

Thank you. Betts must go.

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 23, 2009 12:05 AM

Posted by: SkinsneedaGM | August 23, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: learnedhand1 | August 23, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Can somebody explain to me how Ledell Betts and Mark Cartwright have earned to be the 2nd and 3rd runnings backs on this Team?

From what I saw tonight, they should be 4th and 5th.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 23, 2009 12:19 AM

And Rock tattled on Danny tawkin to AH before the free agent period started...he gone!

Posted by: stevek20147 | August 23, 2009 12:24 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 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, we cannot continue to just pencil guys in. I thought we had gotten past that when we cut Jansen.

Betts has been here too long and Cartwright for there minimal production. Cut them both. Put them hungry runners behind Portis and get this running game crackin.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | August 23, 2009 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I think the best thing I walk away from tonight's game is that we have some young gamers on the team. And do I dare say it... depth in areas we didn't have in years past.

Now for the hard question. Do we let some of the vets go that the only major value that they add to the team is experience? Like in Betts, Cartwright, ARE, and Collins? While experience is valuable, so is speed, agility, and power, things only God can give you. Experience will come with playing right?

Posted by: clark202 | August 23, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

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