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Season in Review: Special teams

 
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:42 pm    Post subject: Season in Review: Special teams Reply with quote

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/football-insider/wp/2013/01/25/redskins-season-review-special-teams/

mike23 had been doing Roster Reviews in other areas of the team but I don't believe he ever got to the special teams.

I came across this washington post article today while reading about Smokey Fred.

The Redskins have had offensive and defensive struggles at times over the years but our special teams always were a solid unit. Our coverage units remained solid last year and we had a few new contributors like Forbath and Crawford step up for us as the season went on that should make us all feel good about our future.

Since the season ended we lost our longest tenured special teams coach Danny Smith to the steelers, and we signed Keith Burns, who was drafted by the Broncos, won two superbowls with Shanahan a special teams standout for them. He was the Broncos assistant special teams coach and will now get promoted to be our special teams coach. He has never been in charge of a position group thus far in his coaching career. It remains to be seen whether letting Smith go and hiring Burns will be an upgrade or not.

Quote:
Kai Forbath went an impressive 17-for-18 on field goals, and by making the first 17 attempts of his career, set an NFL record for first-year kickers. … The Redskins ranked 16th in the league on kickoff returns (23.5-yard average) and 17th on punt returns (9.3 ypr). The kickoff return average marked an improvement on last year’s 22.1-yard-per-return average, and last season, the Redskins averaged 8.9 yards per punt return. … The coverage units remained solid, but did regress, going from second in the NFL after limiting teams to 20.8 yards per kick return in 2011 to 12th in the league in 2012 with an average of 23.0 yards allowed per kick return. On punt coverage, Washington held foes to 7.8 yards per return (10th), but allowed 8.2 yards per punt return in 2012. That average ranked eighth in the league this season, however.


So obviously finding a consistent FG kicker like Forbath was good kicking 17/18 for a .944 percentage was a huge improvement over Gano in 2011 and Cundiff earlier in the year.

Alexander had another great year on special teams and made his first pro bowl. He has been one of the leagues top coverage players for years and he led the NFL in special teams tackles.

Brandon Banks struggled to find the big plays he used to give us in 2010. Eventually, he was replaced by Niles Paul on kick returns and Richard Crawford on punt returns. Niles Paul did two yards worse than Banks in kick off return average but it is not a big deal because kick off returns have almost totally been taken out of the game. The coaches seem to like his decision making and straight ahead running. Often times Banks danced around too much looking for the big play instead of just taking what was there on the return.

Crawford provided a huge spark in the Ravens game with his 64 yard return in overtime that helped set up the game winning field goal. Again, he was an upgrade over Banks because he has a more decisive style and made better decisions.

Rocca remained a solid punter for us. He tore his meniscus in his kicking leg but never missed a game. Actually, he had a career year averaging 43.9 yards a punt.

The Bad were Banks' and Cundiff's struggles earlier on in the season, but those were corrected as Banks was deactivated and Cundiff was cut. We found upgrades which I mentioned above in Forbath, Paul and Crawford.

The one area where Forbath must improve upon in touchbacks on kickoffs. He had just 15 touchbacks on 60 attempts. He must improve upon this of we must find a punter who can kick off, otherwise we may have a problem next year in kick off coverage.

Forbath did not kick off in college and said that he will focus on getting better on his technique and distance on kickoffs this offseason. If he can improve upon that, then we have found a gem!

Alexander and Rocca are free agents and the team will have to try to re-sign them because they've been important parts of our special units for years now.
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SeanTayorsaPIMP


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write-up, Turtle. One thing that bothered me about special teams this year was the lack of Aldrick Robinson in the return game. I understand he had a couple of muffed punts back in 2011 preseason but he is probably the fastest player on our team and he doesn't play many snaps at WR.
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mike23md


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeanTayorsaPIMP wrote:
Nice write-up, Turtle. One thing that bothered me about special teams this year was the lack of Aldrick Robinson in the return game. I understand he had a couple of muffed punts back in 2011 preseason but he is probably the fastest player on our team and he doesn't play many snaps at WR.


Aldrick Robinson should be getting reps as KR/PR. He has the speed and we need to be using that besides just deep threats at WR.
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mike23md wrote:
SeanTayorsaPIMP wrote:
Nice write-up, Turtle. One thing that bothered me about special teams this year was the lack of Aldrick Robinson in the return game. I understand he had a couple of muffed punts back in 2011 preseason but he is probably the fastest player on our team and he doesn't play many snaps at WR.


Aldrick Robinson should be getting reps as KR/PR. He has the speed and we need to be using that besides just deep threats at WR.
i agree guys, but he needs a lot of work. Not only did he muff punts in 2011, but I read somewhere that he struggled again last offseason. It's not like they haven't given him opportunities, they have in each offseason he's been here and each year he's proven he couldn't win the job.

Hopefully, this offseason will be different but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
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DCRED


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Redskins have had offensive and defensive struggles at times over the years but our special teams always were a solid unit.


With the exception of K/P perhaps . Those positions have been nightmares

Great writeup though turtle

And as far as Burns it is pretty obvious what he brings to the position.
... A former ST standout who led his team 7 out of 11 years on ST, won two superbowls, stayed with Denver as asst coach (WOW) until :
Quote:
From 2007-12, Burns worked with a Broncos unit that accumulated 10 combined punt and kickoff return touchdowns, tied for most in the AFC and second-most in the NFL.
???
Yes, Please.

http://www.redskins.com/news-and-events/article-1/Redskins-Hire-Burns-To-Lead-Special-Teams/9584abca-e44a-4cfe-8934-298abca72fef

You couldn't ask for much more. Couldn't write it any better. Oh AND he played for Shanahan ?

Laughing Laughing Laughing
Very Excited he's here. He is my favorite New Redskin
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DCRED wrote:
Quote:
The Redskins have had offensive and defensive struggles at times over the years but our special teams always were a solid unit.


With the exception of K/P perhaps . Those positions have been nightmares

Great writeup though turtle

And as far as Burns it is pretty obvious what he brings to the position.
... A former ST standout who led his team 7 out of 11 years on ST, won two superbowls, stayed with Denver as asst coach (WOW) until :
Quote:
From 2007-12, Burns worked with a Broncos unit that accumulated 10 combined punt and kickoff return touchdowns, tied for most in the AFC and second-most in the NFL.
???
Yes, Please.

http://www.redskins.com/news-and-events/article-1/Redskins-Hire-Burns-To-Lead-Special-Teams/9584abca-e44a-4cfe-8934-298abca72fef

You couldn't ask for much more. Couldn't write it any better. Oh AND he played for Shanahan ?

Laughing Laughing Laughing
Very Excited he's here. He is my favorite New Redskin
Yeah. I know what happened in Denv last year. He still was not in charge of the special teams unit there, he was the assistant coach. He's never been the lead coach in a unit, maybe that doesn't matter, maybe it does. It remains to be seen. We also don't have their speicalist like Holiday (nor his blocking, which has been a huge problem for us the past two years)and we don't have a kicker on Painter's level. I like Forbath, but Painter is arguably the best kicker in the game, he was one of the main reasons they made the playoffs with Tebow as their QB.
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footy_29


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The team is in a pinch, and they can't be getting rid of talented players like Santana, Carriker, and Fred Davis, so one of those casualties will be Rocca.

In the 7th round, or hopefully not a draft pick, the Redskins will find their punter. You can find a punter as an UDFA, and he will be a quarter of the price of Rocca.

As far as returns, I probably wouldn't keep Niles Paul there...but it's not the worst option. What I would expect is that Shanahan has communicated to the scouting staff his desire to find a Trinidon Holliday on Day 3.

Lorenzo might be tough to re-sign, as I would expect he will be looking for $3MM per annum. Don't have too much longer to wait now to find out.
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DCRED


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

footy_29 wrote:
The team is in a pinch, and they can't be getting rid of talented players like Santana, Carriker, and Fred Davis, so one of those casualties will be Rocca.

In the 7th round, or hopefully not a draft pick, the Redskins will find their punter. You can find a punter as an UDFA, and he will be a quarter of the price of Rocca.

As far as returns, I probably wouldn't keep Niles Paul there...but it's not the worst option. What I would expect is that Shanahan has communicated to the scouting staff his desire to find a Trinidon Holliday on Day 3.

Lorenzo might be tough to re-sign, as I would expect he will be looking for $3MM per annum. Don't have too much longer to wait now to find out.


Hope all that happens. Sounds Great to me

And on Lorenzo. Hope he stays, but...I'll still wish him Good Luck as long as he is not in the division Wink
Hopefully he gives us a chance to match what he is offered /if atleast
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

footy_29 wrote:
The team is in a pinch, and they can't be getting rid of talented players like Santana, Carriker, and Fred Davis, so one of those casualties will be Rocca.

In the 7th round, or hopefully not a draft pick, the Redskins will find their punter. You can find a punter as an UDFA, and he will be a quarter of the price of Rocca.

As far as returns, I probably wouldn't keep Niles Paul there...but it's not the worst option. What I would expect is that Shanahan has communicated to the scouting staff his desire to find a Trinidon Holliday on Day 3.

Lorenzo might be tough to re-sign, as I would expect he will be looking for $3MM per annum. Don't have too much longer to wait now to find out.
i definitely agree Footy29. I know we can find a cheaper punter but we don't want to just go with some guy in order to save money, Rocca had his best season last year and did most of it with a torn Meniscus. I agree with those wanting Brad Wing or Jeff Locke late in the draft or as an udfa.

In terms of finding a holiday type player, good luck, those guys don't really grow on trees but I'd be nice to find one. I hope we can either sign or draft a wr/cb/Rb that can be a return specialist. There are certainly guys out there in FA and the draft that are upgrades, but as you said it wouldn't be the worst thing to go with Paul and Crawford again as our return men. With kick off returns, it's not that important anymore as most kick offs are touch backs, I'm fine with Paul or Helu (if he's healthy) being our kick off return guy if we can't find an upgrade.

Zo is very, very important to this team. I think we will find room to re-sign him unless he's going somewhere to be a starter which I think is highly, highly unlikely. We will make tough cuts or not re-sign certain other FAs to make sure Zo is back in B&G.
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Thaiphoon


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank God for Forbath Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

footy_29 wrote:
The team is in a pinch, and they can't be getting rid of talented players like Santana, Carriker, and Fred Davis, so one of those casualties will be Rocca.


I agree with the first part of the statement (team is in a pinch), but disagree with the second part (can't be getting rid of those guys). I think because we're in a pinch we do get rid of those guys, or in Davis' case, we let walk.

Quote:
Lorenzo might be tough to re-sign, as I would expect he will be looking for $3MM per annum. Don't have too much longer to wait now to find out.


Really?
http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/washington-redskins/lorenzo-alexander/
[His 2011 salary is a misprint]

You think he'll be able to command a contract that would have an AAV about equal to the total value of his previous contract?
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Woz wrote:
footy_29 wrote:
The team is in a pinch, and they can't be getting rid of talented players like Santana, Carriker, and Fred Davis, so one of those casualties will be Rocca.


I agree with the first part of the statement (team is in a pinch), but disagree with the second part (can't be getting rid of those guys). I think because we're in a pinch we do get rid of those guys, or in Davis' case, we let walk.

Quote:
Lorenzo might be tough to re-sign, as I would expect he will be looking for $3MM per annum. Don't have too much longer to wait now to find out.


Really?
http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/washington-redskins/lorenzo-alexander/
[His 2011 salary is a misprint]

You think he'll be able to command a contract that would have an AAV about equal to the total value of his previous contract?
yeah. I agree with you woz on both accounts. I don't see Alexander getting paid much more than he got last year. 2 million tops, I'd say. I doubt be finds a starting gig on another team.

And, as far as getting rid of players or letting ones we like walk, we're going to have to realize the situation we're in and there is a strong possibility guys like Davis and Kory Lichtenseiger could not be back and we could be cutting guys like Moss, Carriker and Hall.
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