Redskins Roundup: Looking for a Leader

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Updated: October 15, 2013
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I hand out grades and other assorted awards and demerits in the latest edition of Redskins Report Card. Not a lot of A grades in there. Just one. Bad grades for the special teams, as you can imagine.

Speaking of the special teams, they just lost two key contributors for the season. Read this to find out who and how.

Our regular Thumbs up/Thumbs Down feature on the latest Redskins game.

We have a look at the remaining Redskins schedule to find out where the wins will come from.

Head coach Mike Shanahan says he is “very confident” in Special Teams coach Keith Burns. Well, that makes one of us.

Referring to the former Redskins special teams star who signed with the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason, Shanahan said: “Lorenzo Alexander is not gonna show up, so somebody has got to take control of those special teams. And one guy has got to define himself or two guys have got to define themselves. It’s us working as a group. And it just takes one guy [making a mistake] to look pretty average.”

Shanny also said the officials made the wrong call on the special teams fumble recovery in the second quarter. Mike Pereira, former NFL official and Fox Sports commentator, agrees with Shanny.

Shanahan also defended clock management against the Redskins. He’s got no ground to walk on here. Clock management was dreadful and as head coach Mike Shanahan is directly to blame for that.

Shanahan had some words of praise for Washington’s defense, which has come in for a lot of justified criticism this year. However, Jim Haslett‘s bunch held the Cowboys to 213 yards of offense and only 2.5 yards per carry on the ground. Sayeth the ball coach:

I was very pleased with our defense. I thought it was their best game of the year by far. Any time you have that type of run defense and you go against a quarterback that’s had a lot of success and you play at that level, you feel very good. The defense gave us many opportunities to win that football game, but we didn’t take advantage of it offensively or [on] special teams. In order to win those games, you’ve got to play good in all phases, especially on the road.

CB David Amerson suffered a concussion on that 86-yard punt return for a TD and Shanny says the hit was illegal, but Amerson could have done more to avoid it.

Well, it was definitely helmet-to-helmet. David, of course in that position, he’s going to learn in time that he’s got to hit that hole a little bit harder. He can’t wait. He’s got an excellent opportunity to go in there and make the play and that’s just a guy with a little inexperience. Next time he’s in that position, he’ll make the tackle.

Times columnist Thom Loverro dishes it out to Shanahan:

The Redskins are 1-4 and about to face the Chicago Bears on Sunday at FedEx Field and the Denver Broncos on the road the following week.

Unless Shanahan figures it out, things are about to get ugly at Redskins Park. Questions that no one wanted to answer will be asked, such as:

What is Shanahan’s future in the middle of the fourth year of a five-year contract?

Were the three first-round draft picks and one second-rounder worth trading to the St. Louis Rams for the opportunity to draft Robert “SuperBob” Griffin III second overall in the 2012 NFL draft?

Or, taking a page from Shanahan himself, when he declared after a loss to the Carolina Panthers last year to put the Redskins at 3-6: “Now you’re playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come.”

This time, Shanahan could look in the mirror and ask that question.

Week after week, the Redskins look unprepared to take the field, a team defined by its mistakes.

Nearly six years after Redskins safety Sean Taylor was brutally slain in his Florida home, the trial of his alleged murderers begins today.

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