Lorenzo Alexander has heard fan criticism directed toward special teams coordinator Danny Smith this week after the Washington Redskins had punts blocked in each of their first two games.
“It bothers me,” said Alexander, the Redskins special teams captain. “But it’s the National Football League, and the leader of that group, being the coordinator of special teams, is going to take the fire for it, and he understands that. Just being a guy that’s gotten to know him, play for him and know him off the field and on the field, you kind of feel for a guy that’s taking the heat that doesn’t deserve it.”
Alexander believes players deserve the blame for the blocks.
Against the Rams last week, linebacker Perry Riley released downfield to cover the punt before ensuring Rams tight end Matthew Mulligan couldn’t get to punter Sav Rocca. The Rams scored the decisive touchdown four plays after the block.
Against New Orleans in Week 1, Chris Wilson blocked down, and a defender got a free run at the punter. The Saints returned the block for a touchdown.
Those errors were not Smith’s fault, Alexander said.
“It would be one thing if he was not detailed or lazy or didn’t show us looks in practice,” Alexander said. “Then you can go and say, ‘Maybe Danny is losing a step.’
“But when a guy is almost overly detailed as far as what he’s giving you – he’s giving you all the looks, telling what you should block and how to cover and doing all the right things – it’s just hard to see when a couple of guys, players, make mistakes and he takes the heat for it.”