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Sav Rocca erased Redskins’ punting woes from last season

- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sav Rocca has been one of the Washington Redskins' most effective players this season.

Sure, as the punter, it's a negative any time he takes the field. But he at least represents a major upgrade in an aspect of the game that has been problematic for years. "His bad punts are what we used to consider good punts here," coach Danny Smith said.

Rocca punted a season-long 63-yarder last Sunday against Dallas. That increased his season gross average to 45.5 yards.

Last season, four Redskins punters averaged 40.2 yards.

The Redskins signed Rocca in free agency in August after the Philadelphia Eagles opted not to re-sign him.

"He's as good as I've ever been around," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's much better than I expected.

Rocca ranks 18th in the NFL in gross average. His 18 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line are tied for first.

"He's been consistent," Shanahan said. "Any time you have a guy that can turn the field consistently and kick inside the 20 as much as he has, you have to take your hat off to him. He was a big addition for us."

Williams hurting but ready

Left tackle Trent Williams believes his slightly sprained left knee is healthy enough for him to play against Seattle on Sunday.

"It's painful," he said after Thursday's practice, "but it'll be fine."

Williams was one of nine players limited in Thursday's practice. Receiver Donte Stallworth (foot) was added to the injury report. Receiver Niles Paul was limited for the first time since spraining one of his big toes Nov. 6.

Linebacker London Fletcher (left ankle) was limited after sitting out Wednesday.

Offensive linemen Jammal Brown (groin), guard Maurice Hurt (knee) and Sean Locklear (ankle) were limited. So were cornerback DeJon Gomes (knee) and safety Josh Wilson (hamstring).

Another way to help

Anthony Armstrong didn't catch any passes against Dallas last Sunday despite starting the game. However, he believes the positive impact he had on the offense was unmistakable.

His vertical route in the third quarter cleared two defenders from the left side of the field, allowing space for WR Jabar Gaffney's 28-yard completion near the left sideline.

"I was able to help, not necessarily production-wise, but just the fact being out there ... take some safeties off the top and be able to hit Jabar and Fred [Davis] underneath, things like that," Armstrong said. "I think I was helpful."

Polumbus not the problem

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan indicated that left guard Tyler Polumbus will get another chance to start this week after debuting against Dallas last Sunday.

"He did not cost us the game at all," Shanahan said. "That was really what I was hoping, what I was going to be happy with. He had been here for a week, and he's not truly a guard, anyways. He's a tall tackle.

"But for him to go in there versus the people he was going against — he got beat; it cost us a couple plays, but he was definitely not the difference in us losing."

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