The play won’t die.
The disaster that unfolded for the Washington Redskins over a few seconds on third-and-21 against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night continued to hang over Redskins Park.
Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett second-guessed the decision to send eight men after quarterback Tony Romo on the play, which set up the Cowboys’ game-winning field goal.
“Would you take it back?” Haslett said Thursday. “Of course you would.”
Haslett said that defense, called a zero blitz, has been called 10 times this season. Two interceptions, a fumble and a touchdown have resulted.
“We’ve won nine of them and lost one,” Haslett said. “The odds show it’s a great defense. It really is.”
From Haslett’s perspective, the blitz caused Romo to “run for his life” and throw the ball up for grabs. Receiver Dez Bryant, of course, had separated from cornerback DeAngelo Hall and gained 30 yards.
Hall’s postgame comments critical of the defensive call, which he backtracked on Tuesday, didn’t faze Haslett.
“He’s an emotional guy, high-strung,” Haslett said. “He felt bad about the play. I understand. … I played the game. I was probably worse than that.”
Excitement is not Ryan Kerrigan’s strong point. The rookie outside linebacker is notoriously low-key. Like Thursday morning, when a Redskins staffer informed Kerrigan he was the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month.
“Oh, well, that’s nice,” Kerrigan replied.
That is typical of the aw-shucks Kerrigan, who speaks loudest on the field. In the first three games after the Redskins used the No. 16 pick in April’s draft on Kerrigan, he recorded 13 tackles, pressured the quarterback five times, forced one fumble, intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown and added 1.5 sacks.
Kerrigan’s transition from defensive end at Purdue to outside linebacker in the Redskins’ 3-4 scheme is a work in progress. At least that’s what he believes.
“I’ve still got a long ways to go, no doubt,” Kerrigan said. “From a pass rushing standpoint, from a coverage standpoint, I’ve still got a lot to work on and that’s the beauty of football.”