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Redskins’ fateful blitz in loss to Cowboys still second-guessed
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.”
Safety LaRon Landry feels fine this week after playing Monday, his first game since November of last year.
The bum hamstring?
“That was two weeks ago,” Landry said.
The troublesome Achilles?
“Last year,” he said.
Landry was critical of his performance, believing he has plenty to improve on. Haslett, though, was impressed by the effort. The only hitch was Landry tiring near game’s end and being replaced by Reed Doughty.
Haslett was surprised by Landry’s endurance and the lack of mental mistakes after almost a year off the field.
“For a guy that hasn’t done much,” Haslett said, “he was sharp.”
Cooley’s new position
Chris Cooley’s shift from tight end to fullback in Monday night’s loss impressed offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The positions are similar, Shanahan said, and use similar blocking packages except, of course, for lining up on different parts of the field.
“It causes the defense some issues,” Shanahan said.
The coordinator insisted he wasn’t nervous when Cooley took the first handoff of his 105-game career, gaining three yards.
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About the Author
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