- The Washington Times - Monday, September 14, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. | Hunter Smith would have been one of the least likely choices for who would score the Washington Redskins’ first points this season.

And yet it was Washington’s new punter, in his role as the holder for field goals, who crossed the goal line with the ball on a brilliantly executed fake field goal call by special teams coach Danny Smith with 21 seconds left in the first half. Smith’s 8-yard touchdown run cut the New York Giants’ lead to 17-7.

“That was a momentum shifter a little bit for us,” Hunter Smith said. “If we could have got it done in the end, it would’ve made it a lot sweeter.”

Danny Smith said he had created the fake three years ago when Derrick Frost was Washington’s holder but never got around to using it. Hunter Smith said the play worked because the Redskins saw a flaw in the Giants’ field goal defense while watching film.

“It was something we knew we could kinda go after, kind of a weakness,” Hunter Smith said. “It worked just like we practiced it.”

Moss ticked off

Santana Moss is fond of Giants Stadium because it’s where he played the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Jets. But the receiver was ticked off during - and after - what figures to be his final game in the 33-year-old building.

Moss caught just two passes for 6 yards in Sunday’s 23-17 loss to the Giants, who played without two of their top three corners, Aaron Ross and Kevin Dockery.

“You can never judge corners by who they are,” Moss said. “You got to be ready for your opportunities. Sad to say, those opportunities didn’t happen because of a miscue here or there.”

Moss’ biggest moment came when he and Giants cornerback Corey Webster were each penalized for swapping shoves in the end zone.

“I kinda got [angry]… because I knew it was my play,” Moss said. “A couple of shoves got out of hand, and then my helmet flew off, and I got a head butt to the eye. Once my helmet came off, I’m defenseless. He want to keep going. I’m going to keep going. … I’m not just gonna sit there. It was offsetting penalties, so I’m glad for that.”

Cooley off the schneid

Chris Cooley’s 17-yard touchdown catch with 1:42 left equaled the Pro Bowl tight end’s scoring total of 2008, when he caught 83 passes. It was also his first touchdown from Jason Campbell since Nov. 25, 2007; last year’s scoring pass came from Antwaan Randle El.

“I was ecstatic that I could score at a critical point of the game,” Cooley said. “We felt like we’re very good in the two-minute drill.”

Orakpo’s debut

First-round pick Brian Orakpo headed to the bus with two tackles and a bandaged right arm after an unsatisfying NFL debut. Still, the rookie linebacker from Texas didn’t buy into the “speed of the game” hype.

“Preseason and the regular season was the same thing for me,” Orakpo said. “[But] I guess [my performance] wasn’t well enough because we lost.”

Extra points

Campbell is the first quarterback to start three straight season openers for the Redskins since Gus Frerotte (1996-98). …

Samuels is the first Redskins player to start 10 straight openers since Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green from 1983 to 1999.

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