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Not So Special Teams

Antwaan Randle El
It became an all too familiar sight for Redskins players and fans alike during the second half of games last season. Time and again the offense stalled. 3 & outs piled up. Big plays for points were scarce.

On the other side of the football Washington’s 4th ranked (overall) defense did enough to keep some games within victory’s grasp. The Redskins defense was the only unit in the league not to give up 25 points or more in every single game for the 2008 season.

A stout defense combined with an at times scoring-challenged offense means in order to win air tight games, the points will have to come from other outlets besides the offense. The special teams squad needs to toss a few assists into the end zone this year. In particular, the punt return team.

A meager two punts returned for touchdowns over the last 3 seasons indicate a personnel change is needed. Antwaan Randle El wasn’t able to repeat what he did in Pittsburgh. His career stats for the Steelers were 4 touchdowns and Nine 40+ yard returns off of punts. As a ‘Skin , out of the 107 attempts he has had, Antwaan only scored one touchdown with one return for going for more then 40+ yards.

Those statistics should open the door to an open competition at that position during training camp. If the Redskins are to compete for the NFC East crown this season, every portion of the team will have to make major contributions.


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