Brooks' Confidence Boosted
After his poor performance last week against the Saints, rookie punter Durant Brooks could lose his job if he struggles against Arizona. Brooks won the Ray Guy Award as college football's top punter in the 2007 season, and the trophy has provided inspiration.
"I was talking to my dad, and he was like, 'Man, you need to glance at that trophy you have,' " Brooks said. "I looked at it, and it reminded me I've done this before. I had great games in college. I had a great career. I can do this. I have the ability."
Of course, the NFL is not college, and Brooks must prove he can punt effectively under pressure at this level, special teams coach Danny Smith said. "He's got to do it," Smith said. "He's got to go out there and make it happen."
Dissatisfied with Rob Bironas Jersey veteran Derrick Frost, the Redskins made the unusual move of drafting a punter, selecting Brooks from Georgia Tech in the sixth round with the 168th overall pick. Durant feels added pressure because he "was a draft pick," he said. "There is a lot of pressure of being a draft pick, but it's nothing I can't handle."
With No. 2 wide receiver Antwaan Randle El struggling on punt returns, top wide receiver Santana Moss could have an increased role in the return game. "I'm done talking about the punt returns," Randle El said. "We've been talking about that a whole lot."
In his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Randle El twice averaged more than 10 yards on returns. He had an 8.8yard average during his first season with the Redskins in 2006, and finished at 6.1 yards last season.
So far this season, Randle El is averaging 4.2 yards on five returns and has no gains of more than 10 yards. His fumble against the Saints set up their first touchdown.
Moss led the AFC with a 16.5yard average on punt returns in the 2002 season http://www.footballtitansshop.com/2_rob_bironas_jersey_authentic_black_limited_cheap.html and has an 11.5yard career average, "but I'm just a backup," he said. "Too much [has] been made about this whole thing.
"El is our guy and he does a great job. Nothing really has changed. I'll just be there if they need me, but I'm a backup. That's it."
Having their Nos. 1 and 2 wide receivers return punts is risky for the Redskins, especially considering Coach Jim Zorn's spread offense features many three and fourreceiver sets. Wideouts James Thrash and Malcolm Kelly are recovering from ankle injuries and Devin Thomas has struggled running routes and learning the playbook.
"You got to do," Moss said, "what you got to do."
Strongside linebacker Marcus Washington, who sat out last week's game because of a hamstring injury, was listed as questionable after practicing. "It feels pretty good, it feels better than last week, and I've been smart with it all week," Washington said. "I'm feeling pretty good about my chances [of playing], but I sill think we need to go out and test it. I still think it will be" a gametime decision.
Washington was sidelined for four games and missed parts of others last season because http://www.footballtitansshop.com/56_akeem_ayers_jersey_authentic_black_limited_cheap.html of recurring hamstring problems.
"We need to do some pregame stuff to make sure," Washington said, "but I'm feeling pretty positive about Akeem Ayers Black Jersey it."
Special teams standout Khary Campbell, sidelined last week because of a bruised thigh, was listed as questionable. "I practiced every day this week," he said. "I'll play." . Middle linebacker London Fletcher, excused from practice recently for personal reasons, is expected to play against the Cardinals, a team spokesman said. . Safety Kareem Moore (hamstring) was listed as questionable. . Blades (knee) were probable.
And Northern Iowa is not Georgia Tech. I'm still believing in Brooks (if only b/c I pimped so hard in the spring to draft a punter) because he has a personal history of success at a high level. Also because a high punt at least gives the cover guys time to get in the returner's grill to make him fair catch, even if its a short punt. A low line drive punt, even if its on inside the 10, gives the returner time to set, accelerate, and juke.
Among the others, punt returns. Get rid of a good punter and sign a dog, 'cause otherwise the team might win field position battles. Say, does Vinny realize his job is to improve your team? Maybe somebody should explain that to him. Could be enlightening. That's an admirable entourage right there.
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