It was fairly obvious to any conscious viewers that the Redskins’ special teams did not receive an A+ grade on Sunday night, what with the five penalties — including one on the unit’s coach — the two long returns setting up touchdowns, and the missed field goal.
While players were extremely harsh on the topic, Brian Mitchell was possibly harsher, directly addressing coach Keith Burns during his opening remarks on Comcast SportsNet’s postgame show.
“Special teams, they took about 25 steps back,” the former special-teams great said. “I said that when you have two weeks to prepare for a team, you have to come out with the best scheme, offensively, defensively and special teams. And I’ll say this: Keith Burns, you are a problem right now, because you can’t seem to get your guys to play for you. The one thing that every coach has to have — great coaches — they have to have the ability to get people to buy into what they’re trying to present. And at this point, they’re not buying into one damn thing that you’re presenting.
“Because they can’t cover kicks, they’re not returning the ball, you can’t seem to get anything together out there,” Mitchell went on. “Special teams is supposed to be a part of the game that throws momentum to your side. What the hell momentum are they throwing? So as I look at this right now, they need another bye, to try to get him and his crew up to par. Because offense is up and down. The defense stepped up today. Everybody, give the defense their credit. But special teams TOTALLY SUCKED tonight.”
Not sure many would disagree. Mitchell’s colleague, Trevor Matich, meanwhile took aim at the offensive coaching staff, after calling Robert Griffin III’s passing game “incredibly inaccurate” on this night.
“But the coaches didn’t help him with easy completions, either,” Matich said. “There were an awful lot of things that the Redskins could have done on offense to adjust to what Dallas was doing on defense. And if you make an adjustment and it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. But at least make the adjustment, at least see if it will work, fail at the adjustment. This was the most unimaginative offensive game from a play-calling standpoint I can ever remember seeing in the NFL, and it completely squandered a heroic performance by the Redskins defense.”