NFL rules that two of Bashaud Breeland’s penalties should not have been called
Rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland this season has served as one of the bright spots on a beleaguered Washington Redskins defense. But on Sunday, the Clemson product found himself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons as he drew five flags — four of which were enforced — for a total of 70 yards.
Officials flagged Breeland for unnecessary roughness, two pass interference calls, taunting and defensive holding (the Giants declined that penalty).
Breeland didn’t make apologies for his transgressions following the game, insisting that he had given good effort while playing with aggression. And he disagreed with the taunting call because, in his opinion, Odell Beckham Jr. had done worse on the play.
It turns out, Breeland had a point on two of those plays. The Redskins submitted the plays in question to the NFL and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said on Wednesday that the league office responded after reviewing the plays, saying that Breeland should not have received punishments for taunting, or for the second pass interference call.
Haslett said that he preaches to his players the importance of keeping their wits about them, and playing with strong technique so they don’t put themselves in bad positions. But he praised Breeland for his style of play, and added that he doesn’t want the cornerback to tone down his style of play.
“I’d rather have them be more aggressive than non-aggressive. … Obviously, we’ve got to get the calls correct, but I like the way the kid competes, like I’ve said before,” Haslett said. “And I would take that over the other way. But there’s a fine line because you don’t want to hurt the team. Penalties hurt us last week, obviously, and you would like to eliminate them from the game, but we also want to be aggressive at the same time.”
The pass interference call that should have never taken place came with 9 minutes 37 seconds left in the third quarter as Breeland covered Beckham along the sideline on an overthrown pass. The enforcement was for 17 yards, which moved the ball up to the Washington 17-yard line.
Haslett said that he can live with penalties that take place as a result of effort. But he never wants to see personal fouls and penalties after the play. Breeland wasn’t guilty of taunting this time around, and Beckham tried to egg several other Redskins players on. But in those situations, Haslett said he preaches, “You shouldn’t engage in that.”
The aggressive style of play is a strength, however, according to Haslett. A defensive back must have a short memory and can’t let passes surrendered or penalties called dampen his spirit and cause him to become timid, the coach preaches.
“There’s a guy in Seattle who’s made a lot of money because he’s aggressive and he plays with that style,” Haslett said referring to Seattle’s Richard Sherman. “I’m not saying he’s that guy, but he has that same competitiveness that Bashaud has.”
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No extra motivation for DeSean Jackson facing former team again
Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson exhaled before answering the first question about his former team Wednesday afternoon. When the Philadelphia Eagles come to FedEx Field Saturday, Jackson insisted he would not be focusing on exacting more revenge, that it won’t be the same as facing off against them back in September.
“I just don’t really care too much for it,” he said. “You know, first game was first time playing them. Now, the whole season has went on. They’re playing. I’m playing here, so I’m not going to put too much energy into that.”
Jackson, of course, signed a three-year, $24-million contract with the Redskins this offseason after Philadelphia unceremoniously released him back in March. He was then a bright spot when Washington lost to the Eagles, 37-34, on Sep. 21 in Philadelphia, finishing with five catches, 117 receiving yards and an 81-touchdown reception.
Preceding that performance, though, Jackson would not bite when asked if there would be any extra motivation. He’s taking the same approach this time around. About the only mention of the Eagles Wednesday came when Jackson acknowledged former teammate LeSean McCoy’s impression of him: “He got me on that one. That was me.”
He did, however, address quarterback Robert Griffin III’s return to the starting lineup this week, noting the two still have “good chemistry.” But Jackson admitted the revolving door under center has had an undeniable effect on this year’s team.
“To really not have stability at the quarterback position is tough, you know, one quarterback and another quarterback and another quarterback,” Jackson said. “So just trying to deal with that and trying to find a leader as far as the quarterback position was really hard because we’ve just been through three quarterbacks, so can’t fault that.
“Still, at the same time, I’ve got to go out there and whoever is out there behind center, you just got to support them and play for them and play through them and play with them. Regardless of that, it’s definitely been tough, you know, losing season. Nobody wants to be a loser, so we just got to figure out a way to get it done.”
Jackson said Wednesday he was only about “85 to 90 percent” healthy during Sunday’s loss to the Giants this past weekend after missing one game with lower leg contusions suffered against the Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 30.
That, Jackson added, contributed to why he was slow to return to the huddle after running deep routes throughout Sunday’s game. Washington Coach Jay Gruden has criticized Jackson for failing to get back to the huddle, which in turn slowed the pace of the offense, the past two weeks.
He finished with three catches for 15 yards, his second-worst showing of the year.
“Really, running that far down the field and trying to get back to the huddle within that time is tough,” Jackson said. “You know being out a week, a little winded, had something to do with that, too. So I just got to figure out a way. Hopefully, get someone else in there maybe. If they see me go down the field with the long pass or, you know, coming back 50 or 60 yards to the huddle and trying to get off another play in time is tough. We’ll try to do a better job with that.”
Jackson’s session with reporters then ended with another question about the Eagles, and specifically their defense. True to form, the star wide receiver avoided controversy at all costs before walking off.
“Not talking about them, bro,” he said.
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Injury report: Jason Hatcher and Trent Williams remain sidelined (updated)
Defensive end Jason Hatcher on Wednesday missed another practice because of inflammation in his right knee. It’s the same injury that forced the 32-year-old Hatcher out of last Sunday’s game and all of the practices leading up to that contest.
The Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday, but haven’t made a determination on the availability of Hatcher — their highest-profile free agent signing this past offseason.
Trent Williams (shoulder) and linebacker Gabe Miller (ankle) also missed practice with injuries. Williams injured his right shoulder in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. Coach Jay Gruden said on Monday that he didn’t expect the Pro Bowl lineman to practice Tuesday or Wednesday, and that a determination on his health would be made later in the week.
“I’m going to have a lot of time off after this, after the Dallas Cowboy game,” Williams said, “so I mean shutting it down, that’s really not in the question. If I can play, I’m going to play. Like I said, I’m going to have a few months off after this, so I’ll be able to have all the time off I want.”
Miller, who plays primarily on special teams, sprained his ankle against the Giants.
Inside linebacker Keenan Robinson and strong safety Brandon Meriweather both practiced for the first time since suffering game-ending injuries against the Indianapolis Colts three weeks ago. Both were listed as limited on the injury report.
Robinson expressed encouragement over how his injured right knee felt following Wednesday’s practice. Meriweather, who has missed the last two games with turf toe, still appeared to struggle with mobility as he went through individual drills at half-speed.
Center Kory Lichtensteiger (knee), linebacker Will Compton (shoulder), nose tackle Chris Baker (toe) and running back Roy Helu Jr. (toe) all practiced fully despite receiving treatment for injuries.
Tight end Jordan Reed received an excused absence from practice as he attended the birth of his first child.
— Mark Giannotto contributed to this post. It was updated at 3:56 p.m.
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By 02:59 PM ET, 12/17/2014 |
Tags: Brandon Meriweather, Chris Baker, Gabe Miller, Jason Hatcher, Jordan Reed, Keenan Robinson, Kory Lichtensteiger, Roy Helu Jr., Trent Williams, Will Compton
Robert Griffin III rejects suggestion that he’s injury prone
Robert Griffin III triggered alarm bells among fans and Coach Jay Gruden when he didn’t get up, remaining motionless on FedEx Field, for a full six seconds after being sacked a sixth time in Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants.
Given the three major leg injuries Griffin had suffered in his young football career, there was every reason to fear he’d suffered another. But he was fine.
Asked this week about the length of time it took him to get up, with Washington trailing by 11 and roughly two minutes remaining, Griffin said, “I’m not going to overanalyze that kind of stuff, guys. I’ll get up. That’s all that matters.”
Protecting Griffin has been a tactical and physical challenge during his limited play this season. Griffin has been sacked 28 times now, with his indecision on drop-backs taxing Washington’s patched-together offensive line and the tight ends and backs who’ve helped shoulder the load.
Asked how he reacts when pundits call him “injury-prone,” Griffin said: “I don’t react at all because it’s not true.”
Griffin has started 34 of 46 possible games since Washington drafted him second overall in the 2012 NFL draft. Nine of the 12 starts he has missed were the result of injury.
Asked if he felt he’d been a victim of bad luck, having twice blown out his right knee and dislocated his left ankle in Week 2 this season, Griffin said: “Everything happens for a reason, that’s just the way I look at it. And God always has a plan. So anything that He allows to happen to you, it’s meant to be, and He wants you to come out of it stronger.”
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Would wins in the final two games impact anything?
Washington is 3-11 and trying to avoid a second consecutive 3-13 season. After last season, they fired the coach and rearranged the power structure in the front office. They’ve cycled through quarterbacks this season, and seem head toward the same record. Would 4-12 or 5-11 change how you feel about this season?
On this week’s Post Sports Live, the crew discusses Redskins coach Jay Gruden’s first season and whether winning the team’s final two games would make much impact.
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