The Washington Redskins desperately need multiple receivers to increase their production as they try to compensate for the absence of the injured Santana Moss, and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan believes that although most of his pass-catchers are unproven, they can do the job.
The Redskins last week started Jabar Gaffney (as he has all season) and Anthony Armstrong (who took Moss’ spot), but also used Donte Stallworth, second-year wideout Terence Austin and rookies Niles Paul and Leonard Hankerson.
Aside from Gaffney’s four catches for 40 yards, the Redskins didn’t get much production. Hankerson had one catch for 23 yards and Austin had two for 22, but that was it. Armstrong, Paul and Stallworth all went without a catch.
All of the struggles weren’t totally on the receivers. John Beck overthrew Armstrong a couple of times, Hankerson another time and underthrew Austin another time.
Shanahan said obviously Moss is hard to replace, but the other receivers have to do better, and he believes they are capable of doing so.
“It’s obviously hard when you’re missing a guy like [Moss],” Shanahan said. “There are other guys in there who I’m confident in and I know they can get the job done. They have to continue to get better and I’ve got to continue to help them more. I believe in these guys and I know we didn’t do a good job last week. No one is more disappointed in that than myself. I know it starts with me. That’s what we’re working on this week. We’ve got to get better and I know these guys are capable. They can do it.”
Armstrong still is waiting to breakout after having a strong first NFL season last year. Although he ranked second on the team in receiving in 2010 and is the team’s best deep threat, he has been held in check. But some of that has to do with teams now knowing they have to plan for the second-year pro, and the fact that Armstrong was hobbled by a hamstring injury for several weeks.
But Shanahan believes that no healthy, Armstrong is ready to take on a larger role and said, “we need to get him some more chances.”