Redskins special teams work to avoid blocked field goals

The Washington Redskins, after having five field goal attempts blocked last season, have made their protection on field goal tries a point of emphasis during this training camp, according to linebacker and special-teams standout Lorenzo Alexander.

“We’ve definitely been working hard on those,” Alexander said Friday. “This year we kind of even implemented a live field goal period, which we’ve never done since I’ve been here, just to reinforce that, because any time you give up five blocked kicks, it’s a serious issue right there. And [special teams coordinator Danny] Smith really took it on his behalf to put all the blame on him because we didn’t work it. It wasn’t an emphasis. And this year he’s made it an emphasis. So I don’t see that repeating itself at all.”

Kicker Graham Gano’s five blocked field goal tries last season were an NFL high. No other kicker in the league had more than three field goal attempts blocked.

“That’s all on us,” Alexander said. “Nothing on Graham. Not one. I think people gave him a lot of heat last year that he didn’t deserve because of that. A lot of it was protection breakdowns, stuff that you shouldn’t be doing. And it makes him look bad.”

Gano is competing with Neil Rackers during this camp for the Redskins’ kicking job.

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.

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