Redskins’ special teams have ‘got to get better,’ Shanahan says

September 30, 2013

The Raiders scored a touchdown Sunday on a blocked punt against the Redskins’ Sav Rocca (Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

Coach Mike Shanahan said Monday that the Washington Redskins must improve on special teams. His comments came a day after the Redskins allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown and yielded a first down on a fake punt during a win at Oakland.

“We’ve got to get better,” Shanahan said at Redskins Park. “We’ve got a lot of people playing different positions that they haven’t played there before, some young guys. You know, at the one position where we had the blocked punt, we had a new left wing there a couple of weeks in a row — not that that was the missed assignment.  But collectively we’ve got to get better working as a group. We do have some guys that haven’t had a lot of experience. But we’re getting some great effort. We’ve got to improve on our technique but I like the effort that we do have. We’ve just got to clean things up a little bit and we’ve got to improve, there’s no question about it.”

The blocked punt for a touchdown came when two Raiders’ rushers performed a stunt and one cut around the Redskins’ Perry Riley Jr. unblocked.

The Raiders got a first down in the second quarter when the Raiders, on a fourth-and-one play from their own 28-yard line, lined up in punt formation but then shifted out of it and eventually gave the ball to Taiwan Jones, who ran 19 yards around the left end for a first down.

“You work on those things throughout the week,” Shanahan said. “You don’t know what direction they’re gonna go. But they’ve been known for fakes so we worked on more fakes this week than we probably normally do. Then you take a look at why something happened. Number one, [Jones] is pretty fast. We had angles on him, at least from the inside going out, but we didn’t have containment. …They got a big play on us. And you’ve got to give them credit for calling it and having the guts to call it backed up in that position. I thought it was a good play and they took advantage of it. …We’ll continually work on that and try to make a big play when we can.”

What’s ahead:

● Redskins assistant coaches speak with reporters on Tuesday. The next game is 8:30 p.m. Sun. Oct. 13 at Dallas.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

Morris says his bruised ribs are ‘nothing serious’

Mike Jones’s five observations from Redskins vs. Raiders

The Outsider: Review of how the offense played | How the defense played

D.C. Sports Bog: Photos of Redskins in the Black Hole | More Bog

The Takeaway: The D earns an A | Wise: It wasn’t pretty, but it was needed

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · September 30, 2013

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