By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 10, 2007
There have been doubts about the ability of the Washington Redskins to find a true complementary receiver to star Santana Moss, but Antwaan Randle El did more than his share in yesterday's 16-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins at FedEx Field. Randle El, who replaced Brandon Lloyd as a starter late last season, caught five passes for a career-best 162 yards on a day when no one else produced more than 28 yards receiving.
Randle El did a superior job of adjusting to the ball in flight on an outside route early in the game for 35 yards, and he later blazed down the left side again on another streaking route for a 49-yard gain. Then, as regulation expired, on a Hail Mary, quarterback Jason Campbell flung the ball to the end zone, Miami end Jason Taylor deflected it and Randle El came up with a 54-yard catch, but fell short of diving into the end zone before fumbling. The Redskins completed just 11 passes of 35 yards or more all last season, but Randle El came up with three alone yesterday.
"We were trying to give our guys an opportunity to catch some deep balls and open up their defense," Campbell said. "Randle El did a good job of getting down the sideline."
Running back Clinton Portis credited Randle El with the "key block" that opened the hole for a 19-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Said Miami Dolphins Coach Cam Cameron, who used Randle El as his quarterback at Indiana: "We all know he's a heck of a football player. What is he? A receiver? A punt returner? I don't know, but he's a football player."
Lloyd, who like Randle El was given a big free agent contract in 2006, did not have a reception. It is the fourth time in 16 games with Washington that Lloyd has failed to catch a pass, and he has been held to two receptions or less in 14 of those contests.