After studying film yesterday at Redskin Park, punter Brian Hansen said he immediately saw where he went astray in the Washington Redskins' 38-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. It was the placement of his left foot on his second step, which threw off the direction of his punts. One of those--a wobbly ball that drifted down the middle of the field--was grabbed by cornerback Deion Sanders and returned 70 yards for the Cowboys' final score.
Typically, Hansen said, that type of glitch--which he said he has a tendency toward--would have been corrected in training camp or the preseason.
But having been signed Thursday, after doctors confirmed that three-time Pro Bowl punter Matt Turk had broken his finger in three places, Hansen had little time to hone his mechanics.
"I saw on the film what I was doing wrong, and I know how to fix that," said Hansen, a 14-year veteran. "It's strictly mechanics. . . . I thought I was kicking the ball well the last couple of days. But you get in a game, and the tempo is a little different. So I know it can be corrected. That's the only encouraging thing. It would have been nice to have figured that out earlier."
Turk is scheduled to have his stitches removed Thursday, according to trainer Bubba Tyer. But until the Redskins know whether Turk will be able to catch the ball solidly, Hansen will stay with the team, Coach Norv Turner said.
While Darryl Pounds left Redskin Park yesterday with his roster spot intact, the fifth-year cornerback will have to shake off his recent poor play in order to keep his role on three wide receiver sets. Defensive backs coach Tom Hayes expressed faith in Pounds, while acknowledging, along with Turner, that Pounds has struggled recently.
"He has been up and down," Hayes said. "He has had cases where he gets isolated in coverage, and they've found him with their third receiver or fourth receiver, and they've gone at him. But that's the National Football League. . . . But Darryl is a tough guy and a good kid. He works hard, and I expect him to work his way out of it."
Pounds was called for pass interference against Dallas's Alvin Harper on a third-and-19 play in the fourth quarter, with the Redskins trailing, 24-20. The 17-yard penalty breathed life into a sputtering drive.
"He just had a poor technique on the play, poor judgment at the catch point," Hayes said. "He can play it better."
Three plays later, quarterback Troy Aikman completed a 52-yard pass to wide receiver Jason Tucker, who was left open when cornerback Champ Bailey and safety Leomont Evans hesitated, thinking the play had ended on a penalty.
"I think everybody [thought that]," Evans said. "Obviously Champ took his eye off him, or whatever, and let him go. He and I were probably thinking the same thing: that the play had stopped. But it didn't."
News & Notes
The NFL is reviewing a report that passing game coordinator Terry Robiskie inappropriately objected to an official's non-call of an elbow that Sanders threw against wide receiver Albert Connell in the first quarter Sunday. Robiskie said a report in the Washington Times that he bumped an official as he left the field was erroneous. "It was an assumption; that's all it was," he said. . . .
The Redskins' injury report, which has been unusually brief this season, expanded considerably after Sunday's loss. But nearly all who suffered sprains, breaks and bruises are expected to play Sunday against the Bears at Redskins Stadium. Tight end Stephen Alexander will have a precautionary X-ray for a sprained wrist but should play, Tyer said. Coaches feel linebacker Greg Jones is playing his best football despite a hernia. Guard Keith Sims likely will play Sunday with a cast on his broken thumb. Other ailments: Connell (bruised left elbow), Evans (bruised thigh), Pounds (sprained lower back), linebacker Kurt Gouveia (bruised thigh), guard Tre Johnson (dislocated pinkie finger, sprained ring finger), defensive end Kenard Lang (bruised toe), running back Brian Mitchell (bruised hip), center Cory Raymer (sprained toe), linebacker Twan Russell (sprained knee and calf), defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson (sprained shoulder).