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Crawford Just The Latest Rookie To Step Up


The Redskins are currently enjoying one of their best rookie classes in recent history.  In the teams' impressive overtime victory against the Ravens this past Sunday, four different rookies contributed the final drives in regulation and overtime.

Before being knocked out of the game, quarterback Robert Griffin III led his team down the field, throwing five-for-eight for 53 yards, setting up Kirk Cousins in the red zone.  Cousins threw two-for-two for 26 yards and a touchdown, picking up the two-point conversion on a quarterback draw for the tie.

The crucial overtime drive was set up by rookie cornerback Richard Crawford, who was named the team's punt returner before the game.  Following a defensive stand in overtime, Crawford returned a Baltimore punt 64-yards to the Ravens 24-yard line, where he was tackled by the punter.

"It was kind of like the Red Sea, I saw where I had to go and I just ran that way," Crawford said after the game.  "I credit my teammates for blocking.  I've just got to finish it and score next time."

Crawford explained that he didn't score on the punt return simply because he got fatigued and the opposing team caught up to him.

"When I hit midfield, I was dead tired," Crawford said.  "I never get tired.  They use to call me Energizer Bunny at practice because I'm always running around."

Head coach Mike Shanahan was impressed by Crawford's decision making throughout the game, and rewarded him with a game ball after the contest.  He finished the day with three returns for 100 yards.

"When you give people opportunities, you never know if they're going to take advantage of them," Shanahan said. "Richard [Crawford] did a great job taking advantage of his opportunity. The last one was the difference in the game."

Three-straight runs by rookie running back Alfred Morris set up a 34-yard attempt by first-year kicker Kai Forbath, who split the uprights with his 14th-consecutive field goal this season.

All nine Redskins' draft picks have spent time on the 53-man active roster this season. Seven-of-nine have appeared in games this season, with only Adam Gettis and Tom Compton yet to see active duty.

The Redskins have now won four straight games since the Week 10 bye and their 7-6 record is the first time they have been over .500 since their Week 1 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

Crawford was excited about the victory as well as the winning streak, giving credit to the team as a whole.

"You just got to keep playing and just try to make the playoffs, so I don't really take it for myself," he said. "I'm just happy the team won and that we're happy as a team."

With only three games remaining in the regular season against teams with a combined record of 16-23, Crawford is focused on reaching the final goal.

"We're trying to go to the playoffs," he said. That's all we have been saying.  Playoffs! Playoffs! Playoffs!"




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