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Drops Unravel Redskins' Offense In The Rain


Following Sunday's loss to the Steelers on the road, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan attributed the offense's season-low 12 points to a lack of execution.

"I'm disappointed in the number of opportunities we had and plays we didn't make," he said.  "It's been a long time since I've had a game like this, relative to that many opportunities that you didn't take advantage of when guys were open.

"I was disappointed."

Shanahan counted 10 dropped passes on the day, including several in the end zone. 

Sunday's cold, rainy conditioned offered the first inclement weather this season, but Shanahan downplayed Mother Nature's role.

"[The Steelers] had the same weather as we did so I definitely don't attribute it to the weather," he said.  "You can't have that many drops and keep drives going.

"We had some opportunities, had some potential for a number of big plays. You have to make those plays against this type of defense."

Due in part to the drops, rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III had the lowest statistical game of his career, going 16-for-34 for 177 yards and a touchdown. 

While some of his passes sailed wide of the intended receiver, Shanahan noted that drops are based on catchable passes.

"I don't care where the [ball] placement is," he said.  'As long as it hits your hand, you better catch it or else you won't be in the National Football League for very long."

Redskins tight end Chris Cooley had a strong day blocking and was targeted once on a contested pass that fell incomplete.

Cooley refused to use it as an excuse, but disagreed that weather didn't play a factor in the passing game.

"It was tough. I couldn't catch the ball today," Cooley said.  "We had chances to make plays and we couldn't capitalize. We dropped passes. We missed assignments.

"It was a tough day in the rain."

Leonard Hankerson started at the No. 2 receiver and had several drops on the day, including a sure touchdown pass in single-coverage.

"We just put the ball on the ground.  We didn't make those plays," Hankerson said of the receiving corps.  "We couldn't get a feel--the ball was just real wet. No excuses at all, we just have to make our plays.

"That's our job to make those plays and we didn't do it well today."

Veteran receiver Santana Moss had several drops, but also came up with two fourth-down conversions, including a touchdown on fourth-and-goal.

"That's football in the NFL; it isn't always going to be peaches and cream," he said.  "We'll get over it.  Fight back and do better next time."




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