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Tackling, big plays concern Haslett


Tackling, big plays concern Haslett

As Jim Haslett reviewed the film of Sundays 31-28 loss in St. Louis, two deficiencies on defense jumped off the screen: tackling (or lack thereof) and the inability to prevent big plays.Obviously we didnt play very well, Haslett said Thursday. We gave up too many big plays. In the running game, we gave up a couple big runs, which we havent done this whole season.After keeping the Saints ground attack in check in Week 1, the Redskins surrendered a 53-yard run by Rams rookie Daryl Richardson in the third quarter and a 20-yarder by Stephen Jacksons in the second.The Redskins defensive back got similarly scorched by Bradford and Danny Amendola, who grabbed 15 passes. What bothered Haslett most, however, was a touchdown pass from Bradford to Brandon Gibson in the third quarter.Bradford froze cornerback Cedric Griffin with a pump fake, then Gibson used a double move to blow right past Griffin and safety DeJon Gomes. The result was a 34-yard go-ahead touchdown.More than anything, we have to work on our technique on the back end, Haslett said. The double moves stuff like that shouldnt happen. It happened the week before against New Orleans too.Earlier in the game, Bradford hooked up with Amendola for a 56-yard gain.We gave up the big 50-yard pass and then got beat on the double-move 30-yard pass, Haslett said. The big plays are what did us in.Sunday's opponent, Cincinnati, also boasts big play ability. Last week, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton completed five passes of 20 yards or more in a victory over Cleveland. Big plays, though, isn't all thatrankled Haslett. In the loss to the Rams, he was also concerned by his team inability to make tackles.A prime example came on Richardsons 53-yard run. At least three Redskins had a chance to thwart the rookie before he got into the secondary. Once he did, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan also missed an opportunity.We had no missed tackles against the Saints, Haslett said. We were outstanding, did a great job. But we just had too many last week for whatever reason.

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Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

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Cowboys bus involved in fatal crash in Arizona

KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) -- The Latest on fatal crash in Arizona involving a Dallas Cowboys bus (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A spokesman for the Dallas Cowboys says passengers on a team-owned bus escaped serious injury in a collision with another vehicle that killed at least one person in Arizona.

Team spokesman Rich Dalrymple says people on the bus suffered only "bumps and bruises" in the Sunday crash on U.S. Highway 93.

Dalrymple didn't say if any players or staff were onboard the bus.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the collision occurred about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman, in western Arizona.

The agency said it was a fatal crash but couldn't immediately confirm the number of people killed.

The bus was heading to an afternoon fan event in Las Vegas where organizers say the team's mascot was expected to appear.


6:05 p.m.

A Dallas Cowboys bus that collided with another vehicle in Arizona, killing at least one person, was heading to Las Vegas.

Charles Cooper, manager of GameWorks entertainment center in Vegas, says a fan event with 50 to 75 fans was scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday.

He says people were already waiting when an organizer called and said the event would have to be canceled because of the crash.

Cooper says the team mascot was supposed to appear. He didn't know if any players were expected.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the collision occurred about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman on U.S. Highway 93.


5:35 p.m.

A Dallas Cowboys bus collided with another vehicle on a highway in northwestern Arizona, and authorities say at least one person was killed.

Team spokesman Rich Dalrymple (DAHL'-rimp-ul) confirmed a Cowboys bus was one of two vehicles involved in a crash Sunday afternoon on U.S. 93. He didn't say if the bus was carrying players or if anyone was hurt.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says the collision occurred about 30 miles north of the city of Kingman.

The agency couldn't immediately confirm the number of fatalities but said a medical examiner was en route.

At least one lane of the highway has been shut down. U.S. 93 is the main route between Phoenix and Las Vegas.

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DeSean Jackson throws out first pitch at Sunday's Nationals game

DeSean Jackson throws out first pitch at Sunday's Nationals game

You know, if this whole football thing doesn't work out for DeSean Jackson, maybe he could give baseball a shot.

The Redskins wide receiver was on hand Sunday at Nationals Park to throw out the first pitch and did a pretty good job.

Photo credit @byersjackson gas that 1st pitch ⚾️💨💨

A video posted by Desean Jackson (@0ne0fone) on

Jackson throws it from the mound and gets it to home plate, though just a bit outside. The throw was certainly good enough to keep Jackson off the list of other professional athletes with horrible first pitches (see John Wall).


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Redskins have many options at tight end, but don't count out Niles Paul

Redskins have many options at tight end, but don't count out Niles Paul

The Redskins are loaded at tight end - Jordan Reed is the emerging star and Vernon Davis the veteran with a stellar track record. But don't forget about Niles Paul. Lost last season to a broken ankle, Paul looked strong throughout Washington's offseason work, and with the team heading to Richmond this week to begin training camp, the former Nebraska receiver has been clear he plans to compete for playing time despite his loaded position group. 

"If you’re not out there competing to be the No. 1, I don’t know why you’re in the league," Paul said on ESPN980 earlier this summer.

Paul's mindset is admirable, but Reed is locked in as the No. 1 tight end. There's no debate there. And GM Scot McCloughan did not bring Vernon Davis to Washington without plans of playing him. 

But here's the thing with Paul - he can be very good.

In the first four games of the 2014 season, Paul caught 21 balls for 313 yards and a touchdown. He was averaging nearly 80 yards receiving per game in that stretch, the best of his career. It's no surprise that Paul put up those numbers when Reed was out, as he was injured Week 1 and did not suit back up until Week 6 of that season. 


Paul has proved himself a strong backup to Reed, and in Reed's three-year career, he has missed 14 games. Last year Reed stayed mostly healthy - he missed two games - but it would hardly be a surprise if the Redskins have to go one or more games without their new $50 million tight end. Davis will be expected to step up should that happen, but the team might lean on Paul more in that situation, in addition to a major role on special teams as well. There were also a few snaps this summer where Paul worked as a fullback - a role the tight end might have to take on with the departure of Darrel Young. 

Jay Gruden acknowledged Paul's hard work during minicamp.

"He’s done an unbelievable job in rehab to get himself to this point," Gruden said. "We didn’t expect him back until training camp."

A 5th-round pick in 2011, Paul has already surpassed expectations with a five-year NFL career. That he outpaced his rehab schedule should not come as a shock.

Should he significantly contribute this fall, even considering Reed and Davis will be the first and second targets at tight end respectively, would not be a surprise either.