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Skins-Steelers Second Quarter

Skins-Steelers Second Quarter

I'm going to go ahead and post this during commercials, and have the title read "in progress" until the quarter is over.

Another big punt return by Randle El, this one 43 yards, so Pitt starts in Washington territory again at the 40. Steelers convert a fourth down after a nice ankle takcle by Taylor on Roethisberger set up a fourth and short. Redskins had 12 on field, but Bettis made it anyway.

Big Ben is not sharp at all, he is missing on some fairly easy passes.

Steelers get a TD after a dumpoff to Bettis gets them to the our and the Bus takes it in on the next play. That's 10 points set up by two punt returns. Need to kick away from Randle El. Better yet, need to put together a drive and not have to punt at all.

The great WR screen is back as Coles snares one for two yards.

Gardner needs to catch balls that are in his hands. He just dropped a first down pass on third and eight. Another punt, but Betts wraps R-E up on this one.

Pressure on Ben is diminishing, but he's still not very accurate. They're forcing him to throw from the pocket.

Nice third and ten pickup by Steelers. Pull off a screen against the blitz, Roethlisberger (forgive me if I misspell that one on the fly a time or two) had a nice sidearmed throw to the back and they picked up 25.

Taylor flagged for another personal foul, costing the Redskins 15 and giving the Steelers a first down instead of third and five. It was barely a bump, but the guy has a reputation now so he got the laundry thrown on the field. Sets up a 36-yard FG to make it 13-0.

It's hard to say this, but Ledell Betts returning kickoffs makes one nostalgic for Chad Morton.

Coles limped off the field, will update when it becomes available. My speculation is hamstring injury.

Gardner picks up a first then drops a bomb. Tough catch on the long one, but he needs to make that catch.

Dumpoff to Betts picks up 20 to the Steeler 41 at the two-minute warning. It looked like the defender fell down; will take anything we can get.

Coles is back in. He dropped one, seemed to be too worried about drawing a PI flag.

Sack on second down follows.

Redskins will go for it on fourth and three at the 37 after timeout. Thrash may have been interfered with, but he still should have caught the pass from Ramsey.

Dropped pass count so far is four.

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.