Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo

Fredericksburg.com:Desperate measures


Recommended Posts



Desperate measures

Redskins 27, Seahawks 20


Date published: 11/10/2003

Gambles pay off in victory for Redskins

LANDOVER, Md.--It was a little unclear whose idea the slippery little play was, but accountability is only important when such calls go awry.

Prior to yesterday's game against the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier handed the play-calling reins to offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.

With two minutes left, the score tied, and the Redskins facing a third-and-5 from the Seattle 10-yard line, the Seahawks called a timeout. That's when Spurrier and Jackson huddled and decided to reach into their burgundy bag of tricks.

Quarterback Patrick Ramsey took a quick drop and tossed a leftward lateral to Rod Gardner.

Instead of plowing forward to gobble up some yards, Gardner--who hadn't thrown a touchdown since his days as a high school senior--took an awkward three-step drop and looked across the field.

It was a play the Redskins had been practicing since training camp, and it was right there. Trung Canidate was roaming free on the right side of the end zone. He said the last time he was that open, he was a child in the family backyard, putting moves on his brothers.

With a quick flick of the wrist, Gardner hit Canidate for the touchdown, giving the Redskins a 27-20 lead.

Seattle made a final charge, marching to the Redskins' 35-yard line. But on second-and-15, Darrell Jackson bobbled a pass from Matt Hasselbeck near the left sideline, and cornerback Fred Smoot snagged it to seal the win.

"You get in situations sometimes and you decide to try something different," Jackson said of his day of play-calling. "I give Coach Spurrier all the credit in the world, because he said, 'Hey, take a run at it.' A lot of coaches wouldn't do that."

Last week Spurrier called Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan seeking advice that might help salvage the Redskins' plummeting season.

Shanahan told Spurrier that during his first few years at the helm, he'd called all the Broncos' offensive plays. Then one day Shanahan passed those duties to offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak, and the Broncos went on to win a pair of Super Bowls.

So early last week Spurrier offered Jackson a chance to run the fun.

"Hugh's a high-energy guy and he wanted to come down to the sideline and provide some of that for the team," Spurrier said. "I said, 'Shoot, I'll try anything. If I have to bench the play-caller, then I can do that. So I benched myself."

Jackson's game plan kept Ramsey upright and able. The NFL's most-sacked quarterback was called upon to roll out of the pocket on several occasions. Jackson prepared for Seattle's blitz--which was more infrequent than the Redskins expected--by giving Ramsey quick three-step drops.

Ramsey completed 17 of 32 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. And for the first time all season, the bruised and battered signal-caller was not sacked.

"I think the thing today was that I had an opportunity to run the offense," Ramsey said, "and it was a good feeling to get into a rhythm."

Rock Cartwright continued to impress in Washington's wounded backfield, rumbling for 81 yards on 13 carries, including a key 2-yard shove on fourth down during the Redskins' final drive.

Laveranues Coles had perhaps his finest game as a Redskin, catching five passes for 125 yards. But his biggest play came on defense.

With 12:37 left in the second quarter and the Redskins already down 14-3, Ramsey fired a pass that was intercepted by Damien Robinson at the Washington 28-yard line. The free safety galloped toward the goal line and appeared to have a clear path.

"The first thing on my mind was I couldn't catch him fast enough to stop him from getting into the end zone," Coles said. "The only thing I could do was hopefully try and strip it."

Coles did just that, knocking the ball away on the 2-yard line. It bounced into the end zone, and Redskins lineman Randy Thomas fell on it, resulting in a touchback.

Ramsey threw another interception during the drive, but a pass interference call gave the Washington the ball back. Six plays later, Coles made a tough catch falling backward for a 15-yard score.

"We had a chance to go ahead 21-3 and missed that opportunity," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "They came down and scored, so instead it's 14-10, and now the complexion changes a little bit."

After a Josh Brown field goal stretched the Seahawks lead, Ramsey hit Gardner for a game-tying 14-yard touchdown just before halftime.

A 34-yard John Hall field goal gave the Redskins a 20-17 edge before a kick by Brown knotted the score with 9:59 left.

The Redskins started their game-winning drive at their own 16. On fourth-and-1, Cartwright took a handoff and plowed forward for two yards and the first down.

"When you've lost four in a row you don't have to play conservative or too careful," Spurrier said. "You've got to try and make something happen to win the game."

Coles and Gardner pulled in respective catches of 12 and 20 yards, and Cartwright juked and whirled up the middle for 21 yards to the 15-yard line, helping set up the winning tally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...