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Putting the Special Back in "Teams"

Apr 7, 2005, 12:31 PM EDT

Is John Hall in danger of being replaced?

The Redskins made their second veteran free agent signing in three weeks yesterday, adding former Carolina Panther Brian Allen to roster. From Redskins.com:

The Redskins continued to add to their depth and special teams with the signing of free agent linebacker Brian Allen, formerly with the Carolina Panthers, on Wednesday.

Allen, 6-0 and 232 pounds, has appeared in 46 regular season and four postseason games during his four-year NFL career, making nine starts. He has amassed 133 tackles (72 solo), one sack and one interception.

. . .

Primarily utilized on special teams, Allen was a member of the Panther’s kickoff coverage team that ranked fifth in the NFL in 2003.

Allen will continue his status of being primarily a special teams guy. His signing comes after the acquisition of Buffalo’s Pierson Prioleau, a safety in name only, a special teams player by trade.

After the 2004 season ended, Joe Gibbs expressed the need for the Redskins to upgrade their “teams” as he calls the kicking units. They certainly were nothing special about the results from those units last year. Out of the 32 NFL teams the Redskins were 20th in punt return average, 12th in kickoff return average, 26th in punt return defense and 14th in kickoff return defense. That’s a mixed bag of the mediocre and the awful.

The Redskins probably aren’t done with making adjustments to the “teams”. After signing just camp-fodder variety kickers to compete with John Hall the past two seasons, they will have some real competition for Hall, who missed half of last season with an assortment of injuries. Washington signed Jeff Chandler after putting Hall on injured reserve towards the end of last season. Chandler showed enough, including kicking four FG’s against the 49ers, including a 49 yarder to warrant a new contract from the Redskins and a chance to battle for the position.

Chandler is five years younger than Hall, who turned 31 on St. Patrick’s Day this year. Certainly that’s not old for a kicker but add to that the injury issues and Hall’s $1.4 million cap hit for 2004 and you have a vulnerable veteran in Hall.

  1. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2005 at 8:48 PM

    With nothing close to a number one receiver on our roster and a qb Gibbs has no confidence in (sorry but it’s true), it only makes sense for the Skins to concentrate on building a great special teams unit to go along with it’s tough defense — because our offense certainly ain’t gonna win us any games.

  2. Anonymous - Apr 7, 2005 at 8:48 PM

    With nothing close to a number one receiver on our roster and a qb Gibbs has no confidence in (sorry but it’s true), it only makes sense for the Skins to concentrate on building a great special teams unit to go along with it’s tough defense — because our offense certainly ain’t gonna win us any games.

  3. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2005 at 12:48 AM

    With nothing close to a number one receiver on our roster and a qb Gibbs has no confidence in (sorry but it’s true), it only makes sense for the Skins to concentrate on building a great special teams unit to go along with it’s tough defense — because our offense certainly ain’t gonna win us any games.

  4. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2005 at 2:05 AM

    i have to disagree with what the last person just said. our offense is a run offence and with the addition of rabach, and the return of jansen we will just have to wait and see if our offence can produce. portis will certainly produce better, and to think that he still managed 1300 with a replacement line. and ramsey will get to progress through training camp and pre-season, not just the last 7 games of the season where he still was able to throw for a 65% completion percentage. our offense certainly cannot do any worse. i like that we are adding role players however, that just seems to be the gibbs way. though the hype of the up coming season may not be there like in previous ones, i am comfortable and content on seeing what develops.

  5. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2005 at 2:05 AM

    i have to disagree with what the last person just said. our offense is a run offence and with the addition of rabach, and the return of jansen we will just have to wait and see if our offence can produce. portis will certainly produce better, and to think that he still managed 1300 with a replacement line. and ramsey will get to progress through training camp and pre-season, not just the last 7 games of the season where he still was able to throw for a 65% completion percentage. our offense certainly cannot do any worse. i like that we are adding role players however, that just seems to be the gibbs way. though the hype of the up coming season may not be there like in previous ones, i am comfortable and content on seeing what develops.

  6. Anonymous - Apr 8, 2005 at 6:05 AM

    i have to disagree with what the last person just said. our offense is a run offence and with the addition of rabach, and the return of jansen we will just have to wait and see if our offence can produce. portis will certainly produce better, and to think that he still managed 1300 with a replacement line. and ramsey will get to progress through training camp and pre-season, not just the last 7 games of the season where he still was able to throw for a 65% completion percentage. our offense certainly cannot do any worse. i like that we are adding role players however, that just seems to be the gibbs way. though the hype of the up coming season may not be there like in previous ones, i am comfortable and content on seeing what develops.

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