There were some things Redskins special teams coach Keith Burns can be held responsible for lately.
From his penalty for being in an official’s way to the ridiculous performance of the Redskins in the kicking game this year, there’s plenty to choose from.
Shanahan said he’d spend more time in practice with his special teamers this week, but defended Burns Monday, a day after his guys allowed Cowboys return man Dwayne Harris an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return.
“I think Keith Burns is a very, very excellent football coach, very capable,” Shanahan said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “And like I said, to get at this level and to be in charge of something, it takes a lot of years of work to be put in this position. And I feel very confident that he’ll get the job done even though he’s started out a little bit rough.”
That may be an understatement. Their special teams have been an issue all year, though most of that can be traced to things that are far from Burns’ fault.
With salary cap penalties a factor, the Redskins watched Pro Bowl special-teamer Lorenzo Alexander leave in free agency, and no one has stepped into that void to lead the special teamers on the field.
“Lorenzo Alexander is not gonna show up,” Shanahan said. “So somebody has got to take control of those special teams. And one guy has got to define himself or two guys have got to define themselves. It’s us working as a group. And it just takes one guy [making a mistake] to look pretty average.”
Getting to average would be an upgrade for the Redskins at the moment, and injuries piling up won’t help.