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Pierre Garcon Shows Team’s Early Investment No Leap Of Faith
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Pierre Garçon didn’t fully intend to make a spectacle of a meaningless touchdown in the Washington Redskins’ preseason opener at Buffalo on Thursday.
He wanted to acknowledge his offensive teammates for helping him score, and as he took one last step on the Bills’ 1-yard line, he leapt into the air, hurdling the goal line with a well-placed somersault.
“I tried to reward them with a good jump into the end zone, but it didn’t work out as well as I planned it,” Garçon said after the game, a 7-6 Redskins victory. “I had a little bit of motivation from those guys … and they were excited just to finish up a long drive with a [touchdown].”
Garçon was instrumental in the Redskins’ passing game in their 7-6 victory over the Bills – at least as much as he could be, having been on the field with the starters for only 14 plays.
He was targeted four times by quarterback Robert Griffin III and caught three of those passes, finishing his first game for Washington with 58 receiving yards.
The fourth catch, which was on Griffin’s first pass attempt, was a well-placed toss to Garçon’s numbers in the left flat, but it was ruled incomplete by the officials because he was perceived to be out of bounds.
Replays were not conclusive on whether Garçon caught the ball, though he was sure he did.
“I just had to get my feet down and keep it bounds, but I guess I’ve got to drag them a little longer,” Garçon said. “I think I dragged them for a long time. I don’t know. They didn’t show the replay for us, but it’s – it was a close call. It’s preseason for everybody. For everybody.”
A 6-foot, 212-pound receiver who spent his first four seasons in Indianapolis, Garçon became the jewel of the Redskins’ free agent class when he agreed to, and later signed, a five-year, $42.5 million contract shortly after the league year began in March.
The coaching staff wanted to surround Griffin, whom it took No. 2 in the NFL Draft in April, with as much young talent as possible, and its hope is that Garçon, 25, and Griffin will form the basis of a passing game that struggled in head coach Mike Shanahan’s first two seasons in Washington.
“As I’ve said from day one, he’s had an excellent camp,” Shanahan said. “You can see his big-play ability. I think that [touchdown catch] was one indication of what type of receiver he is and what type of running skills he has after the catch.”
Garçon caught the pass from Griffin on a bubble screen, then broke past Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin and used blocks from left tackle Trent Williams and receiver Santana Moss to spring him loose.
Then came takeoff.
“The last time I did it, I think I was in college,” Garçon said. “I probably won’t be doing it again. The landing wasn’t too smooth, so I’ll have to come up with something else.”