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Should Situation Arise, Redskins Ready For Pressure On Kneel-Down

By ZAC BOYER

zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

ASHBURN – Tampa Bay has twice tried to break up the center-to-quarterback exchange and force a fumble on the final play of the game. If it happens Sunday, the Washington Redskins will be prepared.

Montgomery

“When you’re taking a victory knee snap, you know, most teams, it’s kind of, ‘OK, we’re taking a knee, it will be easy here,’” Redskins center Will Montgomery said. “But if that’s the way they do it, we’ll be ready for it.”

Greg Schiano instructed the Buccaneers to break through the offensive line and disrupt the kneel-down on the final play of their 41-34 loss to the New York Giants on Sept. 16.

The defense was able to penetrate the unprepared line enough to knock quarterback Eli Manning to the ground, and when Schiano and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin met at midfield when the game was over, Coughlin voiced his displeasure to his counterpart.

“You don’t do that in this league,” Coughlin said after the game, referring to Schiano being a first-year head coach. “You jeopardize the offensive line. You jeopardize the quarterback. Thank goodness we didn’t get anybody hurt.”

Tampa Bay also tried to get to Dallas quarterback Tony Romo on three consecutive kneel-downs in a 16-10 loss last weekend.

“I understand that there is a possibility they could fumble the exchange,” Redskins defensive end Kedric Golston said. “I think as a defensive lineman, you almost have to alert the offensive linemen like, ‘Listen, we’re coming.’ I’ve actually been involved in plays like that where we’re trying to get the ball back at the end of the game, but it’s just kind of one of those things where, ‘I’m coming off, so protect yourself.’”

Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said the move is Schiano’s style, calling him “a tough, hard-nosed guy who believes in playing good defense and being physical.”

But Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen said trying to break up the kneel-down can be harmful in other ways.

“It’s usually just an honor system,” Bowen said. “If the game’s over, there’s no point in really doing anything. I mean, that makes you actually start not liking a person, and I really don’t understand it, because after you play football, a lot of these guys are friends around the league, and when you do stuff like that, it kind of takes it away.”

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