Ex-Redskins great rips special teams

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
1:30
PM ET
ASHBURN, Va. -- Brian Mitchell made his name on special teams, becoming one of the best in Washington Redskins history. So, yeah, he takes their failures a little more personal. And after Sunday night’s 31-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, he went on the attack -- targeting special-teams coach Keith Burns in particular.

Mitchell saw what everyone else saw: A special teams that completely collapsed and cost Washington a chance at a victory.

There were some miscues that went against the Redskins, like a non-fumble call on a punt. But overall the special teams were dreadful: a punt return for a touchdown; a 90-yard kickoff return that led to another touchdown and, once again, nothing out of their return game.

“Special teams, they took about 25 steps back,” Mitchell said on CSNWashington’s postgame show. “I said that when you have two weeks to prepare for a team, you have to come out with the best scheme, offensively, defensively and special teams. And I’ll say this: Keith Burns, you are a problem right now because you can’t seem to get your guys to play for you. The one thing that every coach has to have – great coaches – they have to have the ability to get people to buy into what they’re trying to present. And at this point, they’re not buying into one damn thing that you’re presenting.

“Because they can’t cover kicks, they’re not returning the ball, you can’t seem to get anything together out there. Special teams is supposed to be a part of the game that throws momentum to your side. What the hell momentum are they throwing? … Special teams totally sucked tonight.”

It’s going to be a, uh, fun week at Redskins Park.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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