Redskins WR Pierre Garçon Continues On Torrid PacePosted on November 14, 2013 by Harvey Valentine
It was one of the early bright spots during the Minnesota game, before things dissolved into darkness during the second half of a 34-27 loss Nov. 7.
Wide receiver Pierre Garçon caught a bubble screen from Robert Griffin III on second-and-10 and raced 32 yards to the Vikings' 20, running over Minnesota safety Andrew Sendejo along the way. Five plays later, the Redskins scored a touchdown to take a 17-14 lead.
Garçon finished with seven catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, continuing his stellar 2013 campaign. During his second year with Redskins, the 27-year-old Garçon has become Griffin's primary target.
"He's been playing that way since he's been here," coach Mike Shanahan said Nov. 13. "I think everybody else is starting to see from the outside how good a player he is.
"The more we get him the ball, the more opportunities he takes advantage of. He's a very physical wide receiver. I think you saw that [on] a couple catches he had, that he's not afraid to run over safeties, linebackers. He's exceptionally strong."
In 2012, Garçon's first season after signing with the team as a free agent, he missed six games because of a plantar plate tear on the bottom of his right foot. He still finished second on the team with 44 catches and four touchdowns.
This season, Garçon opened with seven catches against the Eagles and has caught at least five passes during each game.
"He's a running back playing receiver," Griffin said. "He's got really, I say it's a good attitude, but he's a tempered guy out there on the field, and he plays that way at receiver, which you don't see very often. So if you get the ball in his hands, he can do some damage with it."
Garçon ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions (61 on 99 targets), seventh in yards (803) and fifth in yards after the catch (334). He has 36 catches for first downs.
"He can get you a first down on third and long, third and 14," Griffin said. "You throw him an underneath route and he gets the first down. It's those types of things that he's really good at doing."
At his current pace, Garçon is on track for 108 catches, and he'll soon blow past his career high of 70, set in 2011 with Indianapolis.
As the Redskins approach a must-win game against the Eagles Nov. 17, Garçon summed up the feeling at Redskins Park.
"We have to play our best football," he said. "We have to keep grinding. Hope is alive."
Shanahan Focused On The Task At Hand
As Washington's goal of reaching the postseason becomes less likely, the focus slowly turns to the future -- and that includes the coaching staff.
Shanahan is finishing the fourth year of his five-year contract. The team will have to decide whether to give him an extension or let him begin the 2014 season as a lame duck, with the ongoing distraction that is likely to provide.
Shanahan said Nov. 13 that the current uncertainty was not difficult for him.
"Not at all," Shanahan said. "I've got a contract for next year. I've got a contract this year. I'm concerned about our games. You know I've been very lucky. I've been in this profession for a long time. Your focus is on your job.
"I say that with all sincerity. It's something I do not think about. Any time I talk about a contract with a player or a coach, it's always after the season. Once we get started, we don't talk about it, because you've got to focus on the game, and if you don't focus on the game, you take away from what you're trying to accomplish."
Shanahan has a 24-33 record (.421 winning percentage) and one playoff appearance during his tenure as Redskins coach. Here's how he compares with other Washington coaches through four seasons during the post-1960 era.
Bill McPeak, 1961-64: 15-38-3 record (.351 winning percentage), no playoff appearances
George Allen, 1971-74: 40-15-1 record (.723 winning percentage), four playoff appearances (including Super Bowl loss)
Joe Gibbs I, 1981-84: 41-16 record (.719 winning percentage), three playoff appearances (including Super Bowl win)
Norv Turner, 1994-97: 26-37-1 record (.414 winning percentage), no playoff appearances
Joe Gibbs II, 2004-07: 30-34 record (.441 winning percentage), two playoff appearances
Navy senior Wave Ryder said he and his classmates, who have yet to win a bowl game, were aiming to clinch a bowl berth Nov. 16 against South Alabama.