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Punt Protection Still A Work In Progress

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After not allowing a blocked punt in 16 games last season, the Redskins punt coverage unit has yielded a blocked punt in each of the first two games in 2012.

This is a troubling trend for the Redskins, who boast one of the top coverage units in the entire NFL.

"We need to go back and look at the film, and figure out where we had lapses in the second half," said special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander.  "It's really uncalled for to have a punt blocked."

Despite the similarities between the two blocks, Alexander said the responsibility to protect was on a different Redskins special teamer.

Alexander is concerned that until the lapses are corrected, opposing teams will 'keep bringing the heat.'

"They're going to keep coming until we block the rush.  We're going to keep seeing edge rushers until we show that we can consistently protect the punt," he said. "If you keep having stuff like that happen, you're not going to win too many games."

Head coach Mike Shanahan briefed the media on the topic in his weekly press conference at Redkins Park.

"It was a six-man rush and there was a bit of an overload," he said after reviewing film. "One of our guys took off a little too early and they blocked the punt. 

"You have to stay in place to protect it longer."

While just as frustrating as last year's five blocked field goals, Shanahan stressed that this was not a personnel issue, only technique.

"Last year, if you take a look at the blocked field goals, we lost a number of offensive linemen," he said.  "We've stayed healthy on the offensive line [this year]. You just keep on working to eliminate those problems."

Shanahan said issues with execution are his responsibility, and the inability to protect punts is no exception.  Moving forward, special teams becomes a priority for all.

"You have to protect first and cover second," Shanahan said.  "When someone takes off a little too quick, you have to work on it.

"It is a difference in winning and losing a game."

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