THE INSIDE SLANT

Jacquez Green energized FedEx Field and gave the Redskins hope, albeit for only a few moments, in Monday's game against the Eagles. His 90-yard punt return wasn't just the result of a player running wild and free. There was a method to what he was doing, and what he looked for. And here's what Green has to say about what he does.

''First of all, I have to make sure the two outside force guys held up. If they don't hold up their guys, more than likely they'll get down fast enough to make me fair catch the ball. So when the ball is first punted, I'll look to see if they got off line of scrimmage clean or not. Once the ball is in the air, I check the interior guys and see which ones are coming free. You can't block them all.

''You have to make sure you catch the ball. Then I try to make a move--it's difficult for a guy to break down and tackle you coming full speed. You have to make quick decisions when to catch the ball, when to let it bounce, fair catch it. If you don't catch it, you have to block the guy coming down so they can't down it. The other night, they were still at the 35-40 yard line so I figured if I caught it around the 10, I would at least get to the 20 so it would be like a touchback.

''The return was supposed to go to the left. I started back up the middle first because I always try to go forward and get positive yards before I make a break. Also I want to set them up. A lot of times if you just start to the left, those guys in the middle just run that way. But if you start up the middel, they stay in a cluster and then you make your break.

''Once I broke it to the left and the nearest guy was only even with me, I figured I had a good chance of outrunning everyone. Yeah, I was smiling. I was just happy because I haven't been playing so far. I wanted to make something happen for the team.

''The key to being a good punt returner is you have to be fearless. A lot of guys don't like the fact that the ball is hanging in the air for four seconds with guys bearing down on them at full speed. You have to have good hands and be smart. Some guys can't run, but they make good decisions so coaches put them back there.

''I just have fun having the ball in my hands. As a receiver you have no control. As a punt returner you have more control over whether you get the ball or not. The easiest way to change a game is on special teams.''


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