Redskins running back Roy Helu knows that he’s in the business of taking big hits from defensive players. He knows that sometimes his blocks will be there for a big play, and sometimes they won’t.
But just because a defender is in the perfect position to make a play doesn’t mean that Helu will allow him to do that. He proved that in Week 12 against the Seahawks, on a chilly, rainy afternoon in Seattle, when he turned a 2-yard carry into a 30-yard rumble for a touchdown.
Sitting in the press box that afternoon, I remember focusing on the field before the third-down play. Prior to Week 12, the Redskins coaching staff had only started to explore the pitch option in the running gain. This was a standard stretch play, and the blocks seemed to be developing according to how they were drawn up.
The only problem was that Seahawks safety Roy Lewis had the angle to stop the play for minimal gain.
This was the view from the stands that day, of the ensuing Roy-on-Roy crime:
It was the type of rare play during a game that earns a collective gasp from a press box, where reaction to the game is (supposedly) forbidden. The stands went nuts with a mixture of displeasure and disbelief at what they had just witnessed.
You might recall that the play later got recognition as the SportsCenter’s No. 4 NFL play of the weekend. But upon season review, it has now been bestowed with the ESPN No. 4 play of the entire 2011 NFL season.
This is how most of you will remember it from your couches at home:
Congratulations, first and foremost to Roy Helu for his spectacular vision, athleticism and overall accomplishment. Secondly, congratulations to receivers Santana Moss, Donte’ Stallworth, tight end Fred Davis, right guard Chris Chester, who deserve credit for sealing the running lanes that allowed Helu to make the play.
This is a a tremendous team honor for an outstanding Redskins play.