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Garçon Seizes Spot In History Books

Posted Dec 23, 2013

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon broke the 29-year-old franchise record for receptions in a season. Garcon, coaches and teammates weigh in on the feat.

On Sunday, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon broke Art Monk’s 29-year old franchise record for receptions in a single season with an 11-catch effort that upped his mark to 107 on the season.

In 1984, Monk smashed teammate Charlie Brown’s record-setting 1983 season of 78 catches with an impressive 106-reception campaign.

For the franchise’s first 81 years of existence, the 2008 Hall of Fame inductee was the only player to ever record a 100-reception season.   

With his eleventh and final catch of the day against the Dallas Cowboys though, Garçon became the second Redskin to ascend to triple digits.

After the game, he told the media he was honored by the mention of his name in the same sentence as Monk’s.

“It’s cool; I’m not going to lie,” Garçon said, shaking his head. “To be up there with Art Monk.”

With Dallas playing man coverage and the Cowboys’ secondary depleted by injury, Garçon took the space afforded to him in the first half, setting the tone early with eight receptions.

It tied a personal best for receptions in a first half and gave the six-year an extra layer of confidence.

“They played man and when you beat man [there’s] space,” Garçon explained. “When you believe in yourself, you can do things.”

His first half performance transitioned over into the second, as he recorded two receptions on the first drive of the third quarter.

The latter was an eight-yard touchdown reception off a perfectly executed slant route, which pulled him even with Monk.

On the next drive, second-year quarterback Kirk Cousins launched a crisp pass in the direction of Garçon, who hauled it in for the record.

After the game, head coach Mike Shanahan explained that while Garçon has impressed since his arrival in Washington, it was his offseason work ethic that set the stage for historic greatness.

“It tells you a lot about Pierre and his preparation during the offseason,” Shanahan said. “What he brings every week. Week-in and week-out, he’s a competitor. Not only does he catch passes, but he does it in the running game as well.

“It’s hard to find complete receivers like Pierre. He’s a complete receiver.”

When the Redskins made the change at quarterback this season,

some wondered if the change from Robert Griffin III to Kirk Cousins would inhibit Garçon.

Instead, it has resulted in the best two-game stretch of his career.

With 18 receptions over the last two weeks, Garçon has provided Cousins with a reliable security blanket.

“He’s the kind of guy of you want on your side when you’re backed into a corner,” Cousins explicated. “You want Pierre standing with you. He’s put together a good season individually.

“He’s fearless. He plays very hard and made some great plays for us today.”

In addition to playing the part of No. 1 receiver for the Redskins, Garçon has stepped up his leadership this season, helping to develop a host of young playmakers on offense.

 “It’s been unreal,” rookie Nick Williams told Redskins.com of Garçon’s influence. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation to play with a guy like that in my first year.”

It isn’t just the young guys that have been wowed by Garçon’s play this season.

Thirteen-year veteran Santana Moss has also been impressed with Garçon since passing the torch to him as the primary target on offense.

In Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons, Garçon passed Moss’ person best for receptions (93, 2010), for second-most receptions in a Redskins season.

“He’s been the guy for us,” Moss told reporters Sunday. “He was brought here to be that guy. Every time they call his number, he seemed to show up. Even when we were in the dumps, we could always rely on No. 88.

“I’m very pleased to have him as a guy I count on and also start the party off since he’s the guy, nine times out of 10, when we’re going to call his number early and often.”

Garçon was part of an offensive reload last season that also included the acquisition of Griffin III, Cousins and running back Alfred Morris via the draft.

Together, Garçon and Morris have become the team’s first 1,000-yard receiver and rusher tandem in the same season since Moss and Clinton Portis accomplished the feat in 2008.

As they have become one of the NFL’s best one-two punches, Morris considers Garçon’s performance something to be admired.

“That’s ‘P’ on an everyday basis,” the sophomore back praised. “He does such a great job. He comes out here—he’s ferocious on the field. You can’t help but love to play with a guy like that. He comes out and gave us his all.

“He definitely helped us in a lot of situations and he definitely helped us set up a lot of scores. He left it all out on the field today.

“I’m proud to call him my teammate.”     

   

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