Garcon having record-setting season with Redskins

In a season where so little has gone right for the Washington

Redskins, receiver Pierre Garcon is having a record-setting

year.

If Garcon maintains his seven catches per game pace, he’ll

finish the season with 114, a total exceeded by only 12 receivers

in NFL history.

”I’m just enjoying the moment, trying to get wins,” Garcon

said. ”No matter whether it’s preseason, regular season or

playoffs, I’m always out there trying to make a play. I’m not doing

anything different than any other year. After so much hard work,

things start to fall into place for you.”

They have this year. Garcon’s numbers are impressive.

He has been targeted a league-leading 174 times, tops the NFL

with a Redskins-record 107 catches, including a league-best 30 on

third down. He’s third in the league with 586 yards after the

catch. He’s on pace for 1,376 receiving yards, which would be fifth

in Washington history. This from a franchise that has had four Hall

of Fame receivers: Wayne Millner, Bobby Mitchell, Art Monk and

Charley Taylor.

”Pierre’s been phenomenal,” said Redskins safety Reed Doughty.

”He took a lot of flak last year because of the injury, but he

played excellent when he was able to. This year, he showed

everybody who he can be and what he will be going forward. He’s

special.”

Garcon and Washington wrap up the season at the New York Giants

on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Garcon said that he hasn’t reached top form

yet.

”I still have a chip on my shoulder every day,” said the

6-foot, 212-pound Garcon, who plays with a very physical style.

”They said I couldn’t play in the NFL. I’m here and I’m helping my

team. That gives me satisfaction every day. I can’t take away from

the year I’m having, but there’s still a lot more I can do.”

Opponents should not dismiss his resolve.

It’s already been a long journey for Garcon.

Instead of landing at Florida, Florida State or Miami when

leaving high school in South Florida, Garcon played at two Division

III schools. Indianapolis drafted him in the sixth round out of

Mount Union (Ohio) in 2008. By his second season, he was a starter

for the AFC champions.

In March 2012, Washington signed Garcon to a five-year, $42.5

million contract, $20.5 million of which was guaranteed. He debuted

with an 88-yard touchdown catch in the opening upset of New Orleans

but injured a toe on his right foot. Garcon hobbled through three

games and was sidelined for six others, but still led the NFC East

champion Redskins with 633 receiving yards.

Garcon opted against surgery on toe, but he missed the offseason

following a shoulder operation. He caught seven balls in the

regular-season opener, had 143 yards the next week and has never

looked back.

He and Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown are the only receivers with at

least five catches in every game this season. Garcon is catching

passing in every way possible. Last Sunday against Dallas, he

slipped but still caught a pass while sitting down.

”He’s in a zone,” said Washington’s Santana Moss, whom Garcon

replaced as the Redskins’ No. 1 receiver.

Notes: The Redskins promoted linebacker Will Compton to the

active roster from their practice squad. … Washington also signed

free agent linebacker Adrian Robinson to its active roster and

signed free agent tight end Gabe Miller to the practice squad. …

Linebacker Nick Barnett was placed on injured reserve after

spraining his left knee in last Sunday’s 24-23 loss to Dallas.

Rookie free agent Will Compton was promoted from the practice squad

to replace him. . Linebacker Brian Orakpo was limited during

Wednesday’s practice because of the right groin he strained against

the Cowboys. Free safety Brandon Meriweather was absent for

personal reasons.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org