ASHBURN, Va. — Pete Carroll says the “field” in FedEx Field is “horrible.”
Mike Shanahan doesn’t go that far, but he agrees the grass isn’t always greener at the Washington Redskins stadium.
The playing surface was a mess when Seattle Seahawks beat the Redskins on Sunday in the NFC wild card playoffs. There were plenty of bare sports, and dirt was flying with many of the steps taken between the hash marks. Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III and Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons left the game with knee injuries.
“It was horrible,” Seahawks coach Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle. “It’s a horrible field. It’s as bad as a field can get for being dry. It’s too bad. It really is. It’s too bad. We deserve better. … It just was worn out. There was a lot of slipping and all that kind of stuff. It’s relative. It didn’t change the game at all in my opinion because it’s relative to both sides. We should just expect to see a better field at that time of year.”
The field has looked scraggly for much of a season that was front-loaded with extra events, including college football games and a Kenny Chesney concert.
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“You’d like a perfect field, and it wasn’t a perfect field, we all know that,” Redskins coach Shanahan said.
Shanahan said putting down a new sod in midseason might not have worked. He said he’s seen new sods in San Francisco and Denver that didn’t work out.
“If you do sod right, at lot of times it’s good,” Shanahan said. “I really thought the field was OK because I didn’t see people slipping during the game. … Therefore I don’t think there’s an advantage one way or a disadvantage one way.”
NFL rules say the home team must certify prior to each game that the playing field meets certain conditions. There is a list of requirements, including an “Impact Hardness Test.”
Carroll was more diplomatic when he met with reporters later Monday. He said there was a “lot of loose footing” in the game, but he said he didn’t know if it contributed to Clemons’ injury.
“It’s cool to have the different stadiums have their own uniqueness about it,” Carroll said. “But there is a point where I think it makes sense that it should be somewhat standardized that it should be equal for everyone, and obviously safety is at the top of everyone’s mind in the league.”
Shanahan said he’d be open to the idea of an synthetic grass surface, but that he likes natural grass.
“We have that here, but for some reason here it’s just not working as well,” he said. “Anyway, we’ll try to address that for next year.”
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