If you believe that admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, then today’s open locker room was absolutely full of recovering football players. For just about every problem that has been brought up about the loss to the Lions and the team’s play in general, there was a player somewhere explaining to a microphone just how aware they were of that problem.
Think the team lacks a clearly-defined character? Carlos Rogers is right there with you:
“I think the team itself is … we don’t know where we at,” he said. “We don’t have an identity. I don’t know what we want to be on offense, I don’t know what we want to be on defense. Until we establish ourselves as a whole group; [then] I think it’s gonna work out better for everybody.”
(Rogers also noted that his ankle is “still swollen, still hurtin’,” but expects to play Sunday.)
Or maybe you’re convinced that the team just doesn’t execute properly; then you’d want to listen to Chris Cooley.
“We’re just not consistent enough throughout the game,” Cooley said. “We show the ability to make big plays; we show the ability to make NORMAL plays. Our problem is that we don’t execute every time, we put ourselves in bad situations. A couple penalties, sacks, a couple runs for negative yards, and those are things that really hurt us offensively.”
Perhaps you’re one of the ones who likes to emphasize that the Redskins don’t seem to play with any sense of urgency, a sentiment that DeAngelo Hall agrees with.
“I don’t think we came out from start to finish with that same sense of urgency,” Hall said. “Had we come out with the same sense of urgency that we played with toward the end, at least offensively, I felt like, you know, we’d've scored more points. Defensively, we’d'a got off the field more. So I don’t think we played the whole game with a sense of urgency. At times you saw it, but it can’t be something that flickers on and off. It has to be a continual thing that keeps going.”
Hall would also agree with you if you pointed out a lack of big plays on both sides of the ball.
“We’ve just gotta make plays. As a defense we haven’t made plays, haven’t given our offense the ball like we talked about all preseason, you know? Gettin’ turnovers, getting’ the ball back to our offense. .. we haven’t done that. We haven’t done that yet as a defense. We haven’t played a great game yet as a defense. The only thing we have to look forward to is more games, more games to go out there and prove ‘em.”
Did you watch Chad Rinehart play and think, “Hey, he needs to improve everything”? Well, Chad Rinehart would like to be the first in line to agree with you.
“Everything,” Rinehart said, in response to a question of what he could improve. “I felt like I could have been a little stronger in the communication between Casey [Rabach] and Stephon [Heyer], making my own calls as I saw it, and just being more confident in myself.”
Then there are people concerned that players are focused on their individual stats over the team’s success. Brian Orakpo begs to differ.
Asked about getting his first regular season sack, Orakpo shrugged. “It don’t matter,” he said. “We lost, so I really don’t care about it.”
Rock Cartwright had a similar reaction to his unexpected increase in playing time.
“I would’ve loved to win the football game,” Cartwright said, “besides me getting to play a little bit of offense. I got in there because CP was hurt and Ladell was a little winded, so I got my opportunity to go in there and I was able to make a couple plays and give us an opportunity to win the football game, and I’m just trying to do my part.”
Pretty much everywhere you looked, there were people taking responsibility for the loss, pinpointing many of the same things that have been discussed endlessly here and on ExtremeSkins and everywhere else. And there was very little of the false optimism that some commenters have worried about; the closest the team came to that was in pointing out that the season is just three games old, which should offer plenty of time to turn things around.
“I think we need to get guys to stay together,” team captain London Fletcher said. “That’s one of the main things you got to do. We got to understand it is the third game of the season. It’s still early but we cannot allow a snowball effect to take place where one loss ends up being two and then three and then the next thing you know everything is out of control. We definitely need to continue to have great focus, to not allow any negativity to creep in amongst us.”
Philip Daniels was even more specific. “A couple guys brought up the point that the [New York] Giants started off real bad and were talking about firing their coach a few years ago,” he said, “and they made it to the Super Bowl. So we’ve pretty much got to take that same attitude. We’ve got to take it one play at a time and one game at a time, and make it happen.”
Brian Orakpo is in his first year in the league, which means he’s not too far removed from a situation where even one early season loss can be fatal, so he was keenly aware of the difference in the pros. “We’re one and two,” Orakpo said. “It’s a lonnnng season. That’s one thing. In college? Yeah. In college you’re done, pretty much. But this is not college. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve just got to continue to get better each week; I know it sounds cliché, but that’s what the process has to be, you know, to get better as a team. And we just can’t be finger pointing.”
Tags: Brian Orakpo, BrianOrakpo, Carlos Rogers, CarlosRogers, Chad Rinehart, ChadRinehart, Chris Cooley, ChrisCooley, DeAngelo Hall, DeangeloHall, london fletcher, LondonFletcher, philip daniels, PhilipDaniels, rebounding, redskins @ lions, Redskins@Lions, Rock Cartwright, RockCartwright, washington redskins, WashingtonRedskins
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