The Redskins' Post-Rams Grumpiness
Win or no win, Mike Sellers was ticked Sunday afternoon. He kept his back to the locker room. He answered questions tersely, his voice low and quiet. He pretty hurriedly left the room through a back door. I ran into him as he was leaving the facility, while he was stopping to joke with some kids and sign some autographs. I told him he looked pissed off.
"I am pissed off," he said. "I dropped a touchdown. I'm one of the guys you depend on, and I had it in my hands, and I didn't catch it. I didn't come through with what I was preaching to everybody else all week long."
Rage was trickling out through his eyes. You've never seen a victorious player fume like this. I asked whether the win didn't make him feel better.
"No," he said. "We won, yeah, but my performance, I'm not happy with it. I'm not. I've got to be hard on myself, because I expect more out of myself. Lack of concentration. Don't worry about it, I'll be on the JUGS machine, working on it."
Sellers wasn't the only one in a foul mood. I'm no NFL locker room veteran, but this was definitely one of the grumpiest winning locker rooms I've visited. A few more people who were grumpy.
Smoot was downgraded to questionable because of a rib issue, and didn't play. He wasn't happy to watch from the sidelines. He said he tried to run and do some things before Sunday's game, and wasn't able to do them well. He said the ribs would be examined again on Monday, and that there might be some fractures. But he said he had no plans to spend another week watching.
"To me, this is my last game sitting there," he said. "I can't do this. I can't sit on the sideline undressed. That ain't me. I'm playing, most definitely playing, so don't even worry about me."
I'm not sure when Greg Blache is cheerful, but his weekly appearance with Kelli Johnson on the CSN postgame show wasn't a yuk fest. Johnson asked about Marc Bulger at one point, which led, unprompted, to this dissertation.
"We had too many mistakes," Blache began. "Like I said, we had two on the touchdown drive that were huge. We had a silly penalty that could have put the game away early, a turnover at the 20-yard line in the second possession and we had a penalty. And if we did or if we didn't do it, if you put the official in that position because you've crossed into a gray area, you're gonna create those problems. So for us I thought it was a huge, huge point in the ballgame. The guys hung in there, but there'll be some mistakes, there's some things I know for a fact we have to clean up. But I'd much rather clean em up with a win as opposed to a loss."
The Redskins burned a timeout during the Rams' only scoring drive, late in the second quarter, during a chaotic sequence in which Daniels ran off the field for third down, and players then frantically motioned him back on. Daniels said the signal for the third-down package involving him, and the nickel package--which does not include him--were similar, and there was a miscommunication.
"Bad signals pretty much," he said. "I think it started out nickel, by the time I got to the sideline it was another call. Instead of running on the field late it was probably best to call the timeout....It's something we've got to clean up, the way you signal. When they signal it in, it looks just like nickel. They've just got to correct the signal, and we'll be fine."
He wasn't surly or angry or shouting, but he let it be known that he didn't appreciate the two dropped balls in the red zone, by Sellers and Devin Thomas.
"Well you know, it's frustrating," Campbell told Johnson. "We had two touchdown passes early in the game [that were dropped]. You're talking about game-changing plays, because now we're up 14 to zero, and that gives us the opportunity to take some confidence out of that team. And when you're just getting field goals what it does is you're continuing to put confidence into the Rams, and they just continue to feel like they can hang around, continue to play with you. And you saw what happened, it ended up being a nailbiter."
Ok, he didn't seem surly or angry either, but he struggled to find an answer when asked about the team's red zone difficulties.
"If I had an answer for why we haven't scored down there, then I'd be a genius, because then I'd know more than the coaches know, or know more than we know together," Moss said. "I mean, we can't do nothing about it. We've just got to try to back to the drawing board and get better....I mean, we're very aggressive with it, we're not trying to hold back, we're trying to get what we can, and we're just coming up short."
Fans have often accused this team of being complacent and satisfied with mediocrity, and maybe that's true. But when you actually talk to them, you hear a lot of guys saying they have a lot of work to do, including Kelly, who has consistently said that for going on two years.
"I left a lot of football out there today," he told CSN. "It's just things that I have to work on, as far as route running. Right now I'm still relying on just natural ability, but to become a more complete football player, I still left a lot of football out there on the field. I'm getting comfortable, but I know I can be a whole lot better than I am right now."
He also responded to the question of the fan booing by explaining that the players were feeling the same way.
"You always want to keep the fans as happy as you can," he said. "I think what they did, they said exactly how we were feeling as far as us not being able to put points on the board. So everybody sees it. It's not a mystery. The fans see it and we know it, they just made sure they let us hear about it today."
A week after putting much of the loss to the Giants on himself, Hall was subdued following the win over the Rams.
"Played ok," he said of himself. "Played ok. Still could be better."
("You don't even really take pride in the win," Hall told Rich Campbell.)
I asked him about Marc Bulger's short touchdown pass to Laurent Robinson, on which Hall slipped and fell.
"Just didn't get the right call, slipped, you know what I mean?" Hall said. "Nothing too serious. All correctable things."
The Entire Team
Chris Cooley told a story a couple times about Jim Zorn's postgame speech. He said the mood was fairly somber in the room.
"We were all kind of down, and everyone was listening, and Z Man was talking," Cooley said. "Danny [Smith], mid-talk, says, 'Well, we kicked three damn field goals!'... Everybody laughed. I think after that it was like, 'Yeah, we did win, so let's be happy about it."
Posted by: RedskinsWarpath | September 21, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Hobes | September 21, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse
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