Daniels: Discipline can add six or seven wins
Wind-up machine of exuberant self-confidence DeAngelo Hall raised some eyebrows when he said that Mike Shanahan's scheme would add four or five wins for the Redskins this season, and that they would finally start winning the close games they've lost in the past. Defensive teammate Phillip Daniels, a respected veteran, is often more careful with his words than Hall, and yet he ratcheted things up by a few wins.
"No one wants to say it, but last year we were pretty good on defense," Daniels said Monday afternoon on the LaVar and Dukes show. "But our offense, you know, they struggled at times. And now you've got Donovan McNabb at quarterback.
"So you just see the things that Shanahan's done in the past and the way he's put this thing together, I think every guy just believes in him. And when you believe in your coach and you believe they're doing all the right things, I always said discipline would win you six or seven more games. And he's putting the discipline into this team. He's not gonna accept guys doing their own thing or doing what they want to do, and that's great. That's the first thing I said, last season we didn't have any discipline, we lost close games because we weren't disciplined. So now that he comes in and he's doing this, and the guys believe in him, I think it's a different story, man. I really feel good about this year."
Six or seven more wins would put the Skins at 10 or 11, which is right around what Hall's been predicting. So much for sneaking up on people. If they win 11 this year, and then Shanahan installs and even greater scheme with even greater discipline, they might well win 22 or 23 games in 2011. Assuming Albert Haynesworth shows up.
Daniels was a guest, of course, largely because of his sharp comments about Haynesworth's absence, which helped form the basis of Mike Wise's column this week. Daniels repeated many of his same critiques on-air, but also said "the only time we concentrate on the Albert situation is when we get the questions."
"I know Albert, I know he's got a lot to prove, he want to prove a lot of things," Daniels said. "I know he's gonna come in in shape, I know he's gonna do those things. A couple of guys have seen him. He's working out. I believe that. But the thing is, we all together here, we're trying to build a chemistry.
"And my thing is for him to learn the defense, it's a lot of stuff, a lot of stuff that we put in. I mean, I'm getting it, but it's taking a while. It took classroom work, it took on-the-field walkthroughs, and now we're at the point where we're getting it. But it's gonna be hard for you to come in here and get that thing in a short amount of time, June to the preseason and then to the season. We've all just got to get going. I would love for him to be here. I'd love for him to be here. I've talked to him, a lot of guys have talked to him. Like you said LaVar, it ain't mandatory, so you can't blame him, but my only hope is he come in in shape and ready to go."
Chad Dukes then asked how Haynesworth would be greeted when he finally does arrive. Chris Cooley, you'll recall, said this week that "when the season starts, if he shows up and he's playing, no one's gonna give a damn what he did [in May]." Daniels maybe didn't take it that far, but he said things wouldn't be awkward.
"As teammates, we take him in with open arms," Daniels said. "He's part of this team, he's one of our guys, he's a guy that plays hard and a guy that can help us win. We can't worry about the other side of things, how the coaches feel about the situation or how the media feel about the situation. We take him in with open arms.
"You know, he's a good dude. You be around him, you go out to lunch with him, you go out to eat with him, he's a great dude. Right now, being 4-12, coming off a 4-12 season, you just want your guys here and let's change this thing, that's all. And not to say it won't change if he comes late, but that's the only thing. The coaches and everybody been trying to negotiate to get him in here and show him the playbooks and do all the things they need to do. I just think he needs to show a little bit in return and get in here and help them out here, and help the team out, and learn this system and let's do it. I mean, I know he don't want to play in a 3-4, but it is what it is, you've got to. You're not going anywhere, so you've got to just come in and play."
(Hoping to make it to five Haynesworth items in five days this week. I'm 2 for 2 thus far. Wish me luck.)
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