Cooley: "I'm embarrassed"
The NFL's off day is known as Transcription Tuesday in these parts, as all the Redskins beat reporters gather around their transistor radios and scribble out the words of Clinton Portis, Donovan McNabb, and whichever other players choose to spend their free time calling into sports-talk stations.
But Transcription Tuesday really starts late on Monday, when Chris Cooley spends an hour with LaVar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. Cooley is rapidly elevating his radio game, to the point that I can't wait for him to retire so he can get a show of his own, preferably starting at the 10 o'clock hour. (Joking!)
And Cooley was strong this week, especially in recapping Sunday's loss.
"You know, I don't want to take anything away from the Rams, because they played hard, and they have a lot of things going for them, but I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed by what happened to us. And I shouldn't have to be, because if you look at what we should have done or could have done, we executed enough that we were in the red zone four times in the first half and could have come away with 28 points. I mean, we battled back from nonsense. We battled back from nonsense that goes on in the first five minutes. I truly believe that you execute in the red zone, you go into halftime 28-14, [against] a struggling Rams team. I mean, it's not Houston. It's not Houston, that's scoring points like that. I feel like that's a game we can win....
"Here's my take on it. We went into the game with a gameplan that we really liked. We came out of the game averaging over seven yards a play. That'll lead the league. You will be first in the league if you average seven yards a play. We averaged six yards a rush. So we're fine, as far as when we're running plays. We just show ourselves in the foot, with penalties and with nonsense things. You can't look back and say hey, there's one guy here or it's a big play, or there's a false start, or you're putting yourself in a bad situation. Like I said, we went into the game with a gameplan that we really liked against the St. Louis Rams, and for the most part executed it. But for the most part isn't good enough for us, especially not now....
"As an offensive player, I feel like we lost it on offense. Take the ball down the field and put it in the red zone and score. I mean, that kills you. It kills you confidence-wise, it kills you on the scoreboard, when three times in a row you've got to come away and kick a field goal. That's not good enough. I mean, that's not good enough in any way.
Early in the show, LaVar asked Cooley why he didn't get the ball more against the Rams -- his 53 receiving yards was his lowest of the season to date.
"That's a good question, and that's something that I'm gonna try my best not to complain about," Cooley said. "We're a work in progress right now. We've got a lot of things going on, and we're trying to get better. I feel like, especially on third down, I feel like I'm a viable option....There were a lot of times that I felt like I had a chance. There was also a lot of times that we threw balls [elsewhere] and made plays that I could have got balls on."
And when Arrington said he hardly noticed Joey Galloway on offense and wondered about the receiving corps, Cooley turned to the Xs and Os.
"There's a reason for that, because 75 percent of our gameplan was what we call the U personnel or Heavy personnel, and it's one receiver," he said. "It's Fred Davis, Mike Sellers, Santana Moss and myself, and then our back, whoever our back is. And that was a gameplan we really liked against the Rams, because the Rams didn't blitz a lot vs. that package."
Over an hour Cooley artfully declined several opportunities to throw coaches, offensive teammates and defensive teammates under traffic. He said he played well personally on Sunday, though he also said he didn't play well enough.
"It was a group effort," he said. "Watching the film and watching what happened, it was everyone. And it wasn't everyone every time. It was just everyone helped out on getting our ass whupped."
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