Why the Redskins are winning


(Patrick Smith/GETTY IMAGES)

“We went down by 8, we knew we had to score and we had to score fast, there wasn’t no more time to play around,” Jabar Gaffney said. “And we went right down and got the score. We didn’t get the two-point conversion, but we had a feeling like we were gonna win this game no matter what.”

“We knew what we were gonna do,” Trent Williams said. “We knew they couldn’t stop us.”

“I think we’ve got more swagger,” Brandon Banks said. “We’ve just got a different swag about us.”

(Banks said coaches have a bit more swag, too, although Fred Smoot then interrupted, saying “when you’re over 30, you can’t have swag. You have what we call panache.”)

“I think what it is is the egos, man,” Brian Orakpo explained. “Guys is just throwing the egos, leaving it at the door and just fighting together. That’s one thing that pays tribute to what we’ve been doing so far. Regardless of making the play, if they need to take that double team, if they need to fill in those gaps and let other guys make plays, that’s what guys are willing to do. And that pays tribute to what we’re doing so far.”

“You can tell, the emotional poise of the team during rough stretches, we really believed we were gonna pull this game out,” Oshiomogho Atogwe said. “After being through some tough years, that brings the core guys together. You look to guys like Fletch and Orakpo and D-Hall, they bring us all together, to know that we’re not the team we used to be, we’re good enough to win in this league....

“There’s nothing else to do but believe that we’re a good team. We’ve played with each other the last two weeks, we know what we have in this locker room. Everybody out there doesn’t know. So we know what we’re capable of on any given day. And as long as we continue to work together, continue to do the things necessary to winning, we’re gonna get these wins.”

Honestly, though, Fred Smoot — a veteran of both the 2007 playoff team and the subsequent struggles — probably put it best.

“That’s championship football,” Smoot said, in discussing Sunday’s win. “Anybody want to ask me what championship football is, it’s winning up front, offense and defense. The last time the Redskins had a dominating offensive line and defensive line, they won the championship, [with] the big Hogs and Charles Mann and the rest of those guys. Right now, they’re putting together a group that can win ballgames. See, we’ve always had the flashy names, the Fred Smoots, the Clinton Portises. But right now we’ve got old-fashioned football players, and right now, they’re playing Redskins football.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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