Redskins say progress was made, even with disappointing ending

January 7, 2013

A remarkable turnaround ended on a down note.

A day after their playoff defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, some Redskins players said Monday they were able to put aside the disappointment of the loss and appreciate the accomplishments of a season that yielded the team’s first NFC East title since 1999.

“No one is here for moral victories,” guard Chris Chester said. “But at the same time, we did a lot of good things this year, a lot of things that are going to help us for years to come. I’m proud of the guys for all the effort we put in and just keeping perspective on the whole big picture.”

The Redskins won their final seven regular season games after a 3-6 start.

“We kind of showed everybody that we are real competition in the NFC East and we definitely have a chance to do big things in the future,” tight end Niles Paul said.

Said safety Reed Doughty: “It’s hard to do that. It’s hard mentally even when you get that one win. You just take it one game at a time, and I think that’s a lesson to be learned even when things are going well. You saw what happened to some other teams this year like the Bears starting so well and then not finishing like they would like. I think it proves in the NFL, each week you’ve got to be ready to go. Each game, you’ve got to play a full 60 minutes and give yourself a chance at the end of the season.”

With quarterback Robert Griffin III and tailback Alfred Morris, a fellow rookie, leading the way on offense, the Redskins’ success in the second half of the season made them appear to be a built-to-last contender. But that was before Griffin’s status was left uncertain when he re-injured his right knee Sunday.

There also is the usual offseason roster juggling to come.

“There’s always whatever the offseason brings to a team and guys moving around,” Chester said. “But if we can keep as close as we can to the core of guys we have, I feel very optimistic about the future for us.”

Some in the locker room at Redskins Park weren’t ready to move on yet from the loss to the Seahawks.

“I don’t think it’s time to look at the big picture yet,” guard Kory Lichtensteiger said. “I think this is still pretty fresh. But in the next week or so, I’ll be able to look back and realize we did some pretty special things.”

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Lenny Bernstein · January 7, 2013

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