“This is the law,” Allen said about marijuana use. “I’ve bragged about the NFL’s testing for both performance and other drugs. I’ve always wanted steroids out of the game, not only for health reasons but it’s cheating.”
Some wonder if any player who would still risk so much after multiple failures and warnings might have an abuse problem or at least need counseling.
“The league offers professional counseling away from the [team] facility [to ensure privacy]. I want players to take advantage of that,” Allen said. And Trent and Fred? “I hope.”
What impact will the suspensions have on the Redskins’ play?
“That is the easiest part,” Allen said. “Pro football is very structured. We are trained to focus on the upcoming opponent. So we are in our routine. ‘Is this the day for walk-throughs?’ In a football sense, this is not different than if they were injured.”
Some Redskins fans, who haven’t seen the team draft and develop a good quarterback in 25 years (since Mark Rypien in ’86), would accept four more losses for the sake of a better draft spot, then hope for a shot at Andrew Luck (dream on), Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III, the 220-pound speedster from Baylor. (Landry Jones will probably stay at Oklahoma.)
Thanks, in part, to Williams and Davis, those defeats may come. But with Shanahan as coach, abstract “best interests” won’t be considered. Lie down on him now and you won’t be back next season to play with that new QB.
“Mike only knows one way, even if it was only pickup basketball,” Allen said. “The players on this team, they are playing every play.”
To make sure, the Redskins even scoured the Jets game tape to see if anybody was slacking on New York’s two final touchdown runs by Shonn Greene when it looked liked nobody cared enough to tackle him. Not so. Optical illusion, says Allen. “Both times, it was a mistake by one player.”
For the Redskins, every lesson has to be learned the hard way, sometimes more than once, from the top on down. But the object lesson provided by Williams and Davis, including the universal mockery — “Trent just smoked it for his blockoma and Fred for his catcharacts” — ought to be enough to get anyone’s attention.
This whole ridiculous, destructive episode actually underlines the core tenet that Shanahan and Allen have preached: It’s impossible to build a culture of winning in the absence of discipline and team-first accountability.
Unfortunately, the pattern of clueless behavior by two of the team’s most gifted young players shows just how deep the culture-rot actually goes. But, in one ironic way, Davis and Williams may have provided a service.
“We’re not going to stop giving the message,” Allen said. “And [now] everyone’s ears are open.”