Blame Is Being Shared For Loss
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
A day after wide receiver Santana Moss shouldered responsibility for the Washington Redskins' 17-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, many of Moss's teammates said they failed to deliver as well.
To be sure, Moss had an awful performance. His fumble on a reverse in the third quarter was returned 57 yards for the game-winning touchdown. On the drive after he fumbled, Moss botched a 30-yard reception, and he was held without a catch.
But many factors contributed to the loss, players said, and Moss's off-day only was only part of the story.
"It [Moss's fumble] stands out because that play led to points, but there were plays that could have led to points for us that weren't made," left guard Pete Kendall said. "You just can't put it all on one play or one guy."
Moss pulled himself out of the game after failing to catch the deep pass from quarterback Jason Campbell, who made an excellent throw, saying he had aggravated his hamstring. Other offensive players should have done more to pick up the slack, tight end Chris Cooley said.
"You expect other people around him to play well when he's not having his best day," said Cooley, who had nine receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, but only two catches for eight yards after halftime.
"It's going to happen that someone doesn't have a great day. It happens . . . but I would say it's not Santana's fault. Someone else has to step up and make plays. I made a few plays for us in the first half, and maybe in the second half I needed to make a couple of more plays. Or another receiver needs to step up and make a big play for us."
Coach Joe Gibbs spoke with Moss on Monday, reassuring him of the coaches' confidence in him.
"I'm convinced that guy will make a ton of plays for us down the stretch," Gibbs said of Moss. "Nobody can think more of a guy, and the way he works, how hard he works and what he's done for us in the past. What you have there is a proven playmaker.
"He's been slowed some by his groin and his hamstring. It's a process for us working through that. I don't think anybody works harder. He's harder on himself because he's a great competitor."
Communications equipment problems prevented the Redskins from talking to Campbell on the field. So they did things the old-fashioned way, calling plays using hand signals.
"It was intermittent the whole game," Gibbs said. "You want to talk about something that is extremely hard to overcome."
The Redskins also experienced technical difficulties on their final drive of the first half in a 20-12 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 17. In Sunday's game at Lambeau Field, quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor relayed the plays to Campbell using signals. The process worked well, Gibbs said.
"Billy Lazor did a great job as a coach," he said. "Jason did an absolutely unbelievable job of getting that sorted out."
M. Washington Hopeful
Strong-side linebacker Marcus Washington, who missed the game in Green Bay because of a hamstring injury, hopes to return to the lineup against Arizona on Sunday at FedEx Field.
"I'm coming. It's a hamstring, so it kind of takes a little time," Washington said. "Actually, I'm feeling a lot better than last week. I haven't gotten out there and ran around yet, haven't hit anybody yet, so we'll have to see how it goes."
The Redskins do not anticipate making any moves before today's trading deadline, Gibbs said.