There is too much mudslinging on the Redskins to focus on the real opponent, the Falcons

By Mike Wise
Sunday, November 8, 2009

During a week of more off-field chaos, brought to you by the franchise that just keeps on giving, Jason Campbell answered the phone.

It was 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, and miracle of miracles, he actually spoke about his thoughts regarding an upcoming NFL game.

"I'm not thinking, 'How in the world can I keep my job?' That doesn't even enter my head," the embattled quarterback of the 2-5 Washington Redskins said. "It's, 'What do I have to do to beat Atlanta?' Not, 'Where am I going to be next year?' Results, not negative things."

Granted, it's not exactly as juicy as typing a manifesto next to a woodpile outside a Glen Echo cabin or, going on cable television to announce Dan Snyder is evil incarnate.

But Campbell was kind of busy preparing for the Falcons, so busy he didn't even want to fire back at any of his public critics -- some of whom once wore the same colors he does now.

"At this point you can't do much else than laugh at some of it and block the rest of it out," he said. "No offense, but we got nine games left. That's my focus."

In this season of the Redskins' malcontent, that's not just refreshing -- it's exceedingly rare.

For all the talk about who's really calling the shots and who's undermining whom, the current situation in Ashburn comes down to the same cheeseball proposition confronting a struggling high school program: You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem.

And during this septic season, very few are on the right side of that divide around this no-fault franchise, where coming together to beat an opponent hardly has the same priority as splitting apart to be the next to point a finger.

The bonding continues, all right -- over the perceived common enemy, over someone you played with, worked with or were employed by. None of them, of course, can found on a Falcons' roster, which begs the question: Who, really, was part of the Redskins' solution this week?

Not John Riggins on Showtime, forever crossing himself off Snyder's holiday-card list. Greg Blache? That bear of a defensive coordinator finally broke his media silence, not to defend his players or his head coach. But instead, he felt compelled to slam Riggo while defending the owner.

The critics of this team -- and the critics of the critics of this team (all of them, unfortunately, seem to be multiplying like rabbits) -- need to consider that their words might be doing as much to pollute the air as anything coming, or not coming, from management.

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