Linebacker Pete Wysocki said he saw a glimpse of "the old Redskin pride and tradition" today, even while the team was losing to Philadelphia. Now, he says, the key will be to build -- and not go backward.
"We can beat what is happening to us," he said. "if we keep playing like we did in this one. We were physical and we never gave up. We hit and we hit some more. We were really going for this game."
"But if you go one step forward and two steps backward, it doesn't do you any good. It's important that we don't panic and that we keep together. There was some real good camaraderie out there. A lot of yelling on the sidelines, a lot of enthusiasm -- something we've needed.
"We found out that we might have thought we played hard before this but this was by far our best effort. By the end of the season, we are going to surprise some teams by how good we are going to be. Maybe that's why I'm optimistic even though I'm sad about losing."
Certainly, the Redskins showed more emotion today than in previous games during this 1-4 season. And Coach Jack Pardee's cry for more leadership from his players was answered by veterans like defensive tackle Diron Talbert, who started his first game this season and came up with an early fumble recovery.
"You couldn't believe the feeling along the sidelines," linebacker Dallas Hickman said. "There was a great feeling. No one gave up. But what we need now more than anything is a win. It will get us over the top. We just need something positive to help us along.
"What's going to be tough is that this is a long week since we don't play again until Monday night (against Denver). That will make it harder and longer to live with. We can't let the losing get us down."
The Redskins came up with a few more injuries. Tackle Terry Hermeling suffered a slight concussion in the first half and fullback Rickey Claitt sprained his ankle, although he later scored on a 10-yard run. And fullback Clarence Harmon, who played only on the special teams, aggravated his sprained ankle while guard Ron Saul aggravated his bad calf.
Center Bob Kuziel, suffering from a bad case of the flu, sat out most of the second half.
Pass protection for quarterback Joe Theismann improved. He wasn't sacked, but he had to scramble a couple of times. Philadelphia's Ron Jaworski was sacked three times.
Punt returner Mike Nelms twice decided to let kicks in the vicinity of the 10-yard line hit the ground. "I misjudged one and the other I wanted to let go," he said. "Sometimes I stand too far back near the end zone and I can't get up quick enough to catch them."
On both occassions, the Redskins wound up with the ball deep in their own territory. "We can't afford to be backed up that far all the time," Pardee said.