Comes a time to scream.
"We're not playing with any life out there," said Coy Bacon, the Redskins' old defensive end. "We're just going through the motions. Somebody's gotta tell the coaches. But there's no communication. Nobody will say anything to anybody. It's like everybody is trying to please, not get get anybody riled. We need some help."
It is technical, part of it. "We're playing like the wrong defense," Bacon sayd. "We're a 4-3 defense, not all this smart stuff, all these substitutions running in and out, all these stats on this a stats on that. We need to hit people, not outsmart 'em. We need to hit people and get some fire going."
It is time to scream.
But Jack Pardee is the silent Texan.
These Redskins are dead on their feet.
They need someone screaming.
The cuddly little Bears of Chicago led at half-time today, 35-0.
It was a joke.
Two weeks in a row now the Redskins have been blown out by mediocre teams.
First Minnesota did it, 39-14.
So you had to figure Pardee would scream at halftime today.
"The Super Bowl for the Redskins in 1980," the team's owner, Jack Kent Cooke, had written in the press guide this summer.
By halftime today, historians were thumbing through that same press guide for the score of the 1940 world championship game.
So with Walter Payton going 50 yards the second time he touched the ball . . . with Vince Evans throwing touchdown passes of 40 and 54 yards . . . with the Redskins offense turning over the ball on two fumbles and an interception. . . with offensive linemen jumping the count, an unforgivable sin so late in the season . . . with defensive backs falling asleep during the Bear air raids -- with all these calamities visited upon the humiliated Redskins, ask yourself this: What would Lombardi say to the troops at halftime?
Lombardi would have chewed large holes in the bottom parts of several uniforms. His screams would have sent tidal waves across Lake Michigan. With the season a certified disaster, with the defense he personally built disintegrating before his eyes, what did Pardee do at halftime today?
"Nothing special," said Lemar Parrish.
"What could he say?" said Dave Butz.
Well, he could say naughty words and bang on lockers and threaten to throw the whole lot of them into the lake.
"He was stern," said Neal Olkewiecz, "and he reminded us of some things. But we didn't need anyone yelling at us. Everyone knew how bad things were." b
Comes a time to scream.
Coy Bacon is asking for it.
"We're a better football team than this," he said. "This is not Redskin football. We have to start from the get-go, not start in the second half the way we did today."
It was a peculiar Redskin locker room after today's disgrace.
Just another day at the office.
Dave Butz, the defensive tackle, smiled when someone asked, "What now?"
"Going to go play another game," he said.
"What happened today?" came the next question. "Every time they had the damned ball, they scored," Butz said.
"Why is everybody scoring so much against you now?"
"I have an explanation, but I'm not going to give it to you."
"Be too controversial," he said, smiling thinly.
Bacon was not so coy.
"We played the basic 4-3 the second half and they didn't score," Bacon said. "But in the first half, and all year really, we've been jiggling everything around. Like on Payton's touchdown (a 50-yard run over left tackle), we were in a blitz with our tackles gone and the linebackers were going to the outside."
Bacon said the Redskin coaches are substituting so frequently -- the moves made according to run-or-pass probabilities -- that the defensive linemen are losing contact with the players beside them. It is vital to know how the man next to you reacts, Bacon said, and such familiarity is lost in the Redskin system.
Besides that, he said, the Redskins simply don't have athletes good enough to do the stuff the coaches ask. "We're a 4-3 defense with the kind of guys we have. We don't have the type of guys who can play all types of defense."
We pause here for a disclaimer.
If the serenity of the Redskins locker room and Bacon's claim of improved defense are based on the Redskins' 21-0 "victory" in the second half, we must rush in here to say Chicago didn't try very hard then. After completing nine of 13 passes in the first half, Evans tried only five more the last half. The Bears were in their "prevent" offense, trying only to avoid giving the Redskins an interception of fumble.
The second half, it says here, was a mirage.
Forget it. Whatever problems the Redskins had in the secondary -- "Wasn't nobody there too many times," said Parrish, and all-pro cornerback -- were cured more by the Bears' caution than by any change the Redskins made.
Injuries crippled the Redskins offense early. It is foolish to blame any offensive problems on Joe Walton, the offensive coordinator, whose mind was bright enough a year ago to produce 30 points in five of the last six games. His offense, operating without the luxury of a Swann of Jefferson game breaker, is good enough to win now -- but only if Pardee's defense is exceptional.
And it isn't."We didn't hit nobody hard," Bacon said. "The coaches have taken the physical part out of us. We need to be physical. We need to go back to basic football. Basic, basic, basic. We've got nothing to lose now. Go for blood now."
Comes a time.