Washington Redskins defensive backfield coach Emmitt Thomas says he confers with cornerback Darrell Green, the secondary's senior member, in the locker room after every game to see if there were any injuries and to "try to get the pulse of how the secondary felt about how they played."

After the Redskins' 24-20 loss to the New York Giants yesterday at RFK Stadium, the Thomas-Green tete-a-tete didn't take place near Green's locker. It took place in Green's locker, Thomas seated atop the wooden chest built into the back of the cubicle and Green hovering over him.

To a man, the players and coaches associated with Washington's defensive backfield insisted the unit performed well for all but three plays. The problem was that those plays were an 80-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Stephen Baker, a 61-yard reception by tight end Mark Bavaro that set up the Giants' second touchdown and a 63-yard reception by running back Maurice Carthon that set up their third touchdown.

Green's world-class speed, which enabled him to run down Bavaro and Carthon, was all that stood between the Redskins secondary and total embarrassment. That's why he and Thomas spoke in such tight quarters.

"That's kind of personal," Green said of the discussion. "I told him I wanted to talk to him about some particular things, but what we talked about is something I think I shouldn't discuss."

Said Thomas: "He was a little disturbed about some of the things that happened in the secondary.

"What we strive for is trying to make a team drive 18 or 15 plays to get a touchdown. We have them backed up and we let them have three big plays and they had touchdowns.

"He {Green} is not a point-the-finger guy. He and I and Richie Petitbon {Redskins assistant head coach/defense} and the whole team kind of know where we broke down. . . . We'll have to see if it was their great execution or we played the defenses poorly."

That determination, of course, will have to wait until Monday Morning at the Movies, but defensive coordinator Larry Peccatiello was guessing it was a combination of good execution by the Giants -- particularly by quarterback Phil Simms -- and mistakes by the Redskins.

"It was just one individual not beating another individual," Peccatiello said. "That happens. You just don't like to have the consequences be quite so severe."

Green was not as forgiving.

"Of course I have to give credit to the other team," he said, "but by the same token I would think that just about every one of them was a breakdown in our coverage."

Correcting the mistakes might not be so simple. All the long plays, said Peccatiello, were products of "totally separate situations."

Baker's touchdown came on third down and 10. The Redskins were in man-to-man coverage, with cornerback Brian Davis responsible for Baker. Baker went across the middle, and Davis got caught in traffic trying to keep up. Simms flipped the ball to Baker, who raced away.

"That can happen whenever two receivers are close together and you're in man coverage," Peccatiello said.

Baker "caught the ball on the full run," safety Brad Edwards said. "When they do that and you're in your third-down defense, everybody's spread out."

Bavaro made his play on second and 10 from the Giants 20. The Redskins again were in man-to-man coverage. Bavaro went down the middle and past strong safety Alvin Walton.

"Normally that wouldn't happen," Edwards said. "Normally we have that pretty well covered. I don't know whether somebody slipped down or what."

Carthon's reception really left the Redskins wondering. Playing a zone, they allowed Carthon to run free in a seam. Simms found him.

"I looked at Walton and thought he was going to pick me up," Carthon said, "but he just left me. I was surprised. I was real surprised."

Said Peccatiello: "They had a little motion" on the play. "I don't know if that was a problem for us or not. We'll just have to wait and see."

Meanwhile, Peccatiello said, "You try to take something positive away in a defeat. And I think if you could take something positive away, it's the fact that we did play well on probably 95 percent of the snaps. However, the three that we didn't play well on cost us the ballgame."