Yes, a season-opening win was going to inevitably make someone text something about the Super Bowl to Comcast SportsNet, where it would inevitably run under Mike Shanahan’s victoriously red face, and then inevitably dance in the dreams of some poor 8-year old kid from Dranesville, whose sleep will be filled with images of Chris Neild’s beard and Jabar Gaffney not feeling his face and the red blood coursing through the ruddy cheeks of his Super Bowl-winning coach. Dream, young man, dream.
Redskins players, near as I could tell, weren’t talking about the Super Bowl. Still, if you wanted to find a few morsels of optimism...you know...it wasn’t too hard.
“It’s just something special, some little buzz going around in here,” Anthony Armstrong said. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s something special. And y’all don’t got to pick us. I don’t want anybody to pick us for the rest of the year.”
Right. The experts again. The Redskins, as you might recall, were again home underdogs against an NFC East rival, which technically made Sunday’s result a surprise.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” Barry Cofield said. “And you can’t blame the experts — I use that word loosely — for expecting that, because that’s been the norm. But we knew what we had in this locker room....I expected it, but it takes a while to convince the people who aren’t there with you day in and day out, who see all the labor pains. Everyone only cares about the baby. And hopefully they got a glimpse today.”
“We knew from day one we were gonna have to prove ourselves, the kind of season we had last year and all the distractions,” DeAngelo Hall told Comcast SportsNet’s Kelli Johnson during the post-game show. “We felt like the guys we brought in might not have been big-name guys, but they were guys we felt could help us win football games, and I think the proof is evident.”
“We got a real positive huddle,” Rex Grossman said on the same show. “Our team chemistry’s great. We’ve got a good swagger in the huddle, everybody’s ready to roll, and once we get into a rhythm we’re gonna be tough to stop.”
Whoa there. Which is not to say that there weren’t some people tapping the brakes.
“It’s not too early to make the fans happy and give them something to be excited about, but it’s too early for us to think we’re making any statements around the league,” Cofield said. “If we had lost today I wouldn’t have said that it was indicative of what this team is, so I’m not gonna act like this win is life-changing either.”
Bah. That’s no fun. So I asked Cofield how many wins the Redskins would have to put together before the national pundits would start to reconsider, because what the heck, might as well troll for quotes after a win like that.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t know. They’re always gonna try to poke holes. They’re gonna say oh, the Giants didn’t have A, or the Giants didn’t have B. Next week, Well, Arizona had to fly across the country. I can already predict the excuses that everybody will make to say why we’re not that good. But we’ve just got to realize that it’s all about wins, it’s all about growing and working hard. And if we continue at this pace, experts will have no choice but to respect us.”
(Picture via @RecordsandRadio)