The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Rob Ryan says Redskins ‘slaughtered us’

Some Redskins fans took offense when Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the Cowboys did ok against the Redskins’ “college crap” on Thanksgiving Day. I never thought it was offensive, since Ryan made that comment in the context of pointing out how Washington’s down-field game brutalized the Dallas defense.

But in case there was any doubt, here are highlights of what Ryan told Dallas reporters this week about preparing for Washington.

“Shoot, it’s a challenge,” he said. “They’re the second-highest scoring offense in the NFC. I think they’re fourth in the league in offense. They’ve got weapons everywhere, they look like they’re at full strength. It’s obviously a huge challenge for us. They slaughtered us on Thanksgiving, ruined all our plans. But that’s the way it is, and that’s who you expect to play for an NFC East championship, a team like that.”

Then reporters asked Ryan what was scariest about Robert Griffin III.

“I mean, the kid’s obviously a great athlete and a tremendously talented guy,” Ryan said. “But to combine that with Mike Shanahan’s offense, I mean, that’s about as serious as it gets as a defensive coordinator, trying to stop people like that.”

Then reporters asked Ryan if the challenge was more mental or physical.

“I think physically, that ball carrier [Alfred Morris] carried us about three extra yards every carry, so that was more physical,” Ryan said. “I think Mike Shanahan and his son’ll challenge you every way you can. I think they do an unbelievable job — they have for years — on attacking defenses.”

Then someone asked if RGIII has shown any rookie QB tendencies.

“I really haven’t seen those,” Ryan said. “I mean, I think the guy’s a winner. The guy’s done a great job, he’s done a great job wherever he was. So hopefully we give him some different things that he hasn’t been working on, and hopefully we can force that young man into making mistakes….We know it’s gonna be a big challenge when they run it, when they throw it, hell, when they punt it probably. That’s a big punter. I don’t know if he’s any good or not, but he’s big as hell. We’ve got our hands full, but we’ve got to do better. This is our chance, this is the NFC East on the line, this is the best conference in football, it’s not even close. And usually, who wins this usually comes out pretty damn good.”

Meanwhile, Dallas’s Marcus Spears said the biggest fear is not even the quarterback.

“RGIII is the phenom that everybody loves, but this running back has been KILLING people,” Spears said of Morris. “If you watch it from a football game-planning as a player that’s gonna play in the game standpoint, this running back is actually probably the most dangerous guy on the football team, on offense. And that’s not to take anything away from RGIII. But when you look at the film, this guy is averaging almost 120 yards rushing a game [false], and when teams can do that, they win. So we’ve got a lot on our hands, in other words. We need to focus on us being right and doing our job, and we should have success.”