“Lorenzo Alexander is not gonna show up,” Mike Shanahan said Monday afternoon at Redskins Park. “So somebody has got to take control of those special teams.”
“That’s embarrassing as a player to have Coach Shanahan say that,” Darrel Young told Scott Jackson later that day. “One guy basically making up a special-teams unit, that’s embarrassing to the guys that go out there and play.”
Turns out that isn’t the only thing Young is embarrassed by.
* “It’s embarrassing right now, to be honest with you,” Young said of the special teams. “I was more embarrassed about just the way our special teams looked and how one guy basically and more yards than their total offense. It was just embarrassing from that standpoint.”
* “It’s embarrassing, man,” he later added. “As a leader now, on this offense and on this team, I think I have to step up and say something now, because it’s not getting done, and I don’t know what it is.”
* “The return game is terrible,” he said still later. “We haven’t set up the offense yet this year….We’re not blocking anybody….It’s not anything that any team’s doing. They’re lining up on kickoff like how we line up and running down the field. It’s nothing different from what we’re doing. Why can they get guys on the ground as opposed to us?…I just walked out of that game more embarrassed about special teams than anything.”
* “Special teams got an F, all phases,” Young said.
* “Keith Burns, he’s a good coach,” Young said of the special teams leader. “I trust him, I believe in him. I know the players do. I just think we have to buy into the philosophy that he’s preaching to us. We know that Danny’s not coming back. We have to understand that. And everyone kind of had a love relationship with Danny, because he was the kind of person that was honest with you, told you the truth, and at the same time praised you and told you how to get better as well. Burns, it’s his first year with us, so he doesn’t know us as people. Danny brought in all of us except the rookie class. Basically the 35 guys or whatever it is that returned from last year, Danny coached all of us. He’s coached all of us. He knows us all to a T. I think it’ll just take some time for Burns to kind of understand who we are as players, and who we need to have out there. There’ll be some changes this week, I’m pretty sure.”
* “I don’t know what happened,” Young concluded. “I don’t. I really don’t….It was a good week of practice. It just didn’t show in the game, and I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if it was the late game, guys were tired. I don’t know what it was. We’ve got to do better. It’s embarrassing.”