Had the Redskins lost on Sunday, the first-half sideline shouting match between veteran defensive lineman Chris Baker and oft-criticized defensive coordinator Joe Barry would have been one of the biggest focal points this week.
Possibly the biggest, honestly. A week after fellow lineman Ricky Jean Francois expressed frustration over the team’s lack of adjustments, and with the Giants moving the ball up and down the field, and with the perpetual search for scapegoats and concerns about dysfunction, it’s hard to overemphasize how many times that clip and its meaning would have been discussed.
But the Redskins won, and so instead that incident becomes a blog post off a Baker radio interview.
“We kind of knew going into the game that during that situation, the [Giants] offense liked to run the ball when it gets [deep in the] red zone,” Baker said this week on Chad Dukes’s radio show on 106.7 The Fan. “I believe we [were] in a nickel front, and I kind of wanted us to be in a goal line front or a base front. … Joe Barry was explaining that they were in 11 personnel, so we had to match their personnel. But we as defensive linemen hate seeing the offense be able to run the ball into the end zone with not a lot of defensive linemen in the game, so I just wanted some extra beef in there so we could be a little bit more stout against the run.”
I don't think they're making dinner plans pic.twitter.com/97JWJDHwv6
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) September 25, 2016
The blowup happened after a short but relaxing touchdown-run by Orleans Darkwa that gave the Giants a 12-point lead, and it sure seemed ominous. “Tempers flaring on Redskins defense,” read the PFT headline. “Washington fell behind 21-9, and Joe Barry and Chris Baker were captured shouting at one another on the sideline. The Redskins are 0-2 and down by 12 … the season is teetering on the brink,” read the update on our live blog.
But Baker said on the radio that “without a question” too much had been made of the incident, and that sideline disagreements are “just a part of football.”
“You know, the coach is going to do his best job by putting us in the best situations so that we can win on that down, but they just executed on that play and we didn’t execute the way we were supposed to and stop ’em,” he said. “You just want to be in the best situation possible. But if he’s the defensive coordinator and he calls the plays, then whatever he calls the play, we just have to go out there and execute it.”
Baker went on to praise Redskins coaches for calling the successful fake punt, noting that “it was a gutsy play call and that’s what the coach is there for; you’ve got to make those kind of calls and when he makes those calls we’ve got to execute and make it happen.”
“Starting off 0-2, we were desperate for a win,” Baker said. “We know we didn’t want to start 0-3. And guys were just hungry, and no matter what happened in that game guys just continued to fight. It was a back-and-forth game the whole game, and it was just great to finally come on top with a W. A lot of times we’ve found a way to lose those type of games, where it’s going back and forth, but when the defense needed a stop we came up with a stop. When the offense needed to drive the ball down and score a touchdown or field goal, they [were] able to respond. When the special teams needed to come up with a big play, they came up with a big play. And we were just able to execute really good and play good situational football.”