The moment that most irked Swearinger was a third-and-seven play at the Washington 37-yard line when cornerback Fabian Moreau was called for defensive holding on a pass that would have been incomplete. The penalty gave the Titans a first down, and they scored the game-winning points four plays later on Gabbert’s two-yard touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt. Swearinger said that on the Moreau penalty, they never should have been playing man-to-man, and instead should have been in a zone coverage.
“We are our best on defense when we look at the quarterback,” Swearinger said. “When you go one-high on a backup quarterback, that’s easy, man. They’re going to go back side every time.
“That’s a bad call. I feel like that was a horrible call. You don’t put Fabian in that situation with a backup quarterback. … But I feel like, man, if we look at the quarterback, with all this talent we got in the back end, we could dominate every team every week. I’m not the D-coordinator, but we didn’t make the plays. I guess we didn’t make the plays. And there’s plenty of plays out there to make.”
Swearinger added that a lack of aggression in the team’s defensive play-calling has been a source of frustration for him for some time. The Redskins' defense was one of the best in the league when it jumped out to a 6-3 start, but it has regressed during the current 1-5 stretch.
Gabbert completed 7 of 11 passes in relief of Mariota, totaling 101 yards and a touchdown for a 123.7 quarterback rating.
“I feel like with a lot of these playmakers we got on the team, I feel like you should be trying to get your players involved,” Swearinger said. “We got a lot of talent on this team. When I look at film of other teams, I always see nickels blitzing. I always see safeties blitzing. We was down and that’s the first time we sent a blitz.
“It’s frustrating. I don’t know what to say about it. But I think with the playmakers we got on defense, man, there’s no way we should’ve lost this game. I feel like we were the better team. I felt like we could have been in a better call on that third down.”
Swearinger is known for being extremely outspoken, and he is often critical following games, but Saturday was the first time this season he specifically called out Manusky. But Swearinger said he’s made his feelings known to the coaching staff before, even during games.
“I voice my frustrations every single time I come off the field,” Swearinger said. “I’m a very smart football player. I probably watch more film than the coaches. That’s probably documented. I try to give my insight, but you know, it doesn’t work. I can only put my heart in this [expletive], dog. Put my heart in this [expletive] to give them what I can give them. Whether they take it or not, that’s another thing. That’s another frustration that comes from me, when we don’t win.”
Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen differed from his teammate after the game, saying in a tweet that Manusky “coached a great game.”
Swearinger returned to the play that he thought should have been called differently, and might have given the Redskins the chance to win.
“If I’m the D-coordinator I’m calling a zone every time on third down because you’ve got a backup quarterback [in Gabbert]," Swearinger said. “Make him beat us . . . Man, three by one, you’re going back side every time. A kindergarten quarterback knows that. That’s my frustration right now . . . It’s been the whole year, dog. It’s been the whole year.”
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