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Greg Manusky on D.J. Swearinger: ‘He said what he said. I can’t do anything about it.’

Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has not spoken with D.J. Swearinger since the safety criticized the coach after losing to the Titans on Saturday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Greg Manusky said he has not spoken with D.J. Swearinger since the safety’s criticisms of the Redskins defensive coordinator following Washington’s 25-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

Swearinger was cut Monday for insubordination after the latest of several meetings with Coach Jay Gruden, who said he warned the player repeatedly about being critical of the team to the media. The Pro Bowl alternate called out Manusky’s play-calling following the loss in Nashville and implied that he works harder than some members of the coaching staff when it comes to studying film.

Manusky addressed the situation Thursday.

“He said what he said,” Manusky said. “I can’t do anything about it. It’s what he said.

“Crossing the line? I’m just going out there trying to win games as much as we can each and every week.”

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Manusky said he has regular conversations with players about the game plan and has an open ear to suggestions from both them and position coaches. Swearinger said he would text coaches late into the night and Manusky acknowledged the two would text, though he said the times were more like 8 p.m. than 2 a.m.

After hearing suggestions, Manusky said he typically responds, “Hey, we’re sticking with the plan that we’re doing or vice-versa. We take a look at it.”

“Overall, just trying to lead us in the right direction,” Manusky said. “Every time it was the most important thing, that we get out there and play as a team and one unit. It doesn’t matter what call it is, I don’t have a magical crystal ball, but as long as we play together and play as a team, we’ll have success.”

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The Redskins defense has endured wild swings in a season once filled with promise. During a 6-3 start, the unit was stout and one of the best against the run in the league. Top-tier running backs like David Johnson, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley were all kept in check. Things changed during a 1-5 stretch and the cause was difficult to pinpoint as key personnel remained in place.

That was one of the things Swearinger lamented after a 40-16 loss Dec. 9 to the New York Giants — the players hadn’t changed, but the results had. Manusky pointed to the loss of cornerback Quinton Dunbar, and while an injury to one player out of 11 shouldn’t make an impact, lack of depth at cornerback was an issue. Elsewhere, the defensive line was unable to maintain its early-season dominance and the linebackers suffered when the line struggled.

Gruden believes the offensive issues that developed when quarterback Alex Smith went down for the season with a broken leg had a direct impact on the defense as well.

“We didn’t control the ball like we did when we were playing well,” Gruden said. " . . . When we struggled, we were not efficient on offense, turned the ball over a little bit. Then defensively, we got behind and the whole playbook was open and we just failed to make plays at critical times. Third downs especially. And then we gave up some gash runs, which are uncharacteristic of our defense.

“Big plays hurt us. Third-down conversions hurt us. And being on the field a lot hurt us.”

A disappointing season wraps up with a home date against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. The Eagles need a victory and a Vikings loss to get into the postseason. The Redskins have nothing more than pride on the line.

Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen said the unit’s issues come down to one thing.

“Not executing. When you’re executing and doing everything right, you make plays. When you’re not, the little things will come and bite you in the [rear] and it’ll affect your performance."

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