4 Downs: Cofield knows it's not too late

4 Downs: Cofield knows it's not too late
November 1, 2011, 9:50 am

First DownNose tackle Barry Cofields message this week, if hes asked to deliver (and he might not need a request), is look at the current Philadelphia team and his 2007 Giants team.Philadelphia famously started its season 1-4 but then beat the Redskins before the bye and then thumped Dallas 34-7 on Sunday.If you need 10 nails for a coffin, they had nine, Cofield said. But theyre taking those nails out and playing good football.Translation: Its not too late for the Redskins 3-4, like the Eagles to claw their way out of a three-game losing streak.The Giants example: Big Blue, under then-rookie coordinator Steve Spagnoulo, allowed 80 points in the first two games (both losses) and then we were down 17-0 here, Cofield said, referring to the Week 3 game against the Redskins.The Giants rallied to a 24-17 win, capped by a goal-line stand at the buzzer. That trigged a six-game winning streak and ultimately, the upset Super Bowl win over New England.We pulled ourselves off the mat and the rest is history, Cofield said. Im sure a lot of us have taken our lumps and especially around here, there are guys who had rough patches.Translation: You cant feel sorry for yourself, he said.Second DownThe Redskins didnt make a roster move through the first quarter of the season, partly because they were healthy and partly because they had a 3-1 record.But the claiming of Dallas running back Tashard Choice off waivers should be a sign of things to come.Look, barring a huge turnaround, the Redskins arent going anywhere in January and that means they should be scouring the waiver wire each Monday looking to experiment. That doesnt mean they should claim salaryveterans like Leigh Bodden or Chris Harris. That does mean they should have a revolving door of young players the rest of the season.There is little financial risk so take a few weeks for the coaching staff to evaluate them.Third DownAnatomy of the Redskins collapse against the run: Entering Week 6 (post-bye): Ranked sixth 84.5 yards per game. Post Philadelphia (after allowing 192 yards): Ranked 11th 106.0 yards per game. Post Carolina (after allowing 175 yards): Ranked 17th 117.5 yards per game. Post Buffalo (after allowing 138 yards): Ranked 20th 120.4 yards per game.To summarize, the Redskins have fallen 14 spots in three weeks and their per-game average has risen a whopping 35.9 yards per game.Fourth DownCornerback DeAngelo Hall, defensive co-captain with linebacker London Fletcher, said the mantra this week for the teams younger players is to maintain focus.I dont think Coach Shanahan is going to let anybody fold it in, Hall said. If he sees the first sign on the practice field or in the game, with the mentality he has, youll be out of here quick. He wont stand for that and the leaders on this team wont stand for it, either. If anything, were going to demand more.