Cofield on the Redskins' D gaining confidence
Many of the Redskins’ veterans say they are stunned by the team’s 0-3 start, particularly after a seven-game winning streak to end the 2012 campaign and a solid offseason that featured full attendance in OTAs and almost no roster turnover.
But in the aftermath of Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Lions, there also was sense that it’s not time to hit the panic button. Not yet, at least.
“Nobody expected to be in this situation,” offensive tackle Tyler Poumbus said. “We have a good football team. We have the right guys in the room. We have the right talent, the right coaches. We just have to put it all together.”
Wide receiver Pierre Garçon described the mood at Redskins Park as “surprised” but not discouraged. Like Polumbus, he feels the Redskins are good team that’s performing poorly, not a bad team that's got no realistic hope of turning things around. And doing so quickly.
“It’s just a tough patch right now,” Garçon said. “We still have time to turn it around.”
He added: “In the NFL, good teams do lose games. It happens. It’s about bouncing back. But we never thought we would be 0-3 coming off the offseason we had, the last season we had.”
Despite the disappointment and the heightened sense of urgency the players and coaches feel as they head to Oakland, Garçon said he doesn’t believe fire and brimstone speeches from the team’s leadership are needed. Instead, he said, the 46 players who are on the game-day roster simply need to do their own jobs, and do them better.
"We have the potential, we have the players," Garçon said. "The ball's just not bouncing our way."
Asked how, as a locker room leader, he'll attempt to keep the Redskins' winless start from spiraling out of control, Garçon said he doesn't intend to change his approach.
“I try to lead by example with my play,” he said. “I try not to yell at guys. I try to let the team know that I’m playing hard, I’m giving everything, I'm still fighting. We can be 0-3 or 13-3, it doesn't matter, I'm going to still go out there and play as hard as I can and give everything I have. That’s how I try to lead, instead of screaming at guys and yelling at guys.”
Defensive captain Barry Cofield echoed Garçon’s sentiments. Everyone doing their own job to the best of their ability, he said, is what the situation requires.
“I’m not a guy that feels you have to shout at a bunch of grown men,” he said. “Or come up with all kinds of slogans and things like that. At a point like this, if you don’t have all the motivation and all the energy and all the 'want to' in the world, then you’re not in the right locker room.”