Offensive Players Spoke Out During Saturday Night Team Meeting
ASHBURN – After scoring a combined 20 points in their previous three games, including the first shutout of Mike Shanahan’s 18 seasons as a head coach, several players on the Washington Redskins’ offense voiced their feelings at a team meeting Saturday night.
The meeting was nothing special – the team typically gathers one last time in advance of the following day’s game. But players spoke out about how they felt the season was headed, including quarterback Rex Grossman, right tackle Jammal Brown, receivers Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney and center Will Montgomery.
“I think it was long overdue,” fullback Darrel Young said. “It opened up some eyes. We earned a lot of respect from some of the things that were said.”
It almost worked. The Redskins lost 27-24 to Dallas in overtime, with the 24 points the most they’ve scored since a victory over the New York Giants in the first game of the season.
“I’m not going to say we didn’t believe in previous weeks, but … we stood up in our offensive meetings and said, ‘This is what has to be done. We have to show up. Our defense is putting us in the best situation possible in terms of field position. Special teams is doing its job. That’s on us on offense,’” Young said.
Washington (3-7) took its first lead in a game since a victory over St. Louis on Oct. 2, and the four-yard touchdown run by Grossman with 3:59 to play was also its first touchdown in a first half since that game.
Grossman had 289 passing yards, which were the most by a quarterback since the victory over Arizona in Week 2, and his 65.8 completion percentage was the best of the season. The run game struggled again, but its 60 yards were still the third-most during the six game losing streak.
Gaffney, in particular, told his teammates that he’s been on a Houston team that went 2-14 in 2005 and a New England team that was 16-0 in 2007 and in both cases, players still gave maximum effort.
The chance to air those grievances, the fullback said, was greatly beneficial for the players involved.
“We weren’t yelling at each other,” Young said. “We weren’t cursing at each other. It wasn’t like that. I think we’re building on something. I don’t know what. Only time and God will tell, but we’re building on something.”