Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
With Performance Lagging, Mike Shanahan To Veterans: ‘Step Up Or Shut Up’
ASHBURN – With the Washington Redskins passing the halfway point of the season with a losing record and about to enter their bye week, head coach Mike Shanahan said it’s becoming increasingly important for the team’s veterans to lead it to success.
“You can go one direction or another, and you would expect these guys to play at a higher level, even with some of the inexperienced guys,” Shanahan said. “You would expect them to get the most out of these other players that may not have played at the highest level they can. You either step up or shut up, and this is where you’ve got to get it done.”
The Redskins (3-5) will host struggling Carolina (1-6) on Sunday with an eye on improving their standing before entering the bulk of their NFC East games. Should they lose to the Panthers, they would have to win nearly all five of their remaining division games to have a shot at the playoffs.
Three players with at least three years of experience – outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, defensive end Adam Carriker and tight end Fred Davis – are done for the season because of injury. Only nine others are entering at least their third season with the team.
“I think it’s very important [to win] just going into the bye week, just because you remember the last game you played in and you’ll have two weeks to dwell on something that you could have fixed to win the game or determined the outcome of the game,” said fullback Darrell Young, who joined the Redskins in 2010. “This is what we dug ourselves into and now we’ve got to get out of this. … It doesn’t matter what you are right now. It’s how you finish.”