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No Shortage Of Leadership In Locker Room

Posted Nov 18, 2012

Freshly anointed Redskins captain Robert Griffin III, Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen had big days on and off the field Sunday against the Eagles.

The pregame coin toss looked crowded with six Redskins captains in attendance, but the boost in leadership was evident as Washington dominated Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon.

New offensive captain Robert Griffin III turned in his most-statistically efficient game in the NFL, completing 14-of-15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns. 

He ended the game with a perfect 158.3 passer rating and also led the team in rushing with 84 yards on 12 carries.

"Except for the one incompletion, I think he did OK," head coach Mike Shanahan said with an understated grin.  "He played hard; it wasn't easy by any means."

New defensive captains Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen combined for two tackles and a forced fumble, helping hold Eagles running back LeSean McCoy to just 45 yards on the ground.

"I think we did everything pretty well," Shanahan said. "You have to play your best football in the second half of the season and obviously our backs were against the wall."

Incumbent defensive captain London Fletcher inspired the team before the game, reminding his teammates that playoffs and jobs were on the line.

When Fletcher left the game with an ankle injury in the first half, he was replaced by fellow captain Lorenzo Alexander who tallied two tackles in his absence.

With six losses already this season, there was little room for error and the Redskins responded.

"We had to come out and play our best football--offense, defense and special teams," Shanahan said after the win.  "No game is perfect.  We will learn from our mistakes, but I like where we're at."

Sunday's victory broke a three-game losing streak against the Eagles, dating back to Week 10 of the 2010 season.

It was in that game that Philadelphia blasted Washington 59-28, an embarrassment that incumbent offensive captain Trent Williams remembered today.

"It always feels good to get a win against anybody, [especially] when it's a division opponent. It feels a little better, it means a little more.

"But we can't hard on it too long. We've got another game to play in about four days."

In the locker room after the game, Cofield addressed the team, paraphrasing college basketball legend John Wooden.

"Basically, whether there's praise or criticism, you have to block out the outside world, because both can be your downfall," he told the media.  "I told them that just like when we were the scum of the world up until this week, we had to block that out.

"We can't let people tell us that we're great and that we have it all figured out after having a great performance."

Shanahan told his players after the game to celebrate the victory briefly, but that the coaching staff has already shifted focus to Thursday's game against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Redskins leadership will be put to a test this week, as the squad looks to bounce back quickly, mentally and physically.

"We have about a day and a half before we leave for Dallas on Wednesday afternoon, to get ready to play on Thursday," Shanahan told the media. "I told them to enjoy their win for a short time--12 to 14 hours--and get ready to go."

"We knew the schedule going into the year. We had this type of schedule in the preseason, and we actually worked on it. I think our players are looking forward to playing very quickly."

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