ASHBURN, VA (CBSDC)–The Redskins held practice today outside in the cold as they prepare to start the second half of the season Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

“This is where football teams are taken over by their veterans,”  Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan said.  “Either step up or shut up.”

Shanahan added, “You can go one direction or the other. You expect [veterans] to play at a higher level.”

The Redskins (3-5), are now two losses removed from their last victory – a 38-26 ‘W’ over the Vikings – but are still just one loss removed from a three-way tie for second place within their division with the Eagles (3-4) and Cowboys (3-4).

As teams with winning records begin to focus on compiling win streaks to prime themselves for the playoffs, despite key injuries all across the Redskins worst-in-the-league pass defense, Washington finds itself just two victories worse than the Wild Card leading Vikings (5-3) and Packers (5-3).

And yet somehow there are still only two teams in the NFC with records worse than the Redskins. There’s the Saints (2-5), and the team Washington battles this weekend in the Panthers (1-6).

A Washington victory at home in a matchup that features a head-to-head between the last two Heisman trophy winners – Cam Newton vs. Robert Griffin III – would put them at 4-5 and in the enviable position of watching Dallas and Philadelphia pick each other apart for second place Washington rests up in the bye.

Depending on how things shake out this Sunday, the Redskins have the potential to emerge from the bye as the second place team in the NFC East.

“I think we’ve done a lot of good things but we haven’t played our best football,”  Kyle Shanahan said.

Kyle Shanahan also spoke about the ten dropped balls last Sunday and how to improve in catching the football.

“Usually when you have that many drops it’s more of a mental thing than a technique thing,” Kyle Shanahan said.

Pierre Garçon (toe) didn’t practice again today and is unlikely to play on Sunday. Brandon Meriweather (knee) was limited in practice and so was Perry Riley (hamstring).

Shanahan said there is a chance Meriweather could play on Sunday and had no real update on Riley, just that he is getting better.

He had no update at this time on DeAngelo Hall.

Listen here to what Mike & Kyle Shanahan had to say following practice today.

Mike Shanahan Practice Audio

Kyle Shanahan Practice Audio

Also click here if you missed what Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett & players Jarvis Jenkins, Trent Williams & Aldrick Robinson had to say during open locker room earlier today.


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