by Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The Washington Redskins’ loss to the Tampa Buccaneers Sunday means they’re 3-7 again, the same record they had at this point last season.

“We gotta look at ourselves. Everybody’s got to look at ourselves — quarterback, offensive line, running back, coaches, everybody, defensive line,” coach Jay Gruden said after the game. “Everybody’s got to take a long look at themselves and figure out what they can do to help this team, and just continue to compete.”

Remember after the Redskins lost to 24-16 to the Eagles in Week 11 in 2013?

Allow me to refresh your memory.

Robert Griffin III, trying to mount a game-tying drive, threw a decisive interception to halt the Redskins’ comeback effort late in the fourth quarter.

After that game, Griffin deflected blame to his receivers for not getting open.

“We had a certain concept with running and nobody got open so I was backing up, and in the situation where you get a sack there, it ends the game,” Griffin said. “I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go.”

Those comments weren’t received well by veteran receiver Santana Moss, who days later placed himself in the mind of the quarterback. “I was seen with the ball in my hand last, as a quarterback I’m saying,” he said. “And if it didn’t get done then I’m going to let you know it was me.”

A year later, Griffin seems to have learned a lesson in shifting or not shifting blame, distributing an equal share of fault in his post-game press conference after the Redskins’ latest loss.

Asked to explain how he was so effective in his 2012 rookie season, and yet struggled the way he did on Sunday, Griffin said, “Because we were playing good team ball, man. It takes eleven men.

“It doesn’t take one guy. That’s proven. If you want to look at the good teams in this league, or the great quarterbacks — the Peytons, the Aaron Rodgers — those guys don’t play well if their guys don’t play well. They don’t. We need everybody.

“I need every one of those guys in that locker room. And I know they’re looking at me saying the same thing. I’m gonna be there for them. I promise that. I’ll give it to them every day. I’ll never quit on them. I need them to do the same. And I know they will. I believe they will. I mean, what else am I supposed to believe? I believe in my teammates. We’ll get it done.”

Even earlier, Griffin was asked about protection issues, and how specifically he could have released the ball in a more timely fashion.

“All the sacks are on me. Period,” he said. “You have to, as players, we’re 3-7. Everybody in this room knows that. Everybody in that locker room knows that. We can’t do what 3-7 football teams do; we can’t throw knives and stab each other in the back.

“And I think we have good people in our locker room, men of God that are gonna stick together and stay strong. So when you ask me that question, and I say ‘All the sacks are on me,’ it’s because I’m looking myself in the mirror and saying, ‘I can do better. I have to do better.’

“And I need every man in that locker room — player, coach, everyone — to look themself in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’ So if one of my offensive linemen were up here, or a back or a receiver and you asked them that question, I would expect them to do the same. Take responsibility for it.

“Try to find a way to get it out. Try to find a way to change the protection to pick it up. Even if everyone in here, or everyone watching, says there’s no way you could have done that. You try to find a way. And I’ll be the first to say, I could have done better. Much better. And I will.”

Griffin would call the Redskins’ output Sunday “a travesty,” with regard to how to go about explaining the devastating loss on the heels of a bye week.

“We didn’t play well,” he said. “I didn’t see the field as well as I would have liked to. We had turnovers. I can’t throw interceptions. We had false-start penalties, holding penalties. It was just bad ball out there today. It’s not that we looked past Tampa Bay; because we can’t afford to look past anybody.”

And then a sincere moment from the quarterback, who said, “Fact of the matter is we’re not a very good football team right now, and we’ve got a long way to go. And every guy’s gotta look himself in the mirror and say that to himself.

“You can’t sit at your locker or be out on the field and say, ‘Well it’s not my fault. I’m a baller. I’m an All-Pro. I’m a Pro Bowl player.’ Because right now, we have no Pro Bowl players. We don’t. We’re not playing that way. I’m not playing that way, the line’s not playing that way, our receivers aren’t playing that way, the backs aren’t playing that way, our defense isn’t playing that way, our special teams isn’t playing that way. And we all know that.

“Coach has reiterated that to us many times. And guys have to accept that. Accept that we have a long way to go. Accept that we have to get better. And it starts in practice — walk-throughs, film — you gotta do more. You gotta do more, and you gotta get better.”

Fairly even distribution of blame, while leaving plenty for himself, as far as I’m concerned.

Although, the Redskins are still 3-7. Again. Meaning, zero year-to-year improvement from 2013.


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