Redskins linebacker Andre Carter talks about Graham Gano’s performance against the Bucs, low attendance at FedEx Field, LaRon Landry being place on I.R., and the switch at QB.
To read this week’s edition of THN Weekly, click here: THN Weekly with Andre Carter – Week 15
THN: Apparently one reason for the lack of a running game in the second half was because the Bucs made adjustments on defense. On the other hand, the Redskins offense passed a lot more and shied away from the run as the game went on. Why did the offense not find a way to make adjustments of their own?
AC: I really don’t know why. Plain and simple.
THN: How much does it hurt the team when you have a guy going off like that early on but you don’t have anything to show for it on the scoreboard?
AC: Well it’s tough when you have a great running game and can’t score. Those situations keep the game close along with other challenges on defense and special teams.
THN: What did you and the rest of the team say to Graham Gano after the game was over or even during the game?
AC: Nothing could be said to Gano. He knows what he’s paid to do and it’s no secret that he should have made those field goals. He’s our teammate and the last thing we can do is rip him apart. There is no point in that. On to the next game.
THN: Reportedly, the attendance at the game was the fourth lowest in FedEx Field history. I was there and the crowd was about as loud as it had been this year at nearly full capacity. What was your take on the crowd that showed up?
AC: You are right about that. Since my arrival in ‘06, this past Sunday’s attendance was the lowest. Do I blame the fans? This is my evaluation: when you win, more people show. When you lose, more people become uninterested. Those are the joys and sorrows of the NFL.
THN: How much of a hole has LaRon’s absence placed on the secondary and how will the defense be affected the rest of the year now that he is placed on injured reserve? Will Carlos Rogers returning to the lineup help the team that much more?
AC: A player like LaRon can never be replaced but the game moves on. We miss his presence and sacrifice for the love of the game and the defense. I praise Reed for stepping in and playing his heart out. Carlos returning will help us on the passing game for sure.
THN: Even though the playoffs are out of the picture, how important is this Cowboys game for you from a pride standpoint, a rivalry standpoint, a revenge standpoint (from the 7-6 loss in Dallas last year), etc.?
AC: Last year’s loss was ridiculous but those are the games that you remember. This is a new year and this battle against two division teams has always been tough.
THN: When will it get to the point where the team can overcome calls or non-calls (like Orakpo being held on the Bucs game winning touchdown)? Why can’t the team just set its own tempo and not let these types of things be used as an excuse for losing games?
AC: I hope one day the time will come when we can receive those calls. Until that day comes we have to rely on each other. It’s all a mindset. The issue that we have is putting together a four quarter game. We play hard for three quarters maybe three and a half quarters but not four quarters. It’s all a mindset, plain and simple. We have the competitive edge and we have the desire to win. It’s a matter of finishing the game.
THN: How different will this Cowboys game be compared to the Week One matchup?
AC: Week One is always the toughest part of the season. The film on your opponent is limited. However, when you play a team later on during the season we have an overall indication of what the opponent is trying to accomplish.
THN: Why, at this point, would the team decide to start Rex Grossman over Donovan McNabb? Why would the Shanahan’s want to make this move?
AC: I have no clue. Maybe he is preparing for the future or giving Rex another chance to showcase his skills. Either way, Grossman is the starter for this Sunday’s game.
THN: Reportedly, the locker room is divided and many players are very upset about this move. Is that true? How do you feel about the situation?
AC: I haven’t sensed that. It’s a tough business like I have always said. McNabb is still a Redskin despite the fact he’s not starting. It’s crucial that we focus on Dallas.
THN: If Rex beats the Cowboys, will the players WANT him to continue to be the starter or would the team still want McNabb to lead the team?
AC: That decision will be made by the head coach. It’s his decision not ours.
THN: What will it take for the locker room to approve this move?
AC: There is nothing to approve. The locker room is still close and will fight till the end.