Never in recent memory has a victory garnered so much negative publicity from the fans and local media. The Redskins 9-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday was not what the fans or players envisioned before it began, but in the NFL, you take a win any way you can get it. That is how the team is looking at it, especially defensive end Andre Carter.
“To be honest we were happy that we won. We fought hard and we are 1-1,” Carter said.
“If we had lost we would be two games in the hole. That's a position that you would never want to be in as a team. I have been there when I played for the 49ers. We are 1-1 so we can be positive and prepare ourselves for this Sunday's game.”
Redskins fans weren’t as positive as most of the players were, however. Boos occasionally rained down from the crowd throughout the game and even as quarterback Jason Campbell knelt down to secure Washington’s first victory as the final seconds ticked of the clock.
“It was unfortunate that the crowd booed. I don't know what those emotions were directed to. Maybe it was the team, offense, defense or maybe the fans expected a blowout. I have no clue. Fans are people, too, and emotions are something we are all blessed with. Everyone is human and I don't fault them for acting in that manner. I have to take it with a grain of salt and know that despite it all, I still love my Redskin fans. They are loud and proud,” Carter said.
One performance the burgundy and gold faithful can hang their hat on is that of the defense, who allowed only 245 yards and one touchdown from the Rams offense.
“Even though we gave up [just one] touchdown it still disgusts us. We have a high standard on our defense. We will need to work on our communication on adjustments play-by-play and become consistent. We made a stand on the last drive and that finished the game,” said Carter, who ended the game with 3 tackles.
The final stand by the defense gave the offense the opportunity to seal the game up and now puts the team back to .500 as opposed to being in an 0-2 rut.
Getting to 2-1 by beating the Detroit Lions this Sunday will be made a little more difficult with the loss of starting right guard and locker room leader Randy Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his right pectoral muscle. Thomas’ loss for the season will mean that backup linemen Will Montgomery and Chad Rinehart will battle for the spot.
“It is difficult to lose a great player and a great man. He had a great work ethic and his leadership will be missed. He is our pep talk extraordinaire before the o-line and d-line go out on the field before games. I hope this injury is not career ending. That will be between him and God. He will still be around to help the offense so his presence will still be known,” Carter said.
Someone who knows Thomas very well is Jon Jansen, the Redskins longtime starting right tackle who was released in May. Now with his hometown franchise, the Detroit Lions, Jansen’s presence on an opposing team will be very strange for his former teammates. Jansen has largely been held to a reserve role with his new squad but if opportunity knocks, Carter looks forward to facing his old practice sparring partner.
“It will be weird going up against him. We have been through a lot together these past few years as teammates and have had some good battles during practice. He will be studying film on us and vice versa. In the end we will have to duke it out,” he said regarding the Redskins 1999 second-round selection.
Along with the possibility of facing off against one of the most popular Redskins of the last decade, the team will also have to contend with facing a Lions organization that has not won a game since Week 16 of the 2007 season. With 19 consecutive losses under their belt, it certainly gives Detroit a lot to prove, making them just as dangerous as a team on an extensive winning streak.
“They are a team that has so much to gain. It's early [in the] season and they will do everything to make their mark. I feel like they have the city of Detroit on their back due to the economic crisis. That's a lot to get a team motivated to play even harder,” Carter said.
Under the Helmet:
THN: LaRon Landry came into the locker room at Redskins Park with a pet monkey last week. What is the strangest or craziest pet you’ve had? Or have you just stuck with the basics (cats, dogs, fish, etc.)?
AC: That's LaRon for you. Always into the exotic animals. I am surprised he didn't come to the locker room with a king cobra. All I had growing up were dogs. I am a simple man.