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Players disagree.

“I would take more ownership of that,” Williams said. “The head coach is going to get the blame just like if the team’s not going, it’s either the head coach or the quarterback, that’s just the nature of this game, and we understand that.”

If players are to take ownership of the Redskins‘ penalty problem, then the solution goes beyond practice.

“I think it’s about focus. It’s about not overwhelming yourself with what’s going on and being able to focus from play to play,” Cooley said. “You can practice it, but I think at the same time, we’ve all played football for a long time, and it’s about focus.”

Interpretation can be a problem, too, even after the regular officials returned earlier this season.

“It’s really tough because there’s such a fine line between what a penalty is and what a penalty isn’t. I think you see that in a couple of the pass interference calls that get called on us, some of the holding calls,” linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “It’s a fine line, but it’s minor details that can make the difference between what’s a penalty and what’s not.”

Even considering the gray area that exists, the Redskins have a difficult enough grind down the stretch that they know the penalties need to stop. If they don’t, the already steep climb becomes more treacherous.

“You take a look at some of these other teams that won [Sunday] and you say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to overcome those penalties.’ A lot of teams won with more yards than that,” Shanahan said. “There’s a lot of things that are going to be good and bad in a game. But you’ve got to find a way to win. You’ve got to overcome those mistakes.”