- The Washington Times - Monday, December 24, 2001

The way defensive tackle Kenard Lang sees it, the Washington Redskins finally threw in the towel on their season with yesterday's 20-15 home loss to Chicago that dropped them to 6-8 and eliminated them from the playoff chase when Tampa Bay beat New Orleans.
"This is worse than last year [an 8-8 finish after a 6-2 start]," Lang said. "We started out 0-5, fought back to put ourselves back in contention and we let it slip away. That's the hardest thing. It's like you're in a bar fight, and you're losing. But you come back and start beating him up and then you get beat down and you quit."
After winning 20-10 at Arizona on Dec.9, Washington was 6-6 with home games ahead against Philadelphia and Chicago. And for the second straight season, the Redskins lost back-to-back critical late-season contests at FedEx Field.
"We knew we had to win straight out to go to the playoffs," Lang said. "It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. We knew what we had to do and we didn't do it. I'm tired of losing. It stinks. It's disgusting. We've got to play these last two games like we can still go to the playoffs. My manhood and my pride is on the line."
Offensive tackle Jon Jansen took no satisfaction in the recovery from the 0-5 start.
"It doesn't matter where you come from, it matters where you're going and we're not going to the playoffs," Jansen said. "It's disappointing whenever you lose, but just the finality of knowing that you have no postseason hope is extremely disappointing."
Defensive end Marco Coleman shared those sentiments, knowing that 10 years into his career his goal of winning a championship remains elusive.
"It hurts more than last year because as you get older, you have that many fewer opportunities to win the Super Bowl," Coleman said. "It's a lot more fun when there are playoff implications, but this is our job so we'll play hard next week. We play 16 games. I didn't know what the deal was with Tampa and New Orleans. I just wanted to win."
Cornerback Darrell Green has played 19 seasons and won three Super Bowl rings with the Redskins, but yesterday's loss still stung.
"People think that athletics is about the money, but they forget that most players make less money in the playoffs [than for a regular-season game]," Green said. "We want to make the playoffs for the pure sense of competition. So this is worse than 0-5 because it's over. It's like when you're a little boy and you come home and say, 'Mom. We lost.'"
Coach Marty Schottenheimer made the playoffs 11 times in his 14 full seasons with Cleveland and Kansas City so the failure to qualify in his first year in Washington hurt.
"It's very, very disappointing," said Schottenheimer, whose worst record was 7-9 in 1998, his last year in Kansas City. "I'm not accustomed to not being in the playoffs. I'm disappointed for our players. They've taken every opportunity to do the very best that they can. They have worked their tails off as has the coaching staff."
Guard Ben Coleman, a member of San Diego's 1-15 team last season, sounded a rare upbeat note.
"We fought our way back and learned how to win [during the five-game winning streak that followed the 0-5 start], but we fell short of our goal," Coleman said. "We had every opportunity from the Dallas game to the Philadelphia game to today's game, but just didn't take advantage of them. We still have a .500 record to play for. We don't want to be 7-9 or 6-10. There are a lot of people in this room playing for an opportunity [to return]. And you always play to win. We still have a lot of pride. I've been on teams that were 4-12, but we won our last game and had momentum going into the offseason."

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