- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 2, 2001

The Washington Redskins spent four hours yesterday examining their 0-3 start. They talked, watched game film and talked some more in a players' meeting that at times included coaches.
In the end, probably not much will change. The team is saddled with growing injury problems and sagging personnel, but at least an underlying locker room discontent with coach Marty Schottenheimer's micromanagement style was aired. Players departed feeling somewhat better after getting their say. Whether it was truly heard around the locker room and front office is questionable, but each side felt somewhat relieved. Maybe now the thickening tension can dissipate a bit.
"It's good if someone has something on their chest to talk about it," defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson said. "Guys had a chance to vent their frustrations and concerns."
Team captain and union representative Marco Coleman did much of the talking during the players-only sessions. Coleman is out with a dislocated elbow but told teammates not to give up on the season. It was typical of many of the speakers' messages. Still, players departed with differing takes.
"I don't think anybody in the group has an answer for the whole team, but we have answers for ourselves," quarterback Tony Banks said.
Said offensive tackle Chris Samuels: "We got a lot of answers. The players voiced their point of view. The coaches voiced theirs. Just a lot of positives in there. We address why we're losing. There was compromising on both ends. [Schottenheimer] wanted to know what we're thinking. I think we'll give a little and take a little and be better for it."
Schottenheimer listened to players' concerns, which have been mounting since training camp. Players are unhappy about being micromanaged down to early wakeup calls, assigned plane seats and mandatory roommates on road trips. Many players have said privately they were concerned Schottenheimer's new system was inflexible.
While Schottenheimer felt players offered some constructive criticism, he wouldn't say whether any would be implemented.
"I don't think there's going to be anything significant. We may modify a thing or two, but it won't be anything that's significant," Schottenheimer said. "At 0-3 and performing poorly like we have, I'm exploring everything. I solicit opinions from everybody in that regard. It's important to hear what the players' perspective is. I thought some of their points were well taken."
Said center Cory Raymer: "Our problems are obvious. It really isn't a sign of struggling or panic. It was just a coach wanting to see what the players were like."
Players and coaches sat together in the main meeting room to watch all three facets of game films offense, defense and special teams that are usually viewed separately. Schottenheimer thought it was important for players to get an overall perspective of the team's problems.
"There's a lot of good things that happen on every football play, but we've got one or two things that break down and make it look like a poor performance by everybody," he said. "I told them today what we ought to do is have 11 errors one play and then we'll take 11 plays without any errors at all."
Players said it wasn't a punitive session in which players were singled out for mistakes.
"Most film sessions everyone knows what they did wrong or right," Banks said. "It was an opportunity to get a feel for the rest of the 10 players."
Players have today off before beginning preparations tomorrow for the New York Giants on Sunday at Giants Stadium. After allowing three straight 100-yard rushers, the Redskins defense is last overall and against the run. The Giants are ranked 17th in rushing behind Ron Dayne and Tiki Barber.
"They're not going to have any respect for us and hammer the ball down our throat and do what they want," Wilkinson said. "We can't allow that."

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