- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I think the biggest question on every fan’s mind right now is are we going out to win ballgames, or are we just going out to cash our check and move into next year? In my opinion, I really don’t think we have anybody who’s going to quit.

Anybody who has watched our games, especially the games in which we came from behind, knows we’re not a team that’s going to lay down and quit. We could have done that at Atlanta in an away stadium, down 17 points. We could have said, “Can’t do it,” and quit.

Then we played the Giants and were 18 points down. We could have said, “We’re out. Let’s prepare for next week.” While we didn’t win that one, we came back, took them to overtime and should have won. The same thing at Philly. We got a field goal, an onsides kick, we went down and scored. The only reason we didn’t go into overtime was we missed a two-point conversion.

So anybody who says this team is going to quit or is going to give up or is not playing hard doesn’t know much about the Washington Redskins.

Now there’s a difference between playing really hard and playing really well. I can say of myself and my linemates, we’re playing as hard as we possibly can. But we’re not playing as well as we possibly can.

If there was someone who was just here to cash a check, it’s something that definitely would have to be addressed by the leaders of the team, including myself. We’d talk about it. If there’s somebody we don’t think is giving enough effort, we’ll address that individual. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll address him in front of the team.

Let me give you an example of the effort I’m seeing. Unfortunately, rookie guard Derrick Dockery got called Sunday for a leg-whip. We feel it was a bad call, but the ref made it. However, that call was made 10 yards downfield. That’s a case in which somebody was showing great effort. While they may not have done the right thing in terms of technique, they were trying to get the job done.

Now, I don’t know anything about what our coaches are doing defensively during a game, but I’ve heard the talk about LaVar Arrington being out of position. Well, maybe he’s out of position because he’s really trying to bust his butt and make a play. He’s trying to be the guy who intercepted the ball against Carolina in 2001 and turned our team around.

We wish we were 7-0 heading into this week off. We all would be happy to talk to the media, and the media would be happy to talk to us. Life would be great. But we’re in the situation we’re in now.

What we have to do during the bye week is go to work until Thursday and try to improve ourselves. Then we’ll get a break. We’ll get a chance to repair ourselves physically and mentally. And right now I think it’s more important to repair ourselves mentally because of how the season’s going.

Personally, I’m going to the Moon — the vacation home Martha and I have in northern Michigan. The duck season’s in up there. The bow season’s in up there. Martha and I are going to get away. The construction on our barn is finally done. We’re going to relax for a couple of days.

When I get away, I never forget what my job is, but I get an opportunity not to have my work problems in the front of my mind. It’s like when you’re driving along and all of a sudden a thought pops into your mind — “Oh, maybe I should try that. Maybe that will help.”

Hopefully when we’re away, guys won’t be thinking consciously about doing this, this and this better. Hopefully they will be thinking, “Wow, it’s really nice to see my wife and kids. It’s really nice to see my folks. It’s really nice to be on the boat fishing. Walleyes are going to be killing, and I can’t wait to get the first one on the hook.”

Hopefully during that 10-pound walleye fight I’m going to have, something will pop in my mind and I’ll say, “Why didn’t I think of this before? This could really help us.” I think that’s when guys can really get some fresh ideas.

Now for some questions. One reader saw Warren Sapp line up against me in the Tampa Bay game, run a play, then slap hands and say something. The reader wants to know what Warren said.

You know what? Guys talk trash to guys that talk trash. Not that talking trash has anything to do with not having class, but guys who do their job without having to talk trash, I think guys appreciate that.

That’s always been my trademark. I don’t go out and tell some guy his mother’s an ugly person, that he can’t get past me. I may think those things. But I speak with my pads. If a dirty-something-or-other comes out, it’s always provoked.

The other day, Warren treated me with the class I showed him. We talked about the game a little bit and told each other to stay healthy and keep playing great.

Another reader wants to know how the rules work when we get set on the offensive line.

There are two different stances offensive lineman can take — the two-point stance and the three-point stance. The three-point stance is when you put your hand in the dirt. The only thing I can’t do in a three-point stance is take my hand off the ground. And I can’t make any sudden movements that simulate the start of a play.

So when I’m in my three-point stance and Patrick’s audibling, you will see that I even get down on a knee. I’ll look at Patrick to get the play. I’ll look at Randy, and we’ll make a call. I’ll look at the tight end and make a call. And then we’ll go from there.

I can do any other movements. I can point. I can wave. I can flip the defensive lineman off. I can do whatever.

In a two-point stance, it’s basically the same thing. I can move both hands. I can readjust my feet, in terms of a little bit of a wiggle here or there. But I can’t pick my foot up and move it, and I can’t make it simulate the start of a play in any way.

Thanks again for the e-mails at [email protected] I advise all fans to get away this weekend, forget about the Redskins for a little while and repair themselves mentally.

Staff writer Jody Foldesy collaborates with Redskins tackle Jon Jansen on this column. It appears every Wednesday.

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