- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2018

ASHBURN — Zach Brown sees no reason to watch the film from Sunday’s 40-16 loss to the New York Giants. The Redskins linebacker noted that he was on the field for only 28 snaps — a season low — and, after all, he and the Redskins won’t see Eli Manning and Co. again this season.

Still, one day after being benched as a starter for rookie Shaun Dion Hamilton, a frustrated Brown had a hard time himself moving on, keeping his answers to reporters’ questions short and pointed — even expressing, at one point, his dissatisfaction with the coaching staff.

“They’re changing stuff but if it’s not broke, don’t change it,” Brown said.

That comment was the second in the past 48 hours in which a member of the Redskins implied tension with the coaches. After the loss, safety D.J. Swearinger said, “You can’t say it’s the players” when asked what was behind the team’s porous run defense over the last six games.

With Washington’s season spiraling out of control, coach Jay Gruden and his staff now face questions on whether they have lost parts of the locker room amid a four-game losing streak.

Linebacker Mason Foster said players haven’t quit on their coach.

“Guys are out there playing hard, working hard,” Foster said.”I don’t think anybody is a quitter on this team or anything like that, or you wouldn’t be in the league. Me personally, I’m going to ride it until it’s over. So you just got to keep playing hard and keep working.”

Still, there is little doubt that Washington’s losing streak is taking a toll.

Gruden said he knows meltdowns like one the team’s fans saw Sunday raise questions about the coach’s future.

“My job is in jeopardy every week, so I just have to go about and do the best I can to get these guys ready to go.” The coach said there wouldn’t be any changes to his staff, which held true Monday.

Instead, the Redskins will prepare for next Sunday’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars with journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson set to start. Johnson, of course, was signed just last week and will be Washington’s fourth starter under center this season.

But the Redskins also have to fix their defense, which has allowed at least 400 yards in five of the last six games. Since Nov. 4, the Redskins have given up the most yards in the NFL.

In his weekly radio interview, Swearinger attempted to backpedal his comments that the blame didn’t rest on the players. He was also asked if Gruden was still the right man for the job.

“I have total confidence in any coach you put me with,” said Swearinger, who is with his fourth team since being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2013. “We’ve got to suit up and we’ve got to play ball. End of the day, the players that’s out there on the field gotta make the plays. There’s a lot of plays out there to be made.”

Gruden said the Redskins have to get in the right frame of mind.

“We can’t lose any confidence, but we have to understand we’ve got to work,” Gruden said. “We have to work harder than our opponent. We have to practice harder, we have to be up on our fundamentals, we have to be up on our assignments, we have to be focused in on every play.

“When you’re playing against very talented players on the other side of the field, no matter who you play, they’re going to have players that if you lack in focus for one snap, it’s going to cost you.”


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