In terms of both yards and points allowed, the Redskins defense has had an ugly season through eight games.
Coach Mike Shanahan would like to see that change over the second half of the season and he’s calling on the team’s veterans to lead the way to a turnaround. Shanahan said Thursday that he’s seen defenses bounce back from a rough start to the season and that those turnarounds have been spurred by older players.
“This is where normally football teams are taken over by their veterans,” Shanahan said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “You can go one direction or the other. You expect these guys to play at a higher level, even with some inexperienced guys. You expect them to get the most out of these other players that may not have played at the highest level they can. It’s either step up or shut up. And this is where you’ve got to get it done.”
One of those veterans is cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who probably falls into the shut up category after getting ejected from last Sunday’s game for a confrontation with a referee. The Redskins have been playing without several players expected to fill major roles on defense this season. Linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker are out for the season and safety Brandon Meriweather hasn’t played yet this season because of a knee injury that got aggravated in a pregame collision with wide receiver Aldrick Robinson several weeks ago.
They can’t really afford to lose any more players from the defense, especially when the player takes himself out of the lineup because he isn’t able to control his temper.