Mike Shanahan: Defense needs to “step up or shut up”

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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.

18 responses to “Mike Shanahan: Defense needs to “step up or shut up”

  1. Finally. Shanahan needed to make a statement to his defense. In the past, he has shied away from doing so and letting Haslett handle that. However, things are out of hand on that side of the ball and it’s good to see him take over.

  2. You say that now 8 games into the season? If they were going to step up they shouldve already. But it baffles me that the skins just keep trotting the same secondary out and expect different results

  3. This is where the picks surrendered for RGIII will be missed. It’s going to be hard to build a team without quality draft picks. Snyder is going to have to spend money (again) on free agents to fill in the defensive holes.

  4. year 13 w/o Elway. All he has to show for it is one 1st place record (2005) and 1 championship game. yeah, maybe the the “mastermind” has duped the media, not myself.

  5. @FinFan68. It is 1 pick/year. I guess you have to find all your starters in the first round? Tell that to Navaro Bowman, LaDarius Webb or (on the other side of the ball) Tom Brady. Look at the Dolphins. How many of your main contributors were drafted by the Dolphins in the first round? Tannehill and Long. 2 out of 53. Yup, not having that 1 pick is much more important than not having a QB.

  6. any moron will tell you that a good coach needs a good quaterback. hell the only coach to win a superbowl with more than 1 qb is joe gibbs.

    plus shannahan is better than half of the coaches in the league right now, and that’s even during a turn around of a bad franchise.

  7. hailskins4life,
    I didn’t say it was a bad trade, just that those picks will be missed when trying to build a quality team on both sides of the ball. Swapping first rounders and giving up a 2nd and two more firsts is a lot of potential game changing players. They got the guy they wanted so it was worth it to them.

    As for your question about Dolphins main contributers…the answer is 4 not 2 and it would be 5 but the new coach traded Davis due to work ethic/attitude not talent.

    Again, I’m not saying they can’t build a decent team with what they have left but it would be much easier with those picks. RGIII is worth doing it the hard way but only if he continues to play at a high level and avoids missing games due to injury.

  8. @finsfan….1st rnd or 7th rn pick. There is so much talent out there. Alfred Morris??? Most 1st rnd picks have peaked in college. That’s why they tank. That’s just fact. Luckily Tannenhill, Luck and RG3 have not. But all aour great teams in Redskins history have all been no names from small schools. Not always the most talented but tons of heart and character. HTTR!!!!!!!

  9. “Most 1st rnd picks have peaked in college.”

    Unbelievably erroneous statement.

    Uhh did Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, AP, Ed Reed, Polamalu, C. Woodson, Clay Matthews, T. Suggs, P. Willis, D. Ware, JPP, Wilfork, Megatron, Andre Johnson, Fitzgerald, Eli, M. Ryan, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Harvin, Von Miller, Revis, Nnamdi, C. Bailey, Ray Lewis, Peppers, Urlacher etc.. peak in college?

    Fact — at least 75% of current all-pros and active future hall of famers were 1st round picks.

    I loved the RG3 trade for the skins, but the fact is it will be much tougher for them to overhaul their secondary and add a true number 1 WR in the next couple years without those 1st rounders.

  10. Since they don’t seem inclined to dump D. Hall, maybe they should convert him to being a receiver. He can’t cover anybody but he can catch a ball.

  11. “Unbelievably erroneous statement.”…
    75% ??? That’s a massive reach. And the players you named stretch the 1998 Draft to the present. That’s a small amount of !st rounders that have excelled. Just because a !st rounder has made a roster does not make him an impact player. For every Peyton there is a Ryan Leaf, a Tim Couch, a Jamarcus Russell,…For every Megatron there’s a Charles Rogers, a Roy Williams, a Desmond Howard, ….For every !st rndr success there have been 4x more failures or bust or talents that just don’t translate well in the NFL. ….Also Garcon I think can be dominate. Be fore he got hurt he was catching everything. Receivers are ok. I don’t understand why we didn’t go for Talib ?SMH…..HTTR

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