D.J. Swearinger’s right but blame game no help
Redskins fans, let’s play a game you stink, we stink, everybody stinks.
Let’s start with you stink Redskins fans:
“Home games, that’s some of the worst things I’ve seen,” Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger told 106.7 The Fan several weeks ago when asked about the comatose small crowds at FedEx Field. “I’ve played on four different teams. Never seen it that bad, you know, with other teams’ jerseys in the stands, with the boos, whatever it may be.
“It affects you to the point to when you want to get the crowd involved,” Swearinger said. “I recall when I was in Arizona or in Houston, I would always wave my hands up just to get the crowd up. But, you know, if I do it here, it’s like a blah. I’m stretching my arms. Like, nobody don’t see us getting the crowd up,” Swearinger said.
“But I guess that’ll take time because we haven’t won. But you can’t really say that, because I’ve been in Houston and Arizona where they haven’t won, but those diehard fans will go out, win, lose or draw. So that’s no excuse of losing. Every NFL team loses. No NFL team wins the Super Bowl every year.
“I don’t know if we have that full support of loyalty to the fans,” he said.
“You know, we may have a lot of Redskins fans, but the loyalty, I don’t feel the loyalty.”
Remember that? That was when you stunk.
Now, guess what? They stink Redskins players.
“We can go out there and do whatever on teams that ain’t good,” Swearinger said after the Thanksgiving Day loss to the Dallas Cowboys. “Like I said against Tampa, we can do whatever we want on teams that ain’t good. But when we got teams that can play with you, you got to prepare. You got to tackle. You got to do the simple things right. If you don’t do the simple things right, you’re going to get embarrassed on national TV. That’s why we don’t get respect as the Redskins. We don’t do the simple s--- right. We do the simple s--- right, I guarantee you we get respect. So we don’t [get] no damn respect. I see why we get disrespected because we don’t win the big game. We got to win the big game.
“The only way you’ve been to the big game is you prepare for the big game, and that’s every day,” Swearinger continued. “And that got to be in your heart. Like I said, they’re laughing, man, that s--- is for the birds when you’re losing. If you losing, if you ain’t no championship team, man, there ain’t no reason coming in the building and laughing, unless that s--- don’t mean that much to you. Unless you’re just doing it for the money. But if you’re doing it from the heart, that s--- going to mean something to you when you walk into that building after you lost two games in a row. ... But my mentality is different, so I can only speak to how I feel about it and where we need to go. But it’s disappointing.”
Swearinger doubled down on his criticism of either his teammates, his coaches, or both, take your pick, in his Monday appearance on 106.7 The Fan.
“I just feel like when we’re in certain preparations when it’s Friday, when it’s Saturday, when it’s time to lock in and really be focused in I feel like it’s a little bit too much playing,” Swearinger said. “Whether it’s on Friday or whether it’s the Saturday walk-through. A lot of guys just walk through that Saturday as if that Saturday doesn’t mean much.”
He responded on his Instagram account Tuesday with this, “For those who don’t understand me! My comments have nothing to do with my coaches. My comments are strictly for players.”
So if we follow this game of stink, Redskins fans stink for not supporting Redskins players who stink.
But wait a minute what about the coach?
Asked about the failure of the running game of late, head coach Jay Gruden told reporters Monday, “Well we can do a lot of things better. Up front, we can do a lot better, obviously tight ends, receivers, backs, I think everybody can improve a little bit and I’ve got to do a better job of probably sticking with it.”
I’ve got to do a better job.
How many times have we heard this, or different versions of it, from Gruden? Enough that it has become meaningless as has Swearinger calling out everyone, which he did a few times last season.
In any locker room in any sport, it is considered bad form to publicly criticize teammates and coaches (it’s also not a good idea to rip your fans when you are begging people to show up at Ghost Town Field). NFL analyst and former Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly tweeted this after Swearinger’s post-game comments: “Bad move by D.J. Swearinger calling out teammates after game. Never criticize your teammates in public. That is divisive. Just do your job and let the coaches do the talking. Corrections should be made in private. You don’t see this from the Patriots. They win more than anybody.”
OK, the Patriots are a bad comparison, because no one really does business as well as New England does or has created a culture like Bill Belichick has. But he is right that generally, in any locker room or clubhouse, publicly calling out your teammates’ heart creates bad feelings.
But maybe the Redskins locker room is different. Maybe Swearinger is so respected in that room that his words carry weight. Maybe they fall on deaf ears.
Maybe there is a reason that Swearinger, a talented safety, is on his fourth team in six years.
Even with all this, the Redskins are 6-5 and still in the playoff picture this week, with a schedule of opponents that stink ahead of them the rest of this season. Yet the fans stink. The players stink. The coach stinks.
Smell like the aura of self-destruction? Does to me.
Hear Thom Loverro on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings and on the Kevin Sheehan Show podcast every Tuesday and Thursday.