Leftovers – Week 17

Washington Commanders

In this week’s edition of Leftovers, Andre Carter talks about Jason Campbell’s toughness, what he would do if he was new GM Bruce Allen, whether he feels the players have quit on the season and much more.

THN: I think the one positive (I don’t know if positive is the right word for this) I could take from the last two games is Jason Campbell’s courage and toughness he displayed after getting hit and knocked around so much. What does his ability to come back and keep fighting say to the rest of the team? He could easily say “You know what? Ownership doesn’t want me, the season’s a lost cause and there is only one games left after this” but he doesn’t and he keeps fighting for the team. What do you think every time you see him get roughed up but keep coming back despite the pain he’s in?

AC: It takes a lot of heart for a man to come back from being battered like that. However, it’s no surprise to me coming from Jason. He has always been a tough player.

THN: Last week Jason said he felt some of the players quit during the Monday night game against the Giants and it looked as if not many others showed up on Sunday night so I’m sure he felt the same way after losing to Dallas as well. Without naming names or calling anyone out, would you agree with Jason’s assessment, especially based off of the overall performance of the team the last two games compared to the previous four?

AC: It’s so tough to say because I am in the zone focusing on winning. I have to have confidence in my teammate that he feels the same way. We can’t always worry about the man next to us tapping out or not. We have to have faith and try to win.

THN: Do these types of big moves before the season ends and the fact that there will likely be no salary cap next offseason force players to think about themselves and where they will be next season as opposed to working as a cohesive unit on a team when game time comes? Is selfishness a reason for the lack of production on the field?

AC: I really don’t feel it’s selfishness. Even though there is no salary cap next year, that particular topic hasn’t been a constant discussion since the season has been winding down.

THN: The last two games were not a very good way to show off the talent on the roster to a new general manager. After the loss to the Giants on Monday night, DeAngelo Hall said if he was the GM, he would just scrap the whole team and start from scratch in 2010. If you were in Bruce Allen’s shoes as the team’s new general manager, what would be going through your mind witnessing these first two games and how would you assess the team?

AC: If I was Bruce Allen I would say, “There is plenty of talent on this team but a lot of work needs to be done.”

THN: The pass rush had improved immensely earlier in the month but was stopped by the Giants and Cowboys line pretty well the last two weeks. Why were opposing offensive lines able to stop the rush even with Haynesworth back in the lineup for these matchups?

AC: We have been unsuccessful in first and second down. We have been in 3rd and 4-5 situations instead of 3rd and long. When New York and the Cowboys have passed the ball they max protect with seven players in the box.

THN: What have you and your teammates said to each other late in the last two games when the Giants and Cowboys fans outnumbered Redskins fans and they both essentially turned into Giants and Cowboys home games?? I know you like to be even-keeled and mild-mannered but that had to infuriate you to see your home stadium taken over, did it not?

AC: All I can say is “Wow.” We need to win more games. I have never experienced that situation and it can be frustrating because it’s on our home turf.

THN: Will the wear and tear of a second cross-country road trip in one month be a factor in the team’s conditioning at all or will San Diego’s consistently beautiful weather cheer everyone up to the point where it won’t matter?

AC: Man, it’s San Diego. Great football weather in December. We will be ready to go.

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