Redskins still smarting as they return from break
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) A four-day weekend is long time to stew over a 31-point, prime-time loss.
The Washington Redskins returned to work Tuesday, a bit refreshed after a mini-bye yet still somewhat chastened by the 45-14 loss to the New York Giants last Thursday.
''Sometimes when you get a couple of days off, it's hard not to obsess over it, because it's the last thing you had,'' tight end Logan Paulsen said. ''You haven't had a practice, you haven't done anything. Like, the last football thing you've done is this awful, terrible thing.''
Coach Jay Gruden put the players through a 75-minute practice, calling it a ''bonus day.'' Because the next game isn't until Monday night, the Redskins will have another off day Wednesday before returning Thursday to begin game-planning practices for another prime-time affair at home, this time against the Seattle Seahawks.
''We've just got to handle adversity, handle the criticism and get better,'' linebacker Brian Orakpo said. ''There's going to be criticism about the way we play. Obviously we got blown out at home Thursday night, and it's the perfect time for redemption against the defending Super Bowl champions. It's a second chance to go out there and fix the problems we had and show everybody that we're a good defense, a great defense, a great team.''
''Good'' and ''great'' aren't associated with much of what the Redskins (1-3) have accomplished so far this season, yet Gruden said after the Giants loss that his players had become a bit full of themselves after a decent showing in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles a few days earlier.
On Tuesday, some players fessed up: The coach was right.
''I think guys kind of took it for granted,'' left tackle Trent Williams said. ''I don't think we put forth our best effort on Thursday. ... It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize we have to step it up.''
Now the Redskins are staring at a possible 1-5 hole. A short week with a road trip to face the Arizona Cardinals follows the Seahawks game.
''You come off a game like Philadelphia where things are really cooking for you, you feel really good about yourself,'' Paulsen said. ''You say, `Hey, maybe we got something here.' I think a lot of guys felt that way. And I'm not saying we don't have that, but it is humbling in a lot of ways to go out there and not have things go that way.''
Gruden joked that the Giants loss ''should count for three,'' but that thankfully it only goes down as one mark in the loss column. The practice Tuesday focused on self-inflicted problems, including communication errors among the defense that allowed so many New York receivers to get open so easily.
''I think we still have the talent in this building that we can do some great things this year,'' Gruden said. ''We've just got to do things better, more efficiently and obviously smarter as far as what our assignments are, and obviously ball security.''
There was also mixed news from the Redskins' injured players. Cornerback Tracy Porter, who made his season debut against the Giants after missing the first three games with a pulled right hamstring, wasn't on the field during the portion of practice that was open to reporters.
''He is just taking it very slow right now,'' Gruden said.
Williams said his right knee camp was slightly dislocated in the Giants game. He was a spectator at practice, but he expects to play against Seattle. Tight end Jordan Reed said he took part in individual drills as he recovers from a pulled left hamstring; he said he's ''50-50'' to play on Monday.
Safety Trenton Robinson will be out for a while with a high ankle sprain, and tight end Niles Paul said he thinks he'll be good to go Monday after suffering a concussion against the Giants.
And, of course, the Redskins are still awaiting the return of quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is expected to miss several more games with a dislocated ankle.
''He's doing a great job,'' Gruden said. ''For whatever injury he has, he's probably going to recover quicker than the normal human being, faster than anybody probably. So, it won't surprise me when he comes back. I'm sure it'll be quicker than normal, but he's doing everything he can to get right. What that timetable is, I have no idea. Only his body will know, and the trainers.''
AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP