ASHBURN, Va. -- The defensive leader, the guy who has won Super Bowls, knows how a team must respond from an embarrassing loss. There's only one way.
"You can come back or not come back and get embarrassed twice," Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark said. "You have to have some pride. We talk about humility in this league. The other side of that is having enough ego and enough pride that you won't let people continue to whip you."
The Redskins have had a long time to think about a 31-point loss -- and knowing they must try to recover against the defending Super Bowl champions.
Clark said his message to the rest of the secondary on Tuesday was simple: If you can't figure out how to stop someone, just hit whoever has the ball.
"You watch [Seattle's] defense, that's how they play. All 11 hustle; all 11 hit," Clark said.
He did not like how his teammates responded during the loss to New York, both mentally or physically.
"Last week was the first time we got our butts whipped," he said. "If I'm Seattle right now I'm licking my chops expecting to come to FedEx and blow this team out. For us this has to be the week we find out about ourselves. How do guys approach it?
"I work extremely hard and hopefully people see it doesn't change from week to week. If you change this week because of how last week went it means you weren't working hard before. We have to figure out ways to win and until we change the mentality, until we get a winner's mentality of, 'is what we have to do to be successful' and not, 'what do you have to do to avoid the trials,' then I think we'll become better."
The talk about players needing a wake-up call did not sit well at all with Clark, a guy who has taken one approach throughout his time in the NFL.
"You're a 3-13 team last year, you're a 1-2 team going into the Giants' game. That's personal," he said. "That's the way some people in this locker room looked at it. It was a terrible sense of entitlement. I can't make a man want it. I can't make a man understand how he's supposed to work or approach his game. All I can do is approach them all the same, like it's the last one I play."
Clark said Monday isn't just about trying to shut down Seattle's offense. It's about trying to show the other defense that they, too, can play well. The Redskins' defense started strong, but has allowed a combined seven plays of 20 yards or more the past two weeks. Though the offense put them in a bad spot with six turnovers, the Redskins' defense offered little resistance as the Giants turned those into 31 points.
"In Pittsburgh, when we played a team like Seattle, you stood up every time the defense was on the field," said Clark, a former Steeler. "You watched them and tried to outplay them. If this defense wants redemption, if this team wants redemption, we want to win on the scoreboard but we need to be the team that hustles hardest."