LANDOVER, Md. -- The messages weren’t profound, but the meeting itself might prove to be. The night before the Washington Redskins hosted the New York Giants, safety Dashon Goldson called a players-only meeting.
He wanted to voice some thoughts and concerns -- and he wanted others to do the same. So they did. A number of players spoke and, they said, got their points across. Left tackle Trent Williams said it was the first such meeting of the season.
“It was much needed,” Goldson said.
His message centered on being confident in who they have in the locker room and what they can do.
“We’ve got the talent here, it was a mindset for us to click today and we all played together. We played as a team," he said. "My message was to come together and play good in all phases and put aside any personal things you’ve got. As long as we’re on the field together we have to hit that switch, and we did that.”
They certainly did, ending a five-game losing streak to the Giants with a 20-14 victory. The Redskins have been inconsistent, with strong showings at home and poor ones on the road. They’ll still have to address their road woes later, but for now they needed to find an answer to beat a team that had its number.
An airing of players’ comments, or grievances, helped in that regard.
“It had to be said,” Redskins end Ricky Jean Francois said. “Just telling everybody that we have the players on the team, now we have to play like we have the players. We don’t need the big names that most teams carry. All we need is the heart of a Redskin, just go out there and play ball, execute your assignment. If you do your job, all the other guys will do the same. When one person doesn’t do their job, that’s when you always see that someone messes up and it’s always a touchdown or a turnover. Everyone was on the same accord.”
Williams, the Redskins’ offensive captain, was among those who addressed the team. He wanted to keep his message private, but he liked the chance to speak in a group setting.
“It’s healthy for the team, healthy to have an open discussion and let guys air out what everybody’s feeling and have everybody get on the same page,” Williams said. “We were focused and I could feel the energy in the room.”
Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon boiled down the message to a few words: "Stop losing. Bring energy. Bring effort. Everyone has to bring their effort. We saw it today and it worked out well for us.”
But the Redskins still have five games and there are only so many times you can hold a players-only meeting. That message must linger.
“Not only for [now]," Jean Francois said, "but I hope it sinks in the rest of the season.”