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Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger swing between silent and opinionated following Redskins' fourth consecutive loss

Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger swing between silent and opinionated following Redskins' fourth consecutive loss

FEDEX FIELD -- The New York Giants didn’t just clobber the Washington Redskins 40-16. They briefly silenced Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger. 

The talkative defensive backs separately passed on answering questions in the postgame locker room, a combination of events as rare as Washington trailing by 40 points at home. 

They didn't remain quiet for long. Stinging opinions eventually followed on what went down during their most lopsided setbacks in recent memory, and the Redskins’ four-game losing streak.

Both declined to comment to similar questions about the Redskins’ readiness entering a pivotal late-season contest.

In response to a query over whether he felt the team was ready to go at kickoff, Norman offered a “Next question."

The first question to Swearinger, a frequent critic of the team’s practice habits during his two seasons with the team, focused on comments moments earlier from his head coach. During his press conference, Jay Gruden said Sunday’s result was not indicative of the team’s week of practice.

After brief and silent contemplation, Swearinger answered, “No comment.”

Two of the league's greatest quotes passing on answering questions. The universe now officially makes no sense. 

The situation didn’t silence all of their takes.

The second question to Swearinger involved what’s gone wrong for the defense in recent weeks after a strong start to the season. "We just didn't execute. We just didn’t execute. We didn't get the job done. That's the answer they want me to give."

Norman, on what went wrong in the game: “Everything.”

Swearinger, on what changes are needed defensively. “I’ve been saying that for two years, man. Obviously, they didn’t listen. I can’t tell you what needs to change. I’m not the coach.”

Norman, on where he thought the game went off the rails: “You saw the game,” he responded.

Swearinger on whether he felt the game slip away in the first quarter when New York opened the scoring with an interception return for a touchdown: “Somewhat, somewhat, somewhat, but as a defender, you have to try to stop them, and we didn’t do a good job.”

Both players were part of a defense that surrendered three touchdown passes in the loss. Norman was also asked about the team’s mindset following the defeat. “We got took behind the barn like my grandma would do,” Norman said. “Had one of those big, thick paddles and got put to the backside pretty good.”

It’s understandable that the current slide, one that dropped Washington from 6-3 and a two-game lead in the NFC East to a losing record four weeks later, left the defensive leaders flummoxed.   

Washington’s run defense ranked among the league’s best through seven weeks, allowing an average of 70.7 yards on the ground. Only two opponents topped 100 yards in a single game. Over the next six games, the Redskins allowed each team to reach the century mark for an average of 150 rush yards.

“Can’t say it’s the players,” Swearinger said on the topic of the plummeting run defense. “We’re the same players. We’re the same guys. We’ve put in the same work. We’re practicing hard. I’m speaking for my (fellow defensive) players. We’re practicing hard. … I can’t give you no answers to that because I’m not the coach, but I know we’re trying to do what we need to do on defense as players. We’re trying. We’re trying hard.”

Through the frustration, both proud players passed on declaring the season over despite the dire projections with three games remaining and the losses piling up.

Josh Johnson, signed by the Redskins Wednesday, played in the second half Sunday and will start next week at Jacksonville. The Redskins then face Tennessee before a Week 17 home finale against Philadelphia. They likely must win all three games for any hopes of a playoff berth.

Swearinger admitted it’s not easy remaining positive, but he had no intention of flipping to the dark side.

“I’m going to keep grinding,” Swearinger said. “I’m blessed to play football. I’m blessed to be a Washington Redskin. I’m going to approach this thing like a pro. Positive attitude, Get ready to beat Jacksonville if we can.”

Staying mentally positive is one thing. Flipping the momentum that way is quite another.

“Hell I don’t know,” Norman said. “Come to work Monday and find out. It sucks. Trying to keep my emotions intact. I really am.”

Like Swearinger, Norman has no intention of folding with games remaining.

“We fight. We’re warriors. We go out there, and we try to win, try to put ourselves in position to be successful,” Norman said. “Sometimes it just doesn’t work out in our favor. That’s the cards we’ve been dealt right now. Got to play it and hopefully, we’ll catch a full house one of these times.”

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Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden reportedly to join Jaguars as their offensive coordinator

Just four months shy of his last appearance on the NFL gridiron sidelines, Jay Gruden may already have his 2020 gig lined up, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero.

Gruden was head coach of the Washington Redskins for six seasons, beginning in 2014 and going 35-49-1 in his burgundy and gold tenure. Gruden pushed the Redskins to their first postseason appearance since 2012 in his second year with the team, as well as back-to-back winning seasons in 2015 and 2016, not seen in Washington since 1996 and 1997. 

In March 2017, Gruden signed a two-year extension with the Redskins. He was fired after beginning the 2019 season 0-5. 

Recently, Gruden confirmed to Rapoport that he was "itching for something to do" and seeking employment before Jacksonville brought him in to interview for the OC role. 

After playing four years at the University of Louisville and and eight more in various football leagues, Gruden held many offensive roles, offensive coordinator for the Florida Tuskers and Cincinnati Bengals. 

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Joe Gibbs told Ron Rivera that Dan Snyder was never 'an interference' while he coached the Redskins

Joe Gibbs told Ron Rivera that Dan Snyder was never 'an interference' while he coached the Redskins

New Redskins head coach Ron Rivera did plenty of research before accepting the job earlier this month.

Rivera spent 30-35 hours with Redskins owner Dan Snyder before agreeing to be the ninth head coach of the owner's tenure. Additionally, he reached out to legendary Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs, and ended up spending several hours talking with him prior to accepting the job. The two originally spoke on the phone, before the three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach invited Rivera over to his home in Charlotte last month to discuss even further.

On Tuesday, Gibbs spoke on the Carol Maloney show, where he revealed some of the topics he spoke with Rivera about. One of those included the involvement of Snyder, who Gibbs spoke glowingly about.

"Where I felt like I could help the most was telling [Rivera] what it was like working with Dan," Gibbs said. "When I was there, Dan did every single thing he could do to help us win and was never, in any way, an interference. He was always trying to help in every single way he could."

Additionally, Gibbs raved about the Redskins fanbase. He explained to Rivera that fans in D.C. understand football, have been following the team forever, and are some of the most passionate in the sport.

"The other thing I could do, I felt like, was tell him about what it's like coaching in the greatest city in the world with the greatest fans in the world," Gibbs said. "I did tell him I thought it was the greatest job in the NFL."

Gibbs told Maloney that he hates making predictions, but had a strong one about the future of the Redskins fanbase.

"I think our fan base will come roaring back," Gibbs said. "I think [FedEx Field] will be full of Burgundy and Gold. They're going to be cheering their guts out."

When asked if he believed Rivera was the right man to lead the Redskins, Gibbs explained he was thrilled by the hire.

"He was certainly a great choice," Gibbs said. "[He was] Coach of the Year twice, put a team into the Super Bowl. And I think he's kind of a man's man. I think he can talk to the players. And I think he's proven that he can get the job done."

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