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A long season

Part of my job as a defensive captain and veteran presence in the locker room is to make sure morale is high and lead by example. So with our record standing at 0-2 right now, I think it's really important that we keep things in perspective.

I've been on 0-2 teams before, like last year in Baltimore, and the thing about it is you can't make it bigger than it actually is. Yeah, we're 0-2, but we played two really good teams and we're still only two games into the season. There's plenty of time to turn it around. We just have to keep trudging forward and not lose sight of the fact that 14 games remain and we're still in control of our destiny.

The most important thing is just sticking together as a team. You don't want to splinter, point fingers, and say, 'Oh, it's not me.' And the good thing is that I don't see it happening here. We have a high character team and we're still working hard. We just have to get this first win to start building some momentum. Everyone still believes we can get this ship turned around in the right direction.

In order to do that, though, I truly believe that we have to begin on defense. The biggest issue that stands out in my mind on defense is our inability to get off the field on third down. We've been able to force teams into third down situations. Even on third-and-longs, either we haven't been able to get pressure or there was a mistake in coverage, and we give up that big play. So if we can limit third down conversions, I think we'll be a lot better.

The Redskins won't lie down for us. Looking at film this week, we can see that they have a very physical offense and they have three good running backs in Clinton Portis, T.J. Duckett and even LaDell Betts. I think the biggest emphasis this week should just be on stopping their run. That's going to be something they're going to try to establish, and we have to stand our ground.

I saw on the news that Portis is healthy and want to play full throttle after recovering from a shoulder injury. He's one of the top backs in this league. He's very explosive, especially in the open field. And it's our job up front to not let him get into the open field, to keep him off the safeties and to keep him to three, four yards a carry at the most.

Coming off the loss in Indianapolis, one thing really resonates in my mind. Their crowd was tremendous and really helped the Colts on defense. It goes back to what I talked about getting off the field on third down. You guys can help us a tremendous amount this Sunday, especially on third-and-long situations, when the quarterback is trying to audible. If you guys get loud, it's going to make Mark Brunell's job that much mroe difficult and it might even make him use a timeout. So I think the 12 th man can be a huge help to us and we're counting on you guys to be loud. I'll see you out there.

Take care,



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