Unfortunately for Washington fans, the Redskins defense is like Santa Claus when it comes to handing out gifts like yards per game, yards per possession and points per game. That's not the way to win many football games, and so far this year, Washington hasn't, going only 3-5.
That's the kind of thing that would make a coach a mite frustrated, and Mike Shanahan is a man most definitely acquainted with the feeling of being frustrated.
"This is where normally football teams are taken over by their veterans," he told The Washington Post. "You can go one direction or the other. You expect these guys to play at a higher level, even with some inexperienced guys. You expect them to get the most out of these other players that may not have played at the highest level they can. It's either step up or shut up. And this is where you've got to get it done."
Getting a team to find a higher gear halfway through the season is a dicey and often unlikely proposition, and the appeal to shame and manhood doesn't work nearly as well in real life with professional football players as it does with doofuses in beer commercials. They've already got a pretty good idea of their own threshold, and Shanahan's going to have to amp up the volume, the threats or the incentive to get this crew to perform at the level he wants. Good luck with that, coach.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-