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Chris Cooley Explains Team Leadership is Still a Big Problem

Chris Cooley appeared today (as he does every week) on The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes. Bill Rohland filled in for Chad and this was as real and deflated as I've heard Chris in some time. He's always been a straight shooter, but you can almost hear the dejection in his voice. It's as if he's saying "I really can't stand this much losing. It f'n sucks and it's not getting better."

It's clear this team is making too many fundamentals mistakes to be where it needs to be. Any end in sight? It doesn't look like it for this year. LaVar asks Chris why himself and Fred Davis aren't targeted more...and again, it's the lack of breakdowns the game plan. To say the Redskins are a work in progress is misnomer. As Chris said, the yearly roster turnover has been a killer for leadership.   

On to the interview. LaVar brought up the lack of consistency with the offense and why the 2 biggest impact players for the Redskins, Cooley and Fred Davis, are not getting the ball more.

Cooley: "It's frustrating for me and Fred that we're not on the field all the time. Of course there's a game plan. I want to be targeted 15 times a game. I feel that I have the ability. I'm not going to complain...All I can do is go back to work and see what I could have done better."

Bill Rohland then asked why the 1st drive was so good but the rest of them so bad.

Cooley: "I'll be honest with you. It's what we discussed as a team. People aren't making plays. It doesn't come down to one comes to down to one or two different guys every play. I'm not saying at a certain position we're not good enough. It's different positions every play. We're not functioning as a team or a whole offense...I don't know if there was a play in the game everyone did what they were suppose to do. I'm not saying I was perfect because of course I was wrong...If we want to get better things have to change."

Lavar then asked if things can still improve with it being week 12 already.

Cooley: "Of course. Maybe it's leadership. Maybe it's team leadership. I would never say it's coaching. I've been so impressed with the how the coaching staff has prepared us. But as long as I've been a part of this team, there's been no consistency in leadership and consistent players being around. There's been turnover every year. Maybe put on me. Maybe I have to step forward and be the leader of this offense. People have to step up and hold each other accountable. There's been our problem year in and year out. There's been so much turnover...we haven't been around each other enough to be comfortable enough to do it."

"People lead differently. I'm not going to grab a player and tell him he's a dbag if he's only been here a year."

Bill and LaVar then asked if any guys currently play that "in your face" leadership role?

"Casey Rabach and London Fletcher...maybe. I feel less offended if it's a guy I've played with. Of course I've asked to be a leader of this team...I just feel...I'm not a vocal leader. I don't feel comfortable getting in someone's face."

Bill Rohland changed gears asking Cooley for his opinion on Carlos Rogers' slight cut on the Redskins fans base

Cooley: "It's interesting. Our fans have been so amazing to me. I don't ever feel like we're playing on the road. I feel like I'm disappointing them. We're 2-4 on the road, that's embarrassing. People go to the game because they care. People want us to win and we're not playing the way we should. The fans have been great to me. I'm not saying he's wrong. That's his opinion."

On if Chris ever hears it from Redskins fans on the sidelines.

"Oh yea. I dropped a ball and people were screaming at me that I can't catch. That's just the way it is. We have true fans."  

A lot of substance here. First, isn't McNabb suppose to be our leader? I really wish the guys would have asked Cooley about that because there's a lot of wrong assumptions I could make. #5 for sure brought some professionalism to the huddle, but is he aiding the growth and chemistry of our OLine, the RBs, and WRs? Doesn't sound like it.