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Sellers: Players were treated like “little kids”

Sellers: Players were treated like “little kids”

While Jim Zorn may need to be careful and tiptoe around saying anything critical about Joe Gibbs' coaching, it's apparent that at least one Washington Redskins player doesn't feel so restrained.

Last week, when talking about the differences between how things are going this year as opposed to recent seasons, fullback Mike Sellers said, "We don't have people watching us constantly and telling us what to do like we're little kids. He (Zorn) puts it on ourselves. We're being treated like men."

It's hard to figure out where to start with this one.

There isn't any context given in the quote, which I found on the Pro Football Weekly website (there's no permalink to the one-paragraph blurb, so it may scroll down off of this page over time).

I'll look at it on the assumption that he's referring to on-field matters. I don't think that Gibbs had "people" watching players in the lounge at Redskins Park or following them home.

So, they had "people" watching them while they did their jobs? Uh, isn't that, you know, why coaches get paid? Are Zorn and his staff not watching and correcting mistakes and refining technique? I doubt it.

The part about being treated like "little kids" under Gibbs while Zorn treats them like "grown men" is the real slap in the face to Coach Joe. Didn't Gibbs take Mike Sellers off of the scrap heap after he'd been out of the NFL for two years when nobody wanted him after some substance abuse problems? Didn't Gibbs go to great lengths to give Sellers a bigger role in the offense the last couple of years even though he rarely came through?

All that being said, it would be a mistake to write off Sellers' comments as those of some kind of ingrate. If you don't parse the words and look at the general feeling, there seemed to be some frustration at the performance of the coaching staff in general and Gibbs in particular.

While there is universal respect for Gibbs the man, especially after the strength he gave everyone in the wake of the murder of Sean Taylor, there apparently isn't such reverence for how he handled the mechanics of coaching the team.

Even in their better seasons—2005 and 2007—Gibbs' Redskins were maddeningly inconsistent. Both playoff teams had good starts, extended midseason losing streaks, and then hot finishes to scrape into Wild Card spots.

I have heard that Gibbs often had trouble keeping his herd of 20 assistant coaches on the same page. In particular, as much as they tried to minimize it and sweep it under the rug, there was always some tension between Gibbs and Al Saunders. It's been rumored that Gibbs took over the play calling when the Skins got into the Red Zone. At the very least, Gibbs would overrule Saunders on occasion in such situations.

And such situations certainly create confusion on the part of the players. They need to know who's in charge and what to expect.

Now, does that equate to being treated like "little kids"? It wouldn't seem like it. Gibbs went out of his way to get high-character players on his team, the kind of men you don't constantly have to watch.

Mike Sellers is an emotional type of player who doesn't always have that filter between the brain and the mouth activated. He may have been thinking about a particular incident or issue when the spoke of little kids vs. grown men. Or he may have articulated his general frustration in an odd way.

Or, maybe he should be taken literally and he really does believe that Gibbs treated his players like children.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see if other players make similar comments. I believe that Gibbs retired at least partly because he didn't think he was 100% up to the job any more. If that was the case, the players would be the first ones to notice it and we will see if others choose to talk about it.

Again, the Sellers quote was out of context, so take that into consideration when you evaluate it. However, it's hard to imagine any context in which it wouldn't be, to some degree, a potshot at a Hall of Fame coach.

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Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates: Score, stats, highlights, analysis, video

The Redskins and Cardinals highlight the Week 13 schedule with a showdown in the desert with heavy NFL playoff implications on the line.

If the Redskins (6-5-1) can score a victory over the Cardinals (4-6-1), the team can move closer to solidifying one of the top two Wild Card spots in the NFC playoff race.

Depite the Redskins' difficult Week 12 loss to the Cowboys, Kirk Cousins is playing the best football of his career as of late, and earned the NFC Player of the Month honors for his efforts.

While running back Robert Kelley did have a slip-up against the Cowboys, the team's run game still looks vastly improved from the early season, which allows the passing game to thrive even more. Jamison Crowder continues to impress, and although Jordan Reed will miss the Cardinals game with an injury, Vernon Daivs has proven to be an excellent option for Cousins.

The most entertaining matchup of Week 13 might be Redskins DB Josh Norman vs. Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, but the most important matchup will undoubtedly be the Redskins defensive line vs. Cardinals RB David Johnson. 

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS HEADING INTO WEEK 13

Johnson trails just DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott -- who finished with 83 yards and one TD in Week 12 -- in total rushing yards with 920 and trails just Elliott and Legarrett Blount in rushing touchdowns with 10. The Redskins rank 25th in rushing defense, and have given up an average of 108 rushing yards in their last five games.

Redskins vs. Cardinals kicks off at 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Dec. 4 on FOX. Redskins Kickoff gets things started at 3:00 p.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (Channel Finder)

CSN is providing all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from Redskins vs. Cardinals. Got a comment on the game? Be sure to let us know in the comment section and join Santana Moss and Sebastian Salazar at halftime for the Facebook Live Q&A.

RELATED: BEST & WORST REDSKINS ALTERNATE UNIFORMS

Redskins vs. Cardinals Live Updates

PREGAME:

10:30 AM: Game Preview: The five things you need to know before Redskins vs. Cardinals.

1. Keep it moving
2. Missing in action
3. Consider the source
4. Problems don't go away
5. Harder they fall

10:15 AM: Be sure to follow CSN Insiders J.P. Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ari. Also, give our CSN Redskins Twitter account too. Come for the analysis, stay for the dank memes.

10:00 AM: Welcome to CSNMA's live updates blog of Week 13 Redskins vs. Cardinals. As always, I am Troy Machir and today I will be your online guide to Redskins vs. Cardinals football in the painted desert of the southwest. If you have an issue with me, you can cuss me out on Twitter, 140 characters at a time. It's fun.

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Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Need to Know: Final look at Redskins-Cardinals—Bottling up David Johnson

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 4, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Redskins vs. Cardinals 4:25 pm

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 7; Panthers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 20

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Cardinals

—It needs to be a Ryan Kerrigan day if the Redskins are going to win. Or a Preston Smith day, something rarely seen this year. Or perhaps Arizonan Trent Murphy will get a couple of sacks for his friends and family. Carson Palmer has been ineffective this year because he has been under constant pressure. Washington needs to keep that up.

—It’s going to be interesting to see what happens with Josh Norman and Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals don’t just put Fitz into the slot as a wrinkle; they do it all the time. Norman isn’t comfortable covering in the slot but Joe Barry and Jay Gruden will be very uncomfortable if Fitzpatrick dominates Kendall Fuller. Maybe they will try to start off with Norman on the outside but they will adjust quickly. I know I’ve been back and forth on this all week but the Redskins will not use their base defense very often since the Cardinals like to spread the field so much. There will be no “standard” set for this game.

—The Redskins gain 6.4 yards per play, second in the NFL. The Cardinals allow 4.7 yards per game, first in the NFL. As usual, Washington may have to get their score into the upper 20’s to win. That might require a takeaway or a big special teams play.

—A lot of running backs would like to be in a “slump” like the one David Johnson is in now. After gaining at least 83 yards in five straight games, including going over 100  yards in three straight, Johnson has a combined 240 rushing yards in his last four games. Sixty yards per game is respectable but not dominant. The Redskins will gladly sign up for that going in but the Cards will want to get him going against Washington’s leaky rushing defense.

—I think the Redskins will be able to pressure Palmer but Johnson probably has a big day on tap. Unlike some other teams who have played the Redskins this year, if the Cardinals get a good running game going they won’t abandon it. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins’ offense will be slowed down but not shut down. My prediction, which I make with no hesitation but without much confidence:

Redskins 27, Cardinals 21

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