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Alfred Morris: 'We Know What It Takes'


Last year, the Washington Redskins hit a season low-point with a 13-21 loss to the Carolina Panthers that left the Redskins dead in the water at 3-6 limping into the team's bye week.

A season that had begun with so much excitement around the team's franchise quarterback was all of a sudden staring down the very real possibility of last place in the NFC East.

The season took a pivot against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12, a game that the Redskins dominated start to finish, torturing a young Nick Foles en route to the rout: 30-6.

From there, the Redskins took off, winning each of the final seven contests and surging to this first playoff berth in five seasons.

The relevant question becomes, can they do it again?

Fast-forward 366 days as the Washington Redskins will take the field vs. the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday, once again 3-6, once again needing that turning point to the season.

The odds are mathematically slim, just as they were last year. But when coaches and players believe anything is possible, why couldn't it happen again?

"We can't get down on ourselves. We know what it is going to take to get it done," running back Alfred Morris told the media, just moments after the team's Thursday Night loss. "We go out there each and every day and we have to take it game by game just like we did last year."

What that translates to is maximum effort for every opponent, bringing the playoff mentality to Week 12 and beyond.

This shouldn't be difficult, considering the team's season could be over with another loss.

"We just need to take a step back and we need to do a better job at the next game," Morris continued. "We will take it one game at a time and focus on each game."

Understanding that the team has overcome identical odds in the past is a rallying cry in the locker room this week as players seek to block out the distraction of disappointment.

"If anyone knows it can be done, it is us," cornerback Josh Wilson said. "We just got to get it together and go in the right direction.

"We understand what we need to do and get ready for the next game."

But not everyone needs last year as an inspiration, only proof that it can be done. This year is this year for every team in the league.

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was on the outside looking in last season, recovering from a torn pectoral muscle when the team went on its magical run.

Standing in the locker room at the Metrodome, he expressed his frustrations and let it be known that he was focused on 2013.

"We cannot rely on the past; I could care less what we did last year," he said. "I do not know who we play next, but this one will sting.

"We have a couple days off, and we have to come in here and play with our backs against the wall. This one hurts, but we will be alright. We will be fine."

At a time when analysts will dissect every word in search of tension and dissension, quarterback Robert Griffin III kept his message simple.

This is the ultimate gut-check. Again.

"If there are guys in our locker room that need something to believe in they can look at last year and see what we did," he said. "I think that everyone believes that this is these guy's jobs, and they do this for a living, but they also do it because they love the game.

"We have to make sure we don't lose that love sitting at 3-6 because that love helped us go on that 7-0 run last year."




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