Greg Blache was characteristically blunt about the Redskins' defensive performance in Sunday's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.
"It was like three-day-old fish," he said. "Not the best."
The remark drew laughter from the assembled media, but Blache was serious.
"We missed tackles," he said. "We missed some third-down conversions. We gave up some rushing yardage. We were pushed around. We did some things we weren't very proud of.
"We were glad to win the ball game, but by no stretch of the imagination was that a work of art. Their backups played just a little bit worse than our backups."
If anything, Blache's comments help set a standard for what he expects from his players.
The Redskins yielded 410 total yards--113 rushing and 297 passing--to the Colts. Most of those yards came in the first three quarters, when the Colts built a 16-9 lead.
The Redskins responded with three touchdowns in the final 20 minutes to win 30-16.
Blache was disappointed to see Indianapolis quarterback Quinn Gray complete a 47-yard pass and a 30-yard touchdown in the first half.
He was also unhappy that Colts rookie Mike Hart rushed for 53 yards on just four carries in the second half.
While Blache is blunt with the media, he admits he takes a "somewhat" softer approach when instructing players in team meetings.
"There are some young minds there that you don't want to ruin and scar for life," Blache said. "I was not as candid as I could have been, recognizing the sensitivity and the age of the audience."
Blache praised his pair of seventh-round draft picks, safety Chris Horton and defensive end Rob Jackson. Horton had two sacks and Jackson had one sack.
Blache also emphasized that Horton, Jackson and the other Redskins rookies have a long way to go.
"We always talk about playing time, and playing time is like a rope," he said. "Some guys use it to pull themselves up on a team, and some guys use it to hang themselves."
Regarding Horton, Blache said: "He has so much to learn--knowing how to fit in and knowing how to communicate and knowing how to handle adjustments. Rookies are fine and dandy, and I'm glad to see them progressing, but I don't fall in love with rookies."
Regarding Jackson, Blache said: "He had a couple of good plays. He had a couple of bad plays...The game is 60 minutes long. He has to learn to play the game more than just one or two plays, but all the plays, because they all count."
Blache did give good marks to second-year player Matt Sinclair, who started at middle linebacker.
It's the second time in two weeks that Blache has praised Sinclair.
"Matt was very solid," he said. "He handled the huddle and [the helmet communication] real well. I think Matt has had a solid camp so far. I like his competitiveness. He's a professional. He's taking care of his body and he's taking care of his study habits."
-- HORTON DOWN, MOORE UP
Chris Horton was absent from practice on Wednesday due to a stomach virus, Jim Zorn said.
"We are giving him a day of rest," Zorn said. "He is on antibiotics and he will play in [Saturday's] game."
With Horton sidelined for Wednesday's practices, coaches had an extended look at another rookie safety in Kareem Moore.
Moore, 5-11 and 213 pounds, has seen limited playing time this training camp as he recovers from off-season knee surgery.
Coaches like what they see in Moore, who is currently listed as the backup free safety behind LaRon Landry.
"Kareem Moore should play a little bit more," Greg Blache said. "He has done some good things in practice."
-- TAYLOR'S FEDEXFIELD DEBUT
Jason Taylor could play in Saturday's preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at FedExField, Jim Zorn said.
Taylor, acquired by the Redskins in a trade with the Miami Dolphins on July 20, will play against a familiar foe. He competed against the Bills twice a year in the AFC East from 1997-2007.
Taylor has 17 career sacks against Buffalo. He has sacked current Bills quarterback J.P. Losman twice.
"He has learned the system and he has had a few days off," Greg Blache said. "He has his legs back under him and he should be ready to go."