Swearinger: Colt McCoy has 'killer instinct' Redskins need

Chris Lingebach
November 19, 2018 - 12:26 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

After losing Alex Smith to a gruesome leg injury, the Redskins are ready for the next man up.

That next man is Colt McCoy, who, in his first game action since a Jan. 2016 win over Dallas, completed six of 12 passes for 54 yards and a touchdown against the Texans, to give the Redskins a chance in a 23-21 loss on Sunday.

Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger outlined the philosophical differences in how McCoy and Smith run the offense, saying Monday he hopes the former can "take some of those shots downfield that I think we've been needing."

"We know that Colt is gonna take some chances," Swearinger told 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. "He's been in the offense longer than Alex. He understands the ins and out of this offense. Colt is a gunslinger. He's gonna run the ball. He has a different attitude, you know."

"I'm not saying that Alex doesn't have the killer instinct attitude," he said. "But (Colt) wants to throw the ball and he wants to make plays. That's what he wants to do. You can feel that from him. That's the type of guy that he is. Even in practice and scout team, he wants to score on us. Any time we practice against Colt, he wants to score on us and that's the killer instinct that he has and that's something we need on offense."

If McCoy has more of a gunslinger mentality than Smith, the understanding is that with the potential for more offensive production comes a greater opportunity for turning the ball over.

"You just kind of alluded to this," Paulsen said. "There weren't many downfield shots (under Smith). The passing game wasn't operating at a high level necessarily. Is there any chance maybe that, yeah, there's a couple plays here or there McCoy makes that he'll want back that Smith wouldn't have made negatively, but that because there are more shots, maybe they get more (pass interference calls), they get more deep plays, maybe more explosive plays. Where the offense actually starts scoring more points."

"Yeah. Hopefully that can be the case," Swearinger said. "You know, Alex was a great guy. He's the ultimate game manager when you talk about turning the ball over. But that wasn't the case yesterday."

Before Smith's third-quarter injury, he had completed just 44 percent of his passes for 135 yards and two interceptions, one of which was a pick-six Smith threw in the Redskins end zone that was returned 101 yards for a Texans touchdown.

"Hopefully this week Colt can take care of the ball and he also can, like I said, take some of those shots downfield that I think we've been needing," Swearinger said. "If we've got big receivers, why not throw the ball downfield and give those guys a chance? Hopefully it'll be a good thing for the team.

"You never want to see your quarterback go down, but the next man up. You want to bring the next man up and give the next man up as much confidence as we can give him, and I'm all for it, man. I'm all for Colt. You know, let me see him sling it. "

Swearinger said returning to game play after such a devastating injury is easier said than done, but "as pros, this league is a next man up business."

"That's how I got my opportunity to be in this position, from injury," he said. "This is the next man up mentality. I think Colt has been waiting for a long time for this. This team has a lot of confidence in Colt and we're ready to move forward. We're ready to get the win on Thursday and move forward."

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