Chris Russell: Swearinger comments signal 'massive problem' for Redskins

Chris Lingebach
November 26, 2018 - 10:06 pm

D.J. Swearinger continuing to question the Redskins' preparation is indicative of a "massive problem" inside their locker room, Chris Russell says.

In an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant & Danny on Monday, the Redskins safety – just as he had on multiple occasions in 2017 – pointed to the atmosphere at Redskins Park during late-week practices as being problematic, saying it leaves the team open to ill-preparation heading into games.

"I just feel like when we're in certain preparations – when it's Friday, when it's Saturday, when it's time to lock in and really be focused in – I feel like it's a little bit too much playing (around)," Swearinger said. "Whether it's on Friday or whether it's the Saturday walk-through. A lot of guys just walk through that Saturday as if that Saturday doesn't mean much. But truth be told, that Saturday means a lot."

Russell has often maligned Jay Gruden with the self-ascribed pejorative 'Club Jay,' which he uses to describe the lax environment he believes Gruden has created at Redskins Park. Russell again took up this Club Jay cause in light of Swearinger's comments on Monday.

"What I do care about is this notion that D.J. Swearinger keeps perpetuating," Russell told his 106.7 The Fan co-host Earl Forcey. "This feeling that the Redskins are not working hard enough at their own facility!"

"It's what he did last year," Forcey noted. "Same basic comments that he made late last year and early this season."

"And guess what," Russell said. "He did it again today with Grant & Danny!"

Russell then directed his audience to listen to Swearinger's comments, "because I've been talking about this, like, fake, made-up Club Jay thing for the last couple of years. Guess what! D.J. Swearinger's gonna tell you that Club Jay is not only real, but it's an operation, baby! And it's the most popular damn club in Washington, D.C.! Listen to this!"

After playing the Swearinger soundbite, Russell returned by saying, "Listen to that! You have the defensive-freaking-captain of the team! The unquestioned leader of the Washington Redskins defense! Right? The verbal leader. The emotional leader. One of, if not their best players this year, right?"

Russell called upon a current event – the NCAA's Minnesota Golden Gophers beating Wisconsin on Saturday, to claim Paul Bunyan's Axe for the first time in 15 years – to make his next observation.

"You had D.J. Swearinger taking the Paul Bunyan Axe and basically dropping it down, not only on the coaching staff, not only on Club Jay, but on his teammates," Russell shouted. "Saying on Saturdays in walk-throughs, before home games, before they leave for road games. And he threw in, oh, by the way, on Fridays as well!"

"What is going on here?" Russell wondered. "I mean we talk about the quarterback. You have a team that is right now getting called out repeatedly by one of their own."

"No one cares about it if you're winning games. I mean that's the bottom line," Forcey said. "And when you're not, this is a culture change thing. Now supposedly, and quite rightfully so, you think over these last couple years they've kind of weeded out some of the problems maybe in the locker room on the team."

"Have they?" Russell interjected.

"Maybe not, though. Maybe not all of them," Forcey said. "And that's the thing. Look, it's obvious. Two things. You're right. Number one, he feels he has to speak up and go public with it because, it's apparent to me, he's thinking that the coaches aren't taking care of things. Number two, he's calling out cryptically some or many players. And the question is who is getting called out? No one knows for sure. But yes, he's put the onus on certain guys. And the players on the team know who they are, the guys who are doing it or being called out."

"It's a massive problem. This isn't emotionally 30 minutes after a game, when you're spent and you're exhausted," Russell said. "This is four days later! D.J. Swearinger has been stuffed like a turkey, if he's like every other American over the last three days. He's had four days to think about this, and he still came out firing cannons on this radio station! Because it's true!"

"The Redskins have a cream cheese, soft-as-vanilla-ice cream on a hot 95 summer Sunday type of mentality," Russell went on to say.

Asked how Gruden can ratchet up accountability in-season, Russell closed with this thought: "Increase the intensity. Increase the tempo. Please! No more stupid DJs at practice! No more ping-pong tables! Throw the damn thing in the hot sauna! Get rid of it!"

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