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Woody on Spurriers Jedi mind tricks

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"Winning isn't everything it's the ONLY thing". V.L.

From the Richmond times:

Spurrier sees need to get minds right

Coach expects Skins to focus on winning



The Washington Redskins have a lot to learn about Steve Spurrier, and some of it has nothing to do with his offense.

Spurrier is a fierce competitor, unable to let any game, exhibition, regular-season, bowl or college all-star, go into the loss column if he can help it.

That's one reason the Redskins are undefeated this preseason.

But the players and front-office personnel also have to learn that Spurrier has a definite idea of how he wants things done, on and off the field when winning a game is the issue.

Spurrier was pleased to pull out a last-minute victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night. He was upset that the starting offense faltered, that the quarterbacks committed so many turnovers - five - and that the starting defense continues to give up big plays.

He'll try to take care of those things immediately.

But Spurrier also wants to work on the Redskins' attitude.

"We had some guys laughing and giggling on the sidelines," Spurrier said after the game. "I know guys do that in the NFL, but I don't like it."

What Spurrier doesn't like, he doesn't tolerate for long. Spurrier wants total concentration from the players in practices and games. He expects nothing less from himself.

Spurrier arrived with the reputation of being a "laid back" coach. The Redskins have found out he is far from that. He enjoys life, likes making jokes and tried to lighten up the sometimes tedious routine of training camp.

In exchange for that, Spurrier wants the players' complete concentration before and during games. Business is no laughing matter.

Some players were surprised to learn that attendance is required at the team meal the night before a road game. In the past, players had the option of dining out with friends.

Spurrier's theory is that there are only 20 pregame nights each season and that the players need to be together and thinking about their duties then.

He has the same feeling about sideline behavior during preseason games. If the score is being recorded, Spurrier expects everyone to push to win. Spurrier coaches every play and every player until the end of the game. He cares just as much about the success of the third-string players as he does the starters. And he believes that if he's giving that kind of effort and that kind of support to players, their teammates can do the same.

Spurrier had no trouble getting that across in a college setting. His challenge now is to make that point in a pro setting.

AND FURTHERMORE: The Redskins escaped Sunday's game with few serious injury problems. A concussion to backup guard Alex Sulfsted appears to be the most severe problem. . . . With defensive tackle Daryl Gardener out because of back spasms, the Redskins opted to start Carl Powell. Powell has spent almost the entire preseason working at defensive end. He filled in while Bruce Smith recovered from knee surgery. Playing Powell is an indication the team is concerned about the effectiveness of Donovan Arp and Del Cowsette, the backups for Gardener.

Contact Paul Woody at (804) 649-644 or pwoody@timesdispatch.com

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Playing Powell is an indication the team is concerned about the effectiveness of Donovan Arp and Del Cowsette, the backups for Gardener.

I hope this is not true. I was really hopign that Arp could do well inside. I remember hearing positive things about him in camp. I know he's not the biggest lineman out there, but he is bigger than Powell. Its not that I'm worried about Powell because I figure he can be a good lineman, but I dont like starting guys on our DL who are smaller than some of our LB's.

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