Washington is a half-game out of a playoff spot, and yet somehow it feels like they’ve been eliminated for weeks. It’s a function of vibe: This is a miserable team to be on or around right now.
The latest and perhaps most succinct encapsulation of the mood in the locker room came on Tuesday night, as a private Instagram conversation between a fan and linebacker Mason Foster was leaked. Foster has clearly been frustrated, and clearly has reason to be, and it’s not really a huge secret to any party involved, but still: “Fuck this team and this fan base” is where this season’s at.
Great! Everything’s great. Foster, a team captain, avoided the locker room on Wednesday while it was open to media. But to a man, his teammates and coaches defended him, with head coach Jay Gruden saying he wouldn’t be disciplined for the comment, instead criticizing the fan who leaked the conversation.
RB Chris Thompson sympathized with Foster, saying players have been hearing it from fans both at games and on social media, and frankly it blows!
“You have a lot of people saying a lot of negative things about you, saying ‘you suck at your job’ and things like that, and they don’t understand how much work we really put in to go out there and try to perform your best,” he said. “You’re talking about somebody’s livelihood and things like that. How would you feel if somebody told you you’re bad at whatever it is you do and that ‘you suck.’ At some point you’re going to get upset. And I think he kind of got fed up.”
The Skins have lost four straight and five of six, and frustrations have been steadily mounting. LB Zach Brown criticized his coaches before quickly deleting the tweets. Cornerback Josh Norman called out the home fans, saying “they’re not really behind us.” Safety D.J. Swearinger really let the chopper sing, blasting the fans and his teammates and the coaches.
Oh hey, speaking of Zach Brown, he had stuff to say yesterday too:
“I think they’re going to stick with [what] they stick with. I’m just taking it how it is,” he said in an apparent reference to the coaches and front-office officials. “I’m just sitting here just doing what I’m supposed to be doing til it’s time for me to leave.”
Brown has two years left on his contract.
When asked if this meant that he wouldn’t be back next year, Brown smiled.
“You see the writing on the wall,” he replied.
The Skins play the Jaguars on Sunday, and I honestly don’t know which team has imploded worse. At least, for the Skins, it’ll be a road game.