WASHINGTON (AP) The old-as-sports-itself debate over how hard to take a loss became Topic A with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, with first-year coach Jay Gruden saying he will look into the laughing and joking among some of his players following the team's latest defeat.
''I'm hoping that nobody was jovial after a loss,'' Gruden said.
Offensive captain Trent Williams and receiver Pierre Garcon were among players contributing to a surprisingly light atmosphere in parts of the locker room Monday night minutes after the Redskins fell 27-17 to the Seattle Seahawks.
Gruden didn't witness the scene - he was at his own news conference - but he got wind of it Tuesday. He said he had already discussed it with veteran safety Ryan Clark and will ''have to think long and hard how to approach'' the matter.
''Hopefully it was taken out of context or what have you, but I have no idea what it was like,'' Gruden said. ''If it was upbeat, it shouldn't be, and that is disappointing that it was because they played their hearts out. They played hard, I thought. We lost the game. No reason to be upbeat, though, whatsoever.''
Gruden said when he spoke to the players immediately after the game, they were ''exhausted'' and ''dejected'' and that he tried to ''bring `em up a little bit'' because they had improved from a 31-point blowout in the previous game.
That said, it was still a loss.
''When you do lose, you want people to be sick about it,'' Gruden said. ''And you want people to try to bounce back from it and move on to the next week and learn from their mistakes and make sure it doesn't happen again and not ever, ever be satisfied after a loss.''
It's well known, of course, that everyone handles losing differently. Gruden said the great players ''can't stand to lose'' and have that mantra in their DNA.
''For me,'' Gruden said, ''I haven't smiled since two days ago, I think.''
Gruden inherited a team that went 3-13 last season and has finished last in the NFC East in five of the last six years. If nothing else, they know losing, and the new coach has to make sure it hasn't become acceptable.
Part of the task is to have team leaders to self-police the locker room. The retirement of longtime captain London Fletcher at the end of last season has seemingly left a void.
''We have guys that have leadership qualities,'' Gruden said. ''We just haven't had that guy stand up and really take charge.''
This is the last thing Gruden needs. The Redskins are 1-4 and face a short practice week ahead of a long road trip to face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
''This season is starting to shrink down on us right before our eyes,'' he said. ''And we're at a point in time where if we don't flip the script, we'll be playing for nothing the rest of the season. ... Our sense of urgency has to be Code 1 right now.''
Notes: Gruden said LB Perry Riley (sprained knee) has the most serious injury from the game. Riley will have the knee re-examined Wednesday. ... Gruden said Robert Griffin III (dislocated ankle) will perhaps do some running and treadmill work this week but isn't ready to take part in practice. ''I don't envision that anytime soon,'' the coach said.
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