LANDOVER - Beyond the defeats, one of the larger questions surrounding the Washington Redskins after three dismal performances is whether coach Marty Schottenheimer has lost control of the team.
Though players reportedly have grumbled privately about Schottenheimer's perceived rigid system, no one was willing to grouse publicly about the coach after yesterday's 45-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.`The team has bought into it [the system]. The system is tough. The guys who have made it this far have apparently bought into the system. If you didn't buy into it, you wouldn't have made it," linebacker Shawn Barber said.
Indeed, Schottenheimer, who entered the season second behind Atlanta's Dan Reeves for most wins among active coaches, has exerted more authority over the Redskins than his predecessor, Norv Turner, down to placing alarms on the dormitory exit doors at training camp and assigning players to room with each other on the road.
But, for now, the players seem willing to go along with Schottenheimer. "I don't think it's a question of whether Marty's lost this team. It's not losing this team," linebacker Robert Jones said. "He's a guy where, when he sees something and he's done it and had success in that area before, then that's the way he wants to go.
"It's just like in life. If you've done it and you've had success doing whatever it is that you do, you're going to do it that way. You're not going to change it and do it some other way. You're going to do it the way you know how."
For their home opener, delayed from Sept. 16, the Redskins saluted local firefighters and police officers who took part in rescue operations at the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
The team also offered a moment of silence in memory of Cecilia Richard, 41, from Fort Washington, who worked in the accounting department at the Pentagon. She was an usher at FedEx Field.
The Naval Academy Men's Glee Club sang the national anthem and singer Lee Greenwood performed his song, "God Bless The U.S.A."
Barber, who had a Grade 1 sprain of his right knee ligaments, was the only Redskin to suffer a serious injury yesterday.
Barber left the game in the third quarter and will have a magnetic resonance imaging test this week.
Two Chiefs, quarterback Trent Green and running back Priest Holmes, made triumphant returns to the Baltimore-Washington area.
Green, who played four years here before going to St. Louis as an unrestricted free agent in 1999, was brilliant, throwing for 307 yards and three touchdowns.
Holmes, who spent the first four years of his career with the Ravens before signing with Kansas City in the off-season, ran for 147 yards on 23 carries, scored two touchdowns on the ground and caught a scoring pass from Green, his best day since running for 227 yards against Cincinnati in 1998.
"I said all along, Priest Holmes would run better if we let him carry the ball more," Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil said. "I think that's typical of most backs. You get to carry the ball more and get in the heat of the game."