Five Questions with: Sam Shade

Strong safety Sam Shade has played for four different coaches in Washington. But his presence at least has provided the Redskins with a modicum of stability. And his play against the run has been a big factor in the team's improvement in that category. Shade has seen a lot in his four seasons in Washington. One thing he won't do is blame coaches for the team's shortcomings.

Q: What's your sense of this team?

A: I've got a good feeling about it.

Q: Why?

A: We got a lot of good work in. I can see everyone's progress and that's evident when you put the tape on. It just seems like everyone's going in the right direction.

Q: Is there a different atmosphere and does that make a difference?

A: There is a different atmosphere but I can't say whether that makes the difference. But it's certainly different.

Q: Is the atmosphere better because of the change in coaches?

A: I've been around it so much where you get a new coach in and everyone's talking about it being so much better. But the bottom line is results. If you don't get the results then it doesn't matter. I've never been one to say this is so much better or to knock the guy that left. I've never been that guy. The coaches can't go out there with the players. It's our 11 against their 11 and I can't knock someone else's system whether it's Marty or Norv. You put the tape on and you know what guys know what to do. If they don't do it then you won't be successful.

Q: What are you most anxious to see?

A: Defensively we've got a real good scheme. I like what we're doing on defense. It'll be fun once we get to the preseason games to see how others react.

Q: Most of the changes in the scheme involve the front seven, but what do you like of what you've seen for yourself?

A: It's not that much different but there are things we'll do to try and take advantage of what people do on offense. Everyone in this league does a lot of the same thing. But we're trying to do things to capitalize on what the offense is doing. I'm anxious to see how it all plays out.

John Keim covers the Redskins for The Journal Newspapers, and Pro Football Weekly.

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