LANDOVER, Md. – The Carolina Panthers were fired up before they even walked onto the turf at FedEx Field to take on the Redskins Sunday.
The Skins celebrated the team’s 80-year history by wearing throw-back uniforms representing the team’s apparel in 1937. The team also honored the “10 for 80″ group, who were announced at the Welcome Home Luncheon before the season started.
The newest players to be dubbed among the team’s best includes former Redskins LaVar Arrington, Bobby Beathard, Joe Bugel, Terry Hermeling, Jon Jansen, Roy Jefferson, Richie Petitbon, Clinton Portis, Chris Samuels and the late Sean Taylor.
Many other Redskins greats attended. They represented 1,024 combined seasons with the team, 80 Super Bowls, 43 members of the 80 Greatest Redskins, 21 members of the Redskins Ring of Fame and nine Pro Football Hall of Famers, according to the team.
All of this hoopla served as motivation for the 1-6 Panthers, who entered Fed Ex Field with a chip on their shoulders.
Running back DeAngelo Williams, who had a 30-yard touchdown run with 24 seconds left to play in the first quarter to give Carolina a 7-3 lead, said he felt slighted by the Redskins’ homecoming.
“I have to say this because it’s been bothering me all day and it will probably bother me for some time,” said Williams. “I got up this morning, I was feeling pretty good, I got my breakfast, got me something to drink, got on the bus, business as usual and then I get over here and pick up the Gameday program. And I look at the Gameday, it’s customary, and it says ‘Homecoming’,” Williams said.
“I’m thinking to myself, this is the National Football League. Are you serious? Homecoming? Homecoming. And it’s not like you tried to hide it, you blatantly put it on the front of the Gameday. You talk about someone who was fired up today,” he said.
Williams said once he saw the program, he showed it around the locker room to other players and his feeling was mutual.
“It was the whole team,” he said. “That was definitely motivating. You don’t say you’re going to have a homecoming in the National Football League. I mean, you do it in college and it’s just one of those teams who are terrible. You don’t book a good team for homecoming.”
Someone should have reminded Williams the Panthers were 1-6 coming into the game. Regardless, his point was well-taken, even if he was missing the point of the Redskins’ homecoming.
“You don’t give a team extra motivation by putting that on your program and blatantly coming out and saying you’re our homecoming game.”