As soon as Reed Doughty arrived home from Dallas, just after midnight on Monday morning, he went straight to the television to watch a tape of the Redskins-Cowboys game at Texas Stadium.
This certainly wasn't entertainment. This was instruction.
Doughty knew he had a lot to improve on after he played a part in the Redskins yielding three second-half touchdowns to the Cowboys in a 28-23 loss at Texas Stadium.
"I wanted to see exactly what I did wrong, because I couldn't go to sleep without trying to figure out what I did," Doughty said. "I definitely made some mistakes. I did some good things, but I'm going to have to get a lot better if we're going to win some games."
Doughty finished the game with five tackles at free safety. It was his first NFL start after a season and a half of playing mostly on special teams.
With the Cowboys trailing 10-7 in the third quarter, Tony Romo and Terrell Owens targeted the Redskins' secondary with the deep passing game. This was expected. The Redskins were without Pro Bowler Sean Taylor, who has a knee injury.
The Redskins hoped to slow the Romo-to-Owens combo, but the duo took advantage of breakdowns in the Redskins' secondary in the second half.
Owens finished with touchdown catches of 31, 46 and 52 yards.
"A lot of the things that T.O. scored on were our mistakes," Doughty said. "He capitalized on them--that's what good players do. I don't think there's much we have to change, we just have to get better at what we're doing."
Chalk it up to a learning experience for the second-year player out of Northern Colorado.
"You have to learn from it," he said. "If you make those mistakes again, you're not being professional. This is what I do for a living.
"I examined the tape real close, and I even looked at the things I did really well. I have to look back at why I did things well, and why I didn't do other things well."
With Taylor expected to be sidelined again for this Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, Doughty is in line to draw another start at free safety, opposite LaRon Landry. Pierson Prioleau could draw the start depending on the defensive package.
The Buccaneers have a similar big-play wide receiver in 13-year veteran Joey Galloway that the Redskins' defensive backs will need to keep an eye on. Galloway played with Shawn Springs at Ohio State, so that familiarity should help the Redskins' defense.
Galloway has 40 catches for 711 yards, a 17.8 yards-per-catch average, and six touchdowns.
In the Redskins' game at Tampa Bay last year, Galloway had four catches for 64 yards including a 34-yard touchdown grab that provided the winning points in a 20-17 victory for the Bucs.
Ike Hilliard, an 11-year veteran, leads the Bucs with 47 catches, for 562 yards and one touchdown.
It is Galloway's speed that has Doughty's attention.
"He has great speed," Doughty said. "If you think you're deep enough on him, you're probably not. He can really run, and we'll have to be prepared for that."
Doughty, the Redskins' sixth-round draft pick in 2006, said he expects offenses to attack him until he can prove he can stop them consistently.
"They'd be stupid not to [attack him]," he said. "That's what I would do. Unless you stop something more than once, they'll keep coming back to it. That's what a good offense is going to do.
"They may not target a certain player on a defense, but if they see a play they like against a coverage they like, then they'll try to take advantage of it. I just have to be prepared for it, and be ready when the time comes."