November 7, 2018

QB Alex Smith

On if the offense will change with three players going on IR:
"I don’t know about change. Certainly, I think you're smart. You're on a shorter week as we go. I think moving forward though, you hope to obviously, yeah, operate similarly. I think as an offense collectively, yeah. I don’t think you look to all of the sudden become something different. The goal I think is next guys up. They have to roll. We all have to step up, not just on that person. I think that's more the mentality."

On if there is a fine line between stepping up and forcing chemistry:
"Yeah, of course, I think a lot of it just comes in your preparation, the attention-to-detail. Some of that stuff is on the coaches as they put the plan together. I think you're smart. Those things will change week to week as they always do based on matchups and who we're going against and schemes and things. I think based off last week anyway and just where we're at, I don’t think things would have changed anyway. There still is that attention-to-detail. There still is trying to get to where we want to be collectively as a group. And I still think it's about, like I said, stacking a great week of preparation this week, days together and then obviously going out on Sunday and executing at a high level."

On challenges of getting the new players on the same page as the rest of the offense:
"Yeah, the big thing I think is on the road, crowd noise, against a good D-line. I think those things, all the calls, all the communication that has to take place – run, pass, third down. All the different looks, the thousands and thousands of reps that we've had, you try to condense into a few days to get ready. I think communication is a key. There's going to be a lot of times its nonverbal communication there on the road, loud. You have to be able to…everybody be on the same page, locked in, even though you can't hear. So, I think that kind of makes it even tougher, then once again, going against a good D-line [there is] even more of an emphasis on it."

On if he feels he is improving week to week:
"Yeah, it's a fine line because you do live so week to week in this business that sometimes it's hard to see trends overall. I do think definitely from looking back to the start of the season, where we are, just the things we've been through situationally, I think that we have grown a ton in a good way. But like I said, week to week the highs and lows are so big. I think you do the best you can not to ride that roller coaster so to speak, try not to. Try to come in even-keeled – go about your business every day – continue working for that end goal obviously with the focus weekly on winning."

On if he thinks he played his best game as a Redskin last Sunday:
"I think there were some good things to definitely build on that we did in the pass game. I certainly felt really comfortable back there with a lot of things that we were doing. I think, yeah, there are some things to take from that, that hopefully we can build moving forward. I think that's what you try to do with that. Certainly, you learn from the mistakes and things you did wrong individually and as a group. But yeah, I do think there was plenty to build on for sure."

On judging the offenses progression week to week:
"Yeah, it's tough because scheme-wise or the team you're playing, they can be so different week to week. Some weeks you play teams that play nothing but zone and three deep. Then the next week, you play a man team. They could be built completely different from a personnel standpoint whether it be, back end, front end, things like that. I think those things are obviously all fluid and that's the chess match every week that we're trying to win but I just think all those things make up our offense. All those tools you have make up our offense and they all are a part of this as we move through the season, because obviously you want to be playing your best ball come the end of the year and you want to be able to perform in all those areas. You want to be able to execute versus everything. You don't want to ever be one-dimensional, let a defense take away something. You want to be, I think, really balanced, be able to counter everything you're getting."

On if he feels extra pressure as quarterback:
"No. I think if anything there's more of an emphasis on just doing your job. I think that's what this is about. I have to be accountable. I have to hold up my end. There's certainly no making up for anything. I think you can get into trouble trying to do that. No, I mean I have to do my job better, a little better. I think if everybody kind of takes that mentality, we'll be alright."

On if there are more opportunities for big plays:
"Yeah, I mean I think you'd love to… I think you look at percentages; this is across the NFL, I think historically to march it… without chunks your scoring probably goes down. I think any time you add a chunk play into a drive; your chances of scoring greatly increase. It's tough against any defense in this league to march it. I mean I think we had some great examples of that in the last few weeks. I think anytime we've gotten off schedule with a penalty, with a sack, with a negative play, those are things that are hard to overcome. I think chunk plays allow you to sometimes bypass that a little bit. All the sudden you add a chunk play and depending on where you started, all the sudden you're on the edge of field goal, you're in the red zone – you're in striking distance. That mentality definitely changes. So, you'd love to have that. They come in a lot of different ways. Like you said, sometimes you actually have to chunk it down field, sometimes they are catch and runs, sometimes it's a blocking on the second level in run plays breaking open, so, a lot of ways to get those. "

On staying ahead against a team that starts fast:
"I think so, yeah. Not to dwell on the last game… I mean we have learned our lessons with that as a team, especially offensively. We've got to go out and do our job and execute and we can't have the negative plays. You just can't. It's too hard to overcome against good football teams, so it's important to go out and get in a rhythm early."

On if he feels the team is in danger experiencing an early deficit:
"No, I don’t think so. It's not something, I think that stat you got, I think you guys are more aware of those probably than us. I don’t think we are probably even aware, certainly I mean we realize the games we've gotten down a few scores and those are a tall task in this league anyway. But, certainly we have been in a lot of games that have been back and forth and come down to the wire so I think those are almost even more beneficial. I think being in those big situations, finding a way to win, whatever side of it you are on, whether it is offense four minute, whether it be two minute situations when you have to score to take a lead, whether it be defense out there in either of those situations. I think those are things you continue to bank and we've been in those situations and they'll only help us moving forward."

On how speed in skill positions changes an offense and a quarterback's job:
"Not only is there a chess matchup of scheme and how those matchup and certainly from a personnel standpoint as well. Speed is a factor in that and in any matchup, especially on the edge at the skill positions. Speed is a factor, whether it is running across the field, whether it is running down the field. It's always a factor in any offense as far as a matchup goes for sure."

On changing strategy with guys who can create separation versus those who have to fight for it:
"I think that just changes in your week to prep based off all those matchups as you analyze them. If they're doing this against this guy, how does this matchup work? If maybe this guy changes a little bit your thought process and those changes on different routes. For something down the field, something that maybe lends itself to a bigger, physical guy. Those things all change depending on the route and the matchup."

On his emotional response to losing three offensive starters:
"I thought that maybe was one of the things that we could build off coming out of that game. I didn’t think anybody blinked twice. You certainly hate to see those guys go down with injuries and during the game you are hoping for the best. But I thought guys, as far as young bucks stepping up, guys moving around, and the shuffle that has to take place up front, really a credit to those guys up front. Being prepared as a unit to be able to handle that, I thought to be able to handle all that stuff, the plays that we continue to play, to be able to have virtually all the game plan still at our disposal despite those injuries is really a credit to those guys up front."



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