September 15, 2011
Redskins Park



Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On safety LaRon Landry’s injury:
“Same thing [as yesterday]. He’s limited.”

On the injury status of linebacker Brian Orakpo:
“Same thing [as yesterday] – no change.”

On if he’s concerned Landry and Orakpo won’t be available against the Cardinals:
“We’ll just kind of play it by ear each day and see how they do. Any time that guys are limited, you’re not really sure until later on in the week and hopefully it gets better.”

On if Landry is the kind of player that can not practice fully and still play in a game:
“It’s possible with anybody, but you just have to see how much they can do and evaluate what they do when they are practicing. Any time guys are limited, you’re going to judge them throughout the week and kind of guess to see if somebody can last a whole game and see what they can do. You don’t want to set guys back. Right now, it’s too early.”

On if anyone else is limited:
“[Keyaron] Fox’s back is a little sore. He was limited today as well. I think he just went through a couple of periods.”

On Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“He has great concentration. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s elusive, he’s smart and he has all the things you look for. Most people double team him because he has that type of ability.”

On how comfortable he feels with linebacker Rob Jackson coming in for Orakpo:
“Rob has done a good job since he’s been here. He’s looking for an opportunity just like all guys on the second team. I’m sure if Rob starts that he’ll do a good job. He did a good job for us last year on the scout team and he’s becoming more comfortable with the defense. He played a few games last year toward the end and, when he did play, he played well.”

On if it’s easier going up against a 3-4 defense because that’s what the offense practices against:
“Any time you go against a 3-4 team, you go all the way through your reps in practice and that helps. It’s just the opposite when you play a four-man front. It always helps when you’re going against the type of defense that you’re seeing on a daily basis.”

On left tackle Trent Williams:
“He’s been consistent through most of the preseason games. He’s done a good job.”

On shotgun snaps being high against the Giants:
“You’re always trying to work on those snaps. I think Will [Montgomery] has done a pretty good job without really playing that position last year and coming in and putting a lot of pressure on him. There were a couple of snaps in there that were a little low or a little high. Rex [Grossman] did a pretty good job of handling them, but hopefully it gets a little better. He’s pretty consistent in practice… I think you saw it in the first game against Pittsburgh, a low snap and he got it and they ran an all-out blitz. Rex still had the ability to make the throw. These guys get used to it in practice. These guys aren’t always perfect in practice. When the quarterback is used to it, you can kind of feel it and you don’t even have to look at it sometimes. Rex has a few snaps under his belt.”

On tight end Chris Cooley’s playing time:
“Every day that he practices, he gets in better and better football shape. He missed a lot of weeks and you don’t want to overdo it. Chris is a competitor and he wants to get back as soon as he can. He’s getting all of the reps in practice or at least a lot of them.”


Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On the defense’s performance against the Giants:
“We did a lot of good things and we still have a lot of things we need to work on to get better. [I was] disappointed probably more than anything that we gave up a couple of big plays, which we didn’t need to. We didn’t tackle as crisp as we would have liked. We just have to keep working on things to make this better. As a whole, I thought we did a lot of good things also.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s play against the Giants:
“Obviously the big play [interception for a touchdown] was No. 1. Ryan’s going to be a work in progress. He has to work on his pass rush and we have to keep emphasizing that. I thought he did a nice job in the run game. I thought he did a good job on tight ends. All that was good, now we have to get him a little more polished on pass rushing. Everything else was excellent.”

On nose tackle Chris Neild’s play against the Giants:
“Chris played eight plays and had two sacks. That’s a pretty good percentage. He went the wrong way one time and got a sack. If he can do that all year, he’ll be pretty good.”

On the pressure from the defensive line against the Giants:
“They are good football players. Stephen [Bowen], Barry [Cofield] and Adam [Carriker] did a nice job. Kedric [Golston] did a good job when he was in there pushing the pocket. That’s one of the big [things we emphasize] this year, we want to make sure that we get a push up the middle and make sure that we have somebody in the quarterback’s face, which we didn’t do a very good job of last year. For the first game, I give us a good rating in that area.”

On the improvement in the pressure from the defensive line this year:
“Playing with a lead always helps in this league. You can turn it loose, especially a two-score lead. You have to have a lead where teams are going to throw the ball up. There are two sides to that because you usually give up a lot of yards because teams are trying to get back in it with the pass. We have enough things where if we get a lead like that then it’s fun for the players and you can turn them loose.”

On holding the Giants to 1-for-11 on third and fourth down:
“Guys just played well. You get them in long situations and you have an opportunity to win and we did a pretty good job in that area.”

On the team’s pass coverage against the Giants:
“[On the big play,] it’s not strictly one guy’s fault. We didn’t get a good rush that time, the quarterback stepped up in the pocket and the No. 1 thing we didn’t want Eli [Manning] to do is step up and throw the ball. We got too high as a defensive end, the tackles were washed, the quarterback stepped up and started running and he chucked it. Was it good coverage in the back end? Obviously we had some guys with bad eyes, but the main problem started up front. We let [Manning] step up and have the ability to throw. That was a five-second play to get it off… [The coverage] was good. Obviously, Reed [Doughty] took his eyes off the guy and tried to make a play, but we had three guys over the top of two. One guy broke out and the corner took him. One guy broke in and the nickel was ready to drive on it and they gave a little double move and went vertical. I know everybody has been killing Reed on the play, but it’s not all Reed’s fault because when you have that much time to throw a pass, you’re going to complete balls in this league. It started upfront. We didn’t get a good rush on the edge, we let him step up and he had a long time to throw so it’s a combination of things.”

On if tackling is an issue league-wide:
“I don’t think those guys throwing for 600 yards has that much to do with tackling. Everybody throws the ball and you work on it. We’re facing a good quarterback this week. There are a lot of great quarterbacks in the league. There’s more emphasis on throwing the ball and that’s why the numbers are up. I don’t think it has anything to do with tackling.”

On if offenses having success passing is becoming the norm:
“I hope not, but a lot of teams are throwing the ball. It’s just like running the ball. If you, as a team, commit to running the ball 35 times then they’re going to get 100 yards rushing. If someone is going to throw it 50 times, you’re going to get some yardage.”

On Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“Their whole offense is electrifying to be honest with you. I think [Kevin] Kolb’s done an excellent job. [Larry] Fitzgerald is a good receiver and they have great receivers. They upgraded at tight end and they have good running backs so this will be a great challenge for us because they do a lot of different things. They’re stressful in all of the different combinations they have, but we’re looking forward to it.”

On Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb:
“He has big play ability. He throws a nice ball and he can run. He can get out of the pocket and we have to make sure we do a good job of keeping him in check in that area because he’s the kind of guy that makes a lot of plays with his feet. They have a good nucleus of receivers, running backs and tight ends.”

On Fitzgerald:
“He’s excellent. He doesn’t panic. He can go up and get the deep ball. Balls are thrown in a tight window and he goes and gets it. He’s fast and he runs great routes. It’s fun to watch him on film. I don’t want to play against him, but he’s fun to watch on film.”

On Cardinals tight end Todd Heap:
“He’s a guy that can still run. He can still go get it and he’s a good receiver. That’s probably why he’s there, mostly because he can run and catch. He’ll do a great job running the routes and they don’t protect with him a lot, but just enough to keep you honest.”

On cornerback Josh Wilson playing the whole game despite not playing a lot in the preseason:
“After that first quarter, I was wondering if anybody was going to make it. I give our guys credit. Guys like Oshiomogho Atogwe and Josh didn’t have a full training camp and went out and played 60-some plays. We asked guys ‘if you need a break, then we’ll get you a break,’ but they wanted to play. They were having fun out there. I think the guys are on a mission and it’s a joy to be around them.”

On safety LaRon Landry’s playing status:
“I don’t know. He did some things yesterday and we’re hopeful, but that’s going to be a wait-and-see process.”

On if the play calling is different with Landry playing:
“I have the utmost confidence in Reed and Oshiomogho and they’ll execute the scheme. Reed had 10 tackles last week and he was outstanding in the run. We won’t change anything with the guys we have in.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On quarterback Rex Grossman’s performance last week:
“I thought he did a good job. He did what he needed to do for us to win. Protection went very well. I know he would have loved to have that fumble back. It was five plays that I thought he missed, but overall he did a good job.”

On the communication by the offensive lineman:
“I don’t know exactly what [the offensive line] said. It was one sack that we were hot on. Rex missed a hot read throw that he should have gotten rid of. Besides that, I just thought we got beat underneath on a couple of plays.”

On the team averaging 2.8 yards per carry:
“You always want to be able to stick with it. It’s always a challenge play calling and not getting enough yards that you want. In the NFL, that’s how it is. You just have to stick with it. We moved the chains pretty good and picked up first downs. Moving the chains allows you to switch things up. When you can do that, whether or not it works, it really helps the team out a lot.”

On the Giants’ defense last Sunday:
“It’s hard running on a defense like that when it consists of stopping the run. They also got some good players on the defensive side. I knew going in it was going to be tough running the ball. We had an opportunity on about five runs that were close enough for us to break a big run. If we can get that one guy down and use the opportunities we have, that can result in a big play for us. If you don’t get that big one, it’s going to look pretty bad at the end of the day.”

On running back Tim Hightower:
“I think Tim did a good job. The best thing he did was hold on to the ball. He had all those carries and held on to it while taking some hits. I know he was a little frustrated knowing he would have liked to get more carries than he had. That’s how the NFL is — some days are going to be more tougher than others.”

On quarterback Rex Grossman responding to the fumble:
“You’re always concerned. I have a lot of confidence in Rex. He was playing a hell of a game, although he had about two bad series in a row. It’s all about how you come back and respond and he did a good job. In the NFL, people are going to have bad plays. It’s all about how you respond.”

On the Arizona defense:
“I think they did a lot better than the numbers showed against them. The shortest third down opportunity the Panthers had was third-and-seven. I think the next one was third-and-nine. They had the Panthers in some long third downs.”

On tight end Fred Davis’s performance:
“I was excited for him, he deserved it. I think he put in work away from us. He came in in very good shape — you can tell he worked on his routes. He was confident in what we asked him to do. I’m just glad coverage’s got him the ball. He was able to show everyone else his improvement.”

On tight ends Fred Davis and Chris Cooley playing at the same time:
“It’s a big opportunity. A lot of teams do it. When you’ve got two tight ends that are both good in the pass game, and both of them can block, it gives you an advantage.”

On how Cooley influences Davis:
“They both help each other. It’s the same in almost every position. It’s always one other guy so you can spread it around. We don’t really force the ball to anybody. We try to get our quarterback to read coverage’s. The defense dictates who gets the ball. When you have a bunch of guys that can do everything you don’t have to isolate on one thing.”

On Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“I think Larry is just as good as anybody. He has one of the greatest hands I’ve seen.”

On the wide receiving unit:
“You always have an option with these guys. It’s plays when it’s always someone going deep, but it depends on what coverages is being shown. The quarterback is going to throw the ball regardless of who it is. You don’t want all the guys going deep, they have to be capable and I think all our guys are.”

On Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett:
“I played against him a few times. He’s very quick and very aggressive. He brings it every play and it’s going to be a long game with him.”

On tackle Trent Williams:
“He stepped up from last year. I thought he played hard. He had a couple bad plays in the second half which obviously showed up on TV. Overall. I think Trent did a good job. He’s not where we want him to be but I think he can be as good as anybody. He still needs to get better.”

On what Williams did well:
“We passed a lot more times in the game. I think he did a good job on every one of those. Guys are going to get beat all the time and hopefully the quarterback can get rid of the ball before that happens. Overall, Trent had a good game.”

On quarterbacks taking sacks:
“I think really good quarterbacks don’t take sacks, regardless of the offensive line situation. It can’t always be that case. It doesn’t mean you just throw it up and avoid taking a sack. When guys keep there eyes down field and watch the rush, it usually helps get rid of the football. When you max protect it’s only three guys down the field and it’s deeper routes. If you get guys out it’s always a guy open. You have to make quick decisions. You can not watch the rush.”

On managing Hightower’s carries:
“I don’t think too much on that aspect. We think more day-to-day on that situation. We just think about what we have to do to win the game. If it seems like he needs a blow we will make a decision to take him out. My mindset and most coaches don’t think about how many carries a guy is getting.”

On wide receivers Donté Stallworth and Leonard Hankerson being inactive:
“I thought it worked well. I think our group did well. It could be different every week and everything plays a factor on what packages we have. The guys we have on our team are on our team for a reason.”


(Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)