Skins Post-Game Notes & Quotes


Game Notes: Washington Redskins vs. Arizona Cardinals

Sept. 18, 2011
FedExField

• The Redskins defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 22-21, at FedExField on Sunday.

• Attendance for the game was 76,330. The game was the Redskins’ 362nd consecutive sellout, including preseason, regular season and playoffs. All 142 regular season, postseason and preseason games at FedExField have been sellouts.

• The Redskins are now 8-1 against the Cardinals at FedExField.

• The Redskins have opened the season with a 2-0 record for the first time since 2007.

• Prior to 2011, the Redskins had started seasons 2-0 a total of 15 times, including 11 since the NFL merger. The team has qualified for the playoffs 10 times when starting 2-0 and reached the Super Bowl three times, winning two (XVII following 1982 season, XXVI following 1991 season).

• With the win, Mike Shanahan remains undefeated against the Cardinals as a head coach. Shanahan is now 5-0 against the Cardinals.

• Shanahan earned his 162nd overall victory as a head coach, surpassing Bill Cowher for 15th most in NFL history.

• Shanahan opened a season with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2008.

• Graham Gano connected on a 34-yard field goal with 1:50 remaining in the game to give the Redskins’ a 22-21 lead. The game-winning field goal was the fourth of his career and his first since hitting an overtime game-winner at Jacksonville on Dec. 26, 2010.

• The come-from-behind win was the fourth of Rex Grossman’s career as a starter. His last fourth-quarter comeback came on Nov. 25, 2007, when Grossman led the Chicago Bears to a 37-34 overtime win against the Shanahan-coached Denver Broncos.

• Rex Grossman finished the game with 291 passing yards. Grossman now has 18 career 200-plus-yard passing games.

• Santana Moss caught his 600th career reception in the first quarter. Moss is the 14th active player to reach 600 receptions.

• Moss caught his 53rd career touchdown, pushing him past Anquan Boldin for sole possession of 13th most by an active receiver.

• Roy Helu carried a career-high 10 times for a career-high 74 yards. Helu also added 38 receiving yards on three receptions, also career highs.

• Helu’s 33-yard reception in the second quarter was the longest by a rookie running back since Reggie Brooks’ 43-yard reception vs. Indianapolis on Nov. 7, 1993.

• The Redskins’ 14-play, 72-yard scoring drive culminating in a 26-yard Gano field goal in the second quarter lasted 8:29, the team’s longest scoring drive of the season.

• The last time the Redskins had a scoring drive of 8:29 or longer was a drive of 9:10 at San Francisco on Dec. 28, 2008, a span of 49 games.

• Brian Orakpo’s second-quarter sack gave him 20.5 for his career. On the play, Orakpo forced his third career fumble.

• Fred Davis’ one-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was his first of the season and 10th of his career.

• On the play, the Redskins extended their franchise-record streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 17.

• Davis finished the game with 86 yards, one game after posting a career-high 105 yards against the New York Giants last week. His 191 combined yards are his most in a two-game stretch in his career.

• The Redskins trailed the Cardinals, 14-10, after the third quarter. The Redskins were 1-8 a season ago when trailing after three quarters but are now 1-0 in 2010 when trailing before the final frame.

• Ryan Kerrigan notched his first career sack, dropping Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb for a four-yard loss in the second quarter.

• Linebacker Rocky McIntosh had his first sack of the season and eighth sack of his career in the third quarter.

• Linebacker London Fletcher secured the 17th interception of his career, picking off Kolb in the third quarter.

• Brandon Banks’ 35-yard punt return in the second quarter was his longest of the season.

• The Redskins had a field goal attempt blocked for the first time since Sept. 19, 2010 in Week 2 vs. the Houston Texans.

• The Redskins forced a punt on the Cardinals’ opening possession. This was the third consecutive game in which the Redskins have forced a punt on their opponents’ first drive, and the fourth in which the Redskins have held their opponents from scoring on their opening drive.

• Sav Rocca placed two of his punts inside the 20-yard-line. Rocca has placed six of his nine punts as a Redskin inside the 20.


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On quarterback Rex Grossman’s final two series:
“You got to find a way to win. We had our opportunities in the first half. You stub your toes sometimes; it’s hard to fight back in that fourth quarter and find a way to win. It shows a lot of character to the move the ball the way we did and not being able to get in the end zone and then getting behind by eight points and still find a way to come back in the fourth quarter and win. It takes a team working extremely hard, everybody pulling the same direction. I’m really proud of the way they fought today and the way they stood under a little adversity.”

On why he elected to give carries to running back Roy Helu instead of running back Tim Hightower:
“You kind of see on the sidelines when somebody gets tired or if somebody loses a bit of his zip. I thought Tim [Hightower] did an excellent job and you could see he was a little tired in there with the emotion of a game like that, plus [with] as much as we worked him in the first half.”

On defensive backs going down:
“It says a lot about the team. You get a number of guys who go down. All of a sudden I see [Kevin] Barnes down, I see Josh Wilson down, and then you see [DeJon] Gomes go down. It looked like [DeAngelo] Hall was going to be down there for a second. Guys have to come in with very little preparation time and do their jobs. I thought we did that. We got to find a way to win those types of games especially at home.”

On decision to go for it on 4th-and-3:
“That was basic football. There wasn’t even a question about that, but we got them in the right coverage with the right play. Rex [Grossman] executed and Santana [Moss] ran a great route. You just never know; we have to get the ball in those types of situations, depending on what the defense is doing, and obviously everybody executed well.”

On Rex Grossman’s decision not to throw to the flat on 4th-and-3:
“Looking at the defense, he knew what his first read was, and he was going to go for the touchdown if it was there. Not all the time it’s there; it’s a read sequence.”

On the performance of the linebackers:
“I was pleased with the way we hung in there. All of a sudden, they go up by eight points. In the first half we kind of held them in check, and we came back and ran the ball and gained momentum a little bit. We kept on fighting and made some big plays when we had to.”

On the first half offense:
“There weren’t a lot of struggles. You can’t make the big mistake as you go down the field; in the red zone, you can’t jump offsides. Even though you’re tired, you can’t miss an assignment. We will learn as we grow as a football team that you have to be able to close the door, and we didn’t close the door. When you have 250-260 yards in the first half, you are doing a lot of good things, but when you lack the pull in the red zone, that’s not good enough. It’s hard to win games when you’re 1-4 down there especially when we moved the ball as consistently as we did. Give them credit; they changed up their attack from what they did a week ago. They kept us a bit off balance, and we didn’t do the things we needed to do.”


On overcoming a classic way of losing in the NFL:
“I thought we did a good job of hanging in there. We showed a lot of character to have a chance to do that, keep our poise, and still find a way to win.”

On what Helu provides the team:
“One of the reasons we drafted him is his big play capability. He is extremely fast, and you could see that out there. You give him a yard, you give him a foot, he has a chance to break a big play. He did that a couple times. It is nice to bring a guy in that is fresh. When Tim [Hightower] gets a bit tired, it’s a different type of back to the defense. We have a good combination of all three of our guys that are dressed. Even Ryan Torain, if he would have went in there. I really believe he would have done a good job as well.”

On the 2-0 start:
“You look at the film, and you look at the things you did poorly, and you share with your football team that you’re not going to be able to win these games like this all the time. You got to eliminate those mistakes. I think our football team, even though we are fairly young, is grounded enough, and they work hard enough, understand things change quickly in the NFL. To have success, you have to do it a day at a time and do the little things the right way, but you have to find a way to win. At the end of the day, you have to find a way to come together even though you are going to make some mistakes. We are going to keep on plugging. We got an extra day of recovery time with the Monday night game which is good. I think we need that right now. I think our football team is smart enough to understand that you are only as good as your last game.”

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall and Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“We had a blitz on, and unless you get to the quarterback a little bit quicker than we did because just as he let go, he got sacked. DeAngelo [Hall] was playing. You want people to make plays against an excellent wide receiver who had just enough time. We put a little extra pressure on him after that series and we got to the quarterback a lot quicker on a different type of defense.”

On playing cornerbacks Brandyn Thompson and Byron Westbrook:
“These guys have to be ready to go. We always say you’re one play away from being the starter. Even though you don’t get a lot of reps, you got to prepare yourself if you’re going to be the starter. I thought those guys came in and played well.”

On deciding when to blitz:
“It’s game plans. If somebody is going against us, they are going to try and keep us off balance. They did a lot of different things today than they did a week ago, and that’s what you have to do in the National Football League. People know what you are going to do. Usually they have the coaches, the personnel to take advantage of your weaknesses and what you are doing. It’s a little bit of a chess game sometimes. We are lucky we snuck one away from them.”

On the two point conversion:
“He just missed it. It was tipped. You can have guys open. They did a good job of getting their hands up, big 6-8 guys in there knocking the ball down.”

On Rex Grossman’s interception:
“You are going to have interceptions; you are going to make some mistakes. The one on Anthony Armstrong; it was a perfect read. I thought the guy did a good job tugging him a little bit. He should have been wide open. At the end of the day, you have to find a way to win. He showed the poise after he got a couple of interceptions early, regardless of how it occurred, to come back and fight and find a way to win.”

Quarterback Rex Grossman

On the fourth quarter comeback:
"Anytime you're in a situation and you make a big play, and then you are down eight points, you have to have a fourth quarter comeback--that's what we did. Those are the types of situations that build momentum and confidence as a team. Throughout the course of the year, you are going to be put in a lot of adverse situations, and I feel like we are one-for-one on that."

On that fourth quarter play for a touchdown:
"I watched the corner and the play was designed to go to the flat. He kind of settled his feet, and I'd rather have a touchdown."

On the frustration in the first half:
"It was just one minor mistake here or there. We got it done and that's all that matters. I feel like we dominated yards wise on the offense, but only had ten points to show for it. Those are things that we'll look at and get better on, but we won the game, that's all that matters."

On if having 10 points in the first half made him nervous:
"Nervous? I don't know about nervous. You are up 10-7 at halftime, and you are only concentrating on just finishing the drives, we have confidence in our defense. We didn't capitalize on some of our drives, but we did when it counted."

On Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s touchdown:
"In my mind, I'm just looking up at the scoreboard, knowing that we are probably going to go for two when we score a touchdown. And that's probably all that is going through my mind."

On the number of tipped passes:
"I think [quarterback] Kevin Kolb had a lot of passes tipped too. Anytime you are playing a 3-4 [defense] team, maybe that lends itself to that, but for the most part just coincidence. They had somebody 6-8 on their team. That helps too."

On the ability to turn the game around:
"Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I think that anytime you throw a couple of fits early it doesn't feel good. But, at the same time, you have to realize there is a lot of time left in the game and you have a job to do. It doesn't matter. Now when you throw a couple of touchdown passes early, you could start thinking you are on a roll and have a big game. You try not to let that momentum turn against you in a negative way."

On the wide open third down plays:
"I think it's the appropriate mix of [Offensive Coordinator] Kyle Shanahan doing an unbelievable job of scheming their defense and getting guys wide open. Some of those third downs with Fred [Davis] are just him beating guys that bad and other times it's progressing through the routes and finding somebody open. I was real proud of the way we played today. Sticking in there and I thought we ran the ball well. Tim Hightower and Roy Helu did a great job of creating a lot of yards and a lot of big plays. And we got a victory."

On how effective the offense was:
"It definitely helps and puts you in a positive situation. We had a ton of first downs in the first half and we were running the ball. If we finish those strides then we will have a much better feeling at half time then 10-7, but at the same time those things happen. The Cardinals did a great job in the red zone. You got to give them credit for covering our guys and not allowing them to score. It's not always just our mistakes. They did a great job of bending, not breaking."

On wide receiver Jabar Gaffney's fourth quarter catch:
"That was a big drive. That was immediately after their touchdown drive. It just hit his chest and he caught it."

On playing Dallas next week:
"It's a completely different scenario. That was a unique set of circumstances. This one is more positive. Being 2-0 feels good. We have already matched our home record of last year. We feel like we are heading in the right direction."

On Arizona's coverage:
"They did a good job. They are good players. They have talented corners and their safeties do a good job of disguising and blitzing and putting pressure on us. We couldn't quite get to some of our big plays because of how they defended us."

On running back Roy Helu:
"Every running back plays and run in a different style and personality. He is obviously explosive and fast. He's going to make a ton of big plays this year. We're excited he's on our team. He gained a lot of confidence today."

On what the win means to the team:
"I think it shows that this team believes in itself and believes that we are going to make the big plays at the end of the game to win. You can just feel it. You are going to have adversity throughout the year, and in the NFL it's how you handle it. I think we handled it well today. "

Kicker Graham Gano

On the game-winning field goal:
“Yeah, it definitely feels good. After the block, I went up to [special teams coach] Danny [Smith] and I told him that we were going to have a chance to win the game on a field goal and I just had a feeling that it was going to come down to that at the end. So, you know, just to have that opportunity is great. You know, to win, that’s all you want.”

On the blocked field goal in the first half:
“I’m not sure. You know, it felt like it was a good kick. The snap was good and Sav [Rocca] did a good job holding. So I think we are just going to have to see, you know, on film. I’m not really sure what it was.”

On if he kicks better under pressure:
“No, not at all. It might have been that way in the past, but I feel like I am a better kicker now than I was last year. I missed the first one, and everybody hated me for that, but I am completely confident and I feel good.”

On if he likes being in clutch situations:
“Yeah, I love them. That’s the most fun.”

On forgetting last week’s performance and succeeding today:
“I think it starts in practice. You know, if you’re confident in practice, if you’re hitting the ball well, then you’re not really going to have to worry about if you miss in a game because I was completely confident. I have been practicing well. So, mentally I know I can do it and I was just unfortunate that it was the first kick of the season I missed. You know, I hit ten in a row in the preseason. Then everybody kind of wanted to throw me under the bus after that first miss. You know, I just stay confident and it’s just one kick at a time.”

On the out of bounds kickoff:
“That’s on me. You know, I gotta keep the ball in play. We had a call and, you know, I was trying to execute it. The wind was blowing that way, but I hit the ball well, just didn’t put it where it should have been.”

On if he practices directional kicks:
“Yeah, definitely. We spend a lot of time on a lot of things.”

On if the blocked field goal rattled him:
“I was pretty pumped up, you know. I’ve been there before. Like I said earlier, I am just excited for those opportunities. The biggest thing, you try not to think about it too much and you just go back to what you’ve done in practice and kind of let your instincts take over. That’s what I try to do – just hope everything goes well and put the ball through the uprights.”

Linebacker Brian Orakpo

On it being a physical game:
“It was one of those games. I thought Arizona did a great job of not giving up. They kept getting turnovers and giving themselves chances to win. Our guys have a lot of heart though. Instead of thinking ‘here we go again,’ we all believed we’d get it done.”

On how good this defense has been this season:
“We gave up some big plays, but we’re really growing as a defense. We can only get better. I’m excited to be a part of it. Guys are getting to the quarterback, creating turnovers, you name it, getting off the field.”

On the last play of the game:
“A year or two ago, we would have taken an ‘L’ on this game. We didn’t know how to finish. But this year, we’re growing as a team, guys are playing together. Guys don’t want to give up on each other; everybody wants to have each other’s back.”

On putting pressure on Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb:
“I love hunting quarterbacks, that’s what I’m all about.”

On the defense’s confidence:
“Did you see us dancing out there today? We don’t care what the circumstances are. We’re going to go out there and have fun. You could put it on the one-yard line after we’ve turned it over, we’re going to go out there and fight and get off the field. So whatever adversity we face, we’ll meet it with a lot of confidence.”

On the linebackers’ performance:
“I know I’m going to bring it. I know Ryan [Kerrigan] is going to bring it and the rest of the outside linebackers are going to bring it when they rush the passer. That’s the kind of patience we have to have week-in and week-out. I thought we did a phenomenal job bringing pressure.”

On the touchdown to Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“[Kevin] Kolb read the blitz coming. He knew which way to slide to buy himself some more time. Larry [Fitzgerald] had a great route on the backside, but [Kevin] Kolb was already rolling out and knew where the blitz was coming from and just dumped it off to Fitzgerald on the go-route he was running.”

On Arizona’s offense:
“In the second half, they threw us for a wrench with the balanced attack they were using. We thought they’d be done with the running game, but they were actually gashing us with [running back] Beanie Wells.”

On preparing for Dallas:
“We all know about Dallas. We all know it’s a big rivalry. We got to bring it and keep bringing it. The series was 1-1 last year. Let’s do our thing.”

Safety Reed Doughty

On the Redskins’ rookies on defense:
“We had a couple of sacks and a couple of quick pressures. It shows a lot when the young guys come in. They go the whole week not knowing how much they’re going to play and then they get thrown into the fire. They responded well.”

On rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:
“I don’t get to watch him a whole lot. I’m excited about what he’s able to do up front rushing the passer. Hopefully he keeps it going.”

On if the team would have won this game last year:
“I don’t know. I do know that this year we have the confidence. We have a belief that we were going to win this game.”

Offensive Tackle Trent Williams

On running back Tim Hightower’s success against his former team:
“They were giving him a hard time out there. But he came and played his heart out today, and he does that every week.”

On the Cardinals’ defensive players trying to rattle Hightower:
“They were trying to get into Tim’s head. We’re going to back whoever up. We’re all family here and you will see that all year if anybody tries to do that to our guys.”

On rushing the ball better this week:
“We stayed with it. We were getting those blocks that were missing last week. That’s a testament to watching film and correcting mistakes.”

On dominating the game early:
“Seeing the time of possession, we basically controlled the game and we were still fighting for our lives at the end. It just shows the character of this team. We all came together, we didn’t blink and never lost confidence.”

On if the Cardinals brought as much pressure as he thought they would:
“No they didn’t. On film they show more blitzes, but they didn’t blitz that much today.”

Linebacker London Fletcher

On the Redskins’ fumble recovery:
“We always stress getting takeaways – fighting to the finish. [Byron] Westbrook stripped it and Reed [Doughty] recovered it. It’s a total team effort.”

On the linebackers bringing pressure and creating turnovers:
“As linebackers, we expect to get pressure on the quarterback – that was what we were able to do. I don’t know how many sacks we ended up with, but we had at least three sacks and two takeaways. It was a good game.”

On the defense making plays when needed:
“We know it’s a 60-minte ballgame. Even when we were down by eight points we never wavered. Once the offense got the ball and put together a drive which got us within two – though they didn’t get the two-point conversion – we felt like we were going to win the football game. We knew we needed to go out and make a play defensively.”

Cornerback Byron Westbrook

On his performance:
“I think Coach [Shanahan] definitely has confidence in me – that I can play both special teams and defense. Today I played more defense than usual. As far as the season, I’m grateful these guys brought me back. I’m glad that I executed my assignments and made plays for the team.”

On the defensive play calling:
“We were going to run the same plays we ran in the first half. It just depends on the tendencies of the offense. We’re not going to scale back because I’m in the game or Brandyn Thompson is in the game. The coaches have confidence in us. We are going to go out there and run all out blitzes. We going to do all the stuff we are cable of doing and what we normally do.”

On the team’s attitude tonight:
“When we’re losing, we’re not going to go out there and put our heads down. We going to go back out there with confidence and show that we are excited. We have the ability to come back – we did it today. We have the defense to do it and the offense to do it. So we are never going to put our heads down and say, ‘Oh, here we go again,’ that was last year’s mentality. This is a new year and a new mentality. I think there is something special going on around here and everyone in the locker room senses that.”

Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt

On the Cardinals’ performance:
“We couldn’t finish it there at the end. Too many mistakes, penalties—the turnover at the end hurt us. We’re going to learn from it and continue to improve. I liked the way our guys never quit, they continued to fight and we had some guys make some plays. If we can clean our mistakes up and not have as many penalties, then we’ll be a pretty good football team. That’s where our focus is going to be.”

On the turnovers’ impact on the game:
“You don’t want to turn the ball over. You can’t do it when you’re on the road. This is a tough place to play. The crowd is loud, and you’re going to have a few mistakes when that happens, just because you’re trying to time things up. Our defense hung in there in the first half and created some turnovers, which they needed to do in this game. We have to do a better job of not allowing the opponent to sustain drives. Right there at the end, obviously, in the red zone we turned one over, and then right there at the end when we got a chance with the ball in our hand to go down and win—we can’t turn it over there.”

On the Cardinals’ late game defense:
“We didn’t play good defense the whole day, as opposed to letting the game slip away. That’s an area we need to improve. You need to look at the way the whole day went. We didn’t slow them down and that’s not good enough. That’s something we need to improve.”

On quarterback Kevin Kolb’s performance:
“You know, until I see the tape, I think Kevin did a great job of hanging in there. He made a great throw to Larry [Fitzgerald] on the one slant-and-go, and he made some good throws. It’s unfortunate that we got some balls tipped, but give [the Redskins defense] credit. They were bringing pressure and bringing the blitz and sometimes you can make those things work. The thing I’ll say is we’ll learn from it and we’ll get better. I know that. That’s where our focus is.”

On if he wanted to run the ball in the second half:
“I think we’ve got a number of different ways that we were trying to attack them and we hit on the right one so we stuck with it. That’s what it is. We didn’t get a lot of opportunities in the first half. I think we only had [the ball] for two minutes, maybe, in the first quarter. We moved the ball the first time we got it—when we got it over the 40 we went two plays for a touchdown. We moved it at times in chunks but we didn’t get anything sustainable until the second half. We had opportunities in all facets of our game today but we made mistakes. That’s just something that as a team that’s got a lot of new players we need to work at. We’ve got a new defensive scheme—we made mistakes in that today, hopefully not as many as we did last week—but we need to work to improve those. I like the fact that we did create some turnovers, and offensively we’re still growing as an offense. We need to figure out what we do well and how we mix those things. In the second half, we did that a little better. That’s part of the game. ”

On his thoughts during the fourth quarter fumble review:
“It looked like a fumble on the screen so I was sick to my stomach. I felt like when we got a good play to get a first down and get them on their heels, we didn’t have that far to go to get within field goal range. That was a pretty crappy feeling.”

On the play that resulted in Larry Fitzgerald’s touchdown:
“[Quarterback] Kevin [Kolb] rolled—they brought zero blitz, they had a guy come free off the edge—Kevin rolled to the right but he made a great throw. Based on what we had done the series before, we felt like it was a good play and we stayed with it during the timeout.”

On if he’s concerned that the defense hasn’t been together long enough in the new scheme:
“We’ve been together for two games and training camp. It’s really early to make those judgments. I think everyone in the NFL now wants to make snap judgments on a weekly basis. We changed our scheme; we knew it was going to be tough. I’m not pleased that we haven’t played better and we need to work to do that. That’s what we’re going to do.”

On Redskins’ running back Tim Hightower’s performance:
“Tim’s a good back, we knew that, and he played well today. You have to give him credit. Tim’s ability wasn’t a surprise.”

On Cardinals’ running back Beanie Wells’ performance:
“He put a couple of their guys out. He was running tough. When he gets rolling, it reminds you of what he was doing in ’09. He looks like a pretty strong back. This is two games now where he’s had almost 100 yards on not a lot of carries. If we can do a better job of getting off the field defensively, to give us more opportunities offensively, I’d like to see Beanie really get involved.”

On filling the inside linebacker spot after losing Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon:
“[The Redskins] were running so much sub today. They were running so much three wide receiver personnel that we were in our sub defense quite a bit. It really wasn’t that much of a factor but it still makes you nervous because you are down two.”

Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kevin Kolb

On giving up the lead to Washington in the final moments of the game:
“It’s kind of shocking to have that lead there at the end. And then we had a chance with that four-minute drive before they scored and then that two-minute drive at the end. It’s our own fault. We accept it. No excuses. We learned from it. We have a lot of veterans on the team and a lot of young guys that can learn from it too - and I’m one of them.”

On being hit during his touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“It was a pretty good shot. I knew the pressure was coming. I knew we did not have him picked up, there was one too many. But we had the play called – I thought it was the right time. We had been hitting underneath DeAngelo Hall a couple of times – we had to roll the dice. That’s what we did and it sparked us. We just have to finish. I did peek up enough to see the catch. I thought I overthrew him – but [Fitzgerald] did a great job.”

On if the Cardinals got the better of Washington early in the game:
“No, I didn’t think we had them. We had a few turnovers early in some key situations. Offensively, we didn’t play the way we should have in the first half. I never felt like we had them. We had to keep the pedal down. That’s what we were saying to each other. For the most part we did in the second half – except for that four-minute drive where we had some miscommunications. We’ll have to learn from it – that’s the only thing you can take from a loss.”

On the Cardinals’ second-half performance:
“[The] offensive line took over the game. We were getting beat up pretty good, but then we felt like we were starting to dominate. We had a couple of mistakes and we came up short.”

On his effectiveness out of the shotgun formation:
“It was very effective. We hit them on a couple of plays - throwing the ball early. Then, there was the short intermediate stuff – running the ball out there. We gave [running back] Beanie [Wells] time to develop it. He did a great job there in the second half.”

On if the Cardinals were positive they would win at the end of the game:
“We were very positive. We really were. The whole game we did not feel like they stopped us. I know you guys have heard this since training camp – but we’re a team that has not been together very long. We know we’re going to make mistakes. We just have to keep cutting those out – and try. If it weren’t for us, we would have had a lot more points on the board. We just knew and had the confidence to just clean it up and go.”

On the interception of a pass intended for wide receiver Chansi Stuckey:
“Obviously that’s what is sickening. [Stuckey] had his head down – but I told him I gave away at least three points. I threw an interception in the red zone. Everybody did their part today. To be honest, I thought I could make the throw. It’s my style – but the ball got away from me a couple of feet. [Wide receiver] Andre [Roberts] did the exact right thing – he read exactly what I wanted him to do, but I put the ball behind him which you can’t do there in the middle.”

On balancing being aggressive versus being smart as a quarterback:
“It’s a good question. The way you balance it is you get out there and you play it. Next time I won’t throw it that way, or maybe I can throw it away a little quicker. It’s a fine line – I don’t have all the answers. I’ll go back and watch the film and try to learn where I can – and improve this week. That’s the key for the whole team. Again, we haven’t been together very long – let’s just keep improving when it counts. Next week we’ll roll in there and make sure we take the microphone from them.”

Arizona Cardinals Defensive End Vonnie Holliday

On the game:
“It was tough. We made a lot of plays in the game. It just came down to the wire. We couldn’t come up with the big plays. We had a couple of situations where we wanted them, but they stood up. This team is a much better team than they were last year. You look what they are doing defensively, flying around. Their front seven, Orakpo and Kerrigan come off of the edges. Offensively, what they were able to do running the ball. I don’t know how many yards they ended up with. Going into this game we knew we had to establish the run. We felt like we got after Rex early in the game. He threw a couple. We just needed to settle down. In the second half we did settle down. We played better against the run just in that crucial drive we gave up too many yards in the run game.”

On coming back to Washington:
“It is just a great environment. You know that coming in. I stressed the importance of taking the crowd out of this game. We were unable to do that. We felt that some times in the game were able to do it, but for the most part the crowd stood up. We had too many mental mistakes in this game. We had too many crucial penalties in crucial situations. It’s FedExField. It’s the Redskins. You have a lot of rich tradition here. It is a storied franchise. It’s always great to come in here and play them. We knew that. You have to get up early and you have to take the crowd out of it. It was great coming back and seeing all of the guys, but I would have loved to have come out on the other side with the victory. But a great organization, great coaches on our side of the ball that I got a chance to see and say hello to.”

On the turnover:
“It was a young guy trying to make a play. It didn’t come down to that one play. We had several plays throughout that game, opportunities that we could have played better and sealed the deal and we didn’t take advantage of it and they did. That is the second half.”

On the defense:
“These guys have been able all day to make some plays and you have to know in that situation where their go-to guy, Santana Moss, is. We had a mix up in coverage back there. A couple of times we got our hands and batted some passes down. They made the plays when they had to.”

On the mental mistakes:
“You talk about some penalties at the wrong time. You work hard to get people in third and long and then you get off the field in a third down situation and you do something to continue to drive. It is not something that is Xs and Os, but just a mental breakdown and that is tough.”

On proving his performance:
“I feel like I always have something to prove. You don’t play this long in the league as I have without having that chip on your shoulder. They traded me. Just like Hightower, I wanted to come in here and play well and that is important to me. I wanted to come in here. I told the guys this was special and I wanted to get a victory.”

Arizona Cardinals Linebacker Joey Porter

On the game:
“They made some plays and made more than we did. It’s tough when we give up our momentum in a hostile environment. We knew we were going to have a tough game, but to allow them to come back... Their crowd is going to feed off of that. They made some plays and got the field goal.”



(Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)