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    Helmet Skins Quotes 10/26/11: Shanahan,Beck,Moss

    October 26, 2011
    Redskins Park


    Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

    On the injury statuses of linebacker London Fletcher, offensive tackle Trent Williams and safety Oshiomogho Atogwe:
    “London did not practice. Trent did not practice. Oshiomogho was limited.”

    On the injury status of cornerback Byron Westbrook and wide receiver Donté Stallworth:
    “[Byron] Westbrook was limited.

    On the injury status of wide receiver Donté Stallworth:
    “Limited.”

    On placing tight end Chris Cooley on injured reserve:
    “Well, just the conservation we had with Dr. [James] Andrews, he’s the expert in that area and he thought it was in the best interest of Chris to go on IR to give it a little rest, to give time a chance to rehab it [and] not over-push it like he has been doing. And obviously he took the doctor’s advice and we agreed with it.”

    On if Cooley needs surgery on his knee:
    “I can’t say that. I think they’re going to give it some time after obviously the hand [and] give his knee a chance to get a little rehab on it to see where it goes. But right now I don’t think anyone is sure.”

    On how Cooley received the knee news about going on IR:
    “I think it’s always tough on any player. You talk to Jarvis Jenkins, you talk to Kory Lichtensteiger, you talk to Tim Hightower, you talk to Chris. Any time somebody goes on IR, it’s tough. I think with Chris, you knew he had a chance to come back, [but] when you talk to the doctor, he knew it was in his best interest [to go on IR]. Usually when it’s in the player’s best interest, it’s in the team’s best interest as well.”

    On if Cooley was ever able to be himself this season:
    “Well, he tried to get well. Obviously, there were some setbacks there. Sometimes that does happen. I think it hurt not having the OTAs. Not having the chance to rehab during the offseason, you have to do it on your own. When he did come in, you really didn’t know where he was. Obviously, there was some pain there.”

    On how productive Cooley can be in the future:
    “Hopefully real productive. Hopefully all of our guys now that are on IR will be real productive and [I’m] hoping to have them back and playing at a high level.”

    On if Cooley rushing back to play against the Giants in Week 1 set him back:
    “You’d have to ask Chris, ask the doctors. I can’t tell you for sure. He pushed himself, but I don’t think he overdid it because we did have some time. He didn’t have to jump into it. Like I said, any time you [don’t] have a chance to get the proper treatment throughout the offseason, it’s really hard to tell.”

    On if quarterback John Beck has handled himself differently since being named the starter:
    “I think he’s been the same. He has a lot of confidence in himself. Any time you’re a starter for four years in college and you get a chance to be on the practice squad as long as he’s been, you get a chance to look at defenses in the NFL. You kind of watch your opportunity, so he’s looking forward to that opportunity and I’m sure he had a lot of goose bumps and things along those lines, but I thought he did well.”

    On signing tight end Dominique Byrd:
    “He’s an athlete. I really thought he was the best pass catching tight end out there. He did a good job today in practice. We’ll get a chance to evaluate him as time goes on, but he did impress me today.”

    On signing offensive linemen Jonathan Compas:
    “[He’s] quick - a guy that can play center or guard. I liked the way he played in preseason. He was with New England. So we’ll get a chance to evaluate him too.”

    On the decision to have two running backs on the 53-man roster:
    “Well, you look at it as two up, I look at it as four up. You can change any time. Just because a guy’s on the practice squad doesn’t mean he’s not getting ready for the game and he’s not ready to play. You can change that any time you want to during the week. I look at it as a 61-man squad. We have four tailbacks, not two. We’re going to try to put together the best team we can and, sometimes, you feel like you need depth at a certain position over another. Sometimes, it’s availability of people who are out there, but there’s a lot that goes into it. We’ll make the best decision for the team.”

    On how often he goes into Sunday with two active running backs:
    “I look it as four backs because [Darrel Young] can play back, he can play the fullback-tailback position, [and] Mike Sellers can play back. I’ve never gone with two backs, but I look at it as four backs. We have two fullbacks, two tailbacks. [Young] would be a person that can play the tailback position as well. Mike would like to dot the I [formation] at 270 [pounds], but [we] might have to give him that chance if three guys go down.”

    On quarterback Rex Grossman’s health:
    “He was released [from the hospital] some time today around noon. [I] heard he’s feeling a little bit better. He’s going to come in here later this evening and take a look at some film. I haven’t talked to him yet.”

    On his options for quarterback on Sunday:
    “You always have options, but, yeah, it’s always concerning when somebody has pneumonia and he’s got a high fever and he’s been in the hospital for a couple of days. But Dr. [Anthony] Casolaro sounded very positive today and [Grossman] must be feeling better to come over here this evening. Hopefully, he keeps on getting better.”

    On younger players receiving more playing time because of injuries:
    “Well, everybody is a backup some time, all these guys on our team. They get their chance to show people what they can do. Some guys really take advantage of it. That’s what you look for – guys taking advantage of an opportunity. I thought Logan Paulsen did a good job coming in and taking advantage of his opportunity, but he’s been practicing like that for the last year-and-a-half since he’s been here. Since he came in as a free agent, you could see that the game wasn’t too big for him. When he did get his chance, you thought he was going to take advantage of it and he did. You’re hoping guys do that. You never know for sure, but if they’re on our squad, they have ability to play in the NFL. Hopefully, they play well.”

    On if there is anxiety watching the younger players play:
    “Yeah, I think it’s both. You’re looking forward to seeing what they can do and they’re looking forward to their opportunity. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do. We brought them in here for a reason. You’re just hoping they go out there and the game’s not too big for them.”

    On wide receiver Niles Paul’s improvement:
    “He’s been pretty impressive from day one. I can’t say that he’s really improved in just one area, but he’s been very mature since he’s been here. I know he picks things up very quickly at all three wide receiver positions. He’s very physical and he’s been very consistent catching the ball both in practice and in games. It’s hard for a wide receiver during the game – the depth of your routes, can you do that when the pressure’s on? A lot of times, you get a little bit quicker going against different coverages. You haven’t experienced all of those situations during the games. Can you handle that and have enough poise to focus on the snap count and maybe check-offs and things along those lines. There’s a lot that goes into it, but I think he can handle it.”

    On if safety Kareem Moore is practicing again:
    “Yes, he is. He did [do everything today]. He worked on the scout team as you would guess just to see his ability in football-related drills, but I thought he did a good job.”

    On the different responsibilities of the X and Z receivers:
    “Sometimes, they are the same. Sometimes, we ask a little bit more out of the X to get downfield a little bit more on more explosive routes. Sometimes, we’ll ask our Z to be a little bit better blocker at the point of attack. We can switch it up. It all depends on what our game plan is and who we’re going against. You have to be able to be a football player first. That’s what we think [Paul] is.”

    On if there’s a chance that Moore is activated this week:
    “There’s a chance, yeah, but we have 21 days to make that decision, but we can make it any time we want to depending on the injury situation and how he’s practicing.”

    On the logistics of playing in Canada:
    “Yeah, we’ve been working on that. [Director of Football Operations] Paul Kelly has been working on that for the last three months. You can’t do it at the last second. He’s done a good job except for the new guys coming in. I think one guy didn’t have a passport. Everybody else did, so that made it a little bit easier. But yeah, that’s something that you have to work on well in advance.”

    On if this is his first time playing internationally:
    “No, I’ve played a lot internationally through the years. We used to play a lot of them. I think we played three years in a row. You had London, Australia, and… Spain. That’s usually in the beginning of the year. I have never gone to an overseas game during the season, but 45 minutes from Buffalo I don’t consider too far away.”

    On how seriously he talked to Buffalo a couple of years ago when that job was open:
    “Well, you talk to everybody. You know, it’s a class organization and Chan Gailey is a very good friend of mine. When I was at Denver, he was there when I first started out. But he talked to a lot of different people, but it was just talk more than anything else.”

    On the positives in Beck’s performance against the Panthers:
    “Well, it’s the first of many games for him. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow as a quarterback and get that game experience. I think he’s a natural leader. Now, we get a chance to see him in live situations so now I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

    Quarterback John Beck

    On what he thought watching film from the Carolina game:
    “Overall I think it was good for me to get out and put something on tape. [It was good to] have a game where I could go back and grade myself on a full game. For a while it had just been quarters here and there or a half or something like that. It was good to see a full game and different situations in that game. There were a lot of things to take from it and a lot of things to learn from.”

    On the team’s challenge to overcome injuries to the offense:
    “It’s definitely a challenge and that’s part of football. Good football teams can recognize when there is a challenge, there is adversity and say ‘we’re not going to let it bother us.’ It is different. When I was having breakfast this morning we were talking about it. We have a handful of guys that are down—that’s odd. That usually doesn’t happen, but we believe in the guys that we have and we believe that we can play very good football and that’s our plan.”

    On what the way he moved the offense in the second half on Sunday says about his performance:
    “I like to think of myself as just a piece in the puzzle. I have a job to do and I’m trying to do my job the best I can because when all of us collectively are doing our jobs the best we can—it can work. I think it gives us hope for the future that we can continue to build on that. We want to be an explosive offense, we want to be an offense that can control the ball and convert on third downs. If you want to succeed in this league you have to be like that.

    On what he was pleased or displeased by in the film:
    “Things I felt like we did well…I felt like there were some young players that stepped up and made some really big plays for us on some third downs. I felt like the offensive line, for only being together for three days in the week of practice, we were able to protect pretty well. I felt protected pretty well. I felt like I could move around in the pocket and get to my second and third reads. For only having a week of practice, this unit—it’s a big difference now when we step into this week. Last week was so new and you’re trying to get comfortable with each other but it’s not going to happen over night…[We need to] just continue to work hard. I think it’s a mindset. I think if all of us just have the mindset that every day we come out to practice we are moving forward, not looking back…no rear-view mirrors. We did our best last week, what happened happened—now we move forward.”

    On what he expects to see against the Buffalo Bills:
    “The Buffalo Bills are a very good football team. Their defense takes the ball away from the offense a lot. They lead the NFL in takeaways. They create a lot of turnovers. I know that their offensive can be explosive. Anytime you are facing an offense that’s explosive you have to be good at controlling the ball. We want to be able to run the ball this week. We want to be able to control the clock and be very good on third downs. That way we stay on the field

    On the importance of having the experience of playing in a regular season game:
    “Having a real game cannot be simulated. The real game is live bullets. Walking away from it, after the game, looking back saying ‘okay, what can I pull from this?’ I can pull so much from that experience just because, like we said, it was a real game. You try to simulate the real game in practice as best as you can but it’s difficult to get the full effect.”

    On how starting the Carolina game differed from starting four games with Miami his rookie season:
    “Very different. I’ve been able to gain a lot of different experiences since then. I’ve been able to be in a variety of different offenses, been on the sideline for a lot of games, been in the film room for a lot of weeks of practice…all of that can help. It had been a while since I played a full game but it definitely felt good to be out there playing.”

    On if he felt a difference between coming into the Eagles game in relief and starting the Carolina game:
    “Yeah, there was a little bit of a difference just because, when you’re coming in in relief, you haven’t been out there the whole time. You’ve been on the side trying to mentally prepare yourself for, ‘okay, if this does happen… For me, I would say the biggest difference would be the week of practice. In practice for the Philadelphia week, I still continued to run the scout team. You don’t get all of the reps. This last week, I got to take all of our reps and we were trying, all of us, to get on the same page because, like I said, we had two new linemen. We moved Erik [Cook] over to center because he had to play in the Philadelphia game. I’m in at quarterback – that’s going to be a little bit different for the receiver because my ball is a little bit different and the timing might be different. So those are all things that factor into this, [it’s] kind of a group change. And now that we have last week, now this is our second week to kind of go into it and try to be a more cohesive unit.”

    On if Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s route to becoming a starter in Buffalo is similar to his with the Redskins:
    “Ryan [Fitzpatrick] and I actually grew up together. We’ve known each other since we were seven years old, eight years old. So he’s a guy whose story I do know because we played all sports against each other, so I’ve followed Ryan. I’m really happy to see his success, but there [similarity] is because I know his story that he just kept working and, at one point, he was out of football and then he got picked up by the Cincinnati Bengals and played in I believe 12 games or 13 games for them that year. It’s just a good example - if you keep working, good things can happen.”

    On if there is a sense of urgency now because of the two-game losing streak:
    “Yeah, I think there’s always a sense of urgency in the NFL. Every game is very important. You kind of hear the term, ‘this is a must-win game.’ I feel that that’s every week. If you want to say this is a must-win game, definitely. I feel like that’s every week because it is the NFL. Every game is so important. There’s so much at stake and you put so much into it. You know, the coaches are here basically every hour of the day. The players are here doing everything that they can because they want to win so bad and we treat every game like it’s a must-win.”

    On the young players replacing veterans because of injuries:
    “We’re trying to get everybody up to speed. To have somebody like Santana [Moss] break his hand, like [Tim] Hightower with his knee, like Chris [Cooley] will be out – those are guys that have been doing it at a high level. Santana, he’s kind of been that guy, our go-to guy. So not to have him, we definitely have to have somebody step up and step up quick. We’re going to do as much as we can out at practice to try to be on the same page as best we can, get up to speed as best we can. We have Terrence [Austin], who I’ve been able to throw a lot with because he was always on the scout team with me for so long so I do feel very comfortable with him. But now there is a big broader part of things that we’re trying to do now. It’s definitely a challenge, but I think it’s a challenge that we’re all looking forward to because this is how people stake a claim for themselves. This is how young guys step up and they make their name an important one.”

    On if he feels that he is the guy:
    “I do because I’m the guy that goes in there at practice and takes all the reps. I’m the guy that plays in the game so I do feel like that right now.”

    On if it makes a difference playing the Bills in Canada:
    “No. I went there once before when we played the Buffalo Bills in Canada. It really just feels like another game. It’s indoor instead of outdoor when you play at Buffalo. It just feels like another game.”

    On his leadership role given the team’s injuries:
    “I feel this team has a lot of very high character guys and, at times, when somebody needs to step, it’s the guys with high character that always do. I’ve already seen guys emerge on this team try to step up and take more of a leadership role because there has to be. When you lose guys that are your captains, your leaders, you can’t just go on without a captain or a leader. Guys step up and I’ve been able to see that in the locker room already with some guys and I’ve seen some fire in the younger guys. I don’t think they’re saying ‘uh oh, now it’s my turn, what I am going to do?’ They’re saying ‘okay, this is my turn and I’m going to go out there and prove that I can do it.’ And that’s how you have to be.”


    Wide Receiver Santana Moss

    On if he is disappointed by his hand injury:
    “Not disappointed. I mean that’s life in this sport so I took it for what it is. Any time you break something or you hurt something, you want to come back and give it time to heal. It’s a long season. I’m going to deal with it – do what I always do and think positive. Hopefully, something positive comes out of it.”

    On if it’s hard seeing other teammates go down as well:
    “You don’t look at it like that. I just have to take it for what it is. Injuries happen. It happens throughout the league. Sometimes, your team deals with not so many. Right now, we have a few guys that we probably count on more than other times. That’s out there right now, but we have other guys that can fill in for the time being and you just hope that those guys are ready for the opportunity.”

    On opportunities for wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Niles Paul:
    “I’m pretty sure that they’re excited. They’re going to be anxious and stuff, but we’ll be able to tell them to just go out there and do what they do in practice every day… Don’t really put too much on you because that’s when you can get caught up into a tough situation. You just want to go out there and have fun with the opportunity and not press yourself.”

    On how much he helps the young players:
    “I’m not a guy that goes out of my way and talk to them about something. If I see something, I’ll give them advice. If they come to me, I’ll give them advice. You know, I’m one of those guys that I try to let everybody have their space because different players like to handle it different ways. I know myself – I don’t want somebody in my ear all of the time. I try not to be there and be a pest or be a bug. I just give them advice on things that I know that it might happen and I see it and I’m like, ‘they don’t know how to react to the situation’ or ‘they don’t know how to handle that at that moment.’ I’m going to help them, but I don’t really try to be in their ear all of the time.”

    On how frequently the young players come to him:
    “Every day we talk, so I’m pretty sure I’m helping them or giving them something that they might not have heard every day. We go through the days of just having a regular conversation and then, before you know it, you learn something.”

    On the team not having him or tight end Chris Cooley:
    “I don’t know. Like I said before, it happens. I hate to be the guy that it happened to. You all know that I hate not being out there. I feel like you let somebody down [when] you can’t go out with the guys that depend on you. Like I said before, the only thing that I can do is stay positive with the situation and know that the time I take off right now, I’m getting a little mini-vacation, [but] I’m not going to treat it like a vacation. I’m going to stay on my grind and just do some of the things that I do until this [cast] comes off until I can go again.”

    On if there is any hope that he could be back in less than five weeks:
    “They gave me anywhere from three to six weeks. You never know and I think that’s a positive way to look at it too. You never know what can happen. I’m just going to do everything they want me to do and keep it rested, do some of the things extra with it when it comes to the times that these screws or whatever I have in them… I think they come out in two weeks. Hey, maybe two weeks. You never know. I’m not really going to get into all that because I want it to be right and so, when it’s ready, you all know that I’ll be out there.”

    On if he’s talked to Cooley:
    “Yeah, me and Chris have been talking. He’s doing pretty good. He said he’s seen the X-rays of mine and mine weren’t as bad as his. I heard his are pretty bad. Chris is Chris. He’ll find something to keep his mind off it.”

    On if he’s planning on making the trip to Toronto:
    “I hope I’m making the trip. If I have to come to practice, I’m going to make sure that I go watch them boys play. I want to cheer them on.”

    On the last time the team played the Bills after the death of safety Sean Taylor:
    “I don’t have a lot of memories of that game, but I think about Sean all of the time. But I don’t think about that game. That game will probably bring up lot of stuff that I don’t want to think about.”



    (Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
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    Our team looks like a MASH unit at the moment. We really need a few of these guys to see the field this weekend. Especially Fletcher and Atogwe.
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