October 28, 2011
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the injury status of fullback Mike Sellers:
“[Mike] Sellers is out.”

On the injury status of safety Oshiomogho Atogwe:
“O.J. is questionable.”

On the injury status of tackle Trent Williams:
“Trent’s out.”

On the injury status of cornerback DeAngelo Hall:
“Questionable.”

On the injury status of linebacker London Fletcher:
“Questionable, but unless there is a setback, I think he should be able to go.”

On how long he expects Sellers’ injury to last:
“I don’t know. Any time you deal with the back, you’re not really sure. I have to wait and see.”

On the diversity of the Bills’ offense:
“They usually spread you out pretty good. They try to spread you out, spread you out across the field [and they have] a lot of different sets. I think you have to cover the whole football field well.”

On if running back Evan Royster was brought up to the 53-man roster:
“Not yet.”

On if quarterback Rex Grossman is healthy enough to be the backup quarterback against the Bills:
“We listed him as probable, so unless there is a setback, he should be ready to go.”

On his involvement in defensive preparation this week in light of his comments after the Panthers game:
“What I did is when you’re trying to go against that offense that runs that option and can do a lot of things, there’s a long decision on the part of your defense. It’s hard for your players to play full speed. We just have to get them ready. We have to put them through those situations as many times as possible. It’s our job as coaches to make sure there is no indecision. That’s what coaching is all about – eliminating the indecision that is out there. As I said after the game, we just have to do a better job because I saw some indecision out there that we normally don’t have.”

On how he becomes more involved with the defense without stepping on defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s toes:
“Well, when you go through the offseason, you go through everything. We sit down [and] we go through every defense, every blitz, what everybody’s responsibility is. Now, that’s what my job is – to go through defense, to go through offense. I don’t spend a lot of times with special teams. I never have just because it’s hard to split yourself up in all the three different areas. But he’ll make sure the preparation is there and the things along those lines. I think what keeps you in this game as a head coach, when you do more offense and defense and obviously there is an emphasis on special teams – I’ve always been that way and I’ll continue to be that way.”

On making adjustments to preparation:
“No, we’ll talk and look at the film and talk about the mistakes we made. We put our players in those situations enough to make sure it was automatic. We go back [and] we take a look at practice, we take a look at maybe some of the indecisions in the game. Sometimes it’s just an athlete against an athlete. Other times, you might have the wrong gap. We talk about how much practice time that we put into it. Sometimes a walkthrough, sometimes game situations. That’s what you do as a coach – try to put your players through things as many times as possible so when you get into a game situation, they don’t have to think, they can react. We’re hoping when Sunday comes they’re ready to go. Once there is indecision, they usually can’t play to their capability.”

On if the team wasn’t ready against the Panthers:
“No, I tried to tell you, I tried to be honest with you, I said any time you get an offense ready or defense ready in weeks time and you haven’t really faced that a guy like Newton and, all of a sudden, just that split second – who’s got the option? Who has the quarterback? It takes work. It doesn’t happen overnight and when you face it probably only one time a year, there’s going to be a lot of teams probably in the same situation. If you watch Carolina play this year, it happens almost every week. Until teams start feeling more comfortable with what they’re doing, they’re going to give up some of those big plays. That’s the nature of the business.”

On if he does more one-on-one instruction with the young players now:
“No, you’re coaching the same. These young guys haven’t been through all of the scenarios that you’re going to see during the game, so there are going to be some mistakes. But that’s what you try to do through practice, try to put them through as many scenarios as possible, especially with what you think you’re going to see on game day and try to eliminate those mistakes.”

On the improvement of Royster:
“You really don’t know with running backs until you put them into game time situations, you know how they react. A lot of times you get a feel, but unless you get them going live, I found out at the running back position that you don’t know for sure. They have their assignments down, but they have to pick up blitzes. They have to play in game situations. Same thing at the safety position. A lot of times, the safety will look good, but how does he tackle? You don’t tackle a lot in practice. He’s done a good job in practice and I like the direction he’s headed, but he’s just got to get some opportunities.”

On if he prefers to ease in younger players or throw them right in there:
“I think for any position, people have to feel comfortable with the position and that’s based on what they do in practice. If somebody’s consistently on top of things in practice and they get the first opportunity to show us what they can do in games. If you don’t do it in practice, the chances of you playing well in games isn’t very good. So it’s what you do on the field that gives you an opportunity to play in games… Our desires are the same for everybody. We want people that are ready to play. We have to evaluate which guys are more ready than others. It’s based on what you see in film every day.”



(Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)