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Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1

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    Helmet Skins Quotes 11/7/11: M. Shanahan

    November 7, 2011
    Redskins Park


    Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

    On if his expectations for the season have adjusted:
    “We’ve talked about this from the beginning. We really approach it game-by-game. We just concentrate on the next game and hopefully find a way to win.”

    On the injury status of tackle Jammal Brown:
    “I don’t right now. It was his groin area, not his hip. I first thought it was his hip, but it was his groin.”

    On tackle Sean Locklear’s performance after replacing Brown:
    “I think he did a pretty good job. He fought in there, not practicing a lot at that position. I thought he did pretty good.”

    On the decision to place cornerback Phillip Buchanon on Injured Reserve:
    “Well, it’s been the last couple of weeks – he’s been fighting a few injuries. When I sat down and talked to Phillip, you could tell. Phillip is a guy that’s always fought back very quickly and he knew he was injured. It was not your typical Phillip Buchanon in practices during the week. You could tell that he was in some pain. So when I sat down and talked to him, he was pretty honest with me that he thought it was going to be a while before he came back so we decided to put him on IR.”

    On how he’s handled losing streaks in the past:
    “You just have to fight through it and hopefully it doesn’t happen too many times or you won’t be in this profession very long. That’s the nature of the game, but I’ve always approached it the same way. I remember starting off the season 0-4 one year. It’s tough because you put so much time in and guys played extremely hard, so you’ve got to find a way to get into the win column. You just have to go back to work.”

    On rookie wide receiver Leonard Hankerson starting for the first time:
    “Well, we talked about guys that get the opportunity to start or guys that stay in the position for a length of time. What you have to do is you have to do it on the field and you have to do it in practice. There’s a lot of competition at the wide receiver position. The week before, we let Niles [Paul] take a shot at it and we let [Anthony] Armstrong take a shot at it. Hankerson has been pretty consistent, so we wanted to give him an opportunity. He showed us during the game that he deserves to be the starter again next week.”

    On the importance placed on players with high character:
    “Well, you [have] a big emphasis when you’re drafting players or signing people in free agency. You want character, but you also want people that can play football.”

    On if he’s frustrated about the lack of productivity from the offense in two straight games:
    “Yeah, you’re very disappointed. You keep on going back and you’re trying to put your players in better positions to win. That’s the nature of the game. Every time you have some inexperienced guys at a number of different positions, sometimes you’re going to have some growing pains. I’ve been pleased with the effort that we’ve had. Obviously, not pleased with the execution. If you keep on getting that type of effort, then we will get better.”

    On how much time it takes to get a read on the progress of a quarterback:
    “It’s really hard to answer that because there are so many factors that go into evaluation of any player – the supporting cast, obviously you’re going to evaluate that player week-by-week, how he handles himself in every type of situation. Then, you take a look at shuffling pieces that go into the system and, sometimes, it’s a little harder to evaluate a guy when we’re moving a few people around.”

    On if running back Roy Helu will continue to be the starter:
    “We’re trying to give guys an opportunity and, when you give guys an opportunity like Helu this week, how can he run the football? How can he pass protect? How can he run routes? I thought he did a good job. He ran hard [and] obviously caught a lot of passes. I thought he took advantage of an opportunity. But there’s always that situation in a game – you’re not sure how many times you’re going to run the football. So you’ve got to have that one-two punch with these running backs because, if you’re carrying the ball 35-40 times, a lot of times you need that second or third running back.”

    On why he hasn’t said that the team is rebuilding:
    “What do you consider rebuilding? Well, the reason young guys are getting opportunities is because older guys have gotten hurt. So we’ve got young guys backing up, so you really don’t have an option to put veteran guys in there when your backup is a young player – either draft choice or free agent… If you look at our positions, if you’re talking about wide receiver and you’re talking about Hankerson – we’re giving him the opportunity even though he’s a young player because he’s the next best wide receiver we feel at this time [and he] gives this team the best chance to win. If you take a look at Maurice Hurt, the left guard position, we think he’s ready to play because he’s the next best offensive linemen that we do have. If you go through all of the different positions and when guys have opportunities, Helu, the same thing – let’s see what he can do. I thought he did a good job showing us what he can do yesterday… Like I said, I’m not even sure what you mean by rebuilding. You said you’re playing young players. Well, they’re our backup players and, when you lose a starter that’s a veteran player and you play a young guy, you’re playing the next best player. Is that considered rebuilding because you’re playing the next best player? I don’t believe so. You’re trying to win the football game. But those are the 46 guys on your team and the next best guy is going to go out and play.”

    On wide receiver Anthony Armstrong:
    “I don’t go through players’ strengths or weaknesses. I just don’t do that on a daily basis. We’ve got competition and Anthony hasn’t been as consistent as I would like just getting off bump coverage and that’s one of the areas that he’s got to improve at to be a starter on our football team and get more playing time. He knows that as well as anybody and he’s been getting better. But for him to get more time, you’ve got to beat that bump coverage.”

    On if he does anything differently when one side of the ball is struggling to prevent division on the team:
    “You talk about it and you talk about the struggles [and] you take a look at some clips. As we did today, I sat down and showed our team clips [and] what’s the difference between winning and losing. We average three turnovers a game over the last four games. We’re averaging three turnovers a game and it’s hard to win games regardless of what you do. So you go through the games you believe give you the best chance to win and you share it with the team and obviously you get things done at as a team. But I think we’re a very mature team. We’ve got guys with a lot of character. We’ll fight through this.”

    On balancing the possibility of players losing faith in quarterback John Beck while he’s still learning the position:
    “When people start talking about situations after the game, usually people probably shouldn’t say those things until they look at the film themselves and see if they played a perfect game themselves. You know I think that’s the case with most situations. There’s a lot of frustrations after the game. And there’s always going to be some times that quarterbacks miss some reads. That’s the nature of the game, especially when this football team wanted you to dump it off a majority of the game. They have a great pass rush and a good zone defense. We’re going to have some growing pains as we talked about with the quarterback situation and with shuffling some guys around. But I like what John did from one week to the other. We had 10 sacks the week before and we had one sack against a team that can really get after the quarterback. Was it a perfect game? No, not by anybody, but we’ll keep on working to get better and hopefully we can do it this weekend.”

    On if Beck will be the starting quarterback the remainder of the season:
    “First of all, I never talk about that. We talk about competition all of the time. I’m always going to do the best thing for this football team. Does that mean a guy can’t be benched for another player? Of course not. We’re going to do what we think gives us the best chance to win.”

    On Beck’s improvement from the Bills game to the 49ers game:
    “I just mentioned the sacks. I think that’s pretty specific, talking about 10 sacks against Buffalo and one sack against a team that really gets after the quarterback. Then, you have to be disciplined enough to know where to dump the football. Those are the things you have to do as a quarterback. You have to understand the clock and John would probably like to have four or five throws back to actually throw a little bit farther downfield. That’s probably what Jabar [Gaffney] was talking about – a couple of situations where he’s not really sure if he had time or not but he knew he was open. A lot of times a player doesn’t understand the situation a quarterbacks in because he doesn’t know the pass rush or the stunts or is it hot. That happens when you score 11 points… It’s a combination of all of those things. You can have some hot reads, you can have a four-man rush. You’ve got to know where your outlet is. I thought John did a great job on a number of throws getting the ball out when they did a good job on a couple of stunts and he dumped the ball off a lot quicker than the week before. Then, a couple of times, I thought he did a little too quick where, the week before, he was kind of standing in there because we were going against a team that wasn’t known for a great pass rush and this team was a lot better. And it’s a growing experience.”

    On what helps a quarterback learn the balance between not holding onto the ball too long and letting receivers’ routes develop:
    “Playing time [and] a good supporting cast. That is well-synchronized together.”

    On his son Kyle Shanahan being the offensive coordinator in the midst of the offense struggling:
    “It’s obviously tough when you’re not productive. We all understand that. I’m the one that told Kyle not to come. I said this is going to be a work in progress. It’s not going to happen overnight. And you were on an established team. You’ve got your ducks in order. I said we’re going to have to rebuild this football team, starting on offense. He understood that and he enjoyed the challenge and that’s what we’re doing.”

    On kick returner and punt returner Brandon Banks’ struggles this season:
    “We’re working extremely hard to make sure that happens – that he’s going to make sure he makes the right decisions. Any time you fumble a punt like he did and you make a bad decision just fielding the punt on the 3-yard line, I get upset about those type of decisions than I do about the actual returns because those returns will eventually turn into a big play because he’s proven that he can do it. But you’ve got to make sure along the way you don’t force something or you’re fumbling the punt or you’re fielding the punt on the 3-yard line. Those mistakes can’t be tolerated.”

    On the lack of deep passes:
    “It all depends what teams are doing. This team, the zone defense, as we talked about… The Colts, the one time we play them – why didn’t you throw the ball down the field? The next game we’re throwing the ball down the field. I think we watch the offense over time and you’d say, ‘Hey, we probably throw the ball downfield more than most teams do on first down.’ We’ve always been that way. Now, if a team’s going to make you go down the field 80 yards, you’ve got to have the discipline not to make mistakes and obviously take care of the football and do things the right way or else you’re going to do what we did during the game and turn the football over.”

    On the injury status of running back Tashard Choice:
    “I really don’t know. He feels pretty good right now. We’ll get a feel what he can do on Wednesday, but, right now, it looks like we’re pretty optimistic that he can practice. Now, we’ll evaluate him and see how he fits into the system and how much he knows.”

    On guard Maurice Hurt:
    “I thought he did an excellent job for his first game in the NFL against a very good football player.”

    On what he liked about Hurt’s performance against the 49ers:
    “Well, a little bit of everything. I thought he did a pretty good job run blocking, pretty good job against pass protection against guys that were very talented – a very experienced group, at least the defensive end was very experienced. He went against a guy that knows all of the tricks.”

    On if there will be announcement this week about activating safety Kareem Moore from the PUP list:
    “Something may happen at the end of the week. But again, as we talked about, Nov. 16 is the day we have got to make a decision. Obviously, we wouldn’t share that until game time.”

    On if patience is an important message:
    “Well, I think what I’m saying is that, in the Philadelphia game in the first 11 plays, you lose your left tackle, your left guard, you lose your tight end and then we make a switch at the quarterback in the fourth quarter. There’s a few moving pieces and then, next week, you lose a guy like [Tim] Hightower and you lose a guy like Santana [Moss] and you’re shuffling guys in and out of there. It just doesn’t go the same way. That’s just the nature of the game and we understand that. But I like the guys that we have in there – there’s some young guys, some with experience. We’re playing extremely hard. We’re making some mistakes, but we’re making those mistakes full speed. I think what we have to do is we have to grow up real quick and they’re getting some good practice time and some good playing time. I believe they have a lot of talent to get to the next level. In order for all of that to work and to score points, you’ve got to all mesh together and right now we’re not doing that.”

    On tackle Trent Williams being taken out of the game after the penalty:
    “I share this with all players, especially young players. Young players make a mistake quite often and they get a push or a little jab by somebody, especially a veteran player and, later on in the game, they try to retaliate and they lose their poise. The game’s 3-0 and we have first-and-10 on the 42-yard line. It’s our ball and we’re going to score. All of a sudden, you take away the first down and it’s third-and-23… That’s probably not keeping your poise. As I shared this with the guys, I’ve never seen anybody take a second shot and not hurt anybody in the NFL. It’s a push or something like that where you get a personal foul and you just cost your team a chance to win the football game. That just can’t be tolerated regardless of how good you are because they see the second shot. They don’t really see the first shot. As I said with Trent, I said, ‘Hey, first mistake that you made was in Philadelphia.’ We had a little push in the back and they had the ball on the 3-yard line. That could have cost us the game. I said it can’t happen a second time and it sure won’t be tolerated a third time. He’s too smart a guy and he’s worked too hard to put in the position he’s in and since everybody caught me on TV, I usually don’t share that, but everybody could see that we had a little confrontation or a little chat I could say. Hopefully, next time he’ll keep his poise.”

    On what he’s learned about Beck through three games:
    “I think if you brought somebody just out of the draft and, regardless of who it was, you get him some playing time – you’re really never sure how somebody is going to react until they actually play. And you take a look at each game. You take a look at Carolina and you say, ‘Wow.’ You take a look at the third and fourth quarter in Philadelphia – pretty impressive. And then all of a sudden you take a look at Buffalo, maybe you’re hanging onto the ball too long. You take a look at yesterday and you say, ‘Well, maybe if he would have held it a couple more times against the 49ers, we could have had a couple more big plays.’ That’s the nature. As time goes, he’ll feel more comfortable with the system. He’ll feel more comfortable actually playing in game situations and that’s the nature of playing with a quarterback that’s inexperienced… Buffalo – 10 sacks. Against a team that has an excellent pass rush – one sack. He sped everything up and got right of the football very quickly, which is very impressive. A couple of times he got rid of it a little too quick where he had chances to go down the field and that’s where receivers sometimes get frustrated. At the same time, he’ll go back and take a look at the field and say, ‘Oh, my .I know idea there was somebody in this guy’s face. What a great job just getting rid of the football.’ So that comes with looking at film.”

    On rebuilding:
    “What do you consider rebuilding? What is rebuilding? When you’re playing with a young player, is that what you call rebuilding? Most of these teams nowadays with the way the salary cap is – if you don’t have veteran players, usually you have some young players. When veteran players go down, you’re going to be playing with some young players. That’s the NFL today with the salary cap… When I first came in, the reason why I said we didn’t have to change is when you take a look — our center is changed from when I came in. Our left guard has changed from when I came in. Our left tackle has changed. Our right guard has changed. Our right tackle has changed. Our tight end has changed through injury. Both our wide receivers [and] our tight end. I said that is rebuilding a football team. Now, with a draft and free agency, we’re getting some young players playing as second-teamers and they’re getting a chance to show us what they can do. As I said, I was very pleased with Hankerson [and I] was very pleased with Hurt – with the way they reacted – [and] Helu. Some young players are getting some experience. Now, if that’s what you call rebuilding, then we’re rebuilding.”

    On the injury status of wide receiver Niles Paul and defensive Kedric Golston:
    “Niles [has] turf toe – he’ll be out for a couple weeks. And Kedric – [his] elbow. He should be okay right now. I think he’ll be able to go.”

    On determining kicker Graham Gano’s range:
    “I get a chance to see Graham to practice on a daily basis. We put him through situations like that all the time. He’s very consistent with 50-plus-yard field goals. We usually practice him in that 50-52 range. He’ll kick them and you can see if it’s good by 10 yards, 12 yards, 14 yards. The big question that you have when he’s going to kick a 59-yarder was we were kicking against the wind and I thought his range was in that 64-65 yard area, but he’d have to hit it good. And it was a heck of a kick – great concentration, got the ball up quick and I was proud of him.”

    On Gano’s consistency:
    “That’s one of the reasons why we stayed with him is that the first year is very tough. A lot of pressure on the young guy even though he’s kicked all of the field goals in college and high school. You get into the NFL and, all of a sudden, you start hooking them and you start pushing them. It’s kind of like your golf swing under pressure – you can play with your friends all of the time, but when you get in front of a lot of people, it changes or if you’re playing for a lot of money. So that’s what I like for with a kicker. He’s handled himself great this year and I like what I see.”

    On if he still has the same confidence in Beck as he did before the season:
    “Yeah, I have confidence in both guys. My job is to make sure they have the supporting cast so we can do the things that we need to do. I’ve said that with any offense that I’ve been with. A lot of people just think it’s the quarterback, they forget it’s the whole cast. Not one person can do it.”


    (Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    November 7, 2011
    Redskins Park


    Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan



    On why he hasn’t said that the team is rebuilding:
    “What do you consider rebuilding? Well, the reason young guys are getting opportunities is because older guys have gotten hurt. So we’ve got young guys backing up, so you really don’t have an option to put veteran guys in there when your backup is a young player – either draft choice or free agent… If you look at our positions, if you’re talking about wide receiver and you’re talking about Hankerson – we’re giving him the opportunity even though he’s a young player because he’s the next best wide receiver we feel at this time [and he] gives this team the best chance to win. If you take a look at Maurice Hurt, the left guard position, we think he’s ready to play because he’s the next best offensive linemen that we do have. If you go through all of the different positions and when guys have opportunities, Helu, the same thing – let’s see what he can do. I thought he did a good job showing us what he can do yesterday… Like I said, I’m not even sure what you mean by rebuilding. You said you’re playing young players. Well, they’re our backup players and, when you lose a starter that’s a veteran player and you play a young guy, you’re playing the next best player. Is that considered rebuilding because you’re playing the next best player? I don’t believe so. You’re trying to win the football game. But those are the 46 guys on your team and the next best guy is going to go out and play.”


    On his son Kyle Shanahan being the offensive coordinator in the midst of the offense struggling:
    “It’s obviously tough when you’re not productive. We all understand that. I’m the one that told Kyle not to come. I said this is going to be a work in progress. It’s not going to happen overnight. And you were on an established team. You’ve got your ducks in order. I said we’re going to have to rebuild this football team, starting on offense. He understood that and he enjoyed the challenge and that’s what we’re doing.”


    (Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
    The quote about telling Kyle not to come here is interesting but what strikes me is the apparent mixed message here about whether the Redskins are in rebuild mode or not, At the first question Shanahan seemed to give a roundabout noncommital answer but then stated he told Kyle it was a rebuild.

    Uh, which is it Mike?
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    I'm giving it a 2-4 year window. Looking for improvement in all areas. Redskins, you're on the clock.

 

 

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