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

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    Marine Corps Virginia

    B Skins Quotes 7/26: M. Shanahan/London Fletcher

    July 26, 2012
    Redskins Park


    Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan


    On the injury to tackle Jammal Brown:
    “It’s his hip. He’s on PUP right now. We’ll get a chance where the doctors evaluate him and get a little bit better feeling the next few days, where he is at. He was running yesterday and he was running well. I think, on the sixth or seventh, we call them gassers, he felt a little bit tight, a little bit sore this morning. So we put him on PUP.”

    On Jammal Brown’s reaction to the injury:
    “I think it’s really hard for him. He’s been working extremely hard to get into football shape. He’s in excellent shape and so he’s got a setback. So we’ll give the doctors a chance to look at it and see how it is.”

    On how long it will take for Jammal Brown to heal:
    “I really don’t know. I don’t know until the doctors get a good look and get an MRI on it.”

    On if it’s more alarming because Jammal Brown was hurt the last two years:
    “No, not really. You knew it was sore, you knew it could happen at anytime, something like this. You’re just hoping it’s a little flare up, nothing major and he’ll be back.”

    On the team embracing Robert Griffin III:
    “Well, it’s truly the way he handles himself. And he handles himself extremely well. You know he’s got a lot of charisma. Very smart. He works extremely hard. And he’s going to do everything he can to make himself the best player and that’s contagious to a football team. For a person that has that type of attitude and he works that hard coming in, and he wants to be one of the guys. He wants to get to know his teammates and he wants to be the leader of the football team and he’s handling himself accordingly.”

    On how he characterizes the camp compared to the last two years:
    “You can’t do anything about the controversy. We had a little bit of controversy with Albert [Haynesworth]. That was a big controversy the year before. At least from the team’s perspective, from the players it wasn’t that big to me because the players had worked with him for a year. But publicly it was tough because that’s all we had to talk about. And obviously last year with the Donovan [McNabb] situation you had to answer those questions. But again we made the decision that we thought was in the best interest of the franchise long-term. So questions like this are going to pop up all the time. And you have to deal with them and be honest and make a decision to move on.”

    On how he feels about having not to deal with drama:
    “It’s always great. You know, you develop your program hoping that you can eliminate those type of situations. And going into our third year and if you take a look at the first year, it was a little different since free agents couldn’t come in until they had six approved seasons. And last year with the lockout, I thought things turned out extremely well with the lockout, because we were still able to get some good free agents and we had a very solid draft. And I thought we did the same thing this year. You can see it’s a different football team. We are much younger. I feel very good with where we are at. We’ve got a lot of work, obviously, to improve on and we just try to play it day-by-day.”

    On the optimism Robert Griffin III brings:
    “Well, one person doesn’t make a football team. Obviously you’ve got to have a quarterback or have quarterbacks and you try to work every year to get that franchise guy. We were lucky enough to move up in the draft and get a guy that we believe is a franchise quarterback. And so we not only have a franchise quarterback, we believe, but we now have depth at the position. One or two plays where you go to your second or third team quarterback, I feel very good. In order for the quarterback to have success, he’s got to have a supporting cast, regardless who he is. And that’s why I think we improved. In all different areas. Offense, defense, special teams.”

    On having practice in the afternoon instead of the morning:
    “I haven’t worked it this way before. But with the new rules, we are getting a good lift in the morning from 7:30-8:00 and 8:00-8:30 with the rookies and the vets. So I think that you feel very good about that. And we’ve got a good meeting in the morning. And then we get a walkthrough so different things we walk through are things that we put in right before the walkthrough and before we hit the field. I like it so far. It was obviously tough today with the heat. The nice thing about the bubble, we have the opportunity to go in there if it does get too hot. If we have that weather, it’s nice to have that facility as well.”

    On the progress he sees in tackle Tyler Polumbus:
    “Tyler has done an excellent job since he’s been here. Starting at the tackle position and the guard position, he’s played well. I think Maurice Hurt has made some tremendous strides at the guard and the tackle position. He’s a guy that can play both. We have both those guys running now, with Jammal [Brown] being out, at the right tackle position as well as Willie Smith. So those three guys will compete until Jammal comes back and we’ll flip one of them over to the left side behind [Tom] Compton and Trent [Williams].”

    On how Tim Hightower and Kory Lichtensteiger looked coming off of injuries:
    “Hightower looked good. As I told Tim, I said, ‘I don’t want to overdo it. I’ll get you through some individual work, a few team plays, then I’ll try to get you ready for the regular season after the first preseason game.’ I thought Tim did an excellent job today. Kory Lichtensteiger was full speed from day one or I should say right from the first period. We let him go the whole practice. There was no setback. I talked to him briefly afterwards. Like all the players [he was] a little bit tired, but Kory made it through without any setbacks.”

    On if one of the running backs has emerged as a starter:
    “I’ve been asked this question a lot of different times. I really don’t know how to answer it because you don’t know until guys get in game situations with running backs. Sometimes you get a running back that can carry the load by himself. Most of the time you kind of have two or three guys, but we’ll just have to wait and see as the preseason goes on who wins the playing time.”

    On if he expects Tim Hightower to start if healthy:
    “Well Tim was starting out with the first team before he got hurt. Last year he was a first teamer, but obviously Roy [Helu] did a good job, [Evan] Royster did a good job. We’ve got a lot of guys that I believe have the ability to play and play well so we’ll just let it play out.”

    On the boost the return of Jarvis Jenkins will provide:
    “Definitely when you have another defensive tackle, defensive end his size, it gives you a good boost. You find somebody 6-5, 320 pounds that can move and play as well as he did during preseason last year, you’re looking for him to really help turn your defense around. We’ve talked about before – that’s where it starts, but yeah we have more depth there a lot more guys that fit into our scheme.”

    On his message during the first team meeting:
    “The first one you go over so many different things. You’ve got about a three-hour meeting with them. You go over rules and you talk a little bit about last year. But over the next month, you get a little bit of a theme every day and so you try to talk about all those little things and try not to leave anything out.”

    On deciding how physical practices should be:
    “It’s pretty easy today because you’re not allowed pads. Even if we wanted to work them really hard, you couldn’t relative to hitting. Today and tomorrow you’re not allowed to wear pads. You can have some protective gear, but from Saturday on you can put on shoulder pads. You’re kind of a little bit of a product of your environment. I went to San Francisco, which had won four Super Bowls in 11 years. They did not hit, but they practiced at full speed, the game tempo that you have to pull off and we hit, not full speed, but you know, take people to the ground. So I think there’s a lot of different ways to do it. Not sure if there’s a right or wrong way, it’s just what you’ve been successful with. You want people to stay healthy, but at the same time you want to get them ready to play. You want to tackle guys, bring them to the ground, but you want to wrap people up, so we try to switch it off a little bit and do what we think is best that gives us a chance to win.”

    On the cohesiveness between Robert Griffin III and the receivers after the first day:
    “Like you said, it’s the first day, and we’re just starting to work, starting to get back together. We haven’t been together for a while. And it’s a timing aspect. Hopefully we grow every day and we try to get better every day.”

    On the health of wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
    “Well, we’re not really easing him back in. You know, he practiced today full speed, as well as Josh Morgan. He went full speed…let’s talk about other guys. [Stephen] Bowen was full speed. Rak’s [Brian Orakpo] chest is fine. [Chase] Minnifield went on IR, he had an ACL [injury] the last day of minicamp. [Chris] Cooley was fine with his hamstring and his groin, that knee last year is fine. We talked about [Tim] Hightower already. I really feel good about [Leonard] Hankerson. I’ve been with those hips before, and you just don’t know about the hips. And it really didn’t look like there were any setback today whatsoever. He’s been going full speed for the last couple weeks, and knock on wood he can stay healthy and keep on getting better.”

    On the health of running back Tim Hightower:
    “I told Tim, you know he’s such a competitor. I said, ‘Any time you have an ACL tear, especially as a running back, your tendency is “Hey, I feel good.’” And I said, ‘Just don’t overdo it. Just take a few reps here and there, go through your drill work.’ And Tim is one of those guys that doesn’t want to give up a rep. You know, I think he’s smart enough to know that he’s got to be ready by the first regular season game, not by the first preseason game.”

    On the injuries of Tanard Jackson and Tristan Davis:
    “Tanard Jackson’s got a calf [injury]. I think he’ll probably be able to go either Saturday or Monday. That’s according to [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess], he’s got a mild calf strain. He’s also on PUP. And Tristan Davis, he’s got a swollen knee—had nothing to do with football. He got two stitches on his leg. I think he’ll also be able to go on Monday.”

    On Jackson’s setback:
    “You know, he’s disappointed. But the good thing is hopefully he’ll be able to go Saturday or Monday. So he’s going to be out, but hopefully not for long.”

    Linebacker London Fletcher

    On the general vibe going into training camp:
    “I think there’s definitely a different feeling about this team. Obviously when you think about getting Robert [Griffin III] at the quarterback position, some of the other moves that the management has been able to make over the last couple of years [and] some of the depth we’ve been able to add through the draft and free agency, the excitement is definitely here. But we all know we have to go to work.”

    On the skillset that quarterback Robert Griffin III has displayed in practice:
    “The thing about him is you hear about his speed, but until you go against it, you don’t actually know what you’re faced against. [He has a] talent to be able to throw the football. He has a rocket of an arm. He has the right mentality as far as his preparation. He’s going to be a pretty good player for us. When you face him, the speed is what will definitely shock you, and then his talent as well.”

    On the defense’s responsibility to take pressure off Griffin III:
    “Defensively, our focus is on our job regardless of the quarterback. We’re thinking about creating turnovers, scoring on these turnovers and creating field position, even in the special teams area. Any way we can create field position, give our offense a short field [and create] takeaways, we know that’s going to help us overall as a team. Obviously, with him being a rookie as a quarterback, it’s only going to help his success.”

    On the leadership qualities Griffin III has displayed:
    “The thing about him is he already has great leadership quality. He’s already emerged as one of the leaders on the football team and not because of the position he plays. A lot of times you see or think because you’re the quarterback you have to be the leader on the football team. His aura, his personality about himself, is one of his great leadership qualities. Just some of the things he does that rookies don’t generally do [such as] getting the guys together in Waco. That’s big-time to get those guys to come out and know that it was important not only for him to continue to develop his skillset but to work with his receivers. He does stuff on a day-to-day basis. Eventually he’ll be the leader of this team, but right now he doesn’t need that extra added pressure. We just need him to worry about learning and playing the quarterback position. I can handle my little part in things like that.”

    On how Griffin III’s athleticism affects the mindset of opposing defenses:
    “When you have a quarterback who can make plays off-schedule, when it doesn’t go exactly as it was designed to go, a quarterback who can buy time, has a threat to run the football, make plays outside the pocket, defensively, you’re kind of always on your heels because you don’t know if he’s going to run the ball. Is going to keep it or throw it? You see stuff like that, especially with guys like Michael Vick now, the [quarterback] with Philadelphia, outside the pocket. You don’t know if he’s going to run the football or continue to look downfield and sometimes throw the ball as well. With Robert, he’ll be able to do a lot of those things as well.”

    On if he has ever seen a rookie with as much poise as Griffin III:
    “Being around this game for a number of years now, you can tell when you meet guys who have it. I think he’s on the way, just the way he carries himself, not a sense of entitlement, just wants to work hard. He’s continued to try to improve his craft. He wants to be the best quarterback he can be right now. He knows it’s going to be a process. We know it’s going to be a process. We’re not going to expect him to come in and be a top-five quarterback, but if does, we won’t be mad about that either.”

    On whether or not he is mentoring Griffin III:
    “Not necessarily. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily mentoring him because a lot of stuff, you can tell he was raised well. The people that he has in his life and has had in his life in the past, you can tell they’ve already done a great job with him. So if I can apply some of my knowledge on him, as far as being in his game, you know we’ve had little conversations here and there, but I think he already has a great foundation.”

    On the difference between last year and this year:
    “You know, I think we made a lot of strides last year. There’s still room for improvement. Obviously we didn’t do everything as well as we would have liked to. You know the sky’s the limit really for our defense. You know, this is our third year in the system. You mentioned getting Jarvis [Jenkins] back is going to be a big plus for us. Getting some of the guys that we had free agency wise, secondary, things like that, I think they can help us play better football this year. Us understanding the system and the scheme a lot better…You know, this is our third year in the scheme, so I think with what I said we can do a lot of good things.”

    On discussing leadership with Griffin III:
    “It’s just natural conversation. You don’t talk about leadership. You just have your natural conversations, and definitely in that conversation you can see where a guy understands what it takes to get to the next level on and off the field. And he has that. You can just tell that just by having our conversations.”

    On if he discusses football or life outside of football with Griffin III:
    “A little bit of both. A little bit of both. We are football players so you know we’re going to talk about football. And things come up in life so you talk about that as well.”

    On how the team views Griffin III:
    “When you’re in the locker room, guys just kind of know him as Griff, Robert, whatever. I call him Robert. I’m not calling him ‘RGIII.’ But, no, he’s fine. He has a lot of notoriety, deservingly so because of what he accomplished at Baylor last year. He put up some amazing stats last year, and winning the Heisman, you know those things are going to bring that notoriety to him. But the great thing about him is, he just doesn’t carry himself, like ‘I’m some Heisman trophy winner, I’m better than you guys. You know they traded all these draft picks for me.’ He doesn’t carry himself like that, so it’s easy for our guys to gravitate towards him because of his demeanor. So with that being said, I mean he’s just Robert, Rob, some guys call him ‘RGIII,’ but he’s just who he is.”

    On what he thinks about Griffin III’s commercials:
    “I saw a couple of them. I thought he did a pretty good job. He’s better than Rak [Brian Orakpo].”

    On if Griffin III will be in the head of linebackers:
    “I don’t know. I guess when teams get a chance to face us, you know they’ll look at him and prepare for him as they need to. I just think about Michael Vick when he was in Atlanta, and I was playing against him in St. Louis, and the type of speed and athleticism that the guy brought to the position and obviously his ability to throw the football. Those things you can’t really prepare for until you get out and face it, until you realize exactly the talent that this guy has. I guess hopefully that answers your question.”

    On the excitement about Griffin III:
    “He comes in as a high draft pick, a lot of fanfare, and he plays the most important position on the football field, so there’s going to be a lot of hype around that. I think he has the right make up and the right mindset to be successful.”

    On his feeling coming into camp without much controversy around the team:
    “I guess normal, how you think football should be on most teams throughout the National Football League. A lot of the stuff in the past we’ve created ourselves with the different distractions, drama and things like that. Right now we just have a team of guys that just really want to go about their business on a day-in, day-out basis. We’ve got a great group of guys, guys that like each other, guys that like coming to work with each other. I think this environment is normal, how you would think a National Football League training camp should be.”

    On the amount of optimism coming into training camp compared to past years:
    “Because of getting the quarterback, there’s a great deal of optimism around the National Football League as far as from the fan standpoint. For us, every team feels great about themselves going into the season, but we have to go out and put in the work to realize the dream and the goals that we have.”

    On the benefit of the linebackers having another year of experience in the defense:
    “I think it will be good for us. Last year was [linebackers] Ryan [Kerrigan’s] and Perry [Riley’s] both first times starting, and Perry didn’t start until the last seven or eight games of the season, so he was learning kind of on the fly as we went. He was here for the offseason to learn the position. Ryan is going to be so much better because he was going from a hands-on-the-ground 4-3 rush end to a stand up 3-4 outside linebacker. That transition was big for him, but he did well, he did great. He played more snaps than anybody on that defense. He’s going to be even better this year. As good as he was last year he’ll be even better just because of the experience that he had last year. It’s the same thing with Perry - that valuable experience that he got last year starting those last seven or eight games last year. Experience will help us be a better linebacker unit now. [Linebacker Brian] Orakpo, his third year in the system, he should be outstanding as well.”

    On the impact of new linebackers coach Bow Slowik:
    “Slowik, he’s been around for a number of years. He’s been in this defense for three years now, so he knows the defense. He knows the nuances of the position. For us, as far as being out there in the system for three years, most of the guys have been in the system for three years so we understand that part of it. It’s just a different approach, but we’re all excited about Coach Slowik and his expertise and looking to see how he can help us improve each one as a player.”

    On how Slowik is different than former linebackers coach Lou Spanos:
    “Lou is crazy. He has a different personality. For guys who knew Lou, you’ll know the personalities are totally different, but Lou [Spanos] had been in the system for 15-16 years down in Pittsburgh so he knew the defense like the backside of his hand. Those personalities are totally different.”

    On defensive end Jarvis Jenkins’ return to the front seven:
    “I think if you can remember how he was playing last year in the preseason and training camp, he was making a lot of plays for us. He has a lot of talent. I know coming off the ACL there will be a little adjustment for him. If we can get him back up to speed close to where he was prior to the injury, that’s going to be huge for us because now you have another guy in our defensive front rotation. There shouldn’t be a drop off when he comes into the game.”

    On training camp moving to Richmond:
    “Oh man, that’s too far down the road, but I kind of like the idea of going away for camp. I think from a team-building and camaraderie standpoint that just helps so much more because it really forces guys to spend more time with each other. Guys hang out after the night meetings, maybe play some pool, play some cards, things like that. You’re just spending more time with each other as opposed to with the camp being here. We go back to our hotel rooms and most guys are trying to lay down or you’re not spending as much time as you would if you were in the isolated situation.”

    On his individual expectations:
    “I feel great. I’m just [trying] to improve every day, try to challenge myself to become a better player. I think we all have room for improvement. [Those are] really the goals I set each year and each week really and each day.”

    On how Perry Riley has improved:
    “Just formation recognition, being able to react quicker as far as knowing, ‘Okay, what my responsibility is,’ and so when something happens being able to react just half a step faster because he’s more comfortable in what his responsibility is. When you can come break the huddle, recognize formations, knowing, ‘Okay, the team likes to do this in that certain situation.’ His experience in the game last year is going to be so much…And he’ll be light years ahead of where he was just because of that.”

    On Barry Cofield evolving as a nose tackle:
    “With Barry, it was probably just an adjustment mentally, mindset-wise, of going from a 4-3 one-gap defense to being a 3-4 nose tackle. It’s a totally different mindset where it’s not just run gap, ‘take that gap’ stuff like that. It’s a little bit more running sideways, stuff like that, keeping the linemen off the linebackers, realizing that you’re probably not going to be making a ton of plays. So as a guy you kind of have to change your thought process, but I thought he did great with it.”

    On if Cofield’s experience at nose tackle helps open up lanes for Fletcher:
    “I hope so. I think he understands his responsibility is great. Me and him talk all the time as far as, ‘Hey, I know how it’s drawn up, but if it doesn’t go that way don’t worry about it. I’ll play off of you; you play off of me.’ We just go from there. We have those conversations to where it takes pressure off of each other too. So you’re like, ‘Hey man, I know this is how it’s supposed to be, but things happen in the game of football.’”

    On the depth of the interior linebackers:
    “They just really have added more talent to the football team. They’ve added better depth at the position. [Jonathan] Goff has been a starter in this league. Lorenzo [Alexander] has played a multitude of positions, very talented. He’s doing [well] at the inside linebacker position. They drafted Keenan [Robinson] so you’ve just got more guys that [have] added to the depth at the position and talent.”

    On the change of the personnel in the defensive secondary:
    “I think one of the things that can’t be understated is the addition of Raheem Morris as the defensive backs coach. He’s phenomenal just watching him, listening to him coach. I’ve been around some good coaches. I think he’s one of the extremely good coaches in this league. You can see why he was promoted to head coach at such a young age. So with that being said, his approach, his style of coaching will help those guys even play better.”
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    hard to believe we are here again in Day 1 of camp, but this team needs a veteran swing tackle. Brown even if he returns sooner rather than later is not a lock to start 16 games.

    are you really going to trust a transitioning Mo Hurt or an UDFA in Willie Smith protecting Griffin's blind side?
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    According to Rich Campbell, Tyler Polumbus was starting at RT yesterday where Brown was slated to start. Not Griff's blind side.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    Well, I hope things work out with Brown for his sake and the team's. But if he is still hampered a week or two from now in camp at RT, I think the team has to either move to make Tyler the starter or make a trade.

    Going into the season hoping and praying is not an option this time. We did that in 2010 and 2011. And rolled snake eyes both times.

    Gotta start learning from these mistakes.

    Other than keeping Haynesworth around way too long, signing Brown to that 5 year extension was one of the worst moves this team made. 5 years and $27M for a guy that wasn't even 100% at the time?

    This club was negotiating against itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog's Twin View Post
    Well, I hope things work out with Brown for his sake and the team's. But if he is still hampered a week or two from now in camp at RT, I think the team has to either move to make Tyler the starter or make a trade.

    Going into the season hoping and praying is not an option this time. We did that in 2010 and 2011. And rolled snake eyes both times.

    Gotta start learning from these mistakes.
    With this turn of events, I doubt seriously Brown is on the team to begin the season. Polumbus practiced with the starters today and was serviceable last year. Give him a mobile QB and he could be serviceable for a season...that is if Compton does not push him for the starting position.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

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    I would not put too much on Compton given the small school competition he faced in college. This guy has a big learning curve coming to the NFL and Shanahan seems to have him over at LT exclusively.

    My preference if the 4 year vet Polumbus can't nail the spot down is to make a trade or sign a veteran during camp.

    Brown may go on IR because his cap hit this year would accelerate if he was cut and the Redskins gave him $9M in bonus dollars.
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    Just going off what has been reported about his potential.
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    The more things change...the more they stay the same. It's like deja vu all over again.

 

 

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