July 30, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan


On today’s injury report:
“Kory Lichtensteiger had surgery today. He had a scope. His ACL is fine, his MCL is fine. What he had operated on last year, but there were some particles in the cartilage that the doctor saw that he needed to get cleaned out. Surgery went well. He’s finished with it. I think under normal circumstances he might be able to come back in the third preseason game. My thought right now is hopefully he will be ready for the first game. We’ve got to get him back in football shape and hopefully there will be no setbacks. DY [Darrel Young] had a hamstring injury today. Hopefully it’s not too long. Josh Morgan had a little cramp. That’s why he was out. Willie Smith went down on a One-on-One on a pass rush. A little twisted knee, he’s having an MRI. I can’t tell you at this time. Tanard Jackson is off the PUP. New rules are that if someone is coming from another team and they’ve been in camp, they can practice right away, but if they come off your PUP list, it’s the same for a new player. Just like Jordan Black today, they had the first taste of conditioning. The next two days are without pads and they can get back into the swing of things the fourth day. So Jordan Black was unable to practice today for the same reason Tanard Jackson couldn’t practice. Jammal Brown, we should find out more tomorrow after he talks to his doctor in New York. Tristan Davis, still on the PUP. He was a little swollen yesterday, a little swollen today. So we will evaluate him day by day and we feel like he’s ready to go. Hopefully he will be in the next two or three days. We will bring him up into team.”

On guard Kory Lichtensteiger’s setback:
“He was a little sore, so he had an MRI just to make sure. That’s when he found those particles. Just talking to doc [the doctor], he thought it would be smart to go in and clear those particles out of the cartilage rather than wait a week or two to see if it improved and have that soreness. The good part about it is the ACL’s fine and the MCL’s fine. Anytime you go in and scope, the guy should be back fairly quickly. So hopefully that’s the case.”

On the left guard position:
“For right now, we had both Maurice Hurt over there who played there last year. [Josh] LeRibeus is over there as well. We will probably continue that for a while. Josh has had a lot of practice. He went through OTA’s at the center position. We will still interchange Josh up to center position with the third team. He’ll still get some playing time.”

On Maurice Hurt getting time at right tackle:
“Right now, we’re going to put him at the left guard. He played there last year and when he played, he played quite well. Maurice has the ability to play the guard and the tackle position because of his quickness, speed and his size. We moved him over there because Kory went down.”

On being patient with Kory Lichtensteiger coming back:
W“I think you have to be very patient with Kory, just because you don’t want to lose a player for the season. But when you do have a little cartilage like that at this time of the year, I’ve waiting to many times for week to two weeks, then all of a sudden you go in there, you wait before the first game and the guy can’t play. Why not do it right now, make sure it’s okay. Obviously it wasn’t my recommendation, the doctor thought it was in his best interest to get it cleaned up. Hopefully he is ready to go.”

On injuries along offensive line:
“Sometimes it happens at one position. That’s why you need depth. We’ve been talking about depth the whole time, and we do have some depth, which is nice. So if you do lose one or two guys, you’re expecting some guys to come in and fill the void. Just like when [offensive lineman] Jammal [Brown] went down, Tyler Polumbus really did an excellent job for us last year and he’s done a great job through the OTA’s. We’ve already talked about [offensive linemen] Maurice Hurt and Willie Smith. Hopefully there’s not a setback with Willie. [Tom] Compton has been doing a good job in here. A sixth-round draft choice and you see his foot quickness and his lateral quickness. I’m impressed with him as well. James Lee goes over to the tackle position. He moved over there today as well because our numbers were down when Willie went down. At least you have some people in there that can compete, so that’s a big plus.”

On if the team will have to bring in a veteran offensive lineman:
“No, those guys aren’t out there. Those guys aren’t out there. If they were out there and we thought somebody was better than the people we had, we would have tried to get those players.”

On linebacker Jonathan Goff’s MRI:
“ACL tear. He’s out for the season. It was really a shame because he’s come in here and worked so hard to make this football team, everything you could possibly do in the offseason. I was really pulling for him. He’s a class individual and just a guy’s guy. Very intelligent, very hard worker, all the things you look for in a football player. It was just unfortunate that he had the ACL. I don’t think you can keep a good man down. He’ll come back and fight. Hopefully next year he’ll be able to play.”

On how he feels about quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance during training camp so far:
“He’s done a good job. He’s done a good job right from the beginning, taking pride in everything does and it starts with learning the playbook. As we’ve talked about before, even the first day of practice, he didn’t have one missed assignment or one wrong called formation but in one situation where he had to back up. And that’s pretty impressive, especially when you throw a lot at a rookie quarterback. I’ve been very impressed with the way he handles himself both on and off the football field. He’s an overachiever with a lot of talent. When you have a guy like that then you have a chance to get better and your team has a chance to get better.”

On if he expects Lichtensteiger to play in Week 1:
“When I say I think - at least my scopes that I’ve been with because the ACL and MCL seem to be OK and the doctor said that the scope went well – that, in theory, I think he could play maybe the third preseason game. What I said is I probably will not go in that direction. I’d try to get him ready for the first game. If everything goes right then hopefully he’ll be ready for the first game of the season.

On if Kory Lichtensteiger can play Week 1 against New Orleans:
“Number one, he’d be ready to play. He’s been really close to 100 percent even on OTA days. I just didn’t want to overwork him. His strength was there. Everything was fine. The ACL was fine, the MCL was fine. But there’s a lot of times when you come back, when you have- this is what I’m told by the doctors- when you have an ACL and MCL tear, that puts a lot of stress in that area. And when you start back to work, sometimes you’ll get some fragments that come off and get caught in the cartilage and you’ve got to clean it out. But the good part of it is the structure of the ACL and the MCL is fine. And so with that clean-up, hopefully there is no setback.”

On if he would hesitate to play Kory Lichtensteiger against New Orleans if he didn’t play a preseason game:
“We can see in practice if he can do it. I wouldn’t care about a game situation because you play enough games that you’ve got a lot of confidence and you’re going to need that.”

On if safety Tanard Jackson is set back by missing the first week of training camp:
“You know, the thing that he’s been able to do is through the OTA’s, he’s been there learning the defense. I think he feels very comfortable with the defense. He’s got some playing experience, so I think he can adjust very quickly once he starts practicing.”

On wide receiver Santana Moss being a leader:
“Anytime you’re in the league as much as Santana [Moss] has been, how many years he’s been, 12 I believe, you know everybody’s got a lot of confidence in Santana because he’s been a playmaker throughout his career. But I think Santana knew that he had to lose a little weight to come back and play at a certain level to help our football team win. And that’s what he did. He came in, cut about 15 pounds and he looks like a different guy out there.”

On who decided to put Robert Griffin III and London Fletcher’s lockers together:
“I don’t think it was my decision, but somebody asked me about it and I said, ‘Yeah, I can’t think of a better idea [than] to have Robert’s locker next to London’s,’ especially the type of leader London is. You always like to have a number of guys being able to communicate with him and just pick his brain about how hard he works and how he handles himself. And if you’ve ever got a question, he’s a guy to talk to.”

On Robert Griffin III’s work ethic following linebacker Bryan Kehl’s fumble recovery:
“Anybody that chases someone down, I saw him chase him right at the end and I was hoping he wasn’t going to pull a hamstring. That’s all I was thinking of. So let’s not get carried away. But, no, that shows you the pride that he has. He’s a normal guy. He’s in charge of doing his job, and if that job is making a tackle after a turnover, he’ll do it.”

On quarterback Rex Grossman’s mentoring ability:
“It’s how Rex [Grossman] handles himself. You know Rex has always been a very unselfish guy. And he’s going to tutor people. And he just knows how to deal with people. And he’s a guy’s guy and he’s going to say the right things at the right time, and that’s why I think the players respect him so much. He just knows how to handle himself. He’s been in the league, he’s earned the respect of how he handles himself, and I think Robert [Griffin III] has enjoyed just being around him.”

On if he’s looking forward to the rookie talent show:
“Yeah. In fact I talked to him about it tonight. We just tell our guys that they’ve got to be able to entertain. Some guys are singers, some guys will do a skit. We’ll probably start that tomorrow. We’ll warn them tonight to be ready. They tend to worry more about that than they do there playbooks [laughter].”


Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On how the team feels after the fourth day:
“[We’re] feeling good. Both sides of the ball are really competing pretty well, so that’s a good thing to see. You know, at OTA’s, I felt like the defense kind of dominated. And coming out here in camp, I think the offense has really stepped up and played well.”

On how he feels after the fourth day:
“I think it’s going great. The more practice you can get, the better it is. That sounds like a cliché, but it’s really true. I feel a lot better today than I did in OTA’s and rookie minicamp, so it’s really going well.”

On anything that has surprised him during training camp:
“I mean, you’re away from the outside world. So it’s no different than a college training camp, just harder. These are the best athletes in the world, so it’s going to be a grind everyday. You know, everyday we lace them up, in college you try to imagine that it’s game day everyday. But for us out here, you know, these guys are out here competing, not only to make themselves better, but to have a job. So everyday is game day, and everybody comes out to work everyday.”

On whether or not the strong defensive pressure is by design:
“Yeah, I think Coach [Mike Shanahan] is trying to get me the hardest looks possible so that I can be ready for those types of things. You know, whether teams decide to blitz and bring a lot of pressure, sit back and drop everybody into coverage, or if they just play their normal defense, we’re preparing for everything. And, of course, you can try to prepare for everything and still go out there and get a curveball thrown at you. But I think Coach is doing a great job of not only getting the defense better by getting them to show many looks, but also helping us offensively see many different things.”

On the two back-to-back-runs into the end zone with a “wiggle” at the end of the second drive:
“A little wiggle or something…that’s a very nice description. You know, it’s great to get out there. It’s great for the fans, but it’s also good for us as an offense to score in red zone type situations. As a team, we struggled last year with that. So I think it will help the team be very confident that when we do get in the red zone, whether it’s throwing the ball or running the ball in, we can do it.”

On Rex Grossman’s support:
“Rex is great. If you ask anybody on the team, offensive linemen, just anyone, they’ll tell you that Rex is a baller. And he goes out, he works hard and does what he’s supposed to do to try to help the team win. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for Rex, and, you know, I’m here. But he’s definitely stepping up to the plate and helping me out and not being bitter about it at all. So I think it’s great to have a guy like that here just to give me little tips, just on how to do things. And it’s definitely been a big help for me.”

On how many times he has had to start over because of a mistake:
“Not very often. As an offense, I try to pride myself in being ready every day with the script, going out and getting the plays to the team. And not just getting it to them, but saying it with confidence. So it’s not very often that we do. Sometimes we go out there and we line up in the wrong formation and have to come back to the huddle. That’s just the nature of the game. In a real game, you go run the play in whatever formation you called out there. So it’s not very often. So I think you can ask anyone else of the coaches and they’ll tell you that.”

On how it has been with Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan talking through the headset:
“It’s been fine. I mean, in OTA’s it was a little static-y through the earpiece. But I got used to it. I’ve definitely been more on point of getting the right plays out. So hopefully it’s that clear during the game. Rex [Grossman] has told me it’s not. But that’s why you have to know your offensive game plan, and I plan on knowing it.”

On establishing a comfort level with the wide receivers:
“Throwing with those guys over the summer helped. Being out there with them in OTA’s and minicamp helped. Being with them here helps. You can never say you’re there because you can always be more on point with them, but I think we have pretty good chemistry right now. If we had to go play tomorrow, I think we could do it and be effective. We don’t want to go play tomorrow. We just practiced hard today, but it’s getting better. I feel really good about the guys that I do have, the talent and things we’ll be able to do.”

On what part of his game he needs to improve most:
“It’s just working on everything. I’m not one to say, ‘I’m really bad at that.’ It’s not that I’m naďve or stubborn. I just don’t look at myself that way. Whether it’s working on picking up blitz pressure and knowing where to go with the ball or what to do in certain situations, I’m working on all those things: feet, drops, hitching up in the pocket, just getting completions and staying on the field. That’s the bottom line. If you constantly put yourself down and say, ‘Hey, I really need to work on that,’ then you’re going to think you’re bad at it, so I try not to talk that way. ”

On the physical toll of rushing the ball:
“When it comes to that, [Head] Coach [Mike Shanahan] promised me he’s not going to get me killed. We’re going to do whatever we have to do to help this team win and move the ball. The guys in this league are definitely a lot bigger and a lot faster, and I experienced that out here with my teammates. So we’ll be smart. Whatever we have to do, we’ll do it. But he said he’s not going to get me killed.”

On if he thinks about injuries along the offensive line:
“I try not to. I definitely keep tabs on those guys, try to talk to them and see what’s going on with them just for my mind’s sake. You want to have the best guys you can have out there, but we have a couple guys sitting out and the rest of the line’s stepping up and doing a good job. If you think you have a banged up line or bad offensive line, then you’ll play scared. The one thing I don’t want those guys to think is that I don’t trust them, so I definitely trust my offensive linemen, whoever’s out there with me.”

On if the quarterback runs in the Redskins’ offense are similar to what he did at Baylor:
“We did nakeds and boots at Baylor, and I throw on the run a bunch. But I think it’s more out of design here with the keeper game that Coach likes to run . It’s not really comparable, but I’ve had my fair share of throwing on the run. Being looked at as an athletic quarterback, that’s what everybody tries to do with you.”

On maintaining fundamentals when throwing on the run:
“It’s just ‘throw when you’re ready.’ If you have to rush a throw, a lot of times it will dive on you. Early in the first couple of practices, we all struggled with that. We definitely picked it up since then, and I know yesterday we did a really good one on the run. In the past few days, all of us have looked really good on keepers. I try not to just be a Debbie Downer and say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I have to do that.’ It’s just about practicing. If you make a bad throw one time, it’s a very slim chance to none that I’m going to go back and make the same bad throw.”

On throwing while running to the left:
“You’ve got to get your shoulders around. The problem is when you have Brian Orakpo running right after you and you can’t get you shoulders around so we worked on it all through our drills. We worked on when you can get it all the way around and get downfield and make that throw and then if you’ve got a guy like [Ryan] Kerrigan or Orakpo running after you and you have to run sideways, just how to position your body to be able to make that throw as well. We did a good job correcting it, so I thank the coaches for that.”

On rapper Wale attending practice:
“It’s cool. I like Wale. I met him, I think, at the draft. I got drafted by the Redskins, obviously, so he is a huge Redskins fan. Really cool guy. So for him to say that – it’s cool to have celebrities all coming out here supporting us. It definitely brings a lot of fans out. Hopefully we can get some more celebrity fans, aka [Kevin] Durant, out here.”

On if he has made strides since OTA’s:
“Day one of training camp – everyone is amped up, a lot of jitters. You want to come out and impress and I think we did some things good but we also did some things bad. The best way to describe it is we hit everything that was closely contested and we missed everything that was wide open. I think we made some strides since then, since day one, and I’m extremely proud of the offense. By no means are we satisfied, but we definitely have gotten better since day one.”

On chasing after a fumble recovery after the play ended:
“I don’t want to scare the fans and let them think that I’m going to go run down linebackers 30 yards down the field, but it happened, so whatever. I think it’s more of a thing for the team to see I don’t give up on the play. I didn’t know that there was a fumble. [Chris] Cooley probably would have been tackled before he fumbled anyway, but to see that guy running and them blocking for him – why give him a free touchdown? I ran him down because I could and pushed him out of bounds.”

On if the veterans have hazed him:
“Today [DeAngelo] Hall made me carry his pads because I said I break arm tackles so he said, ‘Here’s these pads. This will help you work on breaking those arm tackles.’ Other than that, I think we are going to start our rookie shows tonight. I plan on singing. Hopefully I don’t get booed off the stage, but we’ll see what happens. There’s a couple guys that have got some skits going on, but they’re not doing to much to us.”

On what song he will sing at the rookie show:
“I think I’m going to go with some Temptations, some ‘My Girl.’ Do that, hopefully get the whole room singing, then we’ll move on from there.”

On giving reporters a sample of his singing talent:
“I can’t do that. I don’t want to break any cameras or anything.”

On plays being more successful against other teams rather than his own defense:
“You hit that right on the head. In practice, the guys you go against everyday have seen this offense time and time again so, they kind of know and feel what is coming. The teams that have a week to practice for it, like the Saints, who have had all summer or however long they have been working on it to try and shut it down they will be better at it. But nobody will be good at it as Kerrigan and Orakpo. Those guys know it and it helps me get better so that I know no matter what look I get, whether I get the edge, don’t get the edge, I know how to run the play accordingly.”

On the hype and the excitement in and around in Washington D.C.:
“I didn’t expect the excitement. I certainly wasn’t surprised by it, but I didn’t expect it. I didn’t want to get drafted and have a whole city fall in love with me or say that’s just what I do. It’s definitely been an eye-opening experience. Like I said, from what I learned and had at Waco at Baylor, it is times 100 here in D.C. So, it’s definitely a great experience. Hopefully I can be the catalyst and get a lot of fans excited about this team.”

On his relationship with Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris:
“He definitely makes it fun. Raheem can get on you and he can talk some trash but when you get him, you get him. He tends to try to pick on me a little bit, so I scored those two touchdowns and threw the ball at him, almost threw the ball at him again. It’s just fun and games and off the field when you talk to him. He’s cool and he will try to help you be the best player you can be.”