August 3, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On wide receiver Anthony Armstrong’s injury:
“Same thing we talked about yesterday. It’s an AC strain. We’re hoping [he will be out] just a few days.”

On when fullback Darrel Young will return from injury:
“Well, number one, he didn’t do any walkthrough and I’d say he’s at least a week away.”

On if he has any information about defensive end Kentwan Balmer:
“Haven’t heard a thing. I’ve had this happen a couple times to me and I’m just hoping he’s okay. You’re keeping your fingers crossed and, like I told you yesterday, what normally happens – people get tired of football, they leave for one reason or another, and they just kind of get out of pocket and kind of just disappear for a while. I’m hoping he’s okay.”

On his evaluation of offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus so far:
“I thought Tyler came in last year and did a fine job for us. He’s very sharp. He’s a good athlete and I thought, when he did play last year, he played well. He’s done a good job.”

On the status of offensive tackle Jammal Brown:
“He was here today and he’ll be getting treatment. He’ll be day by day. See how it responds.”

On the conversion of Niles Paul from wide receiver to tight end:
“It’s always a growing experience, but he has come in in excellent shape. He’s got a good feel for the position already. I think he’ll just get better and better every game he plays and make the transition quite well.”

On if Niles Paul had a future with the team at wide receiver:
“Well he’s got a future playing in the National Football League. [You’re] just got to put him in the right position. The reason why we moved him is we thought he could be exceptional at the tight end position because of his size, his strength, his blocking ability. Now we’re waiting to see if he can get it done.”

On what was said when he called for the stoppage in practice:
“We put the team through a lot of situations today. We put them through short yardage, goal line. We went through some scenarios where we had first and 10. They didn’t know what the plays were, so it was kind of like game-type situations where it could have been anything. We had a few offsides and that normally happens when you put young guys in there that don’t have the script and are not really sure what play is coming. They can’t look it over and they are not really sure what the defense is. We try to do that to our team after about a week of practice and people are going to make mistakes.”

On the number of players he would like to take at each position on the final roster:
“Well, every year it changes. You have to keep the best 53 guys, 61 guys including the practice squad. So, each year it kind of changes. Sometimes you have a little bit more at one position than another based on who you think the top 53 are. Obviously, based on your practice squad of eight people as well, who you think can get through the process of being on your football team…There’s a lot of talk and evaluation between now and then and the object is to come up with the best 61 for your football team.”

On how good of a problem it is to have tough decisions to make during final cuts:
“If you don’t have it, you have no chance. You are going to get injuries during the season and what happened is going to be the same as what happened to us last year. We were 3-1, should have been 4-0 with the Dallas game. You lose three starters in the first 11 plays and it changes your offense completely. That should not happen. You should have more depth than that, and we didn’t.”

On safety Travon Bellamy:
“He’s done a good job. And what we do in these practices is give him an opportunity to see how well he can play in the game. So hopefully he can carry it over to the game and make it very competitive and make it very tough for us not to keep him on our football team. But at this time, you really don’t know because it’s really more the installation schedule from now over the next three or four weeks. With the game situation and some pretty good practices, we’ll be able to get a good evaluation of him.”

On if the team starts to slow down a little bit during this time:
“Yeah, I’d say it was probably yesterday. You’re a little bit tired in the middle of the week. You’ve been hitting every day. It’s kind of typical of the camp. But it’s just not offense. It’s defense. It’s special teams. And you’ve just got to remind guys that they’ve got to keep your concentration level going. We got to practice two good hours every day, and we can’t have the lapses and expect to be a championship team.”

On defensive end Adam Carriker sitting out today:
“It was more of a day off. But the blisters, in the back of my mind, had a lot to do with it because he’s had some problems in the past. And he doesn’t complain about anything. And he gets treatment on it. But it was more just a gut feel to keep him out.”


Tight End Fred Davis

On if the first preaseason game will be special to him after missing the final four games in 2011:
“Yeah, it definitely will be. Not being able to play in a full-contact game where you can actually tackle and make plays, it definitely will be a good feeling just to be back out there with your teammates and making plays, and hopefully, on the road getting that victory. I don’t know how many snaps we’ll play up there, but hopefully all of them we play, I’ll play as hard as I can.”

On how his game has improved since entering the NFL:
“I feel like I’ve definitely evolved a lot. You have to. When you’re in this league, you grow. You learn from other players, watch other players [and] see different things. As a player, you have to grow if you want to be one of those top players in this league. You have to grow in a lot of different situations, and I think one of my situations I definitely grew in was blocking-wise. I became a better blocker by definitely watching [tight end] Chris [Cooley] and some of the other guys in the league that block pretty well. And route running, I think I got a lot better at that as well. Those are two things. Definitely studying film too. That’s something I never really did in college. Learning from a lot of veteran guys how to study, watch the film and break down certain things.”

On what he learned from Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe’s visit to the team during the offseason:
“I guess just his work ethic. I didn’t really get to hang out with him too long, but just the way he talked about how he works, just daily, every day doing something to get better, working out two times a day, studying film. He wasn’t the biggest tight end, but he was making the biggest plays out there at that time. Just hearing that type of stuff, and when he was on the field he was showing me some things about some routes and some blocking techniques that he uses, so it was pretty good.”

On the part of his game that has benefited most from studying film:
“Definitely coverages. Just watching certain coverages against different defenses, learning how to adjust my route at a certain time, come out of my route early if I’m hot, start seeing things before they happen. When I first got in the league, I didn’t really do that as well. But now I can tell. I see it now a lot more than I ever have.”

On why he started watching more film:
“I think just because you see the opportunity to. Just because you want to get better and you don’t want to stay the same. You see what it takes to be a pro, what other guys do, and you learn.”

On if improving his production from last year, when he missed the final four games, is a goal for the upcoming season:
“Yeah, it definitely is. I definitely thought about it, sitting out those four games. I wanted to achieve certain goals that I had set for myself. I did pretty well, but other than that, that’s over with now. I have to move on from that situation. This year, I still have personal goals. But at the end of the day, if they don’t get reached, as long as we’re winning it doesn’t matter. Stats come as you play, so if you play hard enough and you make plays, you’ll be okay.”

On if this season can set him up for the rest of his career:
“Those are factors at play, but actually I don’t even really think about it right now. I got franchised right now and that’s all. I’m going to focus on that and focus on the team that we have right here. If you start thinking about money and the future, sometimes it doesn’t happen the way you want it to happen. I just focus on playing right now, just playing at the same high level as I did last year and get where I need to be because the money isn’t going to change me. I feel like I’m just going to work as hard as I am now.”

On if he is bothered by the franchise tag:
“No, I respect it because I know why, definitely coming off of the suspension. I feel like they do what they have to do, and for me, I’m fine with that. It’s just coming back to, like I said, having to go out there and prove yourself in another year and work hard [and] show them what you’re worth.”

On his relationship with quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“Robert is a cool guy. He’s a mature guy. I feel like our relationship is pretty good. We really haven’t had a lot of time to hang out. We’re just kind of getting started, and he has a lot of stuff he’s working on definitely with film, and the quarterbacks and getting used to every player. Our relationship seems pretty good though.”

On if Robert Griffin III will make him better as a tight end:
“I definitely feel it would make me more productive because if a play breaks down, he can make more out of a play with his legs and then throwing the ball. Actually if a defender comes to try and tackle him last minute, I feel like he has a lot of good attributes in that way.”

On he and linebacker Rob Jackson being ‘survivors’ from the Redskins 2008 draft class:
“I thought about that actually a little while ago. Me and Rob Jackson are the last two left from that class. Yeah, I definitely feel like a survivor.”

On why he is still on the team:
“I think it’s performance, definitely. It’s about performance and what the coaches see in you. I think they just knew that I was a hard worker and that I could be a good player in this league, so I think they stuck with me.”

On if there is one guy on the team he can talk to about coming back from suspension:
“Really the only person to talk to is myself, and I knew that I made that mistake. Me and Trent [Williams] both knew it was wrong. Really just talking to each other, knowing never to put our team and jeopardize them like that in a situation again was the main thing. I think talking to each other really helped us. Other than that, if I really wanted to, I could probably talk to [linebacker] London [Fletcher] or a veteran guy like that, or somebody that’s been here for years and seen situations like that that happened before.”

On if the suspension has been his biggest motivation:
“Yeah, definitely. Just watching the games, I think, was the hardest part of it. Just not being able to participate and seeing that I could probably help them win.”

On if he’s learned something about himself:
“It does help to talk to somebody, but at the end of the day, like I said, I feel I know it’s a decision I made and something I’m not going to do. I think you’ve you got to talk to yourself about it, at the end of the day.”

On if teams are paying more attention to him:
“Definitely. I felt that way last year, I was still able to make plays. And I think now with more threats like Pierre [Garçon] and Santana [Moss] in the slot, whoever is with me outside of that, I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for me, actually, because then they don’t just have to worry about me. They have to worry about Robert [Griffin III] and whoever is in the backfield making plays. I think, for me, it’s going to be a good situation.”

On helping Niles Paul transition from wide receiver to tight end:
“I think just how [Chris] Cooley helped me when I first came in, just watching the other guys and asking them questions. I feel like Niles is a very mature person to be 22. He runs pretty fast at the tight end position. He is very quick. That is probably one of his biggest attributes, having that speed as a receiver against defenders. He is very strong too, so he can block pretty well. He is just learning the technique things from me and Cooley and I think he will definitely be okay.

On tight end Chris Cooley’s status:
“I think he is doing well. Definitely coming off the injury he has been making some plays. I feel like he is coming back from the injury looking pretty good to me.”

On if he noticed the difference in Chris Cooley’s ability to run:
“He looks a lot smoother in transitioning out of his routes than he had last year when he was hurt. You can tell the difference. Hopefully he doesn’t get hurt or anything and we can all work together.”

On your relationship with Chris Cooley:
“It’s still the same. He’s funny. He doesn’t really change in that way.”
On if Chris Cooley’s desire to start has built competition between the two:
“We’re all NFL players. He should want to start. He’s been in this league for eight or nine years playing hard. This is a young man’s game. At a certain time, it’s going to be a certain different player. Everybody wants to compete for a starting job though, so that’s what I think it should be. He should want to be a starter. That’s the way we all think. Niles should be. Logan [Paulsen] should want to be too.”