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Post-Game Quotes: M. Shanahan

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Marine Corps Virginia


November 3, 2013
FedExField

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the game:
“I told the team afterwards that we needed to play 60 minutes. I didn’t know it was going to be longer than that, so I was really proud of the way the guys played, especially when it’s first-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 20-some seconds left. And then to keep that drive going once we got the kickoff, we were fortunate to get the toss and did of a heck of a job finding a way to finish the drive.”

On if he thought on Chargers running back Danny Woodhead’s dive near the goal line on the Chargers’ final offensive possession:
“Well, I thought I saw it on the screen. I wouldn’t have thrown a flag unless I felt very strongly that that ball was out, but they didn’t feel the same way. But, you know, those things do happen, and for our guys to step up… Our defense – when it didn’t look very good first-and-goal from the 1 with two timeouts – it just gives you a little idea of the character and the mindset that they had and I’m really proud of them for stepping up and making those plays.”

On if he thought the ruling on Woodhead’s potential touchdown would be reversed:
“Oh, I didn’t think there was any question about it, but I didn’t think there was any question about the one we lost, too, so that kind of gives you an idea as to where I am [laughter].”

On what a win like this can do for the team moving forward:
“I think it tells your guys that anything’s possible if you don’t give up – perseverance. As we’ve talked about in the past, I feel very good about our guys. They work extremely hard. We let some opportunities sneak away from us. We had a chance to put it away and we didn’t, but we kept on fighting and found a way to get it done and that just shows you a lot about who we are with guys fighting for 60-plus minutes.”

On the performance of fullback Darrel Young:
“Well, 'DY’ [Young] does a heck of a job for us – on special teams, as a fullback, he can actually go in there and work as a tight end. And we run so many running plays with a halfback and he’s a blocker – they lose him. And so to put him in that situation says a lot about our running game, our offensive line. And DY does have the skills to make people miss, so that doesn’t happen very often – when you give it to the fullback down there and he finds a way to get it in three different times – but it didn’t surprise me.”

On if he has experienced a win like this in his coaching career:
“Yes, I have. I can’t remember when, but I can guarantee it – 40 years, I’ve had a few of those. Yeah, there are a couple of those miracle games sometimes that you look back and the ball bounces your way. But with this one what I saw in the end zone, I thought it was just short. I thought the ball hit the pylon initially from the sideline and then when I looked up in the cameras I thought we had a chance. I didn’t know for sure.”

On the performance of wide receiver Pierre Garçon after his recent criticism of the offense:
“I think Pierre just speaks his mind. He was a little disappointed after the game [last week in Denver]. He’s a team player, but he’s been like that since he’s been here. I don’t think people realize what a great blocker he is; I think he’s the best blocker in the National Football League. This guy competes every down and you saw he was determined today to make some plays. Regardless of where the ball was, he’s going to find a way to come down with the ball. And what people miss is exactly how hard he blocks, because you don’t have the yards we have in the running game unless your receivers are really committed to making some plays and playing for each other.”

On the offense’s ability to stretch the defense and have nine completions of more than 10 yards:
“It’s just making plays. We did it all last year – the majority of the year. That’s why we had so much success both in the running game and the play-action game. But I think that’s what you’re working for. If you get that running game going, all of the sudden you execute some big plays, but guys have to go out there and make some plays. I thought [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] did a heck of a job. That one first down he had where he jumped over the pile and did a somersault to find a way to get a first down –I thought that was the play of the game, because we needed to get that first down. He gave up his body and he didn’t care about getting out of bounds. He just cared about finding a way to keep the drive going and that’s what you have to have every once in a while. A guy says, 'Hey, we need this play,’ and he made it happen. We had a number of second efforts. I think [tight end] Jordan Reed had a couple of plays where it could have been short and he kept on running through arm tacklers and found a way to get some extra yardage as well.”

On the extra things the team did to win today:
“We just decided we were going to do some of the things we did last year. We were going to go in with a game plan and try to tackle effectively. I thought we did that more in the second half than the first half, even though we did a lot of good things. I believe we only had three drives in the first half, going into that last drive at the end of the series with 40-something seconds left. I think we had a 15-play drive and we had no points, and that’s disappointing. Then we give them a touchdown, and we have one more drive after a turnover that we weren’t able to put in the end zone. We had a lot more opportunities in the second half, which we took advantage of.”

On what happened with the two blocked field goals:
“Well, with the replay you all see it better than I do. I will see it more on film. The guy that blocked it was on the line of scrimmage, and that should never happen. There should be more elevation to the kick. I didn’t see the long yarder, I’m sure it was a little low. We had the wind, so I was sure we had a chance.”

On success converting third downs:
“That’s when you get that run-pass ratio that you are looking for. You make third downs, you continue drives and you are able to run the ball and throw the ball a little more. This is what we talked about a week ago. When you have seven drives in the fourth quarter and you are getting three or four plays and out, you just aren’t getting in that rhythm. Today, we made third downs. I don’t know what the percentage was, but it must have been 60 or 70 percent. You get the drive, and then you get the balance that you need.”

On the last drive of regulation:
“I think any time you have a holding penalty, you set yourself way back and the mindset changes. Are you going to run it, throw it? You have to execute. We were close. We almost got it done, but on third-and-four we couldn’t make it. We threw a quick out route, but overall on third downs, we had some of the best plays of the year.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s comeback today after the loss at Denver last week:
“That’s what great competitors do. If you are in this game long enough, you are going to get criticized, and if that’s going to bother you, then you aren’t going to last. I know he’s strong enough mentally to understand that happens in this game. It’s going to happen a lot more times. That’s just the nature of this game. When you are out there as a quarterback, or a head coach, you are going to get scrutinized, especially when things aren’t going well. I thought he was cool, calm and collected today. I thought he played hard and competed. It wasn’t a perfect game by any means for anybody, but I was really proud of how he bounced back and the effort that he gave and the way he led. I think that one run that I mentioned before was typical of his mindset going into the game. You don’t see very many players make that play.”

On the issue with his passing in the first half:
“I don’t know, but we will look at the film. Sometimes, a guy will put his hand up at the last minute, and sometimes you should slide more one way or the other. We had some quick passes there. The one interception looked like he just put his hand up in the air – one of those freak situations.”

On how long the team has to enjoy the win:
“Well, I usually say 24 hours, but it’s not 24 hours. We start special teams practice tomorrow. Everyone on special teams has their workload tomorrow. Tuesday and Wednesday will just be like normal Wednesday, Thursday, Friday during the season, so we won’t have as much running as we normally do – for obvious reasons. In a couple of days, we will be off to Minnesota.”

On if the progression of the offense is one where the quarterback throws:
“We are going to do things that we think we need to do to win football games. And we are always going to go with things that we think Robert can do best. And as time goes on, there will be no limit to what he can do. He’s very talented, very smart. It takes a lot of work, and doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes, you have to adjust to defenses, and sometimes, collectively as a group, you have to play well. When that quarterback doesn’t, he’s always going to get second-guessed.”

On if Garcon’s one-handed catches surprised him:
“No, because he does it in practice all the time. The thing that he does that people don’t see is how he competes when he doesn’t get the ball. A lot of people go out there and catch balls and everybody can see [that], but when you get the yards we get in the running game, a lot of people don’t see how he is blocking these defensive backs and safeties, and how he competes physically with these guys in the National Football League. You can see I’m very high on him, just by the complete game that he does play.”
 

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