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Post-Game Quotes: Shanahan/Griffin/Assorted Redskins


The Commissioner
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the game:
“I’m obviously very disappointed. Anytime you have 150-plus alumni come back, you’d like to play one of your better games. I really thought going into the game that we were going to play and play one of our better games of the season and unfortunately, we didn’t.”

On losing what he deemed a “must-win” game:
“[It’s] obviously very disappointing. A must-win game is a game that gives you a chance to play for a playoff spot. At the midway point when you’re 3-5, it’s going to be must-win to get in the hunt. When you lose a game like that, now you’re playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come. Now, we have a chance to evaluate players and see where we’re at. Obviously, we’re not out of it statistically. Now we find out what kind of character we have and how guys keep on fighting throughout the rest of the season.”

On if he is surprised at being 3-6 at this point:
“I’m disappointed – obviously. We’ve had a number of games thus far that we had a chance to win in that fourth quarter and we haven’t done that. To play like we did today is disappointing. With the penalties that we had, it’s hard to keep drives going. I think we basically had two drives in the first half – the third one was inside the minute – backed up… You have to score in the red zone. We had that second drive. We have to find ways to get in the end zone. I think we were 0-2 in the red zone. It’s hard to win those games – especially with the penalties we had. We really stopped ourselves a number of times. We overcame a few, but obviously not enough. Third downs, again, were very average. We had to make some fourth downs to keep drives going. Defensively, we gave up a couple big plays on us – ran around the ball better than they have. I thought this was one of our strong points, but we didn’t do it today.”

On if he worries about players losing faith in the direction of the team:
“I think everybody is disappointed. Everybody is disappointed in what happened today. You’re looking for guys to step up – both offensively, defensively and on special teams. Obviously, I can do a better job because we didn’t do that today. We didn’t do that as a team. I take full responsibility for that.”

On the offense and the run defense during the last two weeks:
“Like I said, you can have the ball for two drives in the first half and all of sudden you have that touchdown and it’s a different type of game. We overcame some penalties. In the second half, we just couldn’t get any big plays going like we normally do. That’s disappointing. What we have to do is go back and work on those things.”

On Carolina’s defense keeping the offense from finishing drives:
“I think you saw it. Fourth-and-two, we didn’t make that. We had it on second-and-two and we lost three yards. We put ourselves into a third-and-five situation. We have to do a better job like we did earlier of converting in the red zone. If you do, then, like I said, it’s a different game. It’s a different mindset.”

On the inadvertent whistle blown on Carolina’s touchdown play:
“To be honest with you, I thought when they were going to the sideline that there might be a possible hold. I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t see it from my angle. The officials, they were talking about whether it was holding or not holding. At the end of a day, they called it a touchdown and there was no flag thrown. I didn’t know about the whistle. They didn’t say anything about that. They were trying to decide if it was holding or not. That was the way they relayed it to me.”

On if the referees could officially review the inadvertent whistle blown since it was part of a touchdown play:
“You would think they would. I didn’t know that was a part of the situation at that time. I was told they were talking about the hold on [cornerback] D-Hall [DeAngelo Hall]. The guy put his hands up in the air and that was clarification that they gave me that that was what they were talking about.”

On the penalties:
“That’s what gnaws at you – when you stop yourselves. The first drive we stopped ourselves. In the second drive, we overcame a few mistakes, but we kept the drives going. We had to make a few fourth downs and weren’t able to make the big one at the end. The thing that really disappointed me, when you get both second-and-two and then all of a sudden you get a loss of three and put yourself in a tough situation. We need to do a better job of setting the five-yard line, which we have been doing fairly well, but very poor today.”

On going to the option in the red zone:
“I think the two times we went down there we had second-and-goal on the two and we just said run a fullback on a counter. We ran a toss at the goal line and then we got three yards on the next play. With Robert on fourth-and-two, we had what we call a quarterback 'blocking down, blocking down’ and with our back leading we thought we covered the man cover to be able to get it in. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Not a lot of options.”

On if he anticipates major changes for team:
“The first thing we do is we go back and look at the game. We’re very disappointed right now, very emotional right now – just as everybody would be. You go back and you take a look at who made mistakes and what we need to do as a staff to improve to make sure we eliminate some of those mistakes. As you mentioned, very disappointing we didn’t play better than we did. I thought we would play very well today. We just made too many mistakes.”

On what quarterback Robert Griffin III did well and what he can improve after this game:
“I think that’s what we’ll get a chance to take a look at in detail to kind of go over those things. It’s going to be a learning experience for Robert. You get the first time you’ve really been behind – 21-6 with seven minutes left. The other game was 10 minutes. There’s a big difference in three minutes on how you can handle that last drive. He’s going to learn every game. It’s good to put him in those situations. You don’t get it very much. He’ll keep on getting better and better. He’s so talented he made a lot of off-schedule plays today in that last drive and found a way to get in the end zone even after all those penalties – did some good things.”

On his mindset in going for the end zone on the fourth-and-two:
“I always say, and I talked to guys about this in the beginning of the year, there’s a lot of times when it’s fourth-and-one and I’ll take a chance, or fourth-and-yard-and-a-half or two yards. Because when you get them three plays and out, you have the ball at midfield and you get a chance for another field goal. I’ve done that through the years and it’s worked. Obviously, today it didn’t work. I really believe that it’s a mindset of your team that you’re not afraid to go for it on fourth-and-two or fourth-and-one – depending on what type of team you have and the mindset of being able to move it. If you have those three plays and out and they do punt it a 40-yard punt, you’re right there at midfield – or inside midfield. One first down and you have a chance to get a field goal back. Obviously, it didn’t work today.”

On the secondary and Carolina’s long pass:
“What happens is when you’re in a coverage like that and all of sudden what they have is somebody goes inside and somebody goes outside and you’re playing a three-deep zone, somebody gets caught on the outside guy and it looks like it’s busted coverage. And basically, at the end of the day, it is – pretty good design of something that we’ve worked on, but unfortunately they out-executed us on that play.”
On if Griffin III got X-rays after the game:
“Yeah, he’s got some sore ribs. That one shot, I think when he was dropping back early in the first quarter, he took a pretty good shot to the ribs. Anyway, hopefully it’s not too bad, but he’s sore right now.”

On if the X-rays showed that nothing was broken:
“Correct. I don’t think the

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On today’s game:
“You want to come out of a game like this with a victory. We didn’t get that. It’s very upsetting, but at the end of the day, we got a bye week. We have to come back, ready to go. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves. I don’t expect any of the players to feel sorry for themselves. We’ve got to come back ready to go.”

On the struggles in the red zone:
“We’ve just got to punch it in. That’s the bottom line. We get down there and we work hard to get down there, we’ve got to come away with seven points, not three points. Everybody understands that and it’s something that we’ll get better at. The past two weeks, we haven’t been able to do it, but I think after the bye [week], you’ll see a different team.”

On how his ribs are:
“I’m fine. I’ll be ready to go. No one is ever going to question the fight I have inside myself to be the greatest and to help lead this team to victory. It doesn’t matter what it is, I will make sure that I continue to help my team win games and it starts right after the bye.”

On his mindset in the fourth quarter on the second-to-last drive:
“Get the first down. That’s the bottom line. Guys see their quarterback out there, putting it on the line, every single play and that makes them want to put it on the line, every single play. It’s more about inspiring guys to go out and no matter what the score is, no matter what the down or distance is, we can make it happen, because we’re the ones that are out there.”

On what he was unhappy with at the end of the game:
“Everything. I mean the outcome of the game, period. We didn’t execute the plays that we wanted to execute. It’s a bad feeling, when you are walking off the field, knowing that you didn’t execute like you wanted to. That’s what we talked about, it’s all about execution. People are going to criticize; they are going criticize to the coaches; they are going to criticize the players; they are going to say a drastic change needs to be made. I don’t feel that way. I feel it’s on us, the players, to make sure that we go out there and play, regardless of what coach calls – offense, defense, or special teams. We’re the ones out there playing, we’ve got to make plays happen.”

On if defenses have figured out the Redskins’ offense in the last two weeks:
“I think we are stopping ourselves. I mean, you put stuff on tape; people are going to try and stop you. In my opinion we had plays to be made and we just didn’t make those plays.”

On what the team needs to focus on during the bye week:
“I think guys just need to make sure they continue to stay tough in between the ears. You don’t want to feel sorry for yourself ever. You don’t want to accept defeat. That’s something that I’ll never accept. You try to continue to get better and just make sure you go out there with no excuses. It doesn’t matter what the temperature is, if the sun’s bright and it’s in your eyes… It doesn’t matter what it is, you don’t have any excuses. You go out there and you make plays happen.”

On embracing quarterback Cam Newton at the end of the game and what was said:
“He gave me his number, told me to contact him. Basically, we are both two young quarterbacks in this league trying to get better, trying to lead our teams to victory. I told him I think that his team has a lot of talent and the possibilities are endless for them and I feel the same way about our team. The media will say the record is what you are, but I just don’t feel like our record is what we are.”

On his intentions during the bye week:
“I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I promise you I’ll come back and I’ll be a better quarterback the second half of the season for us, for this team, and prayerfully everybody else comes back with the same mindset.”

Linebacker Perry Riley

On Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams’ touchdown:
“I could have pushed him out. If I would have kept going, I could have pushed him out. I didn’t want to push him out after the whistle and get a 15-yard personal foul. If you hear a whistle, you think the play is dead. He kept running and the referees huddled up and they called it a touchdown. I don’t know how that works.”

On if the referees gave him an explanation about the inadvertent whistle:
“No, I went and talked to the referee to tell him that they had blew it dead. He acted like he had no idea what I was talking about. That’s pretty much the only explanation I got.”

On if his hamstring hindered his play at all:
“I played through it. At times, I felt it but it wasn’t enough to come out the game. It wasn’t enough to make me feel like I couldn’t finish the game. It was alright.”

Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander

On how he feels going into the bye week:
“Well, we didn’t do enough to win the game. It’s hard, especially going into the bye 3-6 and now we’re in the bottom of the division. It’s very disappointing and frustrating to have to sit on the loss for two weeks and prepare for Philadelphia when we get back. It’s going to be hard climbing but we have to work our way out of this hole we dug for ourselves.”

On what Head Coach Mike Shanahan said to the team after the loss:
“The same thing, just being hard on ourselves. We just have to continue to work, figure it out, and execute. There’s not much you can say. Obviously we need to step it up, win our individual battles, and come together as a team. And we have to string some wins together if we want to do anything with the rest of the season.”

On if it’s easy to call the Redskins a bad team with a good rookie quarterback:
“That’s what our record says; we’re 3-6. Good teams find a way to win in the fourth quarter and we haven’t been able to do that all year. There are bright spots, Robert [Griffin III] being one of those, Alfred [Morris] being another. We have guys that play well, but the ultimate goal is to win games. That’s the frustrating part. Looking into the future from the fan’s and coaches’ perspective, those are bright spots that you can build on a look forward to how those guys develop. But it’s all about 'What have you done for me lately?’ in the NFL. We haven’t been able to win, and that’s what we want to do.”

Nose Tackle Barry Cofield

On if he thinks the team is going in the wrong direction after two bad losses in a row:
“With the leadership and the coaching staff we have, I’m not too worried about it. We just didn’t play well, I don’t think this is a situation where players are coming to games expecting to lose or with guys not motivated during the week. We just haven’t played well enough. So, to question the mentality of the team... I’m not going to do that yet. I think we have got leadership and young guys that are hungry enough that we are not going to lose our way. We are going to keep fighting and I think we’ll pull some wins out.”

On if he thought the team would be better at this point in the season:
“Based on the way we played earlier I thought we would [be better]. The way we played in the Giants game even though we lost against such a good team. I just had confidence we would get some wins [after the performance against the Giants]. I didn’t think we would stumble into the bye week like this. It’s disappointing, but we have a week to get away, to really dig deep and find some professional and personal pride and hopefully guys will come out and play their best football down the stretch.”

On if he’s bothered by Shanahan telling the media he’s evaluating players for next year:
“I never thought that process ever stopped. I have been in the league long enough to know you should never feel comfortable, especially going into a bye. A lot of changes have a tendency to be made during that time.”

Fullback Darrel Young

On the loss:
“Every loss is tough to be honest with you. It is just unfortunate. We go into the bye week 3-6 and we have to come back with the mindset of 0-0. Today was a tough loss. As bad as it seems, we have to move on. We have to watch the film, we have to correct ourselves and get better in key situations.”

On mistakes that they can correct:
“They did not outplay us; you know we did it to ourselves. You have to look at yourselves and evaluate yourselves. We just have to get better. There is nothing else I can really say. [Carolina] just beat us on the board, they weren’t more physical than us but they just beat us in the end.”

On where the team goes from here:
“The season isn’t over yet. We are 3-6 but we start a new season when we come back from this bye week. It is a new season. We have division games. Win your division and turn this thing around. Anything can happen on Sundays. We are 3-6 and want to finish 10-6. That is our goal now. We have a week to look at ourselves and we said we were going to be a family and going to be in this together.”

On not scoring on the goal line:
“That was my fault there. I made a bad read on the goal line, I was supposed to go outside and I just didn’t because I saw daylight. That is my fault we didn’t get a touchdown with Alfred [Morris]. I have to get better and understand the scheme more. My guy was the safety on that and I just didn’t make a good enough read on that. I blame that on myself.”

On if the offense is on the same page:
“I think so. I just think it is just one person here, one person there. Everyone has the ultimate goal of wanting to win and we understand what we are supposed to do. [Offensive Coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] does a great job for us breaking things down, 'This is what it should look like, make sure you do this, be there, play like this on that play.’ I think Kyle does a great job breaking down film and things like that and we just have to help him by putting points on the board and executing. All that game plan works, it shows. We have to help him and make this thing better. Execute. That should be the word to focus on. Everyone should want to execute regardless of whether it is offense, defense or special teams. Make plays and execute.”

Cornerback Josh Wilson

On the overall play of the defense:
“I feel like we were holding up out there. Despite a couple of interesting things, I thought we held up. It was definitely a tough one.”

On frustrating moments this year:
“This is definitely a frustrating loss that we took as a team; all around, frustrating from every aspect. We just have to go back and right the ship.”

On if it is time to stop looking to the playoffs:
“No, until we are mathematically out of it, we always have a chance. Win the last games and end 10-6.”

Tight End Logan Paulsen

On committing penalties:
“I think it is something we need to clean up and definitely need to be better with.”

On looking flat on offense and not having a sense of urgency:
“Personally, I think we were doing good things offensively. We got a whole lot of penalties that killed our drives, killed the momentum and averted us from doing the good things we have done. It is especially disappointing when you know you have kind of self-inflicted those problems.”

On seeing a change in the way defenses are playing them:
“You know, everybody has their own little wrinkles to try and counteract what we do with Robert [Griffin III] and I think this week, they were used to seeing it. We were still able get very positive plays out of that package.”

Tackle Trent Williams

On if Head Coach Mike Shanahan’s comments about evaluating players meant they are not going to make the playoffs:
“No, I don’t think so. How many games do we have left? I don’t think it is over.”

On penalties:
“It is very frustrating. Every time we got something going, there was a flag on the play. The refs beat us up a little bit. We had to score three times down in the red zone just to try to get the game within reach. There were a lot of frustrating things.”

On if he thinks teams are catching on to their offensive scheme:
“I mean, we still move the ball. We had over 100 yards rushing and Robert [Griffin III] threw the ball great. [Carolina] had a good scheme. I can’t take anything away from them. We committed a lot of penalties, we helped them beat us. Other than that we moved the ball OK.”

On the rest of this season:
“I’m not giving up. I am a competitor, I am going to compete until they say there is no way we can make the playoffs and even then I will still compete on Sunday. That is me. That is my mentality.”

On teams playing well against the Redskins’ offense:
“They get paid to do this too. We are not the only ones getting paid. So they are going to make good adjustments. They have good coaches. Coaches make good schemes. If you watched the game today we beat ourselves on penalties. [Carolina] didn’t do anything special to stop us.”

On the triple option:
“It is pick your poison. You have three options and that is why it is called triple option. It is hard for defenses to play it. They see it in practice, maybe they played it a little better. I think we moved the ball OK and of course it can get better but we will see.”

Linebacker London Fletcher

On the outlook of the final seven games of the season:
“We definitely put ourselves in a tough position, going 3-6. Right now we probably have to win out and get some help. Like Coach [Mike Shanahan] said, 'Anytime things aren’t going well, we definitely really see who wants to play football.’ He has been around this game for a long time and guys can go one way or another at this point in the season. He always talks about character of a football team, so that true character will show.”

On if the loss was surprising:
“Very surprising, when you think about the expectations, the way our offense has been able to move the ball. Even today, a game where you think you are able to win the game and put ourselves in a position to be 4-5, it is a real big difference between being 4-5 and 3-6. I definitely thought we would have a better record at this point in the season.”

On the direction of the team:
“I think when you look at the NFL, some instances where you say third year of a program, third year of a head coach, you would like to see the team starting to settle. I think in our situation, this is the first year we have actually had a quarterback for the most part. That definitely makes a difference. You see with Robert [Griffin III], he is going to be a great player and is going to give you a great chance to win. Now you just continue to build on it and build pieces around him. When you have a guy who is a franchise quarterback, you build pieces around him and make sure you are going in the right direction and are competing for championships.”

On if he is concerned about Head Coach Mike Shanahan saying it is time to evaluate players:
“I think throughout professional football you are going to have a majority of the guys playing hard regardless of the situation. Every year you are being evaluated, regardless of your record. Obviously when you’re in a losing situation, evaluations are a lot harder, a lot tougher and you are looking at who really wants to play. At this point in the season with seven games left, you are in a tight spot, but you win a couple more ball games over the next few weeks and our outlook is different. We are 5-6 and then 6-6 and you get a second chance. I think with this character of the football team I think guys will continue to play hard so I am not worried about guys playing hard.”

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