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Post-Win Quotes: Skins vs. Giants

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Boone

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Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the defense holding the Giants to one field goal in the second half:
“Any time a team is 8-for-10 in the first half on third downs, you’re going to be in for a long half. We kept them to 13 points, which was good. In the second half, obviously we got much better in the third down area. That was the difference in our defense playing at that level and holding them to obviously three points.”

On running back Alfred Morris gaining six yards and a first down on third-and-three at the end of the game:
“Obviously, just a great job by him throughout the game. You’re right, though. In that situation, when you’re in a four-minute attack and you want to stay in bounds like [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] did, you have to make a big play. You still have to get first downs to close it. If we would have punted in that situation, they would have gotten it with about 23 or 24 seconds left. To be able to close out a game like that when you know you have to run the football says a lot about our offensive line, as well as Alfred running the football.”

On managing the offense:
“We felt good throughout the game. We stopped ourselves a couple of times. I give the Giants credit because they’re an excellent defensive team. We felt like we were moving the ball well, we just had to stay on course and made a couple big plays.”

On how big this win was for staying in the NFC East playoff race:
“We knew three weeks ago that every game we played was like a playoff game. We’re really proud of our football team – the way we focused, how hard we played, playing for 60 minutes. There are going to be some highs and lows in every game. I was just pleased with our guys fighting through it, keeping their poise and never giving up. For a while there, I think everybody got a little frustrated. They were doing a great job of controlling the tempo of the game during the first half. We regrouped at halftime and found a way to slow them down.”

On what wide receiver Pierre Garçon means to the offense:
“After that first quarter in the first game, I think people could see what big play capabilities he had. Until you do it, there’s always question marks for everybody. How big is he to your offensive team? I think everybody saw in the last couple weeks how much he means to our football team – very explosive. Every time he touches the football he has a chance to go the distance. I love the way he competes – both in the running game and the passing game. He’s a very smart player as well. He’s been a big plus for us.”

On the fan support tonight:
“The fans were great. It’s how you win games at home. They have a hard time with that snap count. I thought they did. It was quite loud, big part of our win.”

On if he is every concerned about letting Griffin III run:
“Yeah, every time he runs. Every time he runs the ball, you’re always concerned. One thing you’re able to do, or at least trying to get better at with Robert, is knowing when to slide. Sometimes he slides a little bit too late. I thought it was a great move by him to stay inbounds in the four-minute [offense]. He took a little shot there, but he was smart enough and aware enough to not go out of bounds. That’s the difference between winning and losing a game – having that type of awareness. I was really proud there. I can’t believe he fumbled that one ball to [wide receiver] Josh [Morgan]. Everybody thought that was an accident, but he’s worked on that during the week [laughter]. I thought it was a great job there.”

On if Garçon has expanded what he can do with the offense:
“Yeah, there’s no question about it. I think right at the end of that four minute, they were committing pretty strong and we had the confidence in both Robert and Pierre to make that play at the end – the 20-yarder, thereabouts, catch over the middle. We have a lot of confidence. Just like [tight end] Fred [Davis] – when Fred went down, you expect a guy like Logan [Paulsen] to step up. Guys will go down during the season. When guys make plays…When Pierre went down, we knew we lost a playmaker and guys stepped up. Obviously, he showed us what he can do today.”

On the direction of the team:
“I think everybody knows how important winning is and we’ve lost a number of games in the fourth quarter, games that we had a chance to put away and didn’t do it. We put this game away and it took a lot of people working extremely hard to do it. You have to find a way to win. We got a lot of inexperienced guys that are more experienced right now that get better and better, and hopefully we can just keep this going. We’ve got our backs against the wall so we are taking it week by week. There’s only one team that’s happy at the end of the year.”

On decision to call a timeout at the end of the first half:
“There was a minute left in the game and I think it was second-and-13, we called a screen. We knew they had two timeouts so we called a screen on the next play. I was hoping Pierre Garçon was going to stay inbounds. If he had done it, then they would have used a timeout and also when he went out of bounds trying to make a guy miss and all of a sudden it’s third-and-12, we are going to go for a touchdown. And we would like to keep the clock going. One of the reasons we went from two minutes and 20 seconds down to two minutes, the reason why we ate up a lot of the clock is because we had all those timeouts and that’s what you want to do. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get out of bounds on that second down.”

On Alfred Morris’ fumble and the resulting skirmish:
“I don’t even want to talk about that one. I don’t want to get fined after a win. If it was a loss I could take the punishment. But it is what it is.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On the game tonight and his performance:
“I think stats don’t really matter. We won the game, and we made plays in crucial situations. The offensive line stepped up big when we needed them to. We won the game. We played more physical and that was the key.”

On what he told the team going into the last drive of the game:
“I told them on the sideline, 'Let’s go finish the game.’ This season we just needed to have that, to give us the confidence that we can end the game with four or five minutes left in the game. I told them to go finish it with that last run that Alfred [Morris] had. We ran basically the same play three times in a row, and it was up to those guys to make the play. I told them this is the game and we won it.”

On his fumble that resulted in a touchdown by receiver Joshua Morgan:
“It was totally by design... I knew Josh [Morgan] was going to be there ready for that touchdown so that’s what we did.”

On how it feels to hear his name chanted throughout the stadium:
“I’ve had the feeling before at Baylor, but to do it in the NFL and have the fans all behind you, not just the quarterback, but behind the team… There’s a lot of excitement around this team and I think everybody feels it. We knew the atmosphere was really charged up and electric and the fans definitely showed up for us. It’s great that we could get the win for them.”

On if he worked on the fumble play in practice:
“We didn’t run it in practice, because we wanted to save it for the game [laughter]. I just knew he was going to be there ready for it. I just had to make sure I grabbed that guy’s leg that was right next to me, so that he wouldn’t get to it. Josh [Morgan] did a good job, making sure he was in the spot he needed to be.”

On if he can think of a better way to make his Monday Night Football debut:
“No, the outcome was a win. That’s what you want. Stats don’t really mean anything. Early in the game, we really didn’t have the ball very much, but we won the game. We made the plays when it counted. We held onto the ball when we needed to, there at the end, to go and seal the victory. I couldn’t be any more proud of the guys.”

On how badly he wanted to keep Eli Manning off the field in the last few minutes given what happened the last time these two teams played:
“I really didn’t think about it. My number one goal, stepping on the field, is to go get points, so of course I wanted to go score. We knew we needed a couple more first downs to finish the game, so that’s what we went and got. If there was more time in the game, we would have tried to get more points and end the game that way, but I really didn’t think about it.”

On what accounts for the difference in the team since the Carolina game a month ago:
“I think it’s the mindset of the team. Each individual guy has to go out and dominate his position. If every guy on your team dominates the guy in front of him or the guy he is supposed to dominate, then you should never lose. I think that’s what the guys are doing. They are going out, on every play, trying to dominate the guy in front of them and that’s helping us win. We know our backs are against the wall and even though we won tonight, our backs are still against the wall. That’s the attitude we have to have. Barry Cofield said that in the locker room afterwards, 'The guys in our locker room know what we have been through, know how hard it was and how hard we’ve worked. Started the season 3-6 and now look where we’re at because of how hard we’ve worked.’”

On taking a hit on a run for a first down:
“I could feel the typewriter’s writing when I took that hit. People are saying I run too much. We had talked about this a few weeks ago, when the clock stops and doesn’t stop. I knew we were under four minutes. I had to stay inbounds, I just kind of got a little stuck there on the sideline, because I was bee-lining toward the sideline and at the last second realized I needed to stay in. Coach called it the 'Gumby hit,’ because my legs bent like Gumby. It was fine. You have to take those for the team sometimes. The guys, all in the huddle, asked me if I was OK before I called the play and I told them I was.”

On what has changed for him with Pierre Garçon back in the lineup:
“I think it’s just the attitude that he brings to the game. He plays fearless. Don’t let him tell you otherwise. He plays fearless. He just has a certain attitude and I think it brings more attitude to the group. When they see him go across the middle and snatch a ball, they feel they can go across the middle and snatch a ball. Each receiver has taken the limited reps they can at passes and making plays and they are making them. They are really big plays. [Leonard] Hankerson doesn’t catch a ball all night and then he catches a slam. That’s big for us in that situation. Having Pierre there it helps our rotation. He’s supposed to be our guy and he’s playing like it.”

On contributions he and Alfred Morris made to the team’s success:
“I’m not going to take any credit for Alfred’s success, aside from lifting with him in the offseason, maybe getting a little bit stronger. He’s done a lot of great things for us. We say it looks like he’s out there playing peewee football; he just won’t go down. He plays every play like it’s his last and that’s what we love about him, but I definitely look forward to playing with him for many years. We’ve got to probably reduce his carries to make sure he can continue to play for an extended period of time. This year he’s been big for us. I love that he’s on our team. I’ve told people that if I had to vote for rookie of the year I would vote for him.”

On his pre-draft goal to lead an NFL team to more wins than they had the previous season:
“It feels good but we have more goals that we want to accomplish. You can put a check by that one, but there are a lot more goals that this team is stretching for and striving for, and I know that we can definitely achieve them.”

On his mindset during the 86-yard drive for a touchdown to Garçon:
“Yeah, just go score. I told the guys going onto the field, in the first half we didn’t have very many opportunities to make plays. The scoring drive we did have was extremely quick. They held the ball for a long time, so every time we got the ball we had to make the most of it. It didn’t matter what the situation was, whether there was a holding [penalty] or a penalty at all, we had to go score and the guys took that to heart. We put together a great 12-play drive and capped it off with a touchdown which ended up being the game-winning touchdown so I was proud of the guys for that.”

On if he watched Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on Sunday:
“I try not to watch football, but my Twitter was blowing up with what happened. I checked the game tracker and saw that they won late in the game. I think it’s just great that all the rookie quarterbacks that came out this year are playing at an extremely high level. Whether the stats support it or not, there’s a lot of guys out there playing really, really well. We’re doing what everybody said we couldn’t do, coming in and being successful in the league right away. That goes for running backs as well like Trent [Richardson] and guys like Alfred [Morris] just playing well and at a high level early on, when everyone wants to say you’re a rookie you’re not supposed to do that. I think that fuels our team and it probably fuels their team as well.”

On the difference in the team before the bye and after the bye:
“I can’t say it enough times; it’s just the mindset of the team. When you walk onto the field, do you feel like 'Hey, well, we can let this one slip away because we have 14 games down the road or do we feel like this is the only game we have because if we lose this game our season is done?’ That’s the way the guys have taken their mindset, their approach to the game. I think that guys are studying harder, making sure they’re playing harder. I see it in practice and it makes a big difference on game day.”

On the performance by the offensive line against the Giants defensive line:
“It’s awesome. It’s a very big front, a very athletic front. Our guys stepped up big. Trent [Williams] playing with an injury. No one wants to talk about it, but he played with an injury and played really well. I’m proud of them for helping me stay off the ground. It’s becoming a trend as of late. They play well, we win the game.”

Running Back Alfred Morris

On breaking the Redskins’ rookie rushing record:
“It is huge. [There is] so much history here and to be able to do that says a lot. I am humbled that I was able to break that record. I am just more happy about the win though.”

On the win:
“It feels great, the game was on the line and we really needed that… This was a heart-filled game. We came in with the mindset that we were going to win and we did just that. It wasn’t easy and it came down to the wire, but I’m just glad we got the win.”

On what the win means for the team:
“It means a lot. You can just feel the atmosphere in this locker room. Our playoff hopes are still alive. We went out there and fought a hard game and came out victorious.”

On how it felt to be handling the ball at the end of the game and running out the clock:
“It felt great. It shows that my coaches and teammates have a lot of trust in me to put the ball in my hands at the end of the game. I wasn’t going to let them down. I let them down earlier in the game with a fumble. We had a turnover and they ended up getting points off of that. So I said, 'I owe y’all one,’ and I was able to get it done at the end.”

On rushing for 1,000 yards this season after being a sixth-round draft pick:
“That’s a blessing. Just coming from where I came from, a lot of people counted me out; they didn’t even think I was going to make the team. I made the team, I rushed for 1,000 yards, and I did a lot of things that I myself didn’t think I was going to be able to do coming in. But I believe in myself, have a coach that believes in me, and that makes me push that much harder.”

Tackle Trent Williams

On having Pierre Garçon on the field:
“You see the difference, he is a game changer. You get the ball in his hands and he will get you yards after the catch. He’s going to give you those tough yards. He will go up and get the ball. He’s one of the best in the league.”

On what was said when the offense got on the field with four minutes left in the game:
“We can’t give Eli [Manning] back the ball. We have all the faith in the world in our defense but we didn’t even want to give him a chance. He does this for a living. He’s a killer on those fourth quarter drives. We knew we had to get a couple of first downs and run the clock down.”

On Alfred Morris carrying the ball on the last drive of the game after fumbling on a previous possession:
“No one’s perfect, but Alfred is going to give you everything he got every Sunday. We knew what he could do.”

On his feelings about the longevity of Robert Griffin III’s career and taking hits:
“Every quarterback gets hit. We try to minimize the hits, but with the style of offense we run, you’re going to take a few hits. He’s learning how to protect his body. He’s not taking a bunch of ferocious hits. He’s really too fast to get a clean hit on him a lot of times.”

On Morris’ performance on the final drive:
“That was huge. It was second and six; six yards in our season. If we didn’t get that, who knows, Eli [Manning] pulls a rabbit out of a hat sometimes. He got us the six yards we needed and that’s most important. ”

On the offensive line’s impact on Alfred Morris’ 1,000-yard season:
“We take a lot of pride in running the ball. If you look at Coach Shanahan’s rap sheet, that’s what he is known for, rushing the ball on offense. It’s the biggest testament to him. We are getting coached great. We’ve got a running back who can run the ball with the best of them.”

On the win:
“It was huge. We’re only 6-6, we have a lot of football left to play. We’re not patting ourselves on the back. We’re going to come back in Wednesday and get ready for Baltimore.”

On if today’s win felt like revenge after close loss to New York in Week 7:
“I wouldn’t say revenge, but we definitely played them down to the wire last time. We thought we deserved to win that game but we didn’t. That’s in the past; we can’t do anything about that now. We’re just happy to come out here and get this win.”

On what the three division wins in a row say about this football team:
“It doesn’t say anything; it just says we’re a 6-6 ball team, and we still have a lot of football to play.”

Wide Receiver Joshua Morgan

On his touchdown:
“It was an option play, so I just stayed and kept my pitch relationship on the option. It just so happened that the ball came out there. That’s just the way the ball bounces, bounced our way today. God was all over us.”

On his reaction to the touchdown:
“I felt good, I felt real good because we needed a big play. It doesn’t matter how the plays come as long as you make the play.”

New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin

On the game:
“This is not real complicated. I don’t know what happened in the second half. They certainly didn’t come out and play. Penalties [and] sloppy football. It seemed like every time we had a special teams play, we had a penalty. Every time we had a kickoff return, we had a penalty, so we started inside the 10. The last series, offensively, we made a first down and it seemed like a late call, but it was a holding call. It ruined that drive. Just very disappointing that our second half wasn’t better. We scored that field goal at the end of the first half and that we’d have the ball again at the start of the second half, I thought it was going to be an opportunity for us to take it again and score. Of course we got a penalty and got backed up on that drive, but we did get a first down. We didn’t have any turnovers, we were plus-one there, but the real factor was we had a lot of difficulty stopping them. We didn’t do anything with our opportunities. We aren’t going to beat anybody with 16 points. I would say that with 17, but the score was 17-16. I’m just disappointed we came out and played like this in the second half.”

On offensive lineman Sean Locklear’s injury:
“It’s a knee”

On the penalties:
“I don’t know what the breakdown is, but in our division, this team had 93 or 98 penalties. We had 48. So tonight we got eight called, maybe nine. They got three… Obviously on the special teams areas, every time we did something it seemed like there was a penalty.”

On playing against quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“There is no doubt that because of the different nature of the scheme and their concept, you don’t see it every week, so it does cause you a lot of time and energy and effort in trying to figure out what the formations tell you and what you can expect from those formations. There is no doubt. You saw how quickly [Robert Griffin III] gets to the outside when he throws the ball. That kind of speed is going to be devastating any time.”

On the end of the game:
“We talk finish, finish, finish, finish, finish. I thought we could do that. I thought we could punt it down there. I had two timeouts.”

Giants Quarterback Eli Manning

On the game:
“Obviously this was an important game. I thought we did some really good things. We played pretty sound football, just obviously set up too many field goals and had some costly penalties that hurt us. There were some good things out there. We ran the ball well and I think we threw the ball well. In the fourth quarter, we had the two drives at the end that were unsuccessful and that’s the game.”

On the Redskins playing differently at the end of the game:
“We weren’t able to get much going. We had two drives in the fourth quarter that didn’t work. We have to drive the ball and get points in those circumstances and we were not able to do it.”

On the effect of the loss on the Giants’ standing in the division:
“It is what it is. You can’t be down about it. You have to come in, learn from it and we still have a great opportunity ahead of us. We have some tough teams to face but that is what will make it exciting. These next four games will be big games. We have to play better football and find a way to win games.”

On the Redskins’ last drive of the game:
“They did a good job. We had a chance to get the ball back with 20 seconds at the very end but they hit a couple passes and had some good runs. It was a good four-minute drive by them to finish the game.”

On the holding call that overturned a third-and-10 play:
“Third-and-20 is a tough situation. You hope that you can hit a screen pass to get 10 or 12 yards to put yourself in a possible fourth down situation and Coach will want to go for it at that time. Obviously the screen didn’t hit for much and we were stuck with a fourth-and-20 situation. We had to punt the ball and hoped our defense would get a stop.”

On the penalty that led to a turnover:
“That’s football. We felt that we were going to make some plays but you don’t want to leave it to third and 10. We had opportunities on first down and second down to make some plays. On second down I hit [wide receiver] Hakeem [Nicks] but it was called out-of-bounds. Obviously we have to execute better football on those plays and penalties throughout the game hurt us a lot.”

On the difference between last week’s game and this week’s game:
“Penalties come into it and our field position. They had us backed up but we had some good long drives. We got in tight in the red zone but they stepped up and made some plays. They got us into some third and long situations and we weren’t able to get first downs.”

On how quarterback Robert Griffin III compares to other rookie quarterbacks:
“It is tough to say, obviously he is making some tremendous plays and he is a phenomenal athlete. He did a good job tonight converting on third down and hitting some key throws.”

On the intentional grounding penalty in the second quarter:
“They got good pressure, we had a stutter comeback left and we didn’t have time for that route to get going. I had to throw it when I had to throw it and he was still finishing his route. He had a long developing route and didn’t have time to let it develop. I tried to throw it somewhat in the vicinity but he didn’t have enough time to be in that spot.”

On his performance:
“I thought there were some good throws. I thought I moved around the pocket and extended some plays and had some good things. I had some missed throws also. Early on, I had Hakeem on a go-route that was a little underthrown. I overthrew [wide receiver] Victor [Cruz] down the seam. In the third quarter, I had a shot to hit Hakeem near the goal line in an in-route that I put it a little out in front. I thought there were a lot of good things and good throws. I thought we missed a few opportunities though.”
 

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