• Welcome to BGO! We know you will have questions as you become familiar with the software. Please take a moment to read our New BGO User Guide which will give you a great start. If you have questions, post them in the Feedback and Tech Support Forum, or feel free to message any available Staff Member.

Skins Quotes 1/3


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

Marine Corps Virginia

January 3, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the difficulty of transitioning to a 3-4 defense:
“I think a lot of people look at it that way, but they forget about the people who were here at that time. When you take a look at the defensive linemen, I think all of the defensive linemen were getting a little bit older. The next year, I don’t think any of the 4-3 guys that were starting were in the NFL, the only one guy would have been Andre Carter for one year. He was picked up late. The other four guys that were defensive linemen really didn’t play in the National Football League except the guys who we still have on our football team who were backups at that time: [Kedric] Golston and [Lorenzo] Alexander. Other than that, if I recall –[Renaldo] Wynn, [Cornelius] Griffin, [Phillip] Daniels –were out of the league. So sometimes you have to make a decision of what direction you’re going to go.”

On transitioning an entire defense:
“The point I was trying to make was that it doesn’t matter if it was a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense. What you have to do is get some depth on your football team and that’s why we went out there and got a guy like [Stephen] Bowen and [Barry] Cofield and I think [Chris] Neild did a heck of a job as a rookie. He would have done a heck of a job for us this year. Then you get a guy like Jarvis Jenkins and [Kedric] Golston was here, and now you have a little bit of depth. And you get Bowen at the same time. Those guys could play a 3-4 or a 4-3, those defensive linemen. We did have some linebackers. And 'Rak [Brian Orakpo] went to the outside, probably a much better position for him than a defensive end. You take a look at [Lorenzo] Alexander, another guy who would be better at the outside linebacker or inside linebacker than at defensive end. [Rocky] McIntosh at the time was still here. You just decide on the direction you’re going to go in.”

On Albert Haynesworth entering 2010:
“I’ll be honest with you, I talked to Albert at the end of the season and I said, 'Hey, if you play at the level I saw you at last year, you wouldn’t start on our football team anyhow.’ That’s after looking at film with him. I said, 'I don’t care if you’re playing nose tackle, 3-4 defense or you’re playing defensive tackle or defensive end. You have to play at a much higher level than you did the year before.”

On cornerback Cedric Griffin and the safeties:
“I think Cedric looked better today. He had a good practice and hopefully he continues to do that tomorrow. I thought safety, at the beginning of the season, was going to be one of positions where we would have the most depth at. I thought we had six guys who could all play. Unfortunately, we lost our two starters. I think we’ve had some guys step up and do a pretty good job. We lost four guys there. It’s not easy losing four guys at one position, but I’ve been pleased with the level our guys have played at and I think we’ve gotten better at both the free safety and strong safety positions and will help us next year.”

On guard Kory Lichtensteiger:
“He’ll get treatment every day and I’ll let you know more tomorrow. He could not practice today, so hopefully he’ll be able to practice tomorrow.”

On challenges of facing Seattle’s defense:
“They have an excellent football team. They have depth on the defensive line. They’re very powerful, very quick. Linebackers are all solid. Two corners that will challenge you. They’ve done a great job throughout the year. They really have four corners who can play. They’ve got some depth in their secondary. Safeties, they’ve got speed, good athletic ability. For you to finish No. 1 or top five in most areas, you’ve got to be pretty sound and pretty consistent and they’ve been that way. It’s a good challenge.”

On attempting misdirection passes against Seattle:
“Everybody has a little bit of a game plan that tries to keep a defense off-balance just like a defense is trying to keep an offense off-balance. They don’t try to fool you. They know what they’re going to do. That’s usually the sign of a great defense. They come out and play and play harder and more consistent than the offense. That’s one of the reasons why they have been so good. Very sound, don’t make a lot of mistakes. Everybody knows what they’re doing and they have been dominating the line of scrimmage.”

On Kai Forbath being a long-term solution at kicker:
“You really never know until a guy gets an opportunity. We just presented a legitimate competition between three kickers and he was the most successful, but you never know how a guy is going to do until he gets there on game day. The thing that I liked about him was that he didn’t care where the ball was, the holder, he just said, 'Put it down and I’ll kick it.’ It didn’t matter what the situation was, practice or in a game. He’s a little bit different than a lot of kickers that I’ve been around. The guys who have been the most consistent are the guys like Kai. They just put it down there and kick it. They take full responsibilities for misses. That’s the kind of guy you like.”

On why it is difficult playing in the red zone:
“No. 1 for the offense is that the field shrinks. It’s much tougher to get the ball in the end zone. At least from my perspective, if you can do both, if you can run and throw, it gives you the best chance to be consistent down there when a defense is never quite sure what you’re going to do. The great defenses are guys who play sound defense. They can play straight-zone. They can blitz you. They have to have a good core base on defense and a defense that doesn’t make very many mistakes. That’s one of the reasons why they’ve [Seattle] been so consistent.”

On defensive adjustments during the bye week:
“I think we talked about it through the offseason. We talked about how we felt that the strength of our team would be our defense. And then you lose four starters and three backups that are going to play every week and play well. So, you lose seven guys and if you lose seven guys, you’re not going to be the same. Through our first nine games we got some experience at the safety position. [Jarvis] Jenkins came in and got some valuable experience at defensive end for [Adam] Carriker. You get 'Rak [Orakpo] that goes out and all of a sudden Rob Jackson starts playing at a different level. As a nucleus, some of these guys who filled in some of these voids start playing at a higher level. Some of the guys backing up, Chris Baker, how is he going to play for Chris Neild? Chris Neild really played excellent for us last year in the run game. He had a couple of sacks. I think in the first eight plays of the season he had two sacks. Well, that’s not too bad either. He thought he was going to keep that up, which he didn’t, unfortunately. And then you have guys like Kedric [Golston] who comes in and does everything that you have asked him to do when he can play both positions.”

On if cornerback DeAngelo Hall played his best game of the season last week against Dallas:
“I don’t think there’s any question. He was really focused and into it. He knew it was a playoff atmosphere. He had to play his best game against an excellent receiver who was playing at a very high level throughout the last four or five games. It was a great challenge to him. Any time you’re locked on a guy, man-to-man, and you’ve got to shut a guy down of his type of ability, he took it as a personal challenge and I thought he did a great job.”

On how he would describe himself as a coach:
“That’s a good question. I’ve been called a lot of things before which I can’t say. I think overall, what you want to do as a coach, is be respected. You’ve got a hard job to do and you want to be fair to the best player on your football team compared to the guy that maybe is not one of your better players. You want to be consistent. You’d like to be respected. I think if I had people trying to remember me it would be something like that.”

On having different receivers lead the team in all major receiving categories:
“We talked about it last year that it was one of the areas that we had to improve in. We talked about yards after catch and all of those things. We were not very good in that area. Yet, I thought our passing game was fairly good, for the most part with some of the injuries we did have. To come back and get a few additions in the wide receiver area, for Santana [Moss] to come back, lose some weight and play at the level that he’s played at very consistently throughout the whole year is the difference between our receiving corps. Pierre [Garçon] comes in and is hurt, has a good first quarter and is hurt half of the season. You have a guy like Aldrick Robinson who comes in and is very talented, but it took him a year to develop. Leonard Hankerson played one game, we’re very high on him, and he got hurt right away. Josh Morgan came in and really played well, but you could see his ankle was still bothering him a little bit. To see those guys come in at the midway point and play at the level that they have says a lot about who they are because they have made plays consistently. They’ve been very competitive in both the passing and running game and that’s what gives you a chance to play at a high level the second half of the season.”

On if he would rather have one player lead all receiving categories:
“We talk about that as a running back. I was told last year that I was a coach with a running-back-by-committee. I said, 'No. I’ve had some pretty good running backs.’ I’d like to have that back and play our best backs. And all of a sudden, we have a guy who comes in, steps up and he’s the man. Alfred [Morris] has done a great job. Same thing at wide receiver. If Pierre would have stayed healthy, he probably would have had 1,300-1,400 yards, but he didn’t. So you have to other guys step up, have a little more depth. What you want to do is be effective, be efficient. If somebody does go down, hopefully you have the depth to play at a high level and have some success.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On what challenges taller-than-average cornerbacks present to an offense:
“They’re very good at jamming guys. They’re very physical. They try to beat you up all the way down the field. They compete in the run and the pass game. They have a lot of confidence in them. They play a lot of single safety and they get after it.”

On the matchup between Redskins receivers and Seahawks cornerbacks:
“I think our receivers can compete with everybody – every game, any team. It will be a challenge with these guys because they’re very good players. I have a lot of confidence in our guys, too. I think it will be a good fight on Sunday.”

On running back Alfred Morris not hitting the proverbial rookie wall:
“It was great. For about six weeks in a row, I’ve told him that he needs to have his best game of the year today and I feel that he’s continued to do it. Each game, he’s gotten better. It is rare. It’s a long year, especially for a rookie, and he’s never hit that wall. The guy doesn’t seem to get too sore, either. He’s always in practice as soon as we go on Wednesday – takes every rep. We make fun of him because he won’t ever go walkthrough tempo either. He’s always full-speed. We can’t get him to slow down. He’s always fresh and he’s very fun to coach.”

On Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner:
“I think he’s a solid player. He’s done a very good job this year. He runs around fast, flies to the ball and makes plays. All 11 of their guys are good players. There’s not really a weak link personnel-wise on their team.”

On quarterback Rex Grossman’s role this season:
“We’ve got a real good room. All three of those guys [Grossman, quarterback Kirk Cousins and quarterback Robert Griffin III], they’re all very different but they all get along real well. They’ve got their own personalities and they mesh real well together. They all push each other and drive each other. I think all three of them have a lot of respect for each other. Each one of them does things in different ways. Rex has been great. He’s just an easy guy to get along with. I think that’s why everybody on the team has always liked him. I think Robert gets along with him well and definitely always has him to ask questions to with the experience he’s been through. He [Grossman] talks about plays, how he sees it, so he always has that opinion of somebody who’s been through it. I think Robert enjoys having him around.”

On if they were worried about Grossman’s reaction to being inactive most of the season:
“No, not at all. We’ve gotten the chance to get to know Rex pretty well here over the last three years and Rex is a great guy, a great teammate and I think that’s why guys on every team he’s been on have enjoyed him.”

On how his confidence has grown with high-risk strategies:
“It’s grown a lot. Anytime you have set rules in place for a certain concept, whether it’s a run play or a pass play, once your players get that concept down and the number counts and where you’re going and how to target people, then the motions and all the other stuff really just make it an illusion. It looks like a lot more is going on. It can seem confusing. Once you drill that stuff in training camp, you have all your guys targeted right, they know where they’re going, they’re stepping the same regardless of people or the structure of the defense, then it becomes pretty easy. You lay that foundation in OTAs and training camp and then as the season starts, then, as a coach, you can start getting creative and stuff from a perception standpoint. You’re pretty much asking the players to do the same thing that they’ve done since day one.”

On Griffin III hiding the ball well on play action:
“It’s a lot of things. I think every quarterback that you have, if you want to be a good play pass team, it has to be exactly like the run. That’s something we’ve always drilled hard. It’s got to be exactly like the run. Robert takes it seriously. He doesn’t just go through the motions on it. Matt LaFleur, our quarterbacks coach, drills him on it every day in individuals. [LaFleur] annoys the heck out of everybody with it and doesn’t let them slip one time or he’ll be on them right away. I think the guys appreciate him for that because they know how much better it makes them – the results you get in the game. Everybody can be good at it as long as they work at it. Robert works at everything we ask him to do. “

On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson:
“He’s been out there. He’s been doing the same stuff he’s been doing all year, but you only throw them to him when the coverage dictates it. Sometimes when you get a guy uncovered 50 yards down the field, teams tend to back up. He’s still running those same routes and stuff. Guys are backing up a little bit more and it really helps out guys underneath. He’s done a good job in a bunch of these games really scaring a lot DBs [defensive backs] and getting them out of there. It opens up stuff for people underneath and when he doesn’t, you’ve got to be willing to let it go.”

On teams with a mobile quarterback using some concepts from the Redskins’ offense later in the season:
“I think everybody in the league studies. There’s so much tape and all of us don’t have much of a life. We sit here and look at everybody’s stuff and study throughout the week. Whenever people put stuff on tape, you’re not just throwing darts at a board trying stuff on Sunday. There’s a lot riding on games. In the NFL, there’s only so many plays. Every play matters. It’s hard to go into a game and just try stuff randomly vs. teams that are very good. You don’t have any weak opponents and stuff. Every game, whether it’s a bad team or a good team, they can play like the best team in the NFL. It’s hard, I feel, as coaches to just try random, new stuff, but when you can see stuff on tape and kind of get an idea of how stuff is going to work, then you have an idea of, 'Hey, if we just do this we can make this better or it’ll be worse,’ and you feel a lot more confidence to try stuff when you get examples on tape.”

On if he is interested in interviewing for head coaching positions:
“Yeah, definitely. I think every coach in the NFL, I think that’s all of our goals. Everybody wants an opportunity someday to be a head coach and I really hope that some day I get that opportunity. It’s very flattering to be mentioned for it right now. I did read that I wasn’t allowed to or whatever you guys read and stuff. I didn’t know that until I read it. It’s not something I’m asking about or hearing about. I know we try to say, but it’s hard to explain or really understand how focused and in a small world we are right now as coaches. I just live in my office back there studying the heck out of film, trying to get ready for this game. Anything that detours your mind from that is going to be a detriment to the team. It’s been pretty easy to lock in, but I’m looking forward to having that opportunity after the season.”

On if he plans to interview for a head coaching position during the playoffs:
“I don’t plan on it. I’m locking in right now.”

On if any teams have contacted his agent about interviewing for a head coaching position:
“I don’t know, because I don’t have an agent [laughter]. I’m not sure.”

On if the team would have to contact him directly:
“I guess so. I haven’t answered my phone in about six months, so I’ll check my voicemail after [the season].”

On his growth in the last three years with Washington:
“I think the biggest thing in these last three years is just being able to handle adversity. My two years in Houston as a coordinator, everything seemed to go right from a numbers standpoint and statistically on offense, even though we didn’t get into the playoffs, which was obviously disappointing. Here, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. Just to be able to learn through that to be able to handle certain things and having to change your stuff as you go with your players and trying to find ways when you don’t necessarily have the players at certain spots and battle through injuries… Each year as a coach, you get a lot more experience. I’ve been confident since I’ve been given a position as a coordinator, which was five years ago. Each year, I do get more confidence because you see a lot more new situations. I feel in everything you do, you get better or worse. Even when you go through some tough times, the main thing is getting better from it. I think I’ve learned a lot from my experience here and from my experience in Houston. I hope as I get older, I continue to get better.”

On if his growth is enough to make him feel ready for a head coaching position:
“I can honestly say I haven’t really thought about it too much. I feel confident in football. I feel confident in any situation that would be presented to myself.”

On the offense’s ability to protect the ball and have such a low turnover rate:
“I think it’s been everything. It starts with Robert. He’s been very good in his decisions. He doesn’t let it go unless he feels comfortable with it. When he doesn’t let it go, he still has been able to make plays running around or getting to other people in the progression. Then, I think it’s huge when you’re running the ball as much as we are and your guys don’t fumble. That eliminates half the opportunities to throw interceptions and it gets sacks and things like that. Just everybody on the offense has protected the ball. The quarterback has protected the ball, guys have made plays going up for it and I just think it’s just been a group effort. It starts with the quarterback.”

On if there is a specific name for the full house Pistol formation they use and if he looked at college or NFL tape when studying the formation:
“We call it the Pistol. That puts them in that position. We call our normal formations and we usually move people to that spot, so we rarely line up in it. We just studied NFL teams, mainly because it wasn’t so much about studying NFL offenses, it was more about studying NFL defenses. Once you get an idea of how you want to run it and how we felt it was very similar to what we were already doing, it’s just a different way to get the guy in a little tighter zone action, as opposed to an outside zone action. We realized the similarities were very close. Our biggest thing was what are defenses going to do? You can’t really get that in college. We wanted to see what NFL defenses were going to do because we know from being in this business that no matter how good something is, defenses will stop it, so you have to have a plan of how are they going to stop it? How are they going to recognize it? What are you going to do to counter it? We put in a lot of that work because we were hoping it would be able to sustain throughout the year and I think it has so far.”

On the similarities in the Seahawks defense this year and last year:
“Very similar. That was as tough of a game as we had last year. We made some big plays at the end and squeezed out a victory, especially playing there, which is the toughest place to play. They are very physical. They have a very sound scheme. Their coordinator does a great job. They have all guys in the right spots. They’re an eight-man front. It’s tough to run against and tough to throw against. They have 11 players who are all talented and they’re matched with a very good scheme. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On if the win against Dallas last week was the most gratifying win of his coaching career:
“The players executed everything very well. They were on top of their game in a number of different of things. I thought they prepared well for it all week and things kind of fell in place exactly the way we wanted them to. Number one, we wanted to stop the run early and then get them in situations where we could take advantage of his [Tony Romo’s] throwing and some of the protections that they were doing.”

On if this season tested him more than past seasons because of injuries:
“I think that’s kind of what you do as a coach. You lose players and everybody loses players, we just happened to lose a whole bunch at one time. We were kind of lost for a little while trying to find our way and guys have stepped up and done a really nice job stepping in. We worked a number of different combinations to get to the point where we are at. It took us a little more time than we would have liked, but obviously it worked out for the best.”

On transitioning from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4:
“We knew the situation coming into it. We were a 4-3 team for 20 years or whatever it was, maybe longer. We decided, Coach Mike Shanahan and I discussed it in the offseason that this was the way he wanted to go. We knew that it was going to take some time and we had setbacks early because there was no free agency and we didn’t have a lot of draft picks. The next year, the same thing. We were limited in free agency and we didn’t have a lot of draft picks. Everything kind of fell into place after we went and got Barry [Cofield] and Bo [Stephen Bowen], we drafted Ryan [Kerrigan] and a couple of those guys, so obviously when you make a transition like that it’s not easy. I remember back when Pittsburgh did it, it took them two or three years to get all of the parts. Now you just have to try and build off of it every year. You have to try and keep adding to it and getting better.”

On if cornerback Cedric Griffin will play this week:
“We’ll see. We’ll see how he goes and if we can work him into the mix. At this point, I’m not really sure.”

On the defensive secondary:
“I think they’re playing better as a unit. Last week, DeAngelo [Hall] played his best game. Josh [Wilson] has really stepped up and played really well and the safeties, all four of them, have done a good job in the situations we’re putting them in.”

On the benefits of practicing against Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris in preparation for the Seattle offense:
“We haven’t practiced against them in a while. During training camp, they’re obviously exciting players and the quarterback is going to be a special kid and Alfred [Morris] is one of my favorites and is a great kid. Obviously there are a lot of similarities between Russell Wilson and the running backs. The bottom line is the one [Marshawn Lynch] guy is a beast, and you have to be able to tackle him and another guy [Russell Wilson] runs around and you have to be able to tackle him. That’s going to be the key going into the game. You have to get those guys down. That’s a hard chore.”

On blitzing:
“We have different things for different games. Sometimes we blitz, sometimes we don’t. It depends on the protection, what they’re doing. We’re not just outright going crazy. You’re taking calculated risks, picking and choosing when we want to do it. We covered pretty well last week and we rushed pretty well and did some good things on the blitz.”

On his label of a “mad scientist” by some of the Redskins defensive players:
“I’m not really sure that means. The coaching staff has done a good job. Everybody has an area that they work on. Richard Hightower does red zone today and guys do short yardage goal line. They present it in a classroom. They present it to me, they present it to the players. So far it has people buying in and we’re getting a lot better, so it’s a good something to build on. I’m excited about the opportunity. Obviously, I came here to win the Super Bowl. That’s the reason I came here. I didn’t come here for any other reason than to win a Super Bowl. The pieces are falling. You have a quarterback. You have a heck of scheme on both sides of the ball and you just have to keep building off of it and hopefully we’re where we want to be right now. We just have to take advantage of it and keep working. But, I think for the fans of Washington, for the future, they should be excited about where this team is going.”

On the process the coaching staff goes through to pick the right defensive combination:
“It’s everything. We talk about it and say, 'Let’s try this guy and this. Can Rob Jackson be a full-time player? Can Lorenzo [Alexander] be a full-time player? Can Chris Wilson?’ We want to throw all of the combinations out there and you try to figure out what they do best and, if they can’t do everything…Like I know with 'Rak [Brian Orakpo], he can do everything. He can cover, he can rush, he beats up tight ends and Ryan [Kerrigan] is the same way. Some guys can’t do everything. You try to put guys in when they’re running the ball, some guys when they’re passing, some guys who are smarter than others. It’s a number of different things.”

On if it is rewarding when coaches are tested and it works on the field:
“You look back at it at the end of the year when it’s over and you try to analyze what you did well and what you didn’t do well and you try to fix it. Then you take that into next year. Right now, you’re kind of the middle of the hunt, you don’t worry about the process, you’re just trying to make sure you’re getting better and better these next couple of weeks.”

On relying on individuals to shadow an opposing receiver:
“We challenged D [DeAngelo Hall] all week that Dez [Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant] is hot, he’s on fire. He’s got, whatever it was, 388 yards in the last four games and you need to put the fire out. You need to take him one-on-one and I think he rose to the challenge. He mirrored him all day, zone, man, zero blitz, zone coverage, everything. I think he did an awesome job.”

On the difficulty of playing the season without two potential starting safeties:
“In the beginning it’s hard. You lose two safeties who I think are two really good football players, and in the matter of five plays you lose your best pass rusher and your best defensive run player on the front. So, it’s not easy. You lose [nose tackle] Chris Neild who is a good player and cornerback [Chase] Minnifield, who I thought was going to be a good player. Cedric [Griffin] has played half of a year. So, it’s tough, but like I said, that’s the great challenge that coaches have on your team. When we were 3-6, that wasn’t easy. We got it going and everybody played their part, stepped up. Players have done a nice job, coaches and assistant coaches have done a nice job of putting a plan together. That’s why we’re here where we’re at right now.”

On area native Josh Wilson:
“First of all, that’s one of the reasons we went and got Josh. He was in Baltimore and we thought we could lure him over here. It wouldn’t be hard to get and he wouldn’t have to move his family. That was one of the selling points of being a free agent. He’s done a good job for us. He’s got great speed. He’s one of those guys –he played nickel for us last week, nobody has mentioned that. He hasn’t played nickel in 10 weeks. We put him in nickel last week and he was awesome. He had two hits on the quarterback. He had a couple of knockdowns. For a guy to go in, not play nickel in two months, and to go in and play it shows you what kind of guy he is. He didn’t complain about it. He just did it and did a nice job with it.”

On if Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is the number one priority on defense:
“I think he’s a good running back. He’s unbelievable. He’s hard to tackle. We played him last year and we thought we did a pretty good job with him. When you look at the numbers, their numbers in rushing the last six weeks are ridiculous. They have 280, 290, 175, 155, 167, they run it…We’re going to get 40 runs. It’s just one of those things, you know where he’s at. You know what he’s going to be. He runs hard. He runs like he wants to hurt somebody. I think he’s a great football player. We’ve got our work cut out for us. Between him and the quarterback running around, it’s a great challenge for our defense.”

On dealing with speculation of possible head coaching opportunities during the playoffs:
“First of all, I don’t worry about those kinds of things. I worry about this game coming up and that is the truth. I don’t think of those things. That’s something you worry about when the season is over. But really, I came here to win and I like the pieces of the puzzle now from the first year and I think you have an opportunity hopefully this year, but for the future to win a couple of Super Bowls. As a player, as an ex-player and as a coach, I’ve kind of done everything I’ve wanted to do from an individual standpoint. I made rookie of the year, coach of the year – all of that stuff. So, that stuff doesn’t make a difference to me. I need to get a ring. That’s the one thing I don’t have. Obviously I like the future of this club, so that kind of answers the question.”

On coaching DeAngelo Hall:
“He loves playing the game. He loves Sundays and Monday nights and all of that. I think that’s when he stands out. He’s awesome on the field. He’s got great ball skills. He’s one of the best corners I’ve been around ever from a tackling standpoint. A lot of the guys don’t want to throw their bodies around. This guy will throw it up in there. He’s not afraid. All of that stuff is good. He takes to coaching, he’s smart. He understands what he wants. He asks questions. It’s a good combination. Does he go crazy once and a while? Yeah, but I played the game and I understand all of that stuff.”

On if he relates to Hall’s intense style of play:
“Yeah, I actually get a kick out of some of the stuff that he does. As long as plays like he did last week, he can take on anything. He was awesome last week.”

On what matters to him as a coach:
“People are going to throw anything negative out there. I look at the positive. You’re fifth in the league in rushing. The number one goal on defense is one, limit points. Two is turnovers. I think we’re fifth in the league in turnovers. And number three is rushing and we were fifth in the league in rushing. Now, our passing stats stink. They’re not very good. You give up an 85-yarder, 65, 60, 55, 50, 60. All you have to do is give up one a game and it throws it all out of whack. That’s what we have to eliminate and we have eliminated it. I worry about getting the ball back for the offense so they can score points. Don’t let anyone run the ball on us whenever you can and then get them in situations where you can do what you want on third down. I think we’ve done a good job of that all year, not just part of the year. We’re not a great pass defense, I understand that numbers-wise. It’s kind of part of it.”

Linebacker London Fletcher

On being named NFC Defensive Player of the Month:
“It’s a great honor but I think it’s more of an indication of how we played defensively. It’s a reflection on how we played as a team. We’ve won all our games in December but I think it’s a credit to my teammates and the team in general.”

On if he’s impressed with himself playing at a high level on gamedays despite not practicing regularly:
“I wouldn’t say I’m impressed with myself. I just feel fortunate to be able to go out and suit up on Sundays and have been able to play well. Again, I think everybody’s been dealing with injuries, banged up, especially this time of year. You think about throughout the National Football League, it’s a 16-game season. That’s a lot of wear and tear on the body. But again, just to be able to go out there and play well on Sundays, I feel great about that.”

On in what he takes pride:
“Obviously as a defensive player, you want to get your hands on the football, so being able to get the interceptions – that’s something you feel good about. But I think that’s just one aspect of the game. When you think about defensive players, you’ve got to do all of it. I was able to get a couple sacks against Dallas last week. But whether it’s tackles or whatever, just really making impact plays as a defensive player, that’s what you want to do – have impact plays that can help your team win ballgames.”

On the role Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett has played:
“Well, he’s our defensive coordinator so obviously the majority of the credit goes to him [and] also his head coaching staff and obviously his other defensive coaches. It was an adjustment process with some of the new guys that we had to play with some of the injuries that we had, losing [linebacker Brian] Orakpo, losing [defensive end Adam] Carriker, losing [safety Brandon] Meriweather. So you think about the guys that we’ve lost and once the guys that we’ve put in those positions have gotten comfortable in the roles and the staff has also gotten comfortable with what they can do, we’ve adjusted our defense to fit that accordingly and I’ve been able to play fast and play good football.”

On the Seattle Seahawks’ offense, especially quarterback Russell Wilson:
“They’re playing great football right now. You think about him at the quarterback position. He’s a playmaker. He’s a football player. He makes plays running around, like a video game, buying time for the receivers, taking off with the football himself. They have a really good offense. You think about [running back] Marshawn Lynch and his ability to run the ball. Really good offensive line. The receivers make plays on the ball. So, we have our work cut out for us as a defensive unit. With that Seattle offense, you think about Wilson. He’s played tremendous football.”

On the development of the secondary:
“They’ve been playing their best football down the stretch. They’ve made a ton of plays. When you think about the game against Dallas the other night, [cornerback] Josh [Wilson] gets the interception. [Cornerback] Richard Crawford gets an interception. [Cornerback] DeAngelo [Hall] played phenomenal. He had a lot of passes broken up. Safeties, they’ve all played well. They’re playing their best football the second half of the season and that’s what we need them to do.”

On the evolution of the 3-4 defense:
“We had a really good 4-3 defense prior to Coach [Mike] Shanahan coming here so we had personnel more suitable for a 4-3 defense. When we made the transition to a 3-4, there’s going to be an adjustment period. There’s going to be some times when we’ve got some guys maybe playing at not necessarily the best position for them. But in the second year, we were able to get Ryan Kerrigan, get [Brian] Orakpo into his more natural position, outside linebacker, getting some defensive linemen better suited for the 3-4 defense. That takes a while. It took an offseason to get that, to get in there and play. Now, this is our third year in the defense. We’ve got everybody in the positions they need to be in. We’ve been playing really good football.”

On how tough it was transitioning to a 3-4 defense:
“Well, nobody wants to not play well. It’s as tough as it got. We were what, the 31st-ranked defense that first year we were going to transition into the 3-4? So, I don’t think anybody was happy about that. I don’t know what level of toughness you put. It was as tough as it got.”

On how much he appreciates the Redskins making it to the playoffs as a veteran player who has played on Super Bowl teams:
“I went to the Super Bowl my second year in the league. I was able to win it. Then, I went again as a fourth-year player. You kind of take things for granted, especially at that time in your career. You don’t realize how tough it is to get to the playoffs and also to obviously win it. Definitely, I’m appreciating this a lot more when you think about this group, this team and what we were able to accomplish being 3-6 at one point during this season, winning seven straight ballgames to win a division and put ourselves in a position where we made the playoffs. So, I guess I can say I’m enjoying this a lot more and I’m more appreciative of it because I realize how difficult it is to make the playoffs now.”

On if the team would be successful if the defense doesn’t blitz as much:
“I think with football, it’s a team sport. It’s an offense, defense, special teams. Whatever it takes to win the ballgame, that’s what I’m always trying to do. If it’s getting takeaways, obviously we love takeaways. If it’s playing great special teams, if it’s playing great offense, whatever it takes, we just want to win the football game.”

On the physical nature of playing in the NFL at his age:
“Well, on Thursday, everything hurts. That’s just the way it is. I tell people I feel good about probably three hours a week. That’s the gameday. When you think about 15 years in this game, 16 games every season, you’re going to have some wear and tear on your body. You’re going to have some aches and pains, stuff like that. But it’s a matter of doing the things I need to do to get myself ready to play on Sunday and it’s like that throughout the National Football League. If you’ve played this game for probably over six, seven years, you’re going to start to feel some different aches and pains throughout the week. But, come game time, that’s the only thing that matters – how you feel during those three hours on gameday. I feel great on gameday... That’s what I look forward to.”

On his mindset when he entered the NFL as a rookie:
“Well, my mindset at that point in time was just really to make the practice squad. I was a Division III guy, undersized at the position, just really hoping I’d be able to make the practice squad. Once I was able to do that, obviously you set higher goals for yourself. So, that was really the mindset. I didn’t think I would be able to make the active roster at that point in time. I knew the odds were stacked against me. I was the fourth man on a three-man depth chart, so to speak, at the inside linebacker position. But it’s worked out well for me.”

On how he was able to make a good impression:
“I think right place, right time. Dick Vermeil, who was the head coach of the Rams at that time, was really a guy who gave the underdog a true opportunity. So when I went there, he didn’t look at me as a Division III guy, a free agent guy, who he wasn’t going to give a true opportunity. He wanted good football players. That’s how he judged it on – how you performed in practice, how you performed in the games. He just really gave me a true opportunity.”

On Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis:
“I think it’s well-documented how great of a football player Ray has been. You think about playing a position for 17 years, playing not only at the level he played at for so many years, that’s tough to do. It’s a lot of preparation that goes into it, a lot of dedication, commitment to excellence. So definitely, he’s one of the guys that I watch on film if we play a common opponent to try to see how he’s maybe taking on playing opponents. It’s, I guess, bittersweet to see him hanging it up by the way he’s played for a number of years.”


The All-Time Great
Jul 19, 2009
Reaction score
Bethesda Md

Albert and McNabb were soon out of the league. And getting a #5 pick and Alfred Morris for them was a nice end to a horrible story.

I zeroed in on this comment from Mike about Kai Forbath:

"He just kicks the ball. Doesn't make any excuses. Takes responsibility when he misses."

That comment was definitely directed at Graham Gano, who despite some talent, was a guy that ALWAYS seemed to have an excuse. The wind. The hold. The snap. The condition of the field.

It was never just 'I missed the kick'.


The Team Captain
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Jul 15, 2009
Reaction score
Burleson, TX

I like Haslett's statements on getting a ring. That's the attitude you want to pervade your team.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Private conversations
Help Users
As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤