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Skins Quotes 10/18: M. Shanahan/K. Shanahan/Haslett

One of many experimental iterations ...

Boone

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October 18, 2012
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On getting a second medical opinion on wide receiver Pierre Garçon:
“We get a lot of opinions. They see some specialists. What we felt would be a little better would be to keep him off his feet today and he was getting treatment inside. We’ll do the same thing tomorrow.”

On the possibility of Garçon receiving a shot to help heal the injury:
“He’s gotten a shot. He got a shot yesterday. They think it will help him.”

On if Garçon’s lack of practice availability means he is out for Sunday:
“It looks that way. You never know for sure. There are other injuries that could happen. There are a lot of variables that could happen.”

On if Garçon has gotten a shot in the weeks before previous games:
“Yes, he has. Not the type of shot he got today, though. It was a little bit more localized than before.”

On the plan for Garçon:
“Right now, we’re going to keep him off his feet. See how he feels. I would say it’d be a long shot unless somebody went down on our football team tomorrow. We want to get that foot well. The only way we’re going to get it well is to rest him. I’m not going to call him definitely out, but it’s a longshot right now.”

On how many weeks of rest it will take for Garçon to be completely healed:
“I wish I knew. Initially, we thought it would be a couple of days and that it would get better. Obviously, it hasn’t gotten better. It’s gotten a little bit worse. We’ll give him some rest and hopefully with a few days rest, he’ll feel a lot better. The shot that he did have was a little more localized than the other ones he has had. Who knows? We’ll wait and see.”

On the Giants’ pass protection:
“They’ve been doing a great job. Three games without a sack and I think the fourth game they had one sack. Eli [Manning] is doing a great job getting rid of the ball. If you can’t get to him, you have to put some pressure on him because he’s so accurate and he’s going to come up with big plays. If you can’t get a sack, you better get in his face or you’re in for a long day.”

On linebacker Lorenzo Alexander earning more playing time:
“We’re going to play our best players. We’re always going to do that. If a guy really plays well, then we’re going to try and get him into our system, offensively and defensively. It’s no different for a guy like Lorenzo. We try to utilize his talents and put him in situations where we think it could help us.”

On young players playing their first division game:
“It’s truly kind of hard to share with people what it’s going to be like until you experience it, from a coaching standpoint or playing standpoint, especially in the division. They know it’s going to be a very physical game, but it’s something you don’t really know until you get in to it. You can talk about it, but until you experience it…very different.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On not having wide receiver Pierre Garçon against Minnesota:
“The guys played well last week. Pierre is one of our best receivers. I think he’s a legit No. 1 receiver. But I think when you’re missing a guy like that, it obviously hurts. You have to do different stuff and other guys have to step it up. I think they’ve done that so far.”

On the performance of the receivers without Garçon:
“I think they’ve been solid. They’ve contributed in all aspects. They’ve done a good job in the run game. When their number has been called, they’ve made the plays in the pass game. They’ve been a good group.”

On the triple option’s effect on defenses:
“I think it changes how they play. They don’t come off the ball as fast. They don’t start teeing off on the quarterback, rushing the passer as much. The linebackers are not as aggressive, they’re not as much downhill. It takes them longer to recognize stuff. It kind of slows the whole defense down. When you have a real fast defense like that, it can really help us.”

On game planning for a team you play twice a year:
“When you play teams like we have now for the last two years four times, you start to know each other well. You know what works against each other. You adjust and you know how to stop it. It’s a very fine line in trying to do too much new stuff. The key is the coaches letting the players play and them playing fast and giving them to best opportunity to make plays. Sometimes you have to come up with new stuff to help them, but the key is them executing and doing their job. I think the guys know each other and it ends up just being a good battle out there.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s 76-yard touchdown run:
“I was ecstatic. That was as good of a play as I’ve been a part of. It was real fun to watch – not something that I’ve seen too much from a quarterback. Right when he broke the pocket, I knew he had a chance to get the first down. Right when he got it, I started to really get excited because I knew we had a chance to run the clock out then. Then when I saw him square his shoulders up, I was like, 'Holy cow, he’s going to go the distance.’ It was fun to watch.”

On if that play demonstrated how they envisioned Griffin III as a quarterback:
“That’s what I told him. I said, 'About time. That’s what I’ve been waiting for.’”

On if that was brilliant play calling:
“Oh, yeah. It was definitely how I designed it [laughter]. No, it was a pass play and he saw an opening inside and he wouldn’t always have the confidence that he can throw it to the receivers and make that play in a crucial third-down. But when a guy can run like him, if he ever sees an opening, you tell him don’t hesitate and go. He didn’t flinch at all, he saw an opening and he took it. It worked out pretty good.”

On the offensive line:
“I think they’re solid. I think they’ve done a good job. I think they did the same thing last year when they all played together. We only had them for about three games, but early in last year when the five of them were playing, I thought they did a pretty good job. I think this year they’ve only improved and I’m excited about them.”

On why running back did Alfred Morris not gett as many rushing yards as usual against Minnesota:
“I think it’s a pretty good defense. I think that’s one of the better defenses in the league. They’re very good at stopping the run. I think some of the stuff we did helped offset them, but that’s a good defense. It’s always tough when you’re going against them.”

On if he pays more attention to what the Giants did against the Redskins in 2011 or what they’ve done against teams like Carolina this year:
“It’s everything. There’s not really anything we don’t watch. We watch all of it. We put all of it into our game plan and how they’re going to play. We watch how they’ve played us in the past and watch what they’re doing this year, because people change every year even if they do have the same coordinators, same players – people change. You want to see how they have played some quarterbacks like that. It all goes into our game plan.”

On if it’s fair to say he’s watched more film of the Giants playing Carolina than Tampa Bay:
“No, because there’s only so many plays in a game, so I watch it all. I don’t have much of a life [laughter]. I sit in here and watch it over and over again. I see it all, so I can’t say I just keep watching the same game over and over. I watch them all.”

On how many more formations he has in his playbook:
“It’s not like that. It’s not like a Madden playbook where you just have your set number of plays you get. It’s about watching what you do and how teams are going to stop it. Everybody plays defense a certain way and when they do something with their scheme to stop a certain play, it usually opens up another play. It’s not just play No. 25 in the playbook, it’s you watching the tape and seeing it on film and seeing what they’re doing. When they stop that play in the offense, it usually opens up another hole in the defense, and it’s how do you want to get to that hole?”

On if he likes experimenting with plays:
“Yeah, it’s fun. That’s why I love coaching. I love X’s and O’s and doing stuff like that. It adds a whole other element when your quarterback can run and you can do some of the zone reads and the option and stuff. It brings up a whole other thing of ideas you can come up with. So, it’s fun.”

On the Giants pass rush with cornerback Prince Amukamara:
“We didn’t see him much last year. He wasn’t out there as much. They had Aaron Ross who did most of it last year. He’s out there a lot more and I think he’s doing a good job.”

On defenses realizing Alfred Morris is a threat:
“That’s running the ball every week. I think people who watch the tape – which is everyone we play against – can see he’s a good runner and they know they’re going to have to account for him. Even when they have, I thought Tampa Bay was one of the toughest run defenses to go against, Alfred broke a couple tackles and got some long runs. When we went against Minnesota, Alfred didn’t get as many opportunities. We did a lot of the zone read and stuff and gave the quarterback a little bit more and gave Alfred some quicker-hitting plays, but not usually the outside zone stuff he’s used to. But Alfred is going to run hard every week. He’s going to get his yards and people are going to have to commit to him. When they do, it opens up other people.”

On converting third downs against Minnesota:
“I thought it was definitely our best week of the year. We made some big plays. Robert had two third-downs that he scrambled on. I thought one of the plays in the game was just a simple third -and-four when we were down 9-3 at the minus 16-yard line and 'Tana [wide receiver Santana Moss] had a choice route that he hooked up in between two defenders and got things going and then we went down and got a touchdown. I think that was the difference. [Against] Atlanta, I thought we played pretty good, [but] we didn’t do anything on third down so we weren’t able to score points. This game, it was a lot more of a battle. When you make plays on third down, you’re able to use your offense and move the chains and get a lot more points doing it.”

On if converting third downs is as simple as execution:
“It’s just executing. In Atlanta, we had two drops on third down. That takes you from 1-of-9 to 3-of-9, that’s a huge difference.”

On having three players in the backfield helping you take advantage of the middle of the field:
“You add another player that they’re usually not used to accounting for, it can bring people into the backfield. They usually have to bring safeties up and it does open up a lot more holes over the top.”

On if he thinks Griffin III did a better job of protecting himself this week:
“I did. I thought it was probably the most we’ve ran him this year and I thought it was some of the least he got hit. I think that says a lot about it. He was smart when he took the ball – made the right decisions. He handed it off when they were playing him. When he did run, he got as much as he could and then got down. I felt like he didn’t take too many big hits in the game, even though he had the most carries he’s had. I thought he did a real good job.”

On Griffin III working under center:
“He’s developing every week. For Robert, a lot of the stuff is new for him, a lot of the stuff just this year has been new for him. The thing about him is that there’s no challenge he doesn’t mind. When he’s not good at something, he keeps working at it and he just constantly improves.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On Giants quarterback Eli Manning:
“He executes the offense as well as anybody. He’s got a great feel for the offense. He’s got a good knack of staying alive in the pocket. He has an unbelievable arm. He doesn’t take sacks. He does a great job. I think he’s getting better and better. I first watched him coming in and played against him all those times. He just keeps getting better and better every year, and now I think he’s playing really well.”

On the lack of sacks allowed by the Giants:
“A lot of it is that he is smart in the pocket, he slides in the pocket, he stays alive, he knows when to get out the pocket, and we have to be disciplined in our rush. We have to be relentless to disrupt the passing game.”

On Manning’s athleticism:
“I think he’s a pretty good athlete for a big guy. He’s a big man. He is athletic and he knows how to stay alive in the pocket. I think those are the big things.”

On the Giants rushing attack without former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs:
“I think it’s basically still the same. It’s effective. Obviously, [Ahmad] Bradshaw the last couple of weeks has lit it up. He has over 350 yards rushing in the last couple of weeks. They’re good at what they do. I’ve known [Giants Offensive Coordinator] Kevin Gilbride for a long time. Their power running game…They’re excellent at what they do.”

On linebacker Lorenzo Alexander being used as a pass rusher:
“Lorenzo has always done a good job off the line coming from different angles. I think the assistant coaches did a good job coming up with some schemes to put him in a position to be effective. [Defensive Line Coach] Jacob [Burney] and [Linebackers Coach Bob] Slowik came up with different ways to make him effective. With him, Keenan [Robinson] and London [Fletcher], we had different combinations rushing last week.”

On the performance of linebackers Keenan Robinson and Mario Addison:
“Keenan did well. He did a good job. He’s a good cover guy. He rushed a couple of times. Mario is a guy we’ll use more and more if we can. He doesn’t know the system so we’re trying to get him up to speed. I think he had 11 snaps last week. He has some rush ability, which you like. He just hasn’t been around. We’ll try to get more and more and see how he is. I think he did a good job last week.”

On the importance of the defensive end position when defending against the zone read:
“It’s all important. You have to be disciplined when you’re playing that type of offense. Even when you’re playing this team we’re playing, you have to be disciplined. They execute well and one guy out of position versus those types of players will get you in trouble.”

On the defensive game plan in the fourth quarter:
“We were trying to play it safe. We didn’t want to give up any big hits. We were up by two and half, three scores, so we were playing coverage, trying to eat up time. We actually tried to keep them in bounds during the last couple of drives and we didn’t do a very good job of that, so we’re going to do a drill today. We were trying to keep guys in bounds and eat up clock. We didn’t do a great job of it. It’s something for us to work on.”

On the different rotations of players at the safety position:
“We’re just trying different combinations to give us the best chance to win. I thought the safeties played extremely well last week. Obviously, [safety] Madieu Williams’ touchdown, but his overall game was one of his best games and Reed [Doughty] is Reed. He’s tough, hard-nosed and plays well in the box. He gave us a lot of stuff. Jordan [Pugh] did a nice job. He knocked himself out a couple of times, but he did a nice job. He’s athletic and we’ll try to get him and those guys more involved.”

On multiple players being used in replacement of injured linebacker Brian Orakpo:
“We take a look at it every week and figure who gives us the best chance to win the game. No matter who it is, we’ll just kind of use all of our players we have available and try to put them in positions where they can be successful and win the game.”
On if the defensive game plan late in games included a “bend, but don’t break” mentality:
“I don’t like that word because we blitzed like five times in a row in the fourth quarter. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a bend, but don’t break defense if you’re blitzing. I think last week we had a nice lead and we didn’t want to give it up. We played conservative along the way, trying to eat up time on the clock. I don’t think we’re a bend, but don’t break. I wouldn’t use those terms. We’ve actually just played a lot of plays. We have to do a better job on third down. We’ve been on the field 85 plays two weeks ago and 87 plays last week. That’s way too many plays. It’s our own fault because all of a sudden we get a nice third-and-10 last week and we let them convert because we don’t tackle. If we can do a better job at that then we won’t get as many plays and they won’t get as many yards and they won’t score any points. Us as a defense, we need to do better in that area.”

On the potential for more takeaways this season:
“I’m hoping there is. That’s what we try to get every game and practice we did a good job yesterday. It’s something you work on all the time and the four scores are awesome. We should have had really 6. That’s encouraging. That’s the good stuff. We’re doing a great job on the run and we have to continue to do that and keep improving as a group so we can help this team win games.”

On the difference between scoring on defense this year relative to past seasons:
“Sometimes it just comes. Like Madieu just made a nice run. He made a nice catch, nice run and had some great blocking. Josh [Wilson] had a nice block at the end. All of that plays into it. You get more opportunities. We’ve had a lot more plays, so you’re getting more opportunities. If we can get leads, then obviously you have better chances of scoring or getting turnovers.”

On defensive adjustments in the red zone against the Vikings in Week 6:
“We’ve always played well in the red zone here. Even before I got here they played well in the red zone. We started out well and we had a couple of games when we didn’t play well. Last week, I thought we did a nice job. We just executed really well last week. We played the same defense I think 10 times in a row at the end and that’s when we got the interception. Those guys executing did a nice job with it.”

On if defensive end Stephen Bowen is playing too many snaps:
“Not necessarily. Obviously, you want to get all the snaps down for everybody. Stephen is one of the guys who will probably get more snaps than Barry [Cofield] because of the position. Barry we’ll try to limit because of the nose position. Stephen will get more than most of them.”

On keeping defensive players fresh:
“You’d like to. You’d like to keep them around 35 if you can, but you can’t play 87 and keep someone at 35.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s 76-yard touchdown run:
“I thought it was awesome. He was smoking. I was standing there and I was like, 'Whoa.’ I thought it was a great play. He’s obviously extremely fast, so once he got in the open field you kind of felt like he’s going to score.”
 

Pravda

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Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan said:
On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s 76-yard touchdown run:
“I was ecstatic. That was as good of a play as I’ve been a part of. It was real fun to watch – not something that I’ve seen too much from a quarterback. Right when he broke the pocket, I knew he had a chance to get the first down. Right when he got it, I started to really get excited because I knew we had a chance to run the clock out then. Then when I saw him square his shoulders up, I was like, 'Holy cow, he’s going to go the distance.’ It was fun to watch.”
Jim Haslett said:
On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s 76-yard touchdown run:
“I thought it was awesome. He was smoking. I was standing there and I was like, 'Whoa.’ I thought it was a great play. He’s obviously extremely fast, so once he got in the open field you kind of felt like he’s going to score.”
Can you think of any time in Redskins history where any member of the coaching staff has said anything like that about a play made by a 'Skins QB? Maybe the guy who coached Sammy Baugh?
 

Miles Monroe

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Can you think of any time in Redskins history where any member of the coaching staff has said anything like that about a play made by a 'Skins QB? Maybe the guy who coached Sammy Baugh?
Not since I've been a fan.

Been along time, good to see ya pop in. Hope all is well with you and yours.
 

Boone

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Yep. There are a lot of things going on that are damn near unrecognizable for Skins fans. And man, it is good to see your username pop up Sol. Stick around!
 

Pravda

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Not since I've been a fan.

Been along time, good to see ya pop in. Hope all is well with you and yours.
Thanks for the kind words Pete. Hope you're doing well too! :)

Hopefully these kinds of statements from the coaches are not just one off quotes and bode well (which I think they do) for the years to come.

After seeing what RGIII is capable of, it's hard not to put the weight of the world on his shoulders in the form of massive expectations. I don't know if that's entirely fair -- and not to say that he's not well equipped to handle that kind of pressure -- but watching a scamper like that last one against Minnesota....

Just kinda of takes your breath away and reminds you of what it's like to follow a winner (even if it's after about 15 minutes of what's become classic Redskins football of nearly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory!).

Hard to ignore our offensive explosiveness that we've seen thus far.

I wonder at what point it would have taken us to get to score 178 points in each of the last 15 years? The 10th game? The 12th?

RGIII is clearly making massive strides in bringing us into the modern NFL.

And perhaps the blocking scheme that worked so well for Mike Shanahan in Denver is finally bearing fruit in Washington with the right personnel.

I'm excited and have a feeling that this team is on it's way to great things.

And that's a dangerous feeling for a perpetual suffering Redskins fan: finding hope.
 

Pravda

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Yep. There are a lot of things going on that are damn near unrecognizable for Skins fans. And man, it is good to see your username pop up Sol. Stick around!
And that's the thing J -- I wasn't as much excited as I was just baffled.

A Redskins QB running for 75 yards to clinch a win? Nah, couldn't be -- I mean who wouldn't be thrilled by that run? But I was almost incredulous and was waiting for the holding call to bring it back.

Thinking on it again, I'm reminded of the opening play of the 2007(?) season when Portis ran for something like 75 yards for a TD and I think that was his longest run of the year -- but in that moment, there was a temporary fantasy that maybe we had turned the page -- that maybe things were finally on the right track.

They clearly weren't then -- but it's really hard to deny that they are now.

Pretty awesome and a great time to introduce a 4 year old to Redskins football!

Thank you too J for the kind words! It's good to be back but I approach with a bit of trepidation on how deep into the rabbit hole I'll find myself in a week's time -- hopefully nothing like ES in the fall of 2004. I think I'd lose my job! :)
 

Burgundy Burner

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IHS!!! Great to see you. Hey, I'll be moving from South Jersey soon, so hold down the fort and keep these Eagles and Giants fans in order. :)

Ok, back to football...
 

servumtuum

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Pravda!! Man, it is great hearing from you again! I hope you're doing well.

I, like yourself and many, many others I'm certain, am almost incredulous at what I've been seeing with Robert at QB. Every game he seems to expose yet one more piece of the "just how good is this kid?" puzzle. I've stated here that the Redskins with Robert could be the opening salvo of a new approach to playing football, a new "wrinkle" might be a better term better term that is gong to make it very tough for DCs in planning and scheming to stop an offense.

It already seems to be doing just that.

I mean, we're averaging close to 30 points per game.

Us. The Redskins.

Averaging close to thirty per game.

The mind reels. :)
 

Lanky Livingston

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I wonder at what point it would have taken us to get to score 178 points in each of the last 15 years? The 10th game? The 12th?

This got me curious, so I ran the numbers for the past 7 seasons. Here's how long it took the Redskins to eclipse 178 points:

2011: game 11
2010: game 9
2009: game 12
2008: game 10
2007: game 10*
2006: game 10
2005: game 9*
 

Pravda

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Hey BB and serv -- thanks for the kind words. :) Will do what I can, though I'm competing with Jay-Z and the Barclays Center here in Brooklyn!

And Jaime -- thanks for running the stats -- to be honest, I was hoping someone would do that! :)

In any event, certainly speaks volumes that the 'Skins took almost twice as long to score the same number of points in most of the previous seasons and that we're on our best scoring streak in many years.

Things are moving in the right direction.
 

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