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Skins Quotes 10/20: M. Shanahan

McKissic for the win

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


October 20, 2013
FedExField

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On if the team executed to perfection at the end of the game:
“Well, we almost had to. We had to make some plays. I think everyone kept their composure for the most part. That’s what you’re hoping to do. You’re hoping to make the plays that we made. The guys believe in themselves. Collectively, we have to work as a unit to get it done like we did in that fourth quarter.”

On how big of a win this was for the team:
“Well, I think every game is big, but we sure need it after being 1-4. You don’t want to dig yourself a bigger hole than you’ve already done. To have this win, and to do it today the way we did is a testament to our players.”

On what quarterback Robert Griffin III did today that was missing previously:
“Well, I think everybody saw what we did today in order to run a little bit more and keep the defense fairly honest. He made some good plays. He was able to run the ball. He competed in the running game, and made some good throws on the run. He led a great final drive to put us in the end zone. We picked up the pace a little bit, and we got them a little bit tired, I think. I think they were a little bit tired there in that hurry up-type mode and kept them a little bit off-balance.”

On the depth of the team:
“I think anytime you get a tight end [Jordan Reed] that has a game like that, it’s very easy to see what type of ability he has – the ability to break off of linebackers and defensive backs and get open, and run with the ball after he catches it. [Running back Roy] Helu [Jr.] is a great change of pace with [running back] Alfred [Morris]. He has great speed for his size. You could tell the defense was getting a little bit tired. Helu got the ball and he has the speed to not only break through tackles, but to get the ball in the end zone quickly. I was pleased with our one-two punch there.”

On the performance of the special teams unit:
“I think if you look at the punt return for a touchdown, we worked all week at kicking the ball out of bounds or hanging it high. He’s going to make some plays. It just shows you what type of ability a guy like that he has, because we worked pretty hard and our coverages were pretty good, except for that one play. If you kick the ball too many times to him, he’s going to break one off. We work on that all the time. The onside kick… He did a good job executing it. It hit off one of our guy’s shoulder pads and they got it, and luckily they were offsides. That’s something we work on, and those things do happen, but I think our special teams played extremely hard. I thought we executed our game plan extremely well, except for that one punt return. There was some great effort. The guys had an excellent sense of urgency and gave you a chance to do some good things.”

On using running back Roy Helu, Jr. in the red zone:
“Usually, if you end up in the red zone, you’ve been driving the ball down the field. All of a sudden, you’re driving the ball down the field and you’re feeding a guy like Alfred or Robert [Griffin III]. Running the ball, it’s a good change of pace to have a guy like that [Helu, Jr.], especially when Alfred is a little bit tired. There was a pretty good one-two punch.”

On facing Bears backup quarterback Josh McCown:
“That’s a good question because I think they had 40 yards in the first half and over 300 in the second half. I have to give him credit. He made some good plays when guys were covered. All of a sudden, you get out of our rush lanes and they made some plays and kept a lot of drives going, so that’s something we’re going to have to work on.”

On if the defense relaxed against a backup quarterback:
“You know everybody doesn’t want to see Jay [Cutler] hurt for a length of time, but obviously don’t want him back in our game. I don’t know if it’s that or his ability to recognize everyone’s covered and make some plays with his feet. All of a sudden you do that a few times and you’re not really sure what they’re calling. That’s their job as a backup – making plays and being well-prepared.”

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s play:
“I thought DeAngelo played well. I think he did a great job. I love the way he handled himself last week. He’s been a team guy. I’ve seen a lot of growth there, just the way he handles certain questions. I love the way he’s competing. He’s been a team leader out there and one of the reasons we were able to win this game.”

On if this is the best he’s seen Hall play:
“I’ve seen him play this well before, but I like the way he handled himself on and off the football field.”

On tight end Fred Davis being inactive:
“We put another guy out for special teams who we thought was going to give us the best chance to win. It’s always tough to deactivate someone, especially when you know they are a good football player. Since Fred doesn’t help us a lot on special teams, we thought we’d go with a guy on special teams. And a guy like [safety Trenton] Robinson came in and really did a good job for us today. He’s a new guy, and I thought he did a great job.”

On coaching safety Brandon Meriweather out of leading with his helmet:
“We’re working on it. When you’re taking off, you ask 'Where is the guy? Is he standing up? Is he going down?’ It’s tough. It’s one of those things where you want them to be aggressive, but get lower – mainly just talking from the team’s standpoint, not even talking about the possible injury or things that go with it. We have to eliminate those 15-yard penalties, and I know Brandon is going to work on it as hard as he can.”

On if he believes Meriweather may be facing suspension:
“I sure hope not, because I know it’s not intentional.”

On the difference being 2-4 instead of 1-5 makes going into next week:
“I just want to concentrate on each game. You can’t really think about the records now. You just worry about playing your best football. We need to play the way our defense did in the first half, with 46 yards given up. I was pretty impressed, and I believe we only allowed two first downs, which really shows you our capabilities. When there is some adversity, you want to be able to fight back. If you can win one of those games like we did today, the guys believe you are going to find a way to win.”

On playing the Denver Broncos next week:
“To be honest with you, I’m going to enjoy this win for the next 24 hours. Denver has an excellent football team, and I’m going to get a chance to see some of that tonight. It’s big for us, because we dug ourselves a bit of a hole, but we found a way to win this week, and hopefully we can next week.”

On the Redskins’ commitment to Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
“You can see the commitment. You can see what Tanya Snyder [wide of Redskins owner Daniel M. Snyder] has done for breast cancer awareness. They are at our facility with a lot of different people, combined with Chris Cooley who started it [the Redskins All-Star Survivors Celebration] five years ago. You can see it just growing and growing. It looked like it was all pink out there today. Everybody is involved with it, and it’s a great cause. We’re happy that we can help some way. Tanya has done a fantastic job being in charge.”
 

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