Skins Quotes 11/1/19: Callahan, O’Connell

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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

November 1, 2019
Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan

Opening Statement:
“Let's start with the quarterback. So, last night a medical report came out that [QB] Case Keenum is still in the concussion protocol. [QB] Dwayne Haskins [Jr.] will be the starter, [QB] Colt McCoy will be the backup. We're really excited about Dwayne's opportunity, a young quarterback going up against one of the top three defenses in the league. It will be a great challenge for him, a learning experience and a great challenge for all of us to pull together, rally around Dwayne and go up there and compete against a top team in the AFC East.”

On what he's seen from QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. in practice to make him confident he can start:
“We've seen him progress throughout the week and I think that's the big thing. His improvement from day to day, from situation to situation, from drill to drill. You see nothing but locked-in focus. Like I mentioned the other day, he had a pretty good early start of the week and finalized today with a lot of red zone work and a lot of moving the ball stuff, so we're very encouraged.”

On how to define success for Haskins on Sunday against the Bills:
“Win. That's all I'm looking for is a win. We all are as a team. That success is a win, so it doesn't matter how it comes, what form, what fashion – win, that's the name of the game. However we do it, whether we throw deep, throw short, throw long, throw screens, throw quick game, whatever it may take. We'll do whatever we can to win.”

On what he wants to see from Haskins on tape:
“I would say again it would be win. That's all we want him to do is go out and execute the offense, lead the offense and come out with a win. That's all we're focused on.”

On how the coaches are tailoring the playbook to Haskins:
“I think it's all about us and I think [Offensive Coordinator] [Kevin] O'Connell and Coach [Tim] Rattay have done a great job getting him prepared, getting him ready, they've put in concepts that he knows, that he can function and execute. So, I think we streamlined things that he can execute well and go out and perform. I think anybody across this league would really formulate the system around your players and what your player does well. That was the focus going into the week and again that's something we always work on regardless of what quarterback's at play.”

On how a week of preparation as the starter will help Haskins:
“I think it's huge for a quarterback to know. In the circumstances that we're currently in with [QB] Case [Keenum] being in protocol, I think it's important that he knows that he's the starter, that he goes up there with a mindset that he is a leader of this offense and he's got everybody on his shoulders. I know he's going to accept that responsibility and do as well as he can.”

On whether he's prepared to leave Haskins in for the duration of the game if things go south:
“Everything is by situation and circumstances, so we'll take a really hard look at that as the game goes along and we'll just evaluate how everybody performs just like any other player.”

On what he's seen from Haskins' preparation this week:
“I thought his preparation was excellent. When you're preparing in a starting role – as he was beginning to work this week just in the eventuality that he was the starter – I think you see the magnitude of that responsibility take place. When you're taking every rep throughout the week I really believe everything intensifies. Then, of course, the execution under pressure is really important to evaluate and I thought he did really well in that regard, so we'll see how he does. We're encouraged, we're excited about his opportunity and looking forward to competing against the Bills, against a really highly-touted not only defense, but as a team they're doing really well.”

On if he thinks Haskins was prepared for the whole playbook:
“We always go into it game plan specific, so every game is different for us. We just take the plays and concepts that we feel fit not only the player, but accordingly of course the defense that we're facing.”

On whether Haskins' performance will influence the starting quarterback decision:
“We're just looking at one game. We're just going to look at one game, one day. We'll take it one game at a time. Appreciate the question.”

On whether young players need to learn how to be starters:
“I think for any player who's a rookie and getting their first start, it's always a new experience, it's a great experience. No different for Dwayne. We're treating it just like any other rookie getting their first start in the league. We're excited for him and the opportunities that are out there for him.”

On how Haskins has gone about correcting his mistakes:
“I think he's a competitor at heart. These guys, their mindset is a lot different than a lot of other positions because of all the mental things you have to obviously juggle. I thought he did a great job just in terms of preparation and if he can translate that to the game and have success, that's what we're looking for. We know there will be some growing pains in there, we know there will be some mistakes, but I'm sure he'll learn from them just like we all do. But I thought during the week his preparation was really solid. He poured a lot of time into it and you could see it come through in the classroom and also on the field, so we'll see.”

On how the coaches can help with the operational side of the offense:
“Good question. The pre-snap process and the post-snap process are always huge. No different for Dwayne than it is for any other quarterback. I thought the way we prepared with crowd noise, 40-second, 30-second, 25-second clock operation really forced the tempo, forced the communication at an accelerated rate. Everything we did we just tried to time where he was at the snap, when the ball was snapped, how many seconds were left and we took a total of those numbers throughout the week and obviously we got an average that I won't disclose, but it's an average that he understands and our coaches know. We're trying to build on that just like we would anybody.”

On whether Haskins was using a wristband at practice:
“No, he wasn't at practice at all. Not to say that we couldn't use one though for other purposes.”

On what he thought of T Trent Williams' comments yesterday:
“We've issued a statement as an organization and I've got nothing but respect for [T] Trent [Williams]. There's really nothing to say about that right now at this juncture and I'll just let that process play out.”
Offensive Coordinator Kevin O'Connell

On preparing QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. for his pre-snap process:
"Yeah, that's the most important thing, we try to practice all week with that mentality. Obviously, the plays are important as he digests the game plan but at the same time going out with the crowd noise--play clock-- we kind of varied it based upon the different points in the game plan to give him maybe a little more time, less time at the line to put pressure not only on him but I've talked to some of our other leaders the offense. The guys upfront [G] Brandon [Scherff] and [T] Morgan [Moses], some of the guys [WR] Terry [McLaurin] and [WR] Paul [Richardson Jr.] , and [TE Jeremy Sprinkle] 'Sprink'-- [RB Adrian Peterson]'AP'-- just to continue to all be responsible for pushing the tempo in and out of the huddle, how fast we line up, how fast we can get personnel groupings in and out to allow Dwayne to focus on calling the play and then doing his job. So, it been a process all week, he's really, really embraced all the challenges we've tried to throw at him, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, to make Sunday that much easier because we're playing a really good football team and he's had a good week of practice."

On how Haskins has prepared for his first start:
"I think just the preparation factor. Whether it's different, you'd have to ask him, but I think from my perspective just looking at him, he's been really locked in all week. I've seen him a lot, he's been around my office a lot, he's been around with [QB] Coach [Tim] Rattay a lot, the meeting time with the other quarterbacks, making sure those guys do a good job getting together and really trying to watch tape--situationally-- and we're going to work on red zone today, they're going to watch that stuff, the previous night trying to get ahead. So, just watching him kind of go about the week and everyday been a little bit better. I think he feels really good about the first and second down plan and the third down plan, and then we install red zone today and some of the situational things, and he'll just get better with that. As the afternoon goes on, we're going to get together in a little bit adjust kind of a normal process in getting him focused leading up to getting on the plane tomorrow to go up to Buffalo."

On if Haskins had a different demeanor knowing he may start:
"I think it's important sometimes; I think I've talked about with you guys before about even myself just trying to be consistent and the same guy every day. So if you change too much, I think I'd be a little concerned about that just because I'd like to see that consistent preparation whether you're the one, the two or the three, it doesn't matter in my mind. Because you like to see those guys really be ready to go whether, they're one or two snaps away. I think from that standpoint, there hasn't been a huge change but as far as his understanding of the fact that we're going out here for this Wednesday, or Thursday, Friday practice and my role to help this team win this week is a little bit different than it's been. So the focus has to be there, the execution has to be there, to allow the other 10 guys not only in the huddle but our whole entire offense, figure out honestly what we want to do this weekend from a scheme standpoint but then the things he can be confident in as well. So for myself and [Interim Head Coach] Bill [Callahan] kind of figuring out how we want to play this game. It gives us a really good idea on how we want to do that."

On if there were game packages for Haskins during other games this season:
"Yeah, we've actually had separate kinds of call sheets and things like that. Both games he's played in, we've operated off of those kinds of menus of plays. So, obviously as a play-caller, you have to shift gears a little bit when that happens, but we've kind of challenged him and the first thing I told him this week, is I'd love to see when we meet on Friday, I'd love to see where you're at and we can get the Sharpie pen out at that point, and we can start crossing things off. That'll be key to make sure what we're calling in the game on Sunday. For not only Dwayne but really all of our quarterbacks and really our offense in general. You want to make sure those guys are comfortable with what you're asking them to do no matter how much you like the scheme or how much you like this formation or this dynamic that you could possibly show the bills on defense. If our guys are not comfortable with it, it doesn't really matter. So that's a huge part of it."

On if this week felt different preparing Haskins for his first start:
"Since I kind of assume the roles of play calling and even going back before that when I was really kind of helping put the game plan together, you really feel that every single week. Because the challenges are there from Week 1 to right now, every defense, every scheme we played against, the challenges are always there. So, you feel that, but really with him this week, you want to continue, kind of we're still getting to know him, we're still trying to figure out the things he's comfortable with because he's hungry to do it all. He wants to have the whole offense at his disposal, but it's our jobs to get with him and make that he can be honest with me and that's really what will take place from here on out, where we want to be at come Sunday as far as things we're asking him to do. I think first, and second down, those things are pretty standard and you have the way you want to operate and [Interim Head Coach Bill] Callahan really since he took over, one of the things he's done a really good job of is sending the message to me as the play-caller how he wants to play the football game. So when he does that, I can transition to our role with getting the quarterback ready to play, how and what's the best way to do that, what kind of plays are we getting him that he feels most comfortable. Now, on third down and the red zone situationally, that's where in this league its hard to not make that about the quarterback at that point, and the comfort level from those plays have to be paramount for him to have the best possible chance. So, those are the situations I'm really trying to take a fine-tooth comb to and figure out exactly what we want to do."

On the difference between coming in as a starter vs. coming in during the game:
"Yeah I think so, if know you're going to be the guy from this point forward, he can start to feel that preparation and really, however, we were going to give [QB] Case [Keenum] every possible chance this week in the protocol and kind of let that medically play out but talking to [Haskins] every week, we have these conversations when he became the two about how important it was for him to feel comfortable with what we were doing. Because he would be one snap away and we would get the opportunity to go through almost a mock game week for him so that if this situation, when this situation came, he would be ready to know what that would feel like. Now he gets that opportunity to do that. It's a tough environment on the road versus a very, very good defense. So it'll be a great challenge for all of us, but when I look at it, I'm hoping he's kind of had some dry runs at what that feeling is going to be like when his number gets called and so now when it's happening for the next 48 hours, he can really lock-in. Because that's what this thing is all about. You talk to any quarterback in this league, they're going to tell you when the practice starts to wind down, and physically we might be winding down. But for a quarterback mentally, this is where his preparation needs to be at its highest to be able to lock in what he's going to do on Sunday."

On if Redskins can do more with Haskins:
"Yeah, I think there are some things. You never know who's listening, not going to give you exact examples, but there are somethings from an offensive standpoint. We use the term 'easy for us hard for them' type of thing as far as talking about our opponent. So when we can maybe put it on some of the other players in the huddle formationally, personnel groupings, whatever it may be to do some things across the board that maybe are similar for Dwayne in our offense to execute a little bit more difficult or different I should say for the defense to defend."

On reading defense for the running game:
"Yeah, I think he's really embraced that this week. That's one of the things; you look at Wednesday and his understanding-- that's a huge day really-- understand what we're doing from a standpoint in the run game and how we kind of want to pair it all together with things that we may be doing in the pass game. So watching him kind of do that-- some of the cross over tape this week included some pretty good quarterbacks on tape that the Bills have played. I mean they get [Patriots QB Tom Brady] No. 12 up in New England, we're watching him and there's times where you can sit there and say 'you see what he's doing here, he's making sure they have this guy blocked or that the line knows exactly where they're going from a targeting standpoint and little things like that. So, he can not only listen to me say it and listen to [QB Coach] Tim [Rattay] say it, but he can see guys doing it and one of the best to ever do it, to play the position doing it and seeing how it can have a positive impact on that play. But there's no doubt he plays a big role in the run game, that's in any offense in the NFL. It's hard for the quarterback not to do that. So, he's taking that challenge on and he's done a really good job so far."

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Nov 17, 2010
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I live in the warmest city in the coldest provinc


i like callahan but he should be smart enough to say " what we are looking for is forward progression, improvement, making the right reads at the right times and effort." at this point nobody with a brain expects a win, and frankly this season is no longer about winning but figuring out who to keep and who to trade or cut.

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