Skins Quotes 11/13/19: Callahan, Haskins, Gase

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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

November 13, 2019

Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan

On the status of TE Vernon Davis and RB Chris Thompson:
“[TE] Vernon [Davis] still remains in the concussion protocol and [RB] Chris Thompson is still out with injury.”

On how much longer it might be until Thompson returns:
“His is week-to-week and we'll get a little bit more information by the end of this week about where he's at. It's been a little bit prolonged in his regard, so we're taking our time and hopefully we can get him back sooner than later. He's instrumental in the passing game, he's been a productive third-down back not only from a protection standpoint, but from a route matchup. Putting him not only in the backfield, but having the ability to transition him out into the empty formations that we've been in and isolating him in particular matchups, that's been beneficial for our offense. We've lost quite a bit of that in the last few weeks – we lost [TE] Jordan [Reed], we lost [TE] Vernon [Davis] and we lost [RB] Chris [Thompson]. Those are three instrumental matchups that can really take the pressure off of the outside lane receivers and really create the type of matchups inside, or mismatches in terms of linebackers versus backs, tight ends versus safeties and so forth.”

On what he saw from the team's red zone offense after self-scouting:
“When you jump into the self-scout, you can get into a myriad of things. You can delve into just about every aspect of offense, so we did that as a basic overview, but we really looked at the red zone in particular and also third down. Without giving too much away, we looked at the run-pass distribution down in that area, where we can do better from a protection standpoint, what we could do better from a route concept, formationally how we can create a little bit more matchups and really adding all dimensions of run-action, drop-back movement, so we looked at the totality of that and find a way to blend that in and balance it up.”

On how RB Derrius Guice can help in Thompson's absence:
“Prior to his injury, he was doing really well in the passing game in the types of roles that I just got done talking about, being able to flex him out, move him, motion him, shift him into those various alignments where we can create a matchup with it. He's been productive as a screen back, a checkdown back. I like the way he performs in his protection pickups, so his completeness was starting to show prior to injury and he's making his way back. Slowly, but surely – we're in pads today, we'll be in pads tomorrow – we'll get a little bit more work just to upgrade his physicality and get him ready against a defense that's probably one of the more physical fronts that we'll see this year.”

On what workload to expect for Guice against the Jets:
“We'll see because of the variety of runs that are in the game plan and how it's dictated by down and distance, by concept and also by personnel grouping, so we've got a good plan for that. We've got a pretty good rotational system for that. Without giving a lot of it away, we feel pretty confident that he'll see quite a bit of action this weekend.”

On facing a strong Jets run defense:
“They are good up front. Defensively, just looking at what they did against NFC East opponents, Dallas – [Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott] had a little over 100 – and last week [Giants RB Saquon] Barkley only had one yard. It was amazing how they shut down the Giants running attack and they've been doing it all year long. I think that when you look at [Jets Defensive Coordinator] Gregg Williams and the trademark of his defense, it's in his DNA to send more than you have to block, whether it's a seven-man box, eight-man box – I think he'd rather prefer playing a nine-man box actually, everybody up there. That presents quite a challenge for us, and there will be opportunities in the passing game and when those opportunities come we've really got to take advantage of diagnosing coverage. I think the big thing that you can see when you look at film of the Jets is the array of coverages that they play, the disguises that they come from, the locations that they're coming out of can be quite confusing. I thought they did a really good job against the Giants last week. It's pretty well-documented on film that they'll change up week-to-week, so preparing for not only what you see on film from the past week, but also trying to anticipate what you'll see the following week gives you a full agenda to work on.”

On how QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. can gain respect from his teammates as the starter:
“I think we have a great group of players, especially up front. I think whoever is at the helm gets that respect and gets that encouragement and support. Those guys rally around anybody who's at the controls and I think when you look at [G Brandon] Scherff, [C Chase] Roullier, [T Donald] Penn, [T Morgan] Moses and now [G Ereck[ Flowers [Sr.], you're finding guys that know the system, know the protection calls, know the ins and outs of what calls are feasible and can be on or need to be changed, so I think that communication is really good. I know that [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] is all ears and he's starting to get to that comfort level where he can communicate and understand where they're at and what he needs to do, and he's getting more confident in making the changes that he needs to change, whether it's from a protection standpoint or from a run aspect – changing the run from one side to the other or from a run to a pass or a pass to a run – I see that type of improvement that I get encouraged by.”

On Haskins gaining confidence and becoming a leader of the team:
“I think confidence comes from preparation and the more he prepares and understands and has knowledge of the plan and can execute it confidently, I think it really manifests itself in a lot of ways not only in the meetings, but on the practice field and taking that into the games. That's where I see [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.]'s progression growing and maturing and hopefully it can translate into a win for us.”

On Jets S Jamal Adams and how to gameplan for him on offense:
“Incredibly talented player, by all means, in every realm. I had a chance to meet with the team this morning and showed a number of clips of his performance over this season and what he's done. Not only from a coverage aspect, but when he pressures, when he pulls the trigger out of nowhere, he can make the adlib play that you don't see normal safeties make. He's quite impressive. He's a player that you have to have full knowledge of where he is, you've got to be aware of every alignment that he gets in, you've got to know what he's doing, the possibilities of where he can come from, the plays he can make. He can get mismatched against the backs. The two plays he made against [Giants QB Daniel] Jones last week were just absolutely incredible to his credit. He's a premier player on so many levels. His ability to ballhawk and not only make a sack, but strip the ball, take the ball and then score on top of it, you don't see plays like that in this league. He's a handful to say the least.”

On the effort he's seen from his team in practice recently:
“I see that our team has a high standard and they live by that standard and they hold each other to that standard. As a team collectively, they have great respect for one another, they play for one another. As long as they can trust one another and trust the guy next to them to do his job and they can trust the other guys to do their jobs. I think that's where you see the cohesiveness and I think you see the tightness of the team and the togetherness of the team staying together and that's really the fabric and the glue of any team. That's why I really believe that's motivating these guys, challenging our team to improve and get better and maintain their focus through tough times.”

On whether the team is sending anybody to QB Colin Kaepernick's open workout:
“I don't believe so. I heard that he was working out. Our situation is full at this juncture right now because of the two veteran quarterbacks we have along with [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.]. We have three on our roster where generally a lot of teams just carry two, so we're really carrying one extra quarterback than most teams normally carry. I wish the best for him.”

On whether they will expand the passing opportunities for Haskins in the playbook:
“That's kind of a two-fold answer for me. If you can convert more third downs, you're going to have more opportunities of throwing. We haven't had that success, so the more success we can have in the third-down area to extend drives, I think you can see more variety, see more balls, see more opportunities. As [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] grows, we'll need to open up the playbook and expand it and take advantage of his skill set and also the skill set of our players.”

On the injury status of S Montae Nicholson:
“He's day-to-day right now. He was out there on the field today. I'll have to check with the trainer and see how much he got done and where he's at. Each day, we meet a little bit later in the day as a staff to get the rundown of the players, so I always have better knowledge afterwards than I do when I walk into the presser. I'll get that updated about 5:30, 6 this evening.”

On what he's seen from S Troy Apke in his time as a starter:
“I think [S Troy] Apke has received some incredible experience and invaluable experience when you get that opportunity to step in and step up and play in situations he normally visions as a backup. Now as a starting role there's nothing better than having experience and stepping in between the lines and getting that. He's matured – he's not there yet, but he's made a lot of strides.”

On what he hopes to see from the young offensive weapons over the next seven games:
“I think the main thing you can ask for as a coach is continual improvement. Their focus, minimizing their error in their game, showing improvement, eliminating the repetitive error, showing strides where they can expand their game and kind of branch off and grow a little bit more from where they are at right now. That was one of the goals for us as a team coming out of a bye, really trying to expand our improvement and have a more intense focus, more intense concentration in terms of what we're doing as a unit and also as a position group. So that's what we're looking at and I mentioned it early about the rate of improvement of each player – we did a pretty extensive evaluation of each player during the bye. They're graded, they're evaluated and they also have what we would call an improvement area, a number of improvements that they can make over the course of the next few weeks, so we'd like to see that come to fruition for each of our players.”

QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.

On being named starter for the rest of the season:
“Very excited about [Interim Head] Coach [Bill] Callahan naming me the starter for the rest of the season. [I've] worked really hard to get to this point and even more work has to be done to continue to go forward.”

On the security of being named the starter:
“Definitely. I feel like that can help as far as the comradery with the team and the offense gravitating around me and allowing me to lead and trying to get guys to follow me. So, I feel like it can help a lot.”

On what the discussion was like with Interim Head Coach Bill Callahan:
“Being a young guy, being a rookie quarterback in the NFL, it's going to be very challenging, but to know that he supports me and wants to rally behind me and do everything possible to help me get this team to win some games. So that meant a lot.”

On how he prepared during the bye week:
“We practiced on Wednesday. I got with my high school quarterback coach in the area. We worked out a couple of times, came back in on Sunday and went over some stuff for the practice on Monday, so it was pretty good.”

On what aspects of playing became easier while playing more:
“I just felt like the more reps I get the easier it'll be for me to be able to play naturally, instinctively. As I play, the more mistakes I'll learn from and the better plays I'll make.”

On how much more comfortable he is now compared to his first game action against the Giants:
“A lot more comfortable, a lot more confident. Different me back there.”

On how he feels about the playbook at this point in the season:
“I felt comfortable with the playbook before, it's just now I'm seeing the reps for the first time, seeing them live. It's different than when you just hear the play and talk about the play and you never really went through the play live before. Now that I'm able to get multiple reps with different stuff and different looks and different things that can happen in the game, the plays are a lot easier to go execute.”

On what the Jets defense does well:
“The Jets are a very good defense, they're very active. [Jets Safety Jamal] Adams makes a lot of plays and they do a really good job of disguising coverages, being able to do different things out of different looks and having guys do different responsibilities. There's a lot of different things as far as getting to different coverages, but it's just Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 1 at the end of the day and it's just how you get to it and that'll come with repetition throughout the week. I feel like once we're able to recognize everything that they do, we'll be able to execute at a high level.”

On the impact of receiving more reps in the game:
“I just felt like as the game went on, the more reps I got, the more rhythm I got with my eyes and my feet and being able to look guys in the huddle and tell an All-Pro [G] Brandon Scherff what the play is and have some authority behind it meant a lot for me. The more that I got to do that, the more confident I was in being able to motivate the guys that are around me and finding out ways where I can push the ones that are in the huddle with me and the more games, the more plays I get, I feel like I'll continue to get better at that.”

On balancing patience with the process and wanting to improve:
“I think it's the fear of not reaching the potential that I know that I can and that's something that motivates me everyday in the weight room, in meetings and on the field. Going into every game I get the opportunity to put my helmet on and that's just something I take pride in, as far as knowing where I want to be, knowing where I can be, knowing where I'm at right now and what needs to be done to get there.”

On playing at home for the first time:
“I'm really excited about it. I remember in high school I used to go over to the stadium and watch them play – well now I'm on the team – watching the Redskins play. So, of course, being able to play at home and being from this area means a lot more to me than it would for another guy. So, just being able to play in front of my family, play in front of the fans that've been watching me since I was 15 years old means a lot to me. I just want to be able to go out there, go one play at a time and hopefully get a W.”

On how much support from family and friends he is expecting Sunday:
“I was just on the phone with my mom about tickets. Hopefully not too many, we're still figuring that out.”

On the difference between preparing to be a professional quarterback versus college:
“I wouldn't say it's much different, it's just more intense, laser focused, knowing that you're the franchise of the Washington Redskins now, everyone is watching what you're doing, how you handle yourself, how you walk in the building and how you walk into a meeting. That's all very important for the guys who want you to lead them. So, definitely taking pride in that and being an Ohio State quarterback, playing in that big-time university definitely prepared me for this and just trying to build every day and get better.”

On what the younger players can work on in the coming weeks:
“I just think that if we're on the same page, everyone including the young guys, we can be very effective, very explosive and can make a lot of plays. So from this point on, it's now us being accountable, leaning on each other, asking for help, being able to look at the guy to the left or right of you knowing they're going to be able to do their job to the best that they can and then hoping that will lead to a W.”

On how he leads older players in an NFL locker room:
“It's a growing process. You can ask [WR] Terry [McLaurin]. Last year, Terry was a fifth-year senior when I was in school and I was a redshirt sophomore, so of course for me it was always having to get older guys to respect me and being able to get older guys to know that he's young, but he's still going to lead us. That's just a process – that's earning trust, that's spending extra time in the film room, spending extra time in the weight room, spending time before practice and after practice so that they can see I'm taking it serious and working on my craft. That's something that I take very much pride in and I'm hoping that starts translating with the guys in the locker room.”

On his meetings with Offensive Coordinator Kevin O'Connell:
“I just think those meetings are really beneficial as far being on the same page with [Offensive Coordinator] Kevin [O'Connell] because he calls the plays. Being able to know what he thinks and what he wants out of a play and being on the same page with him makes it easier in the play to know Kevin talked about this, look for this in this play and know that we're on the same page, so that when he calls a play he knows that I won't mess it up. So that's the main thing.”

On meeting with Callahan after the Minnesota game:
“Just accountability. After that second loss, I never want to feel that feeling in my stomach again. I got with Bill and I told him what I needed to tell him, and he took it and he gave me everything he can – he gave me all the tools, videos, notes from all the time he spent in the NFL. He's been really great just trying to help me out.”

On what he has seen from RB Derrius Guice since coming back from injury:
“Very tough runner. Similar to [RB] Adrian [Peterson], he's hard to bring down with the first tackle. Just him being a young guy with me and being able to relate to him and bringing some energy to our offense and both of us in the backfield together, I felt a spark and I'm excited to play with him.”

On what he wants to prove over the remainder of the season:
“I'm not looking to prove anything as far as trying to prove to someone. I just want to prove to myself to put the work in and be accountable for me and my teammates, and hope that makes a bigger difference in trying to prove what I can possibly do. I know I can play at a high level, so I've just got to go do it.”

Jets Head Coach Adam Gase Conference Call

On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.
“He's going through the steps that a lot of young quarterbacks go through, where you'll see those times where things look smooth, good, kind of comfortable, and then you'll have your moments when you're in that position as a coach, you kind of know there's a little bit of that development stage that you got to go through. There's mistakes that need to be made, and you learn from them. I think the more he plays, the more comfortable he'll keep getting, especially the more he runs that system.”

On WR Jamison Crowder:
“Just starting off the way he is as a person, he's one of our top guys in the locker room, his work ethic is outstanding both in the classroom, on the field, anytime we need a big play, he comes up with it. He's been very quarterback friendly, obviously, him and [Jets QB] Sam [Darnold] have developed a very quick relationship on the field, and he's been nothing but positive for us.”

On his job security:
“I've been out at practice the whole time. My focus is on [the game]. I think anytime your owner, I think especially Christopher Johnson, who's been great to us since we've been here, we appreciate everything that he does for us. He's been nothing but supportive to the entire building, and the coaching staff since we're new. Same thing with the front office, he's done nothing but support all of us.”

On coaching in a big media market:
“It all just comes down to winning games. We just got to keep focusing on one game at a time right now and doing everything we can do to try to win as many games as possible throughout a season. For us it hasn't gone exactly the way that we thought, but we still got a lot of football left to be played, and we got to do a good job of improving each week and try to find a way to win a game one game at a time."

On New York Jets Owner Chris Johnson's comments:
“Well, the good thing is, I don't read anything. I'm not on the internet, social media, all that kind of stuff. So, I kind of live in this nice little bunker to where we just focus on doing what we're here to do, and that's trying to put our players in the best position. So, a lot of the outside noise doesn't really reach me. So, we've been focusing on just trying to win, win any game that comes up for us.”


The All-Time Great
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md

The Redskins need to go on a hunt for a young TE over the last 7 weeks of the season.

Each week we should be scanning practice squads and players released to see if we can find a prospect who can block and come in here and be an asset on the field.

We can draft a 60 catch TE later.

But Reed is done. At 35 Davis is gone after 2019 and Sprinkle is not a strong blocker or receiver.

I would take the same approach at RBs that can help out as receivers/third down backs.

We need to give Smallwood the first chance to impress and give him a real opportunity.

He's only 25 and helped the Eagles to a Super Bowl in 2017.

I would shut Chris Thompson down for the year. He is a free agent and at 29 will be elsewhere in 2020.

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