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Skins Quotes 12/04


The Commissioner
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC
Military Branch
Marine Corps
Alma Mater
December 4, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the injury report:
“Kind of going over the injuries to start out. [Tight end] Jordan Reed, concussion, did not participate. [Tackle] Trent Williams, foot contusion, did not practice. [Safety] Brandon Meriweather, sternum contusion, did not practice. [Safety] Reed Doughty, concussion, he did not participate even though he was cleared today, so he could have done drills but we kept him out. [Fullback] Darrel Young, hamstring, was limited. [Linebacker] London Fletcher, ankle, was limited. [Tight end] Niles Paul, of course the illness from last week, full participation. [Cornerback] DeAngelo Hall, hip and back, was limited. [Defensive end] Stephen Bowen, right knee microfracture [surgery] last night, about a six-month recovery time.”

On the statuses of Darrel Young and Jordan Reed vs. Kansas City:
“It’s hard to tell. We’re just going to take that day by day. You don’t know. We’ll just evaluate it day by day but he could not play today.”

On how he decides when to use the no-huddle offense and if its usage hasn’t been consistent:
“Well it hasn’t been [consistent]. We use it at times and sometimes it’s successful, other times it’s not, but we have a game plan for it. It all depends on each game. We don’t try to give away what our game plan is but we’ll use it at times with different personnel groups and if we can keep people off-balance with it and hopefully be a little successful with it we’ll keep it up during the game.”

On the status of offensive lineman Maurice Hurt:
“He will be on IR at 4:00 today… He’s looking better, but you’ve got to make a decision what direction you’re going to go and missing all that time we decided to go in that direction.”

On Hurt’s injury:
“I don’t think he really has one in particular but you’ve got activate somebody or deactivate somebody and we decided to go in that direction.”

On the disparity in the average starting field position between the Redskins and Chiefs:
“That has nothing to do with special teams. It has everything to do with defense. They lead the league in turnovers. They are tied for first offensively. They are No. 1 with the fewest turnovers given up. So when you lead the league in turnovers and you don’t turn the football over, that’s field position, not necessarily special teams. But they’re still doing pretty good. I think on their kickoff return they’re 24.6 or 20.6 so it’s four yards there.”

On how important that extra yardage in the average is:
“Well, if you deal with percentages, you know you can always take a look at percentages from the 20, 30, 40, 50, 40, 30, 20, and you go through the stats and it’s a difference. So the closer you are obviously the better chance you have of scoring.”

On if there are concerns about Bowen coming back from his surgery:
“Normally if you need a microfracture there’s a reason for it, so hopefully this microfracture will help him, and when he does come back he’ll come back full speed. You just keep your fingers crossed. It’s always tough going through rehab. Our guys do it all the time. Stephen is a worker and it’s always unfortunate to have a surgery like that, but he’s young, he’s a worker, so I’m sure he’ll bounce back very quickly.”

On where he wants to see quarterback Robert Griffin III improve the rest of the season:
“You want to improve as an offense. You always compare yourself to the year before or a good year and what you want to do collectively in the running game, passing game, and you do that as a group not necessarily at one position because it takes everybody to improve. It’s just not one person improving, it’s Robert improving with the 10 guys around him.”

On what has caused the drop in pass rankings:
“That’s what I was saying last year – we talked about a passing offense and I was getting a lot of questions, 'Why are you guys ranked 20th?’ I said 'Well, you know, we are actually ranked No. 1 in yards per attempt and the mindset at that time, we were ranked 20th, and now you’re ranked 20th and then of course with passing yards you’re 11th…” But [where] I agree with your question is you want to be as effective as you can in the passing game. We’re not there this year like we were a year ago, and we need to get better in that area. That’s what we’re working on. We’ve gotten better in the third down area in comparison to a year ago, so that’s what we’re working on.”

On if he thinks the passing game has been less effective because of defensive adjustments or internally:
“I think collectively if you’re talking about a passing game and you’re not able to coordinate your offense in the offseason, sure you’re going to miss something from it. The good part about it is our running game has been pretty consistent all the way through. Our passing game is a little off. We’ve improved in some areas, and in some areas we haven’t improved as much. There’s only one way you get better and that’s when you work in the offseason — those 10 weeks are very important — and you’re just hoping that you get better each game. I think some games we have and other games we’ve went the other direction, so hopefully over the last four games we’ll get better.”

On the development of tackle Tom Compton and Compton seeing game action as an eligible tackle:
“Any time you take an offensive lineman than can come in and play the tight end position that means you’ve got a lot of confidence in his type of athletic ability. He can catch passes, he can block, he’s got great size, he’s got the quickness that we’re looking for, so I’ve seen a big development with him over the last year.”

On Compton’s biggest improvement from last year to this year:
“Just practicing in the National Football League. You come in and not only do you learn the playbook, but you’re in the weight room, you get stronger, you get a feel of different stunts that happen in pass rush situations where you’re getting more repetition not only during the season but during the offseason, and he’s a very smart guy on top of it so he picks things up very quickly. But it’s a combination of just learning in the National Football League and, like I said, he’s a really bright kid so the future is good for him.”

On the importance of continuity at the quarterback position and with coaches:
“I think in a perfect world you’d always like to be running an offense you feel comfortable with , there’s no question about that. You’d always like to be with the same system so you don’t have to learn terminology, but that’s not always a perfect world so a lot of quarterbacks adjust different ways, there’s a lot of different philosophies on what offense is the best – is it a good running game, is it a good passing game, what’s first – so it’s really the direction of ownership, what direction they want to go, what type of offense they want to run, what type of defense they want to run, those type of things.”

On if it is necessary to have a quarterback in place for a while to have success:
“Oh, you’d sure like one. If you take a look at all the teams that are consistent year-in, year-out, one thing that’s usually in common is that quarterback position.”

On if they made a decision on defensive end Adam Carriker:
“If we did, he will not be activated. I’m not aware of that.”

On what he has seen from Kansas City this season:
“Number one, they’ve played some good competition. Denver is pretty good. They were first in the National Football League at that time with the fewest points given up and they were there I think in the top three with total defense and you play a team like Denver and San Diego and they did get a few yards, but they were good football games right until the end. Kansas City is a very talented team on both sides of the football. Like I said, one of the things they’ve done a great job of is their turnover ratio — tied for first on defense, No. 1 on offense. When you do that you get some great field position and they’ve taken advantage of it. A lot of talent on both sides of the ball.”

On if he has looked at what has led to the number of sacks the last few games:
“I think that’s what you do as a coach. You know if it’s the offensive line, you know if it’s the quarterback, you know if it’s the running back, that’s what you do. So in an area if you do have five sacks or you do have four sacks you’re saying, 'Hey, where did those sacks occur? Do we have to get rid of the ball quicker? Is the offensive lineman? Is it the left tackle, the guard, the center, did they miss an assignment?’ So that’s part of your evaluation process ongoing, so you always want to eliminate those sacks, but it doesn’t always occur.”

On how he would describe the development in his relationship with Griffin III:
“Which area? Are you talking about football? Are you talking about when we go to the local pub and have a beer together? [Laughter] On the serious side, one thing about being a head coach is you’ve got relationships with everybody. It’s not like when you’re an assistant coach because you’re in charge of the football team, but you always try to have a relationship with your quarterback. And I think you take a look at what we were able to do last year as an offense, I think we did some special things. I think this year coming back, going through a rehab program with his ACL, his LCL, coming back and fighting through it there’s always going to be some tough times in that transition. But I think Robert’s got the mindset where he’s tough enough to fight through it and he understands how important an offseason is and just working hard to get better and better. So I think we’ve got a good relationship… I think it’s always been good. I know some of the things I read it’s not always that good, but I’ve always felt it’s been good.”

On what he would like to say to fans about the team not giving up on the season:
“You understand anytime there’s adversity there’s going to be a lot of different opinions why. The one thing that you do is you’ve got a routine, you’ve got a game plan getting ready for a game, and as we talked about last week your concentration level has to be about getting ready for the game, not the noise that’s outside. If you’re concentrating on the noise that’s outside, the chances are you won’t be successful, and that’s adversity in any profession – yours as well as mine.”

On his reaction to the league’s penalties imposed on Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin:
“I think it’s one of those decisions where they’ve got to make a decision what’s in the best interest of the game. I always take a look at a $100,000 fine, $100,000, that’s a lot of money, especially when Mike said that there was no intent for him to make that mistake. But they review it, they make a decision and you live with their decision.”

On if he has anyone that watches replays and tells him when to challenge a play:
“Yes. I’ve got a few up there. Not their only job but people that are used to watching film and making those decisions.”

On if those people also did not get the replay quick enough to tell him not to challenge the spot after a two-yard completion on third-and-1 on the Giants’ final offensive drive:
“Yeah, that’s why I threw the flag.”

On how common it is to have a person in the booth responsible for replay decisions on each team:
“If you’ve got to have a guy that just does that then you better get some new coaches. I want somebody’s opinion, and if they’ve got a definitive opinion, great, if they don’t then you don’t have to give it, that’s why I’ve got three people looking at it. And sometimes you’ve got to make the decision a little bit quicker. It was embarrassing when I did finally see it on the replay. You go, 'Oh my God, that’s not even close.’ But anyway, you live with those decisions.”

On comments by wide receiver Santana Moss’ comments about officiating, specifically with what is or isn’t a catch:
“There’s always going to be the questions with what’s pass interference and what’s not when you talk to a wide receiver. Part of the frustration I think Santana had that I was trying to stick up for him for during the game was when he got called for the holding penalty. A lot of players were giving him a hard time on the sideline and of course Santana is talking to the players, doesn’t even see the official, and the official thinks he’s talking to him. There was about five or six guys that reacted, and, hey, that’s part of football. That’s what I said to Santana, 'Hey, you can’t do anything about it.’ Or D-Hall’s [cornerback DeAngelo Hall] situation when he gets body-slammed and he did know it was going to be a six-inch penalty at that time, so I felt good that he knew it was only going to be a six-inch penalty, so if would have been a 15-yarder than it might have been quite different. Those are the type of things that… there’s no excuse for penalties, especially when it comes to discipline, and it’s something that we emphasize all the time. But there’s certain situations in different games that you talk to the players and you feel at least good about what happened.”

On if he spoke with wide receiver Pierre Garçon about his delay of game penalty:
“I can guarantee you that will never happen again with Pierre. I don’t think I need to go much further than that.”

On the balance a player needs to have between being fiery and smart:
“You answered the question. You can’t, regardless of how competitive you are, you can’t put your team at disadvantage and do something like that. Thankfully it was a five-yard penalty with the field goal and it didn’t matter, but so many times they are the difference between winning and losing.”

On how he handles public scrutiny of the team:
“To be honest with you, we do have a pretty busy schedule. I understand. I get some vibes of what’s going on, I understand. I’ve been in this profession for a long time, so I know what comes with losing. Nobody is very happy, including us, but I’m just like the players. If you focus on that, you’re not focused on the job, the chances of you being successful or staying in this business is not very good.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On what went right in the first half against New York:
“We were in a rhythm. Everybody was doing their job, getting a lot of time to make good decisions. Guys were where they were supposed to be, making plays for me. That’s what we’ve just got to do more of. It’s not just about myself, like I said, it involves everybody. Early on we were really clicking and we’ve just got to find a way to channel that for a whole game and not just a half.”

On setting expectations for the final four games:
“I think you always have something to play for. I think, no matter what, when we step out there on the field, our record doesn’t matter. That doesn’t come with you out there on the field. We have a job to take care of – to play a game that’s a lot of fun. Losing’s not fun. Everyone knows that, but at the end of the day, you still have to show up all ready to play and you just have to make a conscious effort to get better at whatever it is. When you look at yourself on tape and say, 'I need to get better at this,’ make a conscious effort to get better at it over these next four games.”

On if there are specific things he and the coaches intend to improve on in the final games:
“No, we still approach it the way we normally do – try to win the game. As a player, coaches can only coach so much. You have to be able to look at yourself and be hard on yourself, too. Those are the things that I’m probably not going to share but those are the things that I try to focus on myself to just get better each week.”

On if he wishes the offense went no-huddle more often:
“We go out there and everybody’s fighting together. At the end of the day, everyone can look back at it and say. 'You should have done this more, done that more.’ I’m sure everybody has an opinion about it, but we have to go out there and try to execute as best as we possibly can with what we’re given, so we can’t come out here and question that kind of stuff.”

On if the offense has been effective running the no-huddle:
“We have.”

On if he has ever requested Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan to run more no-huddle:
“[Laughter] Me and Kyle talk a lot, so we’ll keep that private.”

On if it takes a while to recover after a long no-huddle drive:
“I don’t think so.”

On if playing football is still fun when he is losing:
“Yeah, I think it is. It’s just the attitude you have to bring to the game. We all play the game to win, but when you’re losing and not having the year that we wanted to have as an organization, as a team, yeah, it makes it tough. It makes it hard on those guys in the locker room when you have to sit there and talk about [it]… We knew we’re a better team than this and we’re not going out there and showing it, so that makes it a lot harder, but it’s still a fun game. You still get to go out there and do something that you’ve done your whole life and have fun doing it. I don’t think people can see it from that perspective, but inside that locker room, you still have to look at it that way and still be able to smile when everybody wants you to have your head down and be frowning.”

On the hardest part of this season and the best part of the season:
“The hardest part is just the way the season’s gone for us and just knowing the type of players and the kind of guys that we have and the coaches that we have. It’s been real disappointing for us. I’m sure it’s disappointing for the fans and for everybody involved. The best thing about it is we still get a chance to strap it up every Sunday. Then after this year’s over, after these next four games, we still get to look forward to an offseason and get to come out next year and do things the way that we know that we can.”

On his reaction to public demand for organizational changes:
“I think everyone’s going to have an opinion and it’s an outside opinion. Only the people that are inside – us, coaches, anybody else in the organization – knows what goes on around here. Whenever you have a year like we’re having, sitting at 3-9 when we had higher hopes and higher expectations, people are going to try to sink the ship. Our job is not to focus on that stuff, so I personally just focus on Kansas City.”

On his opinion of the coaches and their future:
“I think these guys have a great future. I love having them here and that’s all I can say. We’re focused on Kansas City, they’re focused on Kansas City and that’s all we can control.”

On how his relationship with Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan has evolved:
“I think whenever you have competitors like us, losing can be tough. But at the end of the day, just like when I came in here, me, Coach, Kyle, all the rest of the coaches and all the rest of the players, we all want to win. That’s a winning recipe whether you’re doing it on the field or not. So that’s the way I look at it. We’re all competitors. We all get heated at times, but at the end of the day, we all want to win.”

On how much trust he has developed with the coaches:
“As much as it can develop in a year-and-a-half, two-year span. I haven’t spent a lot of time here, obviously. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the league. It takes time to build that trust over time with a coach anytime.”

On New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle’s comments that he is taking too many brutal hits:
“Antrel, everyone can see it a little bit. I think I’ve done a better job myself limiting the hits on myself out in the open and stuff like that. There’s still some times when I take some hits. It’s football. It’s a physical sport. You don’t want to take as many hits as I have this year, but you try to avoid them when you can and when you can’t, you’ve just got to get up.”

On if he had second thoughts on attempting to throw a block:
“No second thoughts. I just knew you guys were going to bring that up [laughter]. I’ve led-blocked before, but it was just a miscommunication between me, [offensive tackle] Trent [Williams] and the field. Trent slipped a little bit and that’s why Antrel got through there. I took the block for Al [wide receiver Aldrick Robinson]. I’ll take that hit [laughter].”

On how many people are giving him advice, such as his private quarterback coach Terry Shea, and how he processes the information:
“I don’t listen to too much of the outside. Coach Shea is a guy that helped me coming into the league, so I do listen to Coach Shea. He’s had a lot of coaching experience. He’s seen a lot, done a lot. I appreciate everything he’s done for me helping me with my game coming into the league and just advice now. So, yeah, I do listen to Coach Shea, but a lot of the other outside stuff you can’t listen to. There are certain people who contact you personally and, yeah, you listen to those guys. But when it comes to people out there talking, you just don’t listen to it.”

On why the offense has struggled to make big plays in the passing game:
“We’re just not making big plays. Aside from that, that’s not something to come up here and address. We know on the inside what we have to do to get those big plays. It just comes down to execution.”

On if he wonders how he went from giving words of encouragement to fellow players last year to receiving it from his opponents this season:
“No, I don’t. You be who you are. Last year when we had that victory over the Cowboys the last game of the year, I went to [Dallas Cowboys quarterback] Tony [Romo]. That’s not for me to put that on tape. I just forgot I was mic’d up. It’s what you do as players. Players in this game understand what we go through, whether we’re on different teams or not. [New York Giants defensive end Justin] Tuck did have some kind things to say to me and I appreciated it. We’re all competitors out there. We all want to win. They’re our rival, but at the end of the day, I think playerscan kind of understand what we each go through.”

On defenses trying to take away the run:
“Every defense’s plan is to make you one-dimensional, whether that’s running the ball or throwing the ball. If we’re not running the ball effectively, we have to throw it effectively and I think we did throw it effectively. We just didn’t get the big plays that we wanted that we’re used to getting or people point to from last year. That’s just something that we have to fix and it’s really just scheming up and execution. That’s basically the bottom line. It’s not that they’re not there. We’ve just got to make plays.”

On if he wishes he could dwell in the middle ground of public opinion rather than polar highs and lows:
“I think other guys can speak to how I’ve handled it better than I could. I don’t think it would be fair for me to comment on how I’ve handled something. But you still have to enjoy the journey. People are going to try to pick you apart. That’s just the nature of this world, the nature of our society. That doesn’t make it right, but it’s going to happen and you have to be able to be secure with who you are and not change who you are no matter what’s going on. Last year was great and this year hasn’t been great, but you have to be able to learn from years like this. I’ve taken it all on – head on – and I feel like I am learning, learning a lot. You just appreciate these moments like this because God always has a plan and you’ve just got to be ready to go with whatever he’s got going for you and this year it’s this. He’s trying to show me something, trying to show us something. We’ve got to be able to see it, learn from it and move on.”

On the reception he gets when out in public:
“Out in public, no one says anything negative at all. It’s mostly pictures and autographs and stuff like that, just like before. I never went out much anyway. I get to stay at home, relax with my family, play with my dog and live life.”

On the biggest misconception about the Redskins right now:
“Just the fragmented team. We’re not. We’re not a fragmented team. We’re all sticking together. Everybody understands what we’ve got to do these next four games and that’s the bottom line. You know, just all the false stories that keep coming out. It’s just one thing after another, day after day. Guys still have to continue to change the channel and not listen to any of that stuff and block it out.”

On what he sees from Kansas City’s defense:
“A very talented defense. [It’s] going to be a challenge, but you’ve got to be willing to accept the challenge. They’re going to do some things up front that can be difficult and we going to have to counterpunch and just be ready for anything. They’ve got some talented players on the defense and they can do a lot of different things.”

On if there is one player that stands out on Kansas City’s defense:
“I’m not going to insult any of those guys. No added ammunition from me for them, so all of them. Dontari Poe – I came out with Dontari. He’s from Memphis and we trained together. He’s a force to be reckoned with. [Tamba] Hali and all those guys, they’re legit, so you just accept that challenge and know that when you step on the field, you’ve got to earn it.”

On if he takes calls for quarterback Kirk Cousins to replace him personally:
“I don’t take any offense to that. That’s just outsiders looking in that just don’t understand the game of football. When it comes to a time like this, it’s easy for guys to check out. I think it would be real cowardly of me to check out and say, 'Hey, I don’t want to play these next four games.’ It’s not who I am. It’s not who any competitive football player is. You want to play, so we’re going to finish out the year and you take what’s happened this year, being 3-9, and you face it. That’s why I come up here every single week. I face you guys because this is what you have to do. You have to do the same thing no matter whether you’re winning or losing and we’ve got four games and I’m going to give it my all these four games and I know those guys will, too.”

Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid

On the difference in quarterback Robert Griffin III between last season and this season:
“I thought early he was working through like players do when they come off a major surgery. They work through it and then you gradually have seen him get better and better to where right now I think he’s playing great football. I think he’s back and really playing well. Both he and the runner [running back Alfred Morris] — which is obvious because they’re leading the National Football League in rushing — but that’s a tandem right there.”

On the importance of leading the league in average starting field position:
“I’m stating the obvious, but field position is important. We have a good punter and a good kicker so that helps field position. We’ve had some turnovers that have helped that from our defense – that has helped that.”

On their special teams units as a whole:
“I think they’ve done a good job. I’ve got a couple of special teams coaches that are pretty good. They’ve got a good track record. Dave Toub is our head special teams coach and does a nice job with the strategy part of it and then [Assistant Special Teams Coach] Kevin O’Dea is his assistant and has got all kinds of NFL experience too, so those two come up with good schemes, and then you can’t do it without all the players, so we’ve got guys that take a lot of pride in their special teams.”

On the importance of the relationship between a head coach and his quarterback:
“I think it’s important. I know Mike Shanahan is – we’re talking about a Hall of Fame coach here that also had a Hall of Fame quarterback in John Elway that he had a tremendous relationship with, and now he’s able to have RGIII, another phenomenal player and develop that relationship. I look at what RGIII did his rookie year and it was tremendous, and so between coaching and RGIII’s ability and smarts, they really did something special there. So the injury kind of set things back a bit, but you can see where it’s all picking back up now.”

On if his relationship with former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb had its ups and downs:
“It depended on how we did against the Redskins.”

On his relationship with quarterback Alex Smith and if it is similar to the one he had with McNabb:
“I would tell you yes, but we just don’t have the years and the experiences behind us that Donovan and I had. That would be a time matter, but Alex, I think you know this that people that have coached Alex have said, 'Hard working, tough, smart,’ all those things, and that makes you appreciate him coming in after having, what, eight or nine years in the National Football League, coming in and working to adapt to what we’re doing here.”

On if the coach to quarterback relationship is as important as you can have in football:
“I think you know that. Listen, relationships, there are all different kinds, so the main thing is what ends up being the product out there and then inevitably the wins and losses.”

On being 3-0 against the NFC East this season:
“I think the players played well and the coaches had a good plan against them. I don’t know how much me knowing the NFC East, how much that really helped. I know Jim Haslett and Mike Shanahan, I’ve had ups and I’ve had downs against them, my teams have, against them. Jim Haslett throws a different look at you every time you play him so it’s always a challenge. We’re all working through that part, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re going to get from them because they’re good coaches and they mix it up.”

On what makes the Redskins’ no-huddle offense effective:
“You have a quarterback that did that in college. He understands it, and it starts with him. He feels comfortable with that. You’ve just got to stay on your toes. We’ve seen a little bit of that this year, so we know. We did it a little bit ourselves so we worked on it during camp, but you’ve still got to play against good players so you’ve got to make sure you’re on top of your game.”

On his initial impressions of the Chiefs when he arrived and the turnaround this season:
“First of all I thought they did have good coaches here. [Former General Manager] Scott Pioli did a nice job with the personnel part of it, it was just that you had a team that had been aging and they were re-tooling really through the last couple staffs to get back young and add a little experience. So we come in and [General Manager] John Dorsey has done a great job of adding a few players, but the locker room itself when I got here before anybody was added was a solid locker room. They had been through some ups and downs and they were still together, not only personally, but also from a football standpoint, a team standpoint. They were very close and they wanted to be better. That’s what they wanted to do. It’s that simple, and the players deserve the credit for that.”

On if the team was much better than its record last year:
“I don’t know if that’s the right thing to say because that’s what we were when we were that in Philadelphia. Chip’s [Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly] done a phenomenal job of making it better and so I understand how this goes. We were what we were and Kansas City was what they were that year and it was important that – and this is where change can be good sometimes – just new flavor, kind of, and it worked out.”

On if he is approaching things differently after three straight losses and how the team is handling adversity:
“That’s all part of the growing as a team. Very few teams go undefeated in this league and so if you’re going to be a good football team you’ve got to be able to maintain through the highs and the lows and work it out through the wins and the losses, and both present their own issues, and you find the strength of the team that way. So we’re working off of three games that we lost and the guys, they’re battling, they’ve got practice today and they seem like they’re in the right place and are ready to go. We know it doesn’t take you but a minute to turn on the tape to see what you’re playing against, and the Redskins are a good football team and we respect them for that.”

On what has contributed to the Redskins struggles this year:
“There’s a small margin between winning and losing in this league. You see it every week, so we respect that.”

Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Alex Smith

On his renaissance and the successful start to the season:
“It’s hard to evaluate when you’re right in the middle of it, but I think just going back to this offseason, last year, if anything, just kind of reinforces how special of an opportunity it is to be a starting quarterback in this league. So you know that when you get an opportunity you don’t know when it’s going to be your last, and for me, I was determined just to come here and move forward and I’m extremely excited about it to say the least, and just try to run with it, do everything I can, do every possible thing that I could to make the most of this opportunity and so that’s what I’m continuing to try to do. This offseason will be probably more of the time to reflect.”

On if he thought the Chiefs were a good team prior to his arrival in Kansas City:
“I definitely thought there was the opportunity, you never know though. But yeah, looking at it, the coaching staff that came here, the pieces that were in place, kind of the foundation that was here, you thought they were capable of a quick turnaround. It’s a team that, for whatever reason, didn’t play to their potential last year, and so I thought it was capable of turning it around and you hope that’s the case and you get off to a good start and keep it going.”

On what he has seen from the Redskins’ defense this season:
“They are playing good football, especially the last few weeks I think they’ve been playing really good football. Just sound, good defense. They’re good up front. I think it starts with that. You see two very good edge pass rushers and the nose tackle is a really good player as well. Then it kind of continues into the back end. They are a veteran group on the back end. They know what they’re doing. They know the defense. They play it well. So right now that’s what I kind of see. I see a group that’s been playing a lot better as the weeks go on and especially these last few weeks they’ve been playing really good I think.”

On what it’s like to work through adversity in the middle of a season:
“It’s tough. I have no idea what it’s like there as far as what’s going on, the inner workings. I don’t know Robert [Griffin III] but, for me, being a quarterback it’s so easy to get caught up in things you can’t control. I think the older you get and going through that you get better at not caring about those things and staying focused on what you can control and that’s preparation and being ready to go. So you get better at that. I certainly wasn’t very good at it when I was younger and have gotten better at it over the years. It’s easier said than done, but I think just being able to kind of cancel out all that noise and staying focused on the job at hand.”

On how difficult it is to establish trust with the coaching staff in such a short period of time:
“I think to a certain extent you kind of have to… you can’t simulate a season in OTAs and summer and camp. You can’t simulate a season and all the things that go on, so to a certain extent, some of it is you just kind of have to go through it together. You’re still going through some firsts together and you’re learning about each other, so it is a process. Every day I think it’s a process back and forth, especially the quarterback and my quarterback coach, coordinator and Coach Reid – just experiencing together. You get to know each other better, what you’re good at, things like that, reading each other, so it’s definitely a process. It never ends.”

On if he can grow from the struggles:
“The good ones do. I think the good players, the good environments, the good coaches, I think all of that, yeah, when things go bad you certainly can be taking steps to get better and learn from it and that’s always the goal.”

On if team talks about not taking the Redskins lightly:
“Yes, and I think it’s every week. There are no gimmies in the NFL. You look at this team and the Redskins were a playoff team a year ago. They’ve certainly lost some tough games this year, but they’re certainly capable of anything. If you don’t show up and don’t play, they are certainly capable of embarrassing you and that’s every team in the league. So certainly that’s been our mindset, and for me, I’ve been on the other side and I know when your pride is on the line what that means sometimes and, yeah, it can definitely be a dangerous thing if you underestimate a team or take a team lightly, absolutely.”

On his impression of Reid prior to playing for him and how the experience has been:
“I didn’t have any expectations – didn’t know him real well. We played him over the years quite a few times, but didn’t really know him too well, so I didn’t have any expectations. I think the thing that struck me the most was his passion for the game, his passion for football, for teaching – not just in the classroom, but out on the field. I knew he’d gone through a lot in Philadelphia the last few years and it can certainly be a tough place and a tough environment, but there is just so much passion he has for the game of football, how much he loves being around the guys, teaching. That’s been the thing that’s jumped out to me and I think certainly kind of sets the tone for the entire team.”

On if joining an experienced coach like Reid gave him more confidence the Chiefs could have this kind of turnaround:
“For sure, no question. He’s a coach that’s gone to the highest level, that’s done it all. That definitely plays into it. I think that and for me, come on, just the last few years in San Fran being part of that turnaround and what that was like and making a similar one year to the next jump and trying to make that jump. No question – those two things for me are really valuable for me here.”
Comparing Garcon's comments on the staff to Griffin's... We may be in much bigger trouble than I thought :\

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