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Skins Quotes 5/30/13: Shanahan/RG3

McKissic for the win

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


May 30, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On running back Alfred Morris returning from great rookie season:
“I think you have to stay in great football shape. Anytime you have the success like Alfred had as a rookie, you’re invited to speak and have a lot of banquets to go to. Sometimes guys lose perspective for what got them there. You don’t have to worry about that with Alfred. He is great. He does the little things the right way. He is on his way to doing as many charitable things as you can do. That’s the way he is made. He takes care of business first and that’s a great part of his character. A lot of guys when they have the success, especially early, they lose perspective for what it is all about. He has it all. He looks even better in this camp than he did a year ago. He is a lot more comfortable in the system and his responsibilities. You can see that he is practicing at a very high level.”

On Morris improving his production:
“First of all, when you put an offense together with Alfred or whoever your running back is, there is a lot of things to complement the running game with quarterback keeps, play-action passes, zone-read option. You are going to gain a lot of yards with the offense we run. We will adjust accordingly depending on what defenses are doing. He is a unique talent. He can make people miss and very few people can make people miss consistently. He can make the first person miss before he gets tackled. He has the type of power, leg drive you like in a running back and, knock on wood, he has been able to stay away from injury, taking those kind of shots. I think it’s the low center of gravity and how he runs. Hopefully he can keep on doing that.”

On how many carries Morris will have this season:
“I really don’t know. What we try to do is get as much depth as we can because it’s really hard to tell during the season what type of games you’re playing or what kind of depth we have. The more good players you have, the more ability you have to rest guys or when someone goes down, someone emerges just like last year when Alfred did. People talked about, at least for a few years, having a running back by committee and how bad is that. 'Wouldn’t you rather have one guy? Oh my God, you should have more running backs.’ That’s just the nature of the beast. What you would like to do is have guys that have the ability to be a third-down back or a first, second and third-down back. We will evaluate that as time goes on.”

On wide receivers Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson:
“One thing about Hankerson, this is his first offseason, OTAs, or whatever you want to call it where he is healthy so he has the chance to develop. That’s the good thing about Hank. He’s in shape. He’s learning the right way and getting the right reps. Aldrick Robinson has made strides since he has been here. He’s having one heck of a camp because he has speed and consistency catching the football. He’s been as good as there has been and hopefully he can keep that up.”

On the absences of Jordan Pugh and Maurice Hurt:
“Pugh had an ear infection and couldn’t make the flight out of Dallas, and Hurt is having a scope done on his knee today. They should be all-right for camp. The doctor made a decision to clean that knee out a little bit. It has been inflamed. Hopefully there will be no setback and he will be ready to go for camp.”

On the status of defensive end Adam Carriker:
“It’s the same thing that he had before. He has got inflammation in that tendon that goes into the knee from the quad. He is not ready to go at this time.”

On if there is a time frame for Carriker’s return:
“No, there isn’t. He is not going to be able to go for sure until camp, I do know that.”

On the team saying there is a different feeling this summer:
“That is what you hope for. We have got some competition at the different positions. We had a good draft and we got some free agents that we needed. We were able to keep this football team together despite, obviously, the penalty. I think there are players who feel good about each other, especially the way we finished the last seven games. They are disappointed obviously in playoff game, but you have to be a special group to win seven in a row in the National Football League and I think our team feels that and they see the commitment of everybody throughout the offseason, so hopefully we can build on that.”

On linebacker London Fletcher motivating younger players:
“He sets the tempo. First of all, he has never had surgery in his career and that is unbelievable to think about with as many games as he has played and never had surgery until this year. He has come back so quickly and he looked good today. He is our natural leader. He leads by example and as I have said before, I have never been around anyone quite like him, and hopefully he can keep on doing what he has done.”

On getting all the players enough reps:
“That is what you want. You want the depth at the defensive line position, the outside linebacker positions and nickel. You have to be able to put pressure on the quarterback in this league. If you can’t put pressure on the quarterback, the chances of you being a top five defense aren’t very good. That is where it starts is on the pass rush. You have to be able to defend the run which we all know, but we have to add some depth in our secondary as well. I am feeling good with the addition of [Brandon] Jenkins, and obviously three draft choices of two safeties and a corner, plus you add [E.J.] Biggers in there and the depth that we already had so guys have to compete to make our football team. That is what you hope for.”

On cutting players:
“When you cut people you know that they can play in the National Football League. You always want to be in that position. When you release a guy, you want to be able to say, 'Hey, this guy is a football player.’ I think we will be in position, and hopefully there are not too many injuries, similar to last year or the year before. When you stay relatively healthy, you know you have to release some players that can play.”

On the safety position:
“I feel good. I think we have great competition right there and we have depth. I can’t tell you what is going to happen, but we are going to have some healthy competition and that is what you are looking for.”

On the status of suspended safety Tanard Jackson:
“I really don’t know because we aren’t allowed to talk to him, but in time we will find out if he will be eligible to come back, but right now we don’t know.”

On cornerback Richard Crawford’s improvement:
“Richard is a guy that is a very smart football player. He stays in excellent shape. He is a person like London [Fletcher] as a young guy that will be in the film room studying all the time. He’s watching film. He’s studying offenses. He’s looking at our film cut-ups and he is always going to be in the right position. When you go into your second year, all of a sudden you start to feel more comfortable. The game slows down. He knows what to expect. He isn’t just thinking about the defenses, he is also thinking about the different types of patterns that are being run within a defense. He is a lot more able to intercept a ball and make plays, which he has done here throughout camp.”

On Crawford’s anticipation:
“In order to anticipate better you have to understand the defenses and the scheme. You have to understand what people are doing, but basically yes, he can anticipate a lot better know going into his second year.”

On defensive end Jarvis Jenkins improving:
“He has made tremendous strides. You can see he is more comfortable with his knee, which makes him more comfortable with the system as well. It is a big difference from this year to a year ago.”

On being cautious letting injured players return:
“Well, you take a guy like Brian Orakpo and you take a look at what he went through with his rehab, before we could say he was ready to practice, the trainers and doctors had to feel like he was 100 percent. In the back of your mind, are you always cautious or are you worried sometimes? I think you are always worried, but you are always hoping that it healed back the right way with Orakpo, at least so far, he looks very good because his strength is there. Keenan Robinson is not too far behind but we don’t want to take a chance with him. He’s not going to come back until we go to camp. Anytime anyone comes off a surgery, if it’s Pierre [Garcon], Orakpo or Robert [Griffin III], you want to make sure they are healthy before you put them back out there.”

On quarterback Pat White:
“He’s come in, but I didn’t know Pat but I liked the way he played in college. I really didn’t study him. I’ve been very impressed with him as a person, him as a football player. You can see that he’s a great athlete. He picks things up extremely quick. He’s never been in our system and yet he doesn’t make any mistakes. You can tell he’s a student of the game and that this is very important to him. He’s done everything necessary to put himself in the best position to succeed. Now we get a chance to evaluate him in games. I’ve been very impressed.”

On having multiple important players return from injury at same time:
“At outside linebacker position, Brian Orakpo is back and practicing with us. Not very often do you have your No. 1 wide receiver and No. 1 quarterback out. You have a guy like Fred Davis, your No. 1 tight end, out. Your third-round draft choice is a little bit sore and he is working with them. Same goes with Chris Thompson. Yes, that doesn’t happen too often, but the key is to make sure that they are getting mental reps to study what we are doing on both sides of the ball and that they are ready for camp. You don’t want to put them in there too quickly because you don’t want to set them back. You just want to make sure we go to Richmond and have a chance to have all these guys ready to compete for these positions.”

On making defensive upgrades despite cap issues:
“As we talked briefly before, I think it says a lot about our guys wanting to stay together. Some guys had to take some reductions but they still want to be with the football team. They felt good about their teammates. They feel good about everyone collectively. That’s why I’m pleased about the type of guys we have on our football team and hopefully it pays dividends.”

On Griffin III improving on dissecting defenses:
“When you come in your first year, you’re just trying to learn the terminology of the system and everything’s coming at you at 1,000 miles per hour. Your second year, your are more comfortable with the system and you have been through the process of blitzes. You’ve gone through the running game and you’ve gone through the passing game, the dropback, the third downs. You have been through it all. So, your second year does slow down a little bit where people can now study defenses. They feel comfortable with the terminology. They feel comfortable with the running game, the passing game, different check-offs, or hots, so it does slow down for them. If they keep on studying the game, they get better and better.”

On Special Teams Coordinator Keith Burns:
“When I interviewed Keith as the special teams coach, I brought in a number of people and he blew me away in the interview with how organized he was and his teaching progression to all of the coaches as a teacher. He’s very organized with his thoughts. He has a very solid scheme. He’s got a lot of passion for what he does. And that’s why we hired him.”

On role of advance scout Larry Coyer:
“Larry Coyer is a great football mind. He is a guy that loves looking at film. He’ll be there at 7:00 in the morning and stay until midnight. I’ve watched him work for years. He’s going to be an advance scout, so he’s going to be giving us an update on who we’re playing each week. I can’t think of a better guy to give the offensive coaches and the defensive coaches an update on what he thinks that the opposing team will do. Their strengths and weaknesses, he will be able to break down in all different areas. It’s just good to have him as a part of our staff. Some people don’t have the background to get a guy like Larry who has a background as a coordinator and coached all positions. He’s run the 3-4, he’s run the 4-3. He’s experienced on the offensive side of the ball. He can go through all of our tendencies and all of the sudden he’ll tell Kyle [Shanahan], 'Hey, on third-and-3 this is what you’ve been doing.’ A lot of times during the season you get so caught up in things you don’t really dissect yourself. And Larry will be able to do that for our offense and our defense. He’s got a good feel for offensive and defensive schemes. So, it’s a guy I was very happy we were able to get.”

On impressions of quarterback Kirk Cousins’ progression:
“Kirk has done an excellent job. I think anytime a quarterback gets reps, he’s going to improve himself. He’s a student of the game. He leaves no stone unturned in his preparation. He’s got that type of mindset. He’s extremely bright. But you’ve got to go out there and do it. That’s what Kirk has the ability to do right now; to get a lot more reps going into his second year. I think it will be invaluable to him for years to come.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On the development of the wide receivers:
“I think those guys are doing a great job right now. It’s a strong group together and what they are all doing is refining their skills so that they can all play any position on the field, which is going to help us with matchup problems. Santana is still Santana Moss. He is still doing a great job, coming in ready every offseason. It has been a pleasure to work with those guys and to see from a different perspective, not practicing, see those guys work, see the little things they are working on it makes me excited to get back.”

On what he is able to do this week:
“You saw me running a little bit. Started some cross-fields, got cleared to do that by Doc [Dr. James Andrews]. Doing that stuff, I ran two miles this week, out here when you guys weren’t out here. So that has been a good part. Still trying to make sure I stay focused on not just the rehab part but also paying attention, getting the mental reps and just knowing it like the back of my hand.”

On the feeling of the team this offseason:
“I think there is a totally different feeling within the team. I still feel like outside of the team people still doubt us. That is the way you want it to be. I feel like the guys come out here a lot more confident. Last offseason, with the addition of myself, Alfred [Morris] and a couple of the other rookies and just the expectations before the season last year, I feel like the OTA practices were pretty game-speed like and a lot of guys were trying to prove to the coaches that they should be here. They are doing the same thing this offseason, but I think there is a little bit more confidence going about that this offseason. Not a false confidence, we know with the guys we have coming back, with the guys that we added that we can be really good this year.”

On what he learned from last season as a passer and what he needs to do:
“It is hard to grade it that way. I mean I am not a big stat guy, I am sure Coach [Mike Shanahan] can tell you the stats if you want to know. What we were No. 1 in and stuff like that, but me personally, you just work on everything: footwork, you can always be more accurate. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone complete 100 percent of their passes throughout a whole season so you can always do that. For me the biggest part was mastering the offense first, so that I can continue to beat teams with my mind, get guys in the right position. Really it is just about getting the guys around you to play better and play for you.”

On if he was pleased with his play last season:
“You try not to second guess. The touchdown-interception ratio was pretty good. Yeah, there were some throws that you look back and today could I have made them? Yeah, I probably could have made them, but that is why you play the game. The more you play, the better you get. You can always get better. You never rest on what you did last year.”

On what he was able to work on during his rehabilitation process:
“A lot of film work, watching film alone and with the coaches, within the rules of the CBA. That part of it helped. I was talking to the guys towards the end of last year, being slowed down by the knee kind of slowed the game down for me because I had to slow down and it made me have to get through a lot of my reads. That is what I am looking forward to doing this upcoming season is getting through every single option that I need to get through and while at the same time still being able to use my legs as a weapon.”

On what it would be like to have a healthy Pierre Garçon:
“It is a blessing in disguise that some of the guys I have been able to work with these past couple of weeks, throwing to Fred Davis, Pierre Garçon, Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson. Those are guys we are going to lean heavily on during the season. So I get to build that chemistry with them, get a feel for how Jordan and Chris play and then continue to work with Fred getting back and Pierre, he is the guy. Like I told him a couple of weeks ago, he’s my Kendall Wright. When I was in college I had Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams and a couple of those guys. Pierre is going to be that guy for me, so I’ve got to make sure me and him are on the same page and he is a big play receiver and he can do a lot of great things. It is good to see him back healthy out here doing some of the stuff. It is a pleasure being able to work with him, not that I wanted him to get hurt or anything.”

On if he is bigger going into this season:
”I don’t think I’m bigger. I think it’s the spandex. I mean it’s definitely the shirt. I am about 225 [pounds] now. I was 224 last year. You kind of slim down. You slim down throughout the year, so I probably slimmed down to 218. You know, around this time you do put on more muscle and you maintain the weight throughout the year. That’s probably why my pecs look amazing. [laughter]”

On what he has noticed about Alfred Morris coming into this season as a veteran:
“We are both one of the veterans after one year, but it’s a calm confidence about him. If you talk to some of the guys from last year, when we were working with him fresh out of the draft, he didn’t know what he was doing. We didn’t know what we were doing. Everybody was all over the place, and coming in this offseason, you look at him, from day one he just looked a lot more fluid [and he] knows what he’s doing. He ran for so many yards and had so many carries, so he had so many reps at it and some of the other backs are starting to feed off of what he has been able to do. He just comes to practice every day ready, hard-worker. We’ve got a lot of funny stories about him running over people in walkthroughs cause he never walks through, but he’s done a great job and he’s a great teammate, I saw that from day one, and it’s just truly a blessing to see the player that he is today.”

On what goes through his mind when putting together music for sessions:
“I try to play to the masses. Obviously rap is where it’s at. I tried to put some country on it. Some of my linemen wanted country, so I had to make sure I took care of them and R&B during walkthrough, during the stretch part, which is to keep them calm. But you know those guys are like bulls in a cage, so I just turned the rap on [and] pumped up some Biggie [Smalls].”

On how much of Morris’s success was attributed to Griffin III’s ability to run:
“I think that’s real selfish of anyone to say. You don’t take anything away from Alfred’s talent. What he was able to do was not entirely on him. You can say the offensive line, you can say me, you can say the receivers blocking, but that doesn’t take away from the player that he is because it doesn’t matter how big the hole is, there are still guys out there ready to hit him and he’s bouncing off them. So I wouldn’t say that, myself. I wouldn’t say that.”

On his impressions of Thompson:
“Great guy from what I have been able to see practicing with him and being able to do those things. Really explosive, fast guy, big-play guy. At the beginning of last year, he was tearing it up at Florida State and had the injury so he’s coming back. He’s doing a really good job. He’s been in there with me rehabbing a lot, so it’s good to see him so dedicated and I feel like he’s going to be a big part of the team.”

On Thompson being held back and having to slow him down:
“Yeah, they’re holding me back from doing some stuff, which is what they are supposed to do and I’m trying to keep him from doing some of the routes [because] I know they are going to put stress on his legs from cutting. So I try to keep it real calm for a little bit of practice and then when you guys see [running back Roy] Helu [Jr.] come over there, that’s when Thompson starts revving up his reps and doing the routes because you know he doesn’t want to be shown up by the other guys. So I try to keep an eye on him.”

On how amazed he is by London Fletcher at his age:
“I mean, it’s incredible. Fletch [is a] leader, hard-worker. Coach [Shanahan] likes to compare him to Jerry Rice a lot. I’m sure Jerry doesn’t like that, but London’s been a great teammate even though I’ve only been with him for a year and the guys love him. He’s a hard-worker. He doesn’t have to be out here practicing, but even at his age and the amount of games that he has put up in a row, he still wants to be out here and working at it so that he can get better.”

On if he has a grasp on when he will be able to do explosive sprinting and cutting:
“It’s been a journey. Everyone gets to see the flowers and roses side of it. Out here running and throwing, feeling good about it, having a little energy, bounce in your step, but I’ve had to be patiently aggressive this whole time, just let my body heal and be aggressive where I can. You run and you do that kind of stuff. I was kind of explosive sprinting there a little bit. Jordan and those guys like to show off for you guys and the camera to make sure they’re not beating me. This next month will be the month where I start doing the explosive sprinting and the explosive cutting. It will be good to be doing that stuff for a month-this month-and then a month before camp so I’m ready to go.”
 

tshile

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It was nice to hear the reports branch out away from Griffins' knee this time around.
 

DieselPwr44

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Nice to hear about Crawford making strides and putting in the work.

He would be a nice lift to our secondary.
 

tshile

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Lots of reporters have run around with that line. Apparently even the players were aware of it, they gave some reporters a heads up earlier in the week.

I certainly hope it turns out, but I don't put a lot of stock in those story lines in OTA's with no pads against your own team.
 

Win4us

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Man if Crawford comes around along with our rook safeties....holy giggity with the young secondary. I know I know but hot damn if this all pans out.

Also, just a matter of time before someone offers 2 firsts for cpt Kirk, matter of time.
 

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