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Skins Quotes 6/11/13: Shanahan/RG3


The Commissioner
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BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC
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Marine Corps
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June 11, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On wide receiver Donté Stallworth’s tryout:
“I like Donté. I think he brings a lot to the table. We wanted to see what type of shape he was in. I thought he did an excellent job today with the way he worked and what he brought to the table. So hopefully he has the same type of practice tomorrow.”

On Robert Griffin III’s rehab timeline:
“Well, like I said, we listen to the doctors. The doctors will be able to tell you more about that than me. I just shared with you what they had said. So, when the doctors do clear him, then we’ll practice him.”

On being a part of a child’s Make-A-Wish experience:
“It was great. I got a chance to spend a little time with him. He was excited today. I got a chance to meet him. You can tell he was really, really excited to be around Robert and a bunch of the players. He was pretty quick, too. I asked Bruce [Allen] if he signed him to a two-year contract instead of a one because he was pretty impressive in there. We do a good job evaluating running backs and he did a great job today.”

On reports the child’s signing bonus was unlimited candy:
“That’s what I heard. [Laughs] That’s we he wanted, so we gave him whatever he wanted… It was really good to get him out here today. I had a chance to get to talk to him a little bit on Thursday and we told him we drafted him, told him he was a first-round pick. He said he was excited to come out here and work out with the team. We told him we were going to give him a play, but he had to get it in the end zone if he was going to have a chance to make it. He looked pretty fast... You always want to take some of these younger kids, the way they interact with the players is kind of fun to see. Within 10 minutes. you can see he felt comfortable with a number of the players and wanted to be part of the group. I think he had a fun day.”

On when Griffin III will be seen next by his physicians:
“I’m sure that physicians will be seeing Robert all the time; Dr. [James] Andrews, Dr. [Christopher] Annunziata, Dr. [Anthony] Casolaro. But the big thing is when we go to camp. He’ll get a physical and see where he’s at.”

On Plan B if Griffin III has a setback:
“We’ve got our plan right now. What we’re doing right now in practice every day is our plan for this year. We’ve got three quarterbacks practicing and doing quite well. Hopefully, Robert’s good when he’s full speed, ready to go. When that date is, I don’t think anybody knows, but the doctors are going to look at him and tell us when his ready to practice. When he is, we’ll see what he can do.”

On the learning process for the young defensive backs:
“What we try to do with these OTAs and this minicamp is try to get people really comfortable with the system and know it inside and out, so when they do go to Richmond they don’t have to think, they can react. You take the three guys in the secondary, all guys are adjusting very quickly. It took Phillip [Thomas] a little longer because he missed the first few days, but he’s adjusted well. Hopefully we come back in July, and all these guys feel very comfortable in the system. They study for the next five weeks when they’re away and come in here ready to compete.”

On the importance of training camp reps for Griffin III:
“It’s nice for everybody to get reps in training camp and that’s what we do. But there’s a number of people right now that are injured, but until the doctors clear them, they’re going to go through rehab. When that day is, we’re just going to wait and see. When the doctors feel like he’s ready to go, we’re going get a chance to practice him. We’ll see what he can do. I don’t think anybody knows though. We talk about this question every day and nobody knows for sure, but we’re trying on July 24th or 25th, in that area, and we’ll find out.”

On if he expects other injured players to be ready for Training Camp:
“I think so. I think everybody looks pretty good. There might be one of two guys, I’m not going to go into detail, that I have a little bit of question about. But a majority of the guys, I’d say about 90 percent of them will be ready to go.”

On if the safety position is the most unsettled:
“You say that, but you’re never really sure with what’s going to happen with injuries. Do we have depth? We have more depth now than we’ve had in a long time. We still have a number of guys that are competing for a position, guys that are second team or third team that we believe have a chance to compete for the first position. If you were a first teamer last year, you’re going to come in as a first teamer. We’ll let the competition begin.”

On running back Alfred Morris’ approach this year compared to last year:
“You can see he’s a lot more confident in the system. It’s very natural for him to make the right cuts. You don’t see that too often in running backs. His second year, I can’t say he’s made a big jump, but he sure is a lot more comfortable is everything he’s doing – pass protection, running the football, blocking responsibilities. That’s what you like to see, especially that type of experience. But a lot of times guys don’t pick things up as quickly as he has, and he’s done a great job”

On linebacker Brian Orakpo and tight end Fred Davis returning after missing the stretch run last year:
“’Rak, just the way he practices is like he’s possessed. That’s what you like to see. You can tell he misses the game, being out as long as he was last season. You can tell that he is looking forward to having a great year. He’s done everything you ask a guy to do in the weight room, rehab. He’s really looking forward to that opportunity. I think Fred is feeling the same way. I think Fred is ready to do. I just didn’t think it was in his best interest to play him today and tomorrow when he still has an extra five weeks of recovery time. He’s going through the proper treatment. He’s really getting stronger and we don’t want to push him against anybody for a few weeks. But he should come back, full speed, ready to go. It will be good to have him back.”

On if Stallworth fits the mold for his type of receivers:
“I didn’t want to lose Donté a year ago. I did call him up and I told him I thought he made a mistake – giving him a hard time. Before he had signed, he was contemplating what to do and he had decided to go to New England. I really thought that he made a mistake. I thought he would have been better being with us just because I liked what he did, what he brought to the table. And so when it didn’t work out for him this year, I was hoping that we could get him back. He had that accident and went thought obviously a little tough time there, but I was happy to see him out there today. I thought he made a couple plays today that he looked very good. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to sign him in the next couple days.”

On if he spoke with Stallworth shortly after his accident:
“No. I think, like everybody, that you know we were hoping he was well, and we found out that he was OK. But you never know for sure. A number of people had talked to him and they said he was fine.”

On if the team intends to sign Stallworth:
“Yeah… I would say that right now after today, we’ll see where he’s at, but he impressed me today.”

On if he has to put together two plans depending on whether or not Griffin III practices:
“No… Like everybody, we’ve got 90 guys ready to go. Sometimes a guy is going to sprain an ankle, you go with the next guy and you never know what’s going to happen out there. You know, people come and go. But you have to have some depth and that’s why you have to have these OTAs and these minicamps. You’ve got nine weeks that you get a chance to evaluate some people, teach them the system. You get a chance to see what they do in these preseason games. All the guys are working extremely hard. That’s what I like to see. We get guys in here on time, guys getting treatment, guys getting better. Like I said, at least 90 percent of our guys should be back ready to go right at the start of camp. That’s what you’re hoping for, some guys with some experience that we’re glad to get back.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
“This is the first time he’s really been healthy getting into an offseason, and that’s what I like to see with him. He’s come in, he’s competing. He’s got a lot of ability. He was pretty tough on himself last year. He still made some excellent plays. He left some on the field. Hopefully he can keep on making strides. He’s got the ability to be an excellent receiver.”

On Hankerson being better at one receiver spot as compared to the other:
“Anytime you get a big guy with speed at X or Z, you feel pretty lucky. Sometimes guys might be a little bit shorter, shorter stride where they can only be a Z receiver or slot receiver. He can play either outside position, probably play inside as well because he has the ability to make people miss. He can straighten up a guy just like a basketball player, cut insides or outsides. He has the flexibility to play three different positions, which is a big plus for him… I think he has the ability to play all three, and very few guys can do that.”

On cornerback Chase Minnifield:
“Well, he’s well. He’s ready to compete. I really liked him last year. It was just a shame; the last practice that we had, he had that injury. I thought he had made some real good strides after his first year. But he looks healthy now. For him to get a couple practice days in, for him to take the next five, six weeks to really hone in on being in the best shape possible, having a good feel for our system, we’ll get a chance to evaluate him.”

On if he can trust Minnifield despite his history of different knee problems:
“I don’t get too involved with that because I really don’t understand the ACL, the PCL, the MCL. The doctors say when they think he’s ready, and they feel like he’s ready to go. He’s worked extremely hard to get himself in great shape. And him coming back just in the first couple of days, it’s been very impressive. It doesn’t look like there’s any setback where he’s favoring anything whatsoever. That’s why I’m excited. He’s got five more weeks to keep on getting better and do what he needs to do to make our football team.”

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s role teaching young defensive backs:
“What you have to do, especially for these older guys, is really teach people how to practice. A lot of guys come in and they don’t know how to practice as a pro – how to finish plays, attention to detail in meetings, not too many missed assignments – kind of setting the barometer of what we expect in the future. What these veterans do from the first day is [say], “No, we don’t practice this way. This is what we do. This is how we finish.” A lot of times it’s by example; sometimes it’s verbal. DeAngelo does a good job doing that.”

On the importance of Hall returning this season:
“You always want great players. You want guys that are hungry and you want guys that want to be here. I think DeAngelo wants to be here, one of the reasons why he decided to sign back with us even though [he was] taking a pay cut. You appreciate that from an organization standpoint, and you appreciate a guy that’s hungry. He wants to play football. He proved it. So, hopefully he has the type of commitment that he’s had to be in the best shape like he’s been doing and have a great year this season.”

On if safety Brandon Meriweather is expected to return for training camp:
“Well, according to the doctors, he’s ready to go in July. They don’t think there’s any question about it. He’s full speed, ready to go. Hopefully there is no setback, but right now the doctors have told me that they believe he’ll be ready to go once we go to Richmond.”

On safety Jordan Pugh:
“He’s OK now, but he’s got a balance issue, so the doctors didn’t want him practicing today or tomorrow. But he’ll be ready for camp. A little bit unusual inner ear infection that he does have, but the doctors advised him not to practice. I didn’t talk to him, but he is supposedly here.”

On offensive lineman Jacolby Ashworth:
“Wrist sprain. He was on the side running, but he was out of practice today as well.”

On the unnamed kicker/punter trying out today:
“We got a punter in here who can punt and kick off, and we try to bring in some competition and we’ll see how he does. I get to know him a lot better once he makes our team.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On his latest progress:
“I’ve gotten that question a bunch, but the shocking thing is, every week that does pass by that I don’t talk to you – you guys – I am feeling better. So that’s a positive sign. When it comes to training camp, it is just a matter of how my body feels when I get back on July 25th before we go down to Richmond and we’ll go from there. I mean, I’ve said it a bunch of times I’m pretty confident I’ll be ready.”

On the special moment at the end of practice with child on hand with the Make-A-Wish Foundation:
“Yeah, you know, it was the Make-A-Wish [Foundation] and his wish was to come out and spend a day with us. I felt blessed enough that he chose me to be the guy he came out to practice with and hung out with. I don’t have any kids but a lot of the coaches do and they say whenever you have a kid you get more sensitive to things that happen with little children. So, it’s sad to see what he’s going through but we’re glad that we could make his day – on this day – and he is actually a pretty good athlete. I was playing with him a lot during the beginning of practice, while everyone was doing the walkthrough. It was just an honor to meet him and just be able to be around him.”

On preparing himself mentally in case there is a setback:
“I’m not. [Laughs] I mean, you just don’t think negatively – not to put down the question. I think LeBron [James] said, 'You don’t play the game afraid to get hurt.’ You don’t go out on the court wondering, 'If I get hit like this, is something going to happen?’ So, I just don’t worry about the setbacks, and I just worry about the progress that I am making moving forward. You just take that when it comes because I don’t think it is going to come, but if it does come, you take it and roll with it and just adjust.”

On his offseason schedule:
“Yeah, I’m going to get married and that’s that. I’m going to go on a honeymoon and everything. I’m talking, I’m planning ahead of time to make sure I do things I have to do while I’m on that honeymoon. I think I’m a responsible guy so I’ll make sure I do everything I have to, to be ready – cutting, running, working out – so when I get back and they see me, that they’ll be not only impressed, but they feel safe and sound to put me out there.”

On if he will come to Redskins Park to rehab:
“Yeah, I’m going to be here another week, another two weeks and then I’ll be gone for a little bit. I’ve got to live the personal life too. I’m not going to take that away from my fiancée just for football. There is life outside of football. I’ll make sure I stay prepared, ready to go, stay in contact with everybody and then we’ll go from there.”

On physical or mental steps remaining in his rehab:
“I think on the mental side I’m OK. It’s just the physical side – teaching my body how to relearn all the movements. I have been doing a good job with the rest of the guys working the football drills. Whenever we go inside we can’t do as much because there’s a limited space but when we’re outside we’re doing all the football-related stuff and everybody looks great. So mentally, it’s just about playing like you were never gone and now I’ve just got to make sure I continue to move forward and not have any setbacks.”

On if he was “explosive sprinting” with Chris Thompson and Jordan Reed:
“I thought it was explosive. But I always joke with those guys because, 'I’m not going to race you guys today,’ and then we all end up racing. So, you know it’s not that we’re not supposed to do that, you’re supposed to gradually get into it, so the first couple we weren’t running as fast and you guys saw us pick it up there on those last three, three or four. They’re doing a good job and they’re healing. Jordan’s looking great and so is Chris. So, I’ve just got to make sure I keep up with the young guys even though I’m only 23.”

On if he was sprinting as fast as he could:
“Fast guys like to say we never run as fast as we can.”

On quarterback Tim Tebow signing with the Patriots:
“I think it’s good. I know for one, I always root for guys, especially quarterbacks, as odd as it sounds. I’m a quarterback-friendly guy, so I try to root for them that they always succeed and you hate to see a guy out on the street no matter what position he plays. Obviously, Tim’s a very passionate player. It was good that someone stepped up and signed him because they felt like he could help their team. I wish the best for him.”

On linebacker Brian Orakpo being hungry and ready for training camp:
“I mean, Rak’s out there pass rushing, to quote my left tackle Trent Williams, he said he’s out there pass rushing like it’s the NFC Championship Game. So Rak’s definitely excited to be back. We’re excited to have him back and just the way our defense is shaping up together with the new guys thrown in there and then the guys that we have healthy and that will be back… [Brandon] Meriweather in training camp and Chase [Minnifield] was back out there and he had a pick today. All those guys look really great. Then offensively we’re going to have a lot of weapons back for training camp and we’re real optimistic on what the future is going to hold.”

On video of Kirk Cousins singing:
“Oh man, I can’t comment on that one. We talked amongst ourselves in the QB room and we get on him about it, but like he said, at his high school that was cool. I know it wasn’t cool at my high school. We have seen it and we have plans to play that during training camp but we’ll see what happens.”

On Cousins saying Griffin III was the better singer:
“Thank you, Kirk. I mean, we both sing a lot. I love music, and he has told me that many a times that he thinks I am a better singer than he is.”

On his favorite song to sing:
“The song my mom taught us growing up, The Lord’s Prayer.”

On his role in planning his wedding:
“I mean, I have no say. Basically that’s just how it rolls. I mean I am just trying to make sure she doesn’t become a bridezilla, but she’ll be fine. I’m doing little things here and there behind the scenes with the groomsmen, and little stuff for the wedding. She’ll set everything up and then ask me like this or that, and sometimes I actually have a choice and sometimes it doesn’t really matter what I say. It’s her day, so she’s got to enjoy it.”

On if they have selected the couple’s first song:
“Yes, we have.”

On if he will share it:
“I cannot share that now. I will talk to her tomorrow and maybe I’ll tweet it or something. We’ll see.”

On his rehab between now and Training Camp:
“Like I said and you saw today, the explosive sprinting part, I feel comfortable sprinting now and the next big stage is just cutting. It’s not that I go cut for two days and I’m ready to go. It’s just a month of doing cutting drills, changing direction, that way I can train my body to get back for that. I will start that next week. I’ll start cutting next week and then after that it’s just everything over and over. I continue to work out in the weight room over the next four or five weeks, continue to keep sprinting, and just get more and more comfortable, and then whatever I feel like I have a deficiency at, I’ll make sure I fix that, and there’s little exercises you can do to help with that.”

On if he can prepare for contact:
“No. I mean you can’t get ready for that, it just happens. Whenever camp rolls around and you know I’m out there practicing, that’s when you get ready for that. You usually don’t get your first hit until game-type situation and I’ll be ready for that too.”

On his excitement to get away for training camp in Richmond:
“I’m mixed on training camp as far as just going away. I think us going to Richmond will be great for the team. It gets you away from your family, but I think that the positives can also be the negatives. You are away from everybody, even though when we are here we are still isolated from everybody, you still get a window of an hour or two to see your family and for the guys that have kids, they get to see their kids. But going all the way to Richmond is going to be tough for that. But, I think it is good for the team bonding-wise because we’ll be out in a new city. It kind of forces guys to have to hang out with each other – not that guys don’t want to. It will truly feel like a training camp. It will be the first experience for me because I’ve always been around wherever we work out, especially in college, so it’ll be fun.”

On quarterback Pat White:
“You know, Pat’s done a good job. He’s making throws out there — continually improving. He was a great college quarterback. I know when I saw him the first day he was here it’s kind of like, “That’s pretty awesome. That’s Pat White.’ Not that I was star struck or anything, but it’s just good to have him around, good to have that third quarterback to takes some reps away from Rex [Grossman] and Kirk [Cousins]. And he’s good for our room. That’s what you look for, guys that are good for your QB room.”

On how hard it has been to watch practice:
“Aw man, it’s hard. It’s one of the hardest things you ever have to deal with. At least at Baylor I was hurt during the year so I was kind of away from everything for a little bit and I was there on game days to show my support and there in the meetings. But to be doing the rehab while everyone else is practicing is pretty tough. It’s one of those things you have to go through. You have to go through adversity when you get injured and I think I’m going through it pretty well but it’s never going to be easy. If everything was easy, everybody would do it. I’m just making sure I stay focused and keep my mind in the right place.”

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