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Skins Quotes 8/21: M. Shanahan


The Commissioner
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August 21, 2012
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On how fullback Darrel Young looked at practice today and if he will start on Saturday:
“I don’t expect him to play on Saturday but he is much better. [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess] told me after practice that he thought he might be in the 85 - 90th percentile, so he’s not completely healed but it’s getting better.”

On if Young could play in the fourth preseason game after sitting out for the third:
“He could possibly, we’ll just see how he’s feeling. If he is full speed, maybe give him a few reps in there, maybe a couple series, get him back into football shape. It all depends on how he’s feeling.”

On guard Chris Chester’s recovery:
“He practiced today and had a good practice. I expect him to be able to go full-speed.”

On what his coaching staff needs to see from guys who are trying to make the squad:
“Well, you kind of evaluate these guys every day. You kind of get a feel one day and sometimes it changes. When you do see them in game situations, a guy can separate himself from the rest of the pack, or at least from the guy he’s competing with. Sometimes it’s just not one position, it could be another position. Every day is an evaluation day. When you have more competition, it gets a little bit more interesting toward the end.”

On the quality of guys he is cutting this year versus last year:
“The better football team you are, at the end, a lot of times guys will be picked up. If you don’t have guys being picked up, that’s not a good sign. At the end of the day, if you have two, three, four, five guys getting picked up, that means you probably have a lot of depth. If you’ve got one or two, it could be depth or somebody evaluated the talent wrong. You never know for sure but you’ve got to feel good about the guys you keep on your team. Sometimes some of these players will fit into another system and other times they won’t. At the end of the day, you look back at how many guys that you’ve cut and made other teams or second or third teams over the last couple years. That’s what we usually do.”

On linebacker Brian Orakpo going through individual drills during practice:
“He went through drills, which was a good sign, but he’s not ready to practice yet. He’s still a little bit sore and so we’ll just evaluate it day by day. It was a good sign that he was able to go through some drills.”

On if there is a science to waiving guys or placing them on the reserve/injured list:
“Well, there is no direct science involved. You just kind of have a gut feel of what guy might have the talent to go on another football team or a guy that you just hate to lose. You say, 'Hey, if somebody picked this guy up, you’d be sick.’ Or, 'If somebody else picked them up, we could get by because we have a little bit more depth at that position.’ A lot of times it’s your position needs and the depth of your football team. Other times, when you’re clearly healthy and got a lot of good football players like some of these Super Bowl teams, they have to make some tough decisions because three, four, or five guys may be picked up.”

On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson’s route running:
“It was very average last year and he had to learn to be a pro and he has gotten better through this offseason. I think it has really helped him and you can see the rewards and how he has handled himself in game situations as well. That one play that he made last week was really impressive.”

On wide receiver Anthony Armstrong being able to take full contact:
“He had a second-degree separation and I was hesitant to put him in. He’s feeling good right now and we took the yellow jersey off of him. He’ll be ready to go. He could have played [against the Bears]. He told me he was ready to go. I was a little bit hesitant and that’s why he didn’t play.”

On players not being permitted to tackle during training camp:
“You can wrap guys up. How often do you ever wrap a guy up and take him to the ground in training camp? Maybe two or three teams have done it through the years where they go live but you can wrap people up. The only thing we don’t have is our bottoms, our thigh pads. Everything else, you can wrap people up and you don’t have to take people to the ground. You take people to the ground, you get people hurt. [We have] done that too many times. You have one day you go live for at least a goal line situation, and I think three years in a row I lost a player. So, I’m not going to do it anymore. But you can still get better at tackling. You have to be very disciplined. And you have to demand it, because it’s very easy not to want to wrap people up.”

On safety Tanard Jackson learning the defense:
“He’s a veteran player, so we expect him to pick it up a little quicker than most younger players. He’s proven that he’s a student of the game, and he picks it up fairly easily.”

On if other players benefit from safety Brandon Meriweather’s injury:
“I’ll be honest with you. It’s an opportunity for a number of people to take advantage of the opportunity. Anytime you have guys go down, guys get the opportunity to show us what they can do in game situations. That’s part of the evaluation to get into the top 53.”

On the status of Meriweather:
“He’s not going to play. His knee is just a little bit swollen. It’s nothing very serious, but hopefully he’ll be able to practice tomorrow or at least go through some drill work.”

On if Jackson will start at strong safety Saturday:
“Our safeties have to play both ways. We’ll talk about that later on in the week, when I know the injury situation with all our players.”

On running back Alfred Morris:
“Like all running backs, you really get a better feel once they play. I thought he played very good against Chicago. I see a lot of talent, good running ability. It’ll be a good evaluation over the next couple of games to see how he handles himself in those types of situations.”

On evaluating the wide receivers given a limited number of snaps in the preseason:
“It’s tough, but fortunately, in the second half against Chicago we had a number of guys get some opportunities to catch some balls. That’s part of the evaluation process. And then seeing Aldrick Robinson, one of the catches he made…By anybody’s standards, you could see the explosion and the speed. It was a very good opportunity for him. These guys are hoping they do get their opportunity. If they’re out there and they do make a big play, obviously if he doesn’t make our football team, he has a chance to go somewhere else when they see that type of big-play potential.”
Shanahan is right. The Redskins have been signing players who were drafted or signed by the Giants and Steelers for years. Those organizations draft well and end up cutting players that can still compete.

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