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Skins Quotes 8/21: M. Shanahan

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Boone

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August 21, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the status of quarterback Kirk Cousins:
“He’s getting treatment. I can’t tell you a whole lot right now. I know Kirk has made some comments, and we’ll evaluate it day-by-day. I think he’ll be a long-shot for Saturday, but we’ll wait and see.”

On the status of nose tackle Barry Cofield:
“If we were playing a regular season game this weekend, he would play. I can’t tell you for sure exactly what we’re going to do over the next couple of weeks, but I would say it would be a longshot if we do play him. But we’ll wait and see, see how he feels. We usually give it somewhere about 48 hours to see how he feels after we put it in a cast and then we’ll make sure he hits the treadmill hard and starts his cardio work, but I think he’ll be fine. “

On if there is a final date set for Dr. James Andrews’ evaluation of quarterback Robert Griffin III’s ability to play in Week 1:
“I thought we were pretty clear what we’re going to do. We’re going to wait until after the Tampa game and see where he’s at. The doctor is going to look at him, and if there is no setbacks and he keeps on working like he has been working, he should be ready to go.”

On the renovations to Redskins Park:
“We’ve got a state-of-the-art kitchen, and when you’ve got a great kitchen like we do, it makes it a lot easier in the offseason. Some of these young guys, when they come in, are not used to having good eating habits, especially these rookies. Some of these vets are the same way. It’s nice when you can have any type of food that you want. You’ve got a nutritionist to keep an eye, or a dietician depending on what their weight may be. We’ve got a few guys that need a dietician and we’ll watch those guys closely. But if they get to eat healthy, I think they come in earlier, stay a bit later. [The] weight room is a great addition. We needed a bigger weight room than we had, and they did a good job putting that together. So you are looking for the little things. It starts with the offseason. You’ve got the bubble – inclement weather and you can’t go outside, you go inside. You can have breakfast, lunch or dinner here, so I think they want to hang around a little more, and it’s something that’s pretty special to have.”

On if the short turnaround changes his plans for playing time in the third preseason game:
“That’s why everybody played in the first half, or the majority of the team played in the first half last week, offensively and defensively. A couple of guys didn’t. I think [wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon] and [running back] Alfred [Morris] were the only guys that didn’t on offense, and we took out Kirk [Cousins]. Defensively, we played the first half, so we got a lot of work in the second game, and with the short week we won’t probably play as much as we normally do in the third game, but we haven’t talked about it yet.”

On if Griffin III faced the normal defense in practice today:
“Yeah, we had a couple of periods today where we went against our defense and Robert was involved in going against our defense like he would in OTAs or any type of minicamp or summer camp, and he did a good job.”

On how to determine if Griffin III is ready to start Week 1 without seeing him in a preseason game:
“Remember, the first time Robert has ever had a preseason game was last year. He’s never had one in college. He’s never had one in high school. You don’t have preseason games. When I was in college – I coached there for 10 years – I never had a preseason game. I didn’t know what they were. I kind of feel the same way now as I did back then. A lot of times you have games and you are always trying to protect your guys, at least the majority of the guys so they don’t get hurt. So there’s a fine balance in evaluating players, getting players ready. I really believe that if you can put guys in full-speed type practice, you can get them ready for the regular season. It happens a lot of times, mostly because of injuries.”

On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson:
“He practiced today so that was a good sign. Still a little bit sore.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
“Practiced today. Full-speed.”

On running back Keiland Williams:
“He did not practice. His knee is a little bit sore. Hopefully he’ll be able to go tomorrow.”

On offensive lineman Maurice Hurt:
“We’re just going to keep on working him. He’s got a knee. We’re trying to get him in football shape. I’m afraid if we put him in there too quick there will be a setback, especially with a short week, so we’re constantly evaluating him day-by-day.”

On owner Daniel Snyder saying that the final decision on Griffin III’s status was up to Dr. Andrews:
“I did talk to Dan today, and he did share with me that he does not remember saying that so… But let’s say he did say it, I would never go against the doctor anyhow. If the doctor felt like he wasn’t ready to play, I surely wouldn’t play him. So if he said it or not, if Dr. Andrews said to me, 'Hey, I don’t think Robert’s ready,’ I surely wouldn’t put Robert out there. But Dr. Andrews could tell me that he is ready, and if I thought something was wrong with Robert through our practice, I wouldn’t put him out there.”

On balance between getting Cousins healthy against getting him experience:
“I think everybody would love to have Kirk out there and playing the last couple of preseason games, but if he’s hurting and there’s a question that would jeopardize him from playing the first game, we wouldn’t play him. But, hopefully, he does come back quick and he can get some snaps this week or the following week, but I don’t know for sure so we’ll just have to wait and see.”

On if he will play starters in fourth preseason game:
“Anything is possible, but I’ll probably still go with my gut depending on how our football team is doing. I normally don’t play anybody in the fourth game. I’ll probably will do the same this year. That could change if something drastically changes with our football team, but I usually do that for a reason.”

On if he is worried that his starters will have played less this preseason than usual:
“Remember, we played the first half of the game last game, both offensively and defensively. Not all the time times have we played the whole first half in the second game. This week we’ll have a game plan, but I’ll feel very good about our football team being ready whichever direction we go.”

On safety Brandon Meriweather and his work on the scout team last week:
“You know, he had a good week with the scout team. He didn’t say he was sore, but he looked a little bit sore on the last day, but he would never admit that to me, which is a good sign. But he’s making progress. We’ll evaluate him this week as well. He got a lot of good reps today, so hopefully there’s no setback and he keeps getting stronger and stronger.

On if he plans to have linebacker Nick Barnett play on Saturday:
“Yeah, unless there’s a setback with him, he’ll get some playing time.”

On wide receiver Donté Stallworth and running back Chris Thompson:
“Donté practiced today. He was full-go. And Chris practiced as well. He’s still a little bit sore, [but] full-go.”

On plans for playing time for his healthy quarterbacks this Saturday:
“We haven’t talked about it yet.”

On if he looks at film of Griffin III prior to the injury for comparison’s sake:
“Yeah, that’s part of the evaluation process. You know, we’ve been around Robert for a year. When you take a look at his OTAs, the minicamps, there’s about 600 throws in there, so we’ve watched them. You know, right now, he’s got well over 200 throws – about 220 – so we’ve had a chance to see what he’s done thus far, and we’ve still got a couple more weeks left, putting him in team situations and things that he’s done in the past.”

On comparing Griffin III’s mechanics before and after the injury:
“Today was the first day we’ve had him in team situations going against our defense full-speed, game situations. Everybody needs those reps and that’s why we’re going to do it for two weeks before we get in our game week against Philly, so it was part of our game plan in getting Robert ready and we’ve got a couple of weeks to go and hopefully he keeps on progressing like he has.”

On if he and the coaches can see clear improvement in Griffin III compared to studio analysts:
“Well, we’re hoping we’ve got a good feel for him. We’ve been around him quite a bit and we’ve been watching him practice and he’s getting better and better. We see progress. One of the reasons we didn’t throw him right in the fire is because we didn’t think he was ready right away. He was in pretty good shape. I think we’ve been through and talked enough about the situation, but I like where he’s at right now and the key is not to have a setback. And if he can keep on progressing like he has been, he’ll be ready for Monday night.”

On if the Buffalo Bills’ up-tempo style helps the team prepare to face the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1:
“Yeah, I think it’s good we’re facing that type of team. It gives you an idea of players – what type of conditioning you have to have. It gets you ready in a game situation to go against an offense that’s had success over the last couple of weeks and kind of, like you mentioned, have an up-tempo type team. So, yeah, I think it’s good for us to play in that type of environment.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

Opening statement:
“Hello. I’d like to dedicate this press conference to my offensive line. So any questions you have about the offensive line [smiling], I’m ready to answer.”

On his status:
“The knee feels great. You know,
Will Montgomery’s doing a good job of snapping me the ball. Everybody’s doing a good job out there, working hard. It’s a quick turnaround to come out here and practice after the guys played on Monday. We had a good practice. We’ll make sure tomorrow is better, but overall, everybody is doing good.”

On if he was told to make comments clarifying his relationship with Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan last week:
“No, that was on me. I felt like the team didn’t need to worry about that kind of stuff. I didn’t want people asking everybody on the team about that because it’s not a story. I just felt like I had to do that, just so the team could make sure we keep our focus on where it needs to be.”

On his meeting with Dr. James Andrews on Monday night:
“He watched the pregame. A couple guys were out there: myself, [safety Brandon] Meriweather, [wide receiver] Josh [Morgan], [wide receiver] Donté [Stallworth], all getting healthy. He just watched us go out there, perform a little bit before the game. Then we worked out for about an hour and 30 minutes, and he liked what he saw. He examined me. He told me everything looks good, still on pace to go Week 1, but no decision yet.”

On what he means by saying Dr. Andrews examined him:
“He touched me, he touched me [laughter]. He put his hands on me, did a couple ACL things, LCL things and said it looks good.”

On if Dr. Andrews has set a specific date for the final examination prior to his return:
“No, it could be any time. It’s not my decision. My job is to make it as easy on them as possible and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

On if he will take more snaps in 11-on-11 drills this coming week:
“That is the plan. I get to go out there, go against the defense, go against Fletch [linebacker London Fletcher], 'Rak’ [linebacker Brian Orakpo], all those guys, [linebacker Ryan] Kerrigan. That’s always fun. We’ll ramp it up but I’m getting the team reps, and that’s what I wanted. That’s what the team needs me to be out there doing, and we feel good.”

On if he feels he has sufficient time in 11-on-11 drills to get ready for Week 1:
“I think so. No excuses. It’s not just about me. It’s about those other guys out there. They’ve been working hard all offseason to make sure we’re in tune. I’ve done everything I can to make sure that I’m in rhythm, I’m in shape, I’m doing what I’m supposed to. Getting back there, we want it to be a seamless transition. So far it has been, and we want to keep it that way.”

On what he needs to show the medical staff and coaches to prove he is ready for Week 1:
“I think for Doc, it’s just continuing to go out and perform well and not have any swelling, any setbacks. For Coach, it’s the same thing, but also going out and performing well on the field and that’s the goal. That’s what we want to do, just continue to move the team up and down the field. Everybody’s doing a good job.”

On who will make the final decision on if he is ready to play:
“That’s Coach and Doc. I don’t have any say in that. My say is what I do on the field, what I’ve done all offseason.”

On if Dr. Andrews has given him any new instructions for his rehab:
“No, he said stay the course. The leg looks good, looks strong, movement looks fine. I’m happy about that. I’ve done everything I can. Like I said, can’t say it enough times, this is all I can do and I have to leave it in their hands to go from here.”

On wide receiver Santana Moss’ comments that playing is the only way for Griffin III to be 100 percent confident in his knee:
“Playing quarterback’s a real cerebral game. It’s different than playing receiver. They have to make sure they’re in timing with their routes and running. There’s a lot more running involved when it comes to playing receiver, so I can totally understand what Santana is saying there. For me, as a quarterback, I don’t necessarily have to run. I’ve got to make sure I’ve got all my X’s and O’s down, I’ve got the game plan down, and then I can go out and perform. For me, I can lean on last year’s game experience to prepare me for this season, and that’s what I said. I don’t need the preseason to get ready because they’re not going to let me play in the preseason. If I think I won’t play well without the preseason, then I’m not going to go out there and play well. So it’s just a mental thing, a mental game you have to play with yourself. Like I said, I don’t feel like I need it to make sure I’m ready to go. There’s no excuses when it comes to that.”

On if there is anything he hasn’t done that he needs to do to feel ready to play:
“The one thing I haven’t done is talk to you guys about the offensive lineman because you haven’t asked any questions about the offensive lineman [laughter], so that’s about it. Like I said, I feel good. I am confident. Coach easing me in has helped, and then giving me the extra reps has also helped now. This week’s the time to get prepared. My eyes are set on Philly and watching this team develop.”

On the reaction to his statements last week and if he caused him to reconsider his candor:
“It sucks, and that’s why I had to come out and make that statement. I sat down and talked to a few people to make a decision. Do I stop being who I am, stop being honest with you guys and giving you guys ammunition to turn against this team? Or do I just go into a shell and 'Bill Belichick it’ all week? I’m just going to continue to be who I am. If something like that does happen, you make the statement and make sure everybody gets it cleared. But I don’t think I can change who I am just because people are going to take my words and put them against me.”

On if he compares his current mechanics against film of his mechanics before the injury:
“You said about the feel there at the end, but I think it is a feel. I could feel the difference late in the year between having a healthy knee and not having a healthy knee. I can feel the difference now, having a healthy knee now. You watch all that film throughout the season, and you watch it at the end of the season, you watch every game again, just to go over. Not necessarily looking at you, but looking at your reads and things like that, and I’ve done that. I feel like I’m miles ahead when it comes to just playing football now than I was then. When it comes to just being healthy and playing off the back foot, I feel good there, too.”

On if there are any changes in his mechanics:
“I think the experience last year playing through the injury, being hurt out there, showed me a lot about football. That’s something that I’ll keep to myself. It showed me a lot, helped me to develop as a quarterback and now I feel that much better and ready to go.”

On how much quarterback Rex Grossman has helped him develop:
“He’s been great. Once you’re a player, you’re a professional, and it’s not necessarily how to act like a professional but how to perform and be a professional. Rex has been great for my psyche. He’s been great for this team. We all love him here. People don’t know the real Rex. We know the real Rex and he’s helped me out a lot.”

On learning how to protect himself:
“You wouldn’t get hit in practice anyway. You get it in the preseason games, and that’s why Coach is keeping me out of that because he doesn’t want me to have to do that in the preseason games. When you get into the regular season, like I said, you just lean on last year. I learned a lot of lessons last year, learned how to protect myself, and that’s what you’ve got to do. I’ve said it time and time again, I’m going to protect myself, I’ll do a better job of that, me personally, and the coaches are going to help me out there as well.”

On the offense:
“We want to put more points up on the board, I think that’s something that we’re going to do. We didn’t play great this Monday night, with the turnovers, but that’s not my job to say. I think the guys will do a good job. Rex and Pat [White] will play this Saturday. I don’t know about [quarterback] Kirk [Cousins] or anything like that. That’s Coach’s decision. I know I’m not playing. But I think that everybody’s doing a good job. The offensive line is playing well, playing fast, and they’re getting the snaps that they need. They’re getting what they need in the preseason and that game experience before the season for them and getting that conditioning in. So I think everybody will be ready to go come Week 1.”​
 

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Bulldog

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I don't know why there has been so much criticism and hate for Grossman. I think he showed this week that as the third or emergency qb, he is probably the best in the league.

True we all want to see Griffin or Cousins make the starts, but if we are down to the third slot this year we can win a game or two with Rex starting.

With Griffin and Cousins still banged up I think Rex makes the team and Shanahan carries three qbs

Tandler's article about potentially keeping Potter as a kickoff specialist is not going to happen, especially with the de-emphasis on KRs.
 

Lanky Livingston

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True we all want to see Griffin or Cousins make the starts, but if we are down to the third slot this year we can win a game or two with Rex starting.
Yeah, if he starts six games we might win a game or two. :D
 

Bulldog

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Would you rather start Caleb Haney, Tim Tebow or Seneca Wallace if Griffin and Cousins went down? Those are some of the depth qbs around the NFL.
 

Boone

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Would you rather start Caleb Haney, Tim Tebow or Seneca Wallace if Griffin and Cousins went down? Those are some of the depth qbs around the NFL.
The point Bulldog and I have both made is that Grossman is a lot more experienced and skilled than any of the other 3rd stringers out there. If we're down to our 3rd QB just still having a chance to win is a major plus, since in most cases the 3rd stronger can't even run the offense competently.
 

Bulldog

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And that's why even though we all like him and wish him well Pat White won't make the team.
 

Lanky Livingston

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I think arguing over the 3rd QB is a pretty fruitless exercise - but Rex is terrible. Would I rather have him than Seneca Wallace? Sure...but if we're down to the 3rd QB starting for any length of time, I'm not sure it really matters.
 

Bulldog

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Shanahan has been preaching depth and qb is just another example where the team has assembled a solid unit with Griffin, Cousins and Grossman.

Think about DE. Carriker is done for the year and Jenkins is out the first four games but we have Baker to slot in there.

A few years ago one or two injuries and this team was done for the year.
 

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