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Skins Quotes 8/22: M. Shanahan


The Commissioner
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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC
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August 22, 2012
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Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On running back Roy Helu, Jr.:
“He didn’t do too much, but he did a little bit, not a lot.”

On the status of running back Tim Hightower:
“I think we’ll find out more tomorrow, but he did have his pads on. He did get a number of reps today so hopefully there are no setbacks. He practiced on the scout team and got a few reps on offense today, which is a good sign.”

On if Hightower or Helu, Jr. is further ahead in terms of Saturday:
“I can’t tell you right now. Neither one can play right now.”

On how Hightower compares now to the early days of training camp:
“Well, he’s made some strides but it’s really hard to tell until he goes full-speed. Once you put the pads on, it’s different than going in shorts. I think tomorrow will be a good indication on how he feels. It’s the first day he’s actually had contact around our first, second, third team offense and ran our plays.”

On if he has ever gone this far into a preseason with this much uncertainty about the running back position:
“It all depends on what year. It’s unfortunate if you have too many injuries in one position. We seem to have that this year at the running back position. You never know, they could be fine by the first game. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”

On his memories of former running back Clinton Portis:
“I had him in Denver and drafted him. I remember taking a look at him and I said, 'This guy is probably the most physical back I’ve ever been around.’ The way he would pass protect, he was just so tough. It didn’t matter if it was a linebacker or a defensive lineman; he was going to stick his face in there. He never held back anything. He did such a great job running for us and had so many good plays. When I say 'us,’ at that time I was in Denver. When he came here, even though it was the end of his career, he was still as tough as he always was. He was a natural leader. I really enjoyed being around him.”

On why safety Brandon Meriweather didn’t fit into Chicago’s defense:
“I think maybe you should talk about that with the defensive coordinator in Chicago. I wasn’t there in Chicago so I can’t tell you. I just know that he fits our style with what we do and how we match up, very similar to some of the things New England did in his Pro Bowl years. I don’t judge people by what they’ve done in other places, just how they handle themselves with us. I like the way he has worked and I like the way he has handled himself since he’s been here. Hopefully, he can get back healthy and be ready to go opening game.”

On how he evaluated Meriweather last year while he was with Chicago:
“They play a different defense than we do. I think it was out there last week what type of defense they play. He hadn’t played that type of defense, so we thought he would fit a lot better with our system. But you never know until somebody comes in and you see the way they work and handle themselves. He seems like he has fun and likes to compete. I’m glad we got him.”

On Meriweather’s mindset and style:
“He likes getting involved and wants to be by the action, so he’s better closer to the ball than he is further back. He fits in our system well at the strong safety position, but he is smart enough and has enough experience that he could play the free safety position as well and still be very solid back there. More importantly, he comes to practice and he likes to have fun. You can tell he’s a very sharp guy. He’s been very conscientious thus far for us and I’m glad we got him.”

On linebacker London Fletcher’s status for Saturday:
“I would say that unless there’s a setback, he’ll be ready to go. He actually had contact today, pretty good contact - almost like a live situation, except not taking guys to the ground. He didn’t look like he had any setbacks, so hopefully there are none and he’ll be ready to go.”

On the cornerback competition beyond Josh Wilson and DeAngelo Hall:
“We’re evaluating those guys every practice. We get two more games to evaluate them, and then a lot of playing time the second half from Indy and obviously most of the fourth game. So, those games are very important to a lot of those players.”

On the breakdown of how many players he will keep on the roster from each side of the ball:
“There are a number of different ways … We’re going to keep the best players. Sometimes it will be more one way or the other, depending on what you believe serves your team the best.”

On if the roster always has 25 offensive players, 25 defensive players, and three specialists:
“No. No, it’s not. It’s the same thing when you dress guys for a game. You might see some people with 19, 20, 21 defensive players and some are loaded on offense, or it could be the other way, only 19, 20 offensive players. I think a lot has to depend on the philosophy and what type of team you’re playing that week. Some teams have the capability having three, four wide receivers, and another team may be just be three tight ends. So, there’s a lot of different thought that goes into the personnel, on game day anyhow. When your top 53 and 61 are together, sometimes you may go the practice route where you feel like you may have a better chance if you have your guys make it through waivers on the practice squad. So, I think a lot of people tend to go that way as well, depending on which are the best 61 players on your team.”

On the difference in Robert Griffin III learning by throwing in practice versus by playing in games:
“First of all, it all depends on the number of plays you have in a half or have in a game. Sometimes you've got 20 plays and people talk about throwing eight to 10 times. Sometimes you have 45 plays and you throw it 20, 25 plays. So, I don’t worry about that. I think you guys have seen him out here for the last eight weeks. You can see what he can do. Hopefully, we can take it in the regular season.”

On if they can quickly remove packages with Hall playing safety if the experiment doesn’t work:
“There’s always a possibility if there’s something that you see that you don’t like very quickly. DeAngelo Hall has the ability to play either safety position because he’s tough enough. He’s smart enough. He’s the guy that’s the ball hawk, probably makes more plays at the safety position, either strong safety or free safety than a corner because so many times you’re isolated then and there. But when he does get his hands on it, he usually comes away with an interception. So, I’m sure, just like Champ Bailey, when I talked to Champ, he said, 'Hey, my skills aren’t what they are.’ He said, 'I’m going to play that safety route,’ because he’s another guy that’s got a good feel for the ball, as does DeAngelo Hall. So, some corners have the natural ability where they can make plays catching the football. Not too many guys can do it.”

On trusting tight end Fred Davis and tackle Trent Williams:
“I trust both of them. I’d be very disappointed if they let me down or their teammates down. I really don’t think along those lines.”

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