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Skins Quotes 9/13: M. Shanahan/K. Shanahan/Haslett

McKissic for the win

Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


September 13, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s injury and his activity on Thursday:
“He was limited.”

On Garçon’s improvement throughout the week and optimism for Sunday:
“He didn’t practice at all yesterday. I really don’t know. He was very limited, so tomorrow we get a chance to evaluate him some more. We’ll have a better idea tomorrow.”

On the injury to Garçon:
“It’s not the toe. It’s the one right next to it and not on the ball of the foot, just inside of it. It’s just sore. He’s getting treatment on it and he got some work in today, some drill work, which is encouraging. We’ll see tomorrow how it is.”

On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson’s potential increase in playing time:
“We have a couple of directions we can go. We haven’t decided exactly what we’re going to do. We have a couple of guys switching off there and both guys will be able to play.”

On running back Alfred Morris:
“He is a young back with a lot of ability. He can hit the hole extremely hard and has the lateral quickness to make you miss, but he’s got the power to run over people. That’s a pretty good combination. He’s got a good feel for the game. I don’t think blocking is too big for him either. It seems like he enjoys blocking, as well as running the football. After the game you can tell that it was just a game. A lot of guys get intimidated in their first football game in the National Football League, especially on the road in that environment. You could see that it wasn’t too big for him.”

On long snapper Justin Snow getting acclimated to his teammates:
“We’ve only got a certain amount of time in practice when you work as a team, but they [specialists] can work the whole practice over there. They’re working constantly - snapping, holding until they feel comfortable with each other.”

On the amount of time needed for a long snapper to be ready to play with a new team:
“Five days. That’s what I’m hoping anyhow. We’ll find out.”

On noise affecting the speed of the offense getting out of the huddle in a loud stadium:
“It affects it quite a lot on the road. You’ve got a silent count, so you can’t even hear the snap count. We try to get out quick and set the tempo, but it is hard to do it on the road. You can do it a lot better at home.”

On the effect of starting the season on the road in a loud stadium and continuing the season with another game in a domed stadium:
“It does help because you’ve been practicing in it for a couple of weeks. The thing that has really helped us is the bubble. You can never get that type of work in an indoor facility because you can’t hear the snap count and they’ve got it so loud in there [the bubble] that it works out well, especially when you go to a place like a domed stadium.”
On Robinson’s improvement at the wide receiver position:
“His hands… He’s got a lot more confidence in his hands. Being here at the OTAs and summer camp, he is a lot more comfortable in the system. He made a couple of big plays in preseason where he has a lot of confidence. You can see that. He has a lot of speed to separate from defensive backs throughout the league. Especially when you take look at the first game and the catches he made, he should have a lot of confidence.”

On the mindsets of Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan:
“Pierre is a guy that enjoys blocking as much as receiving, so he’s a very physical wide receiver. He’s not afraid to hit a safety, hit a corner. Not a lot of wide receivers have that type of mindset. Josh is exactly the same way. He will block a safety or corner and he enjoys doing it. There are not a lot of guys that can do that so that helps the running game as well.

On if the physical play of Garçon and Morgan rubs off on other players:
“It does. Everybody takes pride of all aspects of the game, and in return, we try to give more time to them in passing situations.”

On the amount of players that will do that kind of dirty work on the field:
“People talk about wide receivers in general. In Denver, you talk about Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey who took as much pride in the running game as they did in than the passing game. Jerry Rice and John Taylor did the same thing. Usually the great ones take the most pride in the things they do.”

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall playing on special teams:
“The great defensive backs that I’ve been around, corners as well as safeties, they love to play special teams. They want to help their team win. Whether it’s one, two or three special teams, they want to be on them. I can go back through the years and tell you the guys that not only played at a high level on special teams, almost a Pro Bowl level, and these are Pro Bowl players. You want to have your best 46 guys on the field and if a starter can help you in one or two areas, then you want that guy to help you. DeAngelo was the first one to ask me about it because he thought he could help us.”

On the Rams’ defense:
“When you take a look at the game against Detroit, you take a look at three interceptions in your secondary and one for a touchdown. They’re ahead of the Lions with 15 seconds to go in the game. That’s when they score and the Lions have got to go two 80-yard drives to beat the Rams, especially in Detroit, who is supposed to have an excellent football team. They played extremely hard. They should’ve won the football game and lost in the last second. That kind of gives you an idea how much those defensive backs have helped their defense on their football team.”

On the blocked punt against the New Orleans Saints after issues with field goal protection last year:
“Well, it’s completely different. As I talked about after the game, it’s a missed assignment. When it’s a missed assignment, it’s a missed assignment. It doesn’t take a whole lot to figure out. The guy got free and he does a good job at blocking it. But it’s something we’ll work on and we’ll get, hopefully, the problem resolved. They’re going to test us now that they know someone missed an assignment. You can count on them coming after us for the next four or five weeks until we can prove we can block it.”

On comparing linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan’s transitions to professional football:
“Well, they’re both excellent athletes and both of them made their transitions very easily. I didn’t study Rak [Orakpo] as much as I did Ryan, obviously, but both guys are perfect for the 3-4 and take a lot of pride in what they’re doing to make that transition. Ryan, to me, was incredible because he had been down throughout his career and I didn’t look to see if Brian had any stand up spots at all on any defenses. But he’s the same type of guy. You’ve got two guys who are 265 pounds that are mismatches on tight ends normally and running backs.”

On what he looks for in scouting defensive ends to transition to outside linebacker:
“They’ve got to cover people… Charles Haley was a guy when I was in San Francisco, obviously played with Dallas, years ago, here’s a guy who would go out at 240 pounds and he would cover Jerry Rice. He was a defensive end, so it kind of gave you a little idea of what type of athletic ability he had. He was in a four-man front. Obviously he could’ve played 3-4 linebacker. He’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around, one of the best pass rushers. But he actually could go out there and cover wide receivers, so you’re looking for guys that have that athletic ability. Not too many guys can do that.”

On how teams will adjust to quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“Well, what defenses have to do, they have to account for him in the running game. They don’t know how many times we’re going to run him in the game, or the possibility of running him. So we can run our offense, but we can dictate what we want to do, not necessarily what they are going to do. So we can hopefully keep people off-balance. There is a fine line. That’s something that has been fun for us to experiment with some of the things he’s able to do.”

On the amount of times Griffin III will run the ball:
“The back is going to get it, the fullback or the halfback, or sometime there is a pitch man. It’s not all the zone read. There are a bunch of different types of options you can incorporate in a system. You just saw one last week. There are a number of different things we can do with him and it’s kind of been fun experimenting.”

On Griffin III running enough to keep the defense guessing:
“What I mean is that you really don’t know who is going to get the ball. The first option, if they tackle at the line of scrimmage, it’s going to be the quarterback carrying the ball or the pitch man will carry the ball, if there is a pitch man depending on what kind of option it is. You have some variables involved depending on what type of defenses you see, but it does create some problems for a defense when you’ve got a confident quarterback.”

On scripted plays in the beginning of a game:
“We have the first 20 plays scripted. Sometimes it’s 15. Sometimes it’s 20. Sometimes it’s a little bit more. The players have a good idea of what’s going to be called in the first quarter, first quarter and a half, so they can go through all of the adjustments that they to make against different defenses and possible audibles.”


Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On Robert Griffin III making him look good as an offensive coordinator:
“Yeah, all the guys did – all 11 guys. Even the backups that came in stepped it up. All the guys made some plays and made it pretty easy on me.”

On how much flexibility Griffin III gives him to adjust to the other team:
“A ton. He’s a threat with the ball in his hands. You can do everything you’ve done in the past but you add one more element – make them defend the quarterback in the run game, not just the pass game. That adds a lot of issues for the defense.”

On running back Alfred Morris:
“Alfred is a good player. I think you guys can all see that. He’s a real laid-back guy. He doesn’t say much. The game’s not too big for him. You never know how a guy is going to act when he gets in that situation. He acts the same exact way he does in practice, same way he did in preseason. He was the same out there on Sunday. When you have a guy like that who is talented, runs hard, the game’s not too big for him, he’s usually pretty successful.”

On if there is a single play by Griffin III that stood out to him:
“I was real pleased with how he played the whole game. You guys know the big passes he made – the big one to [wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon] just hanging in there when they were bringing in one more than we could pick up. He hung in there, took the hit, got it off, and there was a 90-yard touchdown because of it. There are also a few times in the game where he called some shot plays that weren’t there and it was nice for him not to just throw it just because we called it. He was able to go to the next guy and be smart with the ball – not always just taking the big play, just let the game come to him.”

On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson stepping in for Pierre Garçon:
“That’s what you’re hoping he could do because there’s no doubt he’s talented enough to do it. You never know until a guy gets thrown in that situation. Pierre only got to play eight plays, and in those eight plays he did a hell of a job, but he left the game. Aldrick came in and we still kept going at him like we would have Pierre also. We didn’t miss a beat. He stepped it up, did what he was supposed to do and I was real happy for him.”

On if there is a way for Robinson and Garçon to play together:
“It’s still just one week, but I think we have a group of guys who I am confident in – all our guys. We want to try and always get those guys opportunities out there. The more guys that are healthy, the less opportunities they get. When their time comes, they’ve got to be ready. Hopefully, you can get them in there and when you have a guy who you’re confident in, when guys need a blow too, you don’t hesitate to put him in. You get a better rotation. It makes everybody fresher, everyone better.”

On if they use more of the field now with the speed of the team:
“I think it’s something – my whole crew – we use a lot of the field. We’ve always stretched it out pretty good. I think you always want to keep that balance. You want to do what the defense isn’t doing. You have to stretch them out to open up the underneath stuff. When they’re playing deep, you have to pick them apart underneath. When you have guys who are capable to get down the field, but are also able to separate on underneath routes, when you have a quarterback who can throw it as far as you need him to throw it and can also be accurate underneath, it gives you a lot of options.”

On the offensive line:
“I think they played hard. I think they played really hard. They didn’t give up any sacks. The two sacks we had were just a couple miscommunications between Alfred and Robert, just running into each other on some play-pass tracks. I thought they played really good not giving up a sack. I thought they blocked well. The only thing we missed was a few targets in the run game, but I was happy with them. There’s still a lot of [room for] improvement too.”

On adjusting when they run zone reads:
“It’s hard because you have to see off the teams you’re going to play in. You never know when you run some of that read zone stuff what teams are going to do. It’s not like there’s a lot of clips of it on tape. You just go into it sticking with your rules. You have to see how people adjust to it because teams do have to adjust to it. It’s something different when they have to account for one more player. It changes everybody’s gaps. You’ve have to be ready to see what they’re doing. Defenses learn from us when they watch it on tape, but we also have to learn watching how defenses play it. It’s constantly evolving each quarter, each week.”

On running backs adjusting to timing and rhythm so they won’t have any miscommunications with the quarterback:
“It’s huge. That’s what you work on every day. There are a lot of big details with picking up blitzes, stuff that everybody notices. But just the everyday, just your run tracks that you started in the beginning of practice that you did since training camp, just routes on air with guys getting in their depth and throwing on the right time. It’s all the minor details that everybody does that can cost you games. We had a few misses in the game, but when the guys made the plays they did, you can overcome those.”

On Griffin III checking for screens on the first drive:
“That was the plan going in. It wasn’t really a check; it was just part of the play. When the defense did a certain thing, we always had outlets to get out of stuff. I thought it was good. We got the ball in guys, hands who can make plays and they got yards – pretty easy completion. If you make a good decision, as long as the wideouts do something with it...They were doing stuff with it.”

On Griffin III blocking:
“I love his effort. You definitely don’t want him to get hurt. It’s very rare. You don’t really count on that. Every quarterback I’ve ever had has always tried to do that, but they’re usually not fast enough to get there. They try to do it and everyone ends up running past them so they don’t do it. Robert is actually fast enough to get there, so he’s able to do what everybody else tries to. You want him to be smart. You want him to be safe and always never risk himself, but I think in the football game his natural instinct is going to take over.”

On if receivers know to be aware of Griffin III’s ability to create off-script:
“They know. Just because they don’t get the ball, once he breaks the pocket, they have a great chance. Robert can keep plays alive. I think the guys did a great job with [tight end] Fred [Davis] and Santana [Moss] having a few off-schedule plays. We missed a couple also, just them being on the wrong page. Once it gets off-schedule, it’s hard to design what to do. It’s an off-schedule play. It’s just about them getting used to it, seeing how each other reacts in those situations. I think the more that they do it, as long as those guy just keep working and never stop, the more plays you can get out of them.”

On the challenges he faces now that other teams have film of the offense:
“It’s just a challenge with everything. Each week gets harder throughout the NFL. Each year gets harder. You’ve always got to adjust on offense and you’ve got to always adjust on defense. The thing that you’re excited about when you have players and have a quarterback who are all capable of doing everything, you want to go into games with a plan but you always have a chance to adjust depending on what people are doing.”

On Garçon’s 88-yard touchdown catch:
“I know how pumped I was and how pumped our team was. It took us until Week 16 to run a touchdown in last year on a reception and it happened in the first quarter of this game. It wasn’t a small one, it was a big one. When you get plays like that, I think it changes the whole aspect of the game – coverages get softer, people get more scared, people get confident. It makes it a lot easier on everybody.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On the St. Louis Rams:
“I think they’re a much improved team from even last year. They’ve got better players. Obviously [offensive coordinator] Brian Schottenheimer does a good job with the scheme. They’ve got good running backs and a good coach for the receivers. I’ve always thought the quarterback was a good player.”

On if there is a danger in facing a team that doesn’t have expectations like the New Orleans Saints:
“I think they’re a good football team offensively. They’ve got a heck of a quarterback season, a great running back… He’s got a lot of yards rushing. They drafted a couple guys who are good. The tight end’s a heck of a player. They’ve got a lot of weapons so we’ve got to be ready to play.”

On safety DeJon Gomes:
“I thought he did a good job in a lot of areas but there’s room for improvement like everybody. But I thought the guy stepped in and was cool and calm. That’s kind of how his demeanor is anyway. He did a nice job in both the running game and pass game.”

On Gomes saying his 49-yard return reminds him of his high school days at running back:
“Why didn’t he score then? It was good. I asked Kyle because I was three minutes off the clock when the ball was at the one.”

On the defensive line:
“Going into the game, obviously the number one goal was to stop the run and I thought we did a nice job at that. Then, we wanted somehow to disrupt the timing of the passing game whether it be to the rush, being aggressive with the coverage, putting pressure on the quarterback, hitting him, knocking balls down, and I thought [defensive end] Stephen [Bowen] batted a couple and [linebacker Brian] Orakpo batted a couple and [nose tackle] Barry [Cofield] was outstanding inside. I thought those guys did exactly what we needed to do to win the game.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s performance against the Saints:
“I thought he played well the whole game… I thought coming out of the game that he did a nice job.”

On safety Madieu Williams’ performance:
“Madieu actually did a good job in all areas. Madieu was kind of running the show because we had a lot of checks and different things based on what they were doing lining up and he had the one bad play and a couple penalties, but he remained aggressive. For his first time playing in the scheme, he did a good job.”

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall approaching Saints quarterback Drew Brees high when going for the sack:
“He was actually reaching for the ball. But Houdini [Brees] was flipping it in his left hand, over his head, throwing it in between his legs. I mean, the guy is hard to get a hold of and is very slippery.”

On Hall’s playing in the slot:
“He did a nice job in all of the areas we asked of him.”
On the progression Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has made this season:
“He’s only played in one regular season game and he didn’t play in the offseason, so it’s hard for me to say.”

On Kerrigan’s confidence level:
”Well, he is just confident in what he is doing. He is playing fast and you can tell he is feeling comfortable. Remember last year when he came in, he got a couple weeks then he got hurt and missed a few weeks, so he didn’t have a lot of work until the opener. But you can tell he is really comfortable with what he is doing.”
 

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