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Skins Quotes 9/2: M. Shanahan


The Commissioner
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC
Military Branch
Marine Corps
Alma Mater
September 2, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On team captains:
“First off, offensive captains and defensive captains were voted on today and special teams captain for the game. Offensive captains are [quarterback] Robert Griffin and [left tackle] Trent Williams; defensive captains are [linebacker] London Fletcher and [nose tackle] Barry Cofield; and our special team captain for the game on Monday night will be [safety] Reed Doughty.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“I did have a conversation with Dr. [James] Andrews on Sunday, we had a conference call, and in that conference call it was Dr. Andrews, Robert, [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Bruce Allen, our trainer [Larry Hess]. The only guys that weren’t there that were with me with Dr. Andrews when we played Tampa was Dr. [Chris] Annunziata and Dr. [Anthony] Casolaro. We had a good conversation. Dr. Andrews went over a couple of his concerns and we talked about different things he talked to me about in Tampa. I feel very good where Robert’s at, and he’ll be our starter on Monday night unless there’s some crazy setback that we don’t anticipate.”

On if he can say specifically what Dr. James Andrews’ concerns were for Griffin III’s knee:
“No, I can’t. If he would like to share that, that’s up to him. But I talked to him, just like I told you after the game, there’s a couple of concerns – that’s why we sat down and talked about it as a group, making sure we’re all on the same page. And we’re all on the same page and we’re excited to get going.”

On if Dr. Andrews’ concerns had to do with Griffin III’s health:
“He’s ready to go, full speed ahead.”

On reports that Dr. Andrews did not have any concerns:
“I don’t know where you got that information from because that’s not what he shared with Robert, that’s not what he shared with me or Dr. Annunziata, Dr. Casolaro or with Robert when we had the conference call.”

On if he would clear Griffin III if a doctor still has concerns:
“You have to know what his concerns were, but I don’t share those conversations and so we’ll have to go from there. You’ll have to trust us that the doctor feels good about it regardless of what those concerns were. I needed to share them with Robert and I’m trying to be honest with you, but we have these conversations that I don’t share – there’s certain conversations that stay between a doctor and a player, or a coach and a player and this is one of those conversations.”

On if he has had concerns throughout the Griffin III’s recovery process:
“We had a game plan for Robert and we were hoping with this game plan that we could get him ready for the first game and there wouldn’t be any swelling, there wouldn’t be any setback and so far, so good. He’s gotten a lot of great reps in practice, he’ll be ready to play Monday night, there hasn’t been any setbacks, there’s been no swelling, there’s – to my knowledge – no soreness that he’s had in that knee area. So I feel very good where he is at and hopefully we’ll keep our fingers crossed and everything goes great.”

On if he would allow a doctor to tell him how to use a player:
“First of all, he never said that and he surely never said that to me… I don’t think a doctor would ever say anything like that if he cleared somebody to play. I’m not sure a doctor would ever say anything that has to do with the strategy of football.”

On the thought process behind keeping four quarterbacks:
“Like I said all along, we’re trying to keep the top 53 players and I thought [quarterback] Pat [White] was one of the top 53 players. I like what he’s done – especially being away from the game for a number of years. I thought he really handled himself well and we felt like he was one of our top 53 and that’s why he’s with us.”

On if he was amazed that Griffin III is expected to start Week 1 almost eight months after the injury:
“You’re always hoping that when somebody has surgery it goes well and then the surgery went well. Then you’re always hoping the rehab goes well and that went as good as it could possibly have gone, but you never know when you start practicing – sometimes there’s swelling, sometimes there’s setbacks. There haven’t been any setbacks since we’ve started, you know that’s a great sign, and hopefully he can keep on getting stronger. But I like what I see and hopefully it works out.”

On if keeping four quarterbacks is related to Griffin III and Kirk Cousins coming off of injuries and how long having four quarterbacks on the roster is sustainable:
“We’re going to do what we feel gives us the best chance to win. When you evaluate your football team, I think what a lot of people really don’t understand is how many people get to dress out on game day, how many people actually dress for the game and play, how many people are helping you during the week. And normally it’s 21 on offense, 21 on defense, you’ll have three specialists and there’s a wildcard in there somewhere with specialists sometimes and maybe an offensive player or a defensive player or just a guy that returns, but usually that’s the parameters with game day. So there’s always going to be seven guys that don’t dress, but you want to be as deep as possible with your football team and that’s why I keep on saying the top 53 players and that’s who you try to go after.”

On if he’ll have to balance what he wants to do strategically with Griffin III against any risk of re-injury: “Well, you’re going to have to come to the game, you’re going to have to decide yourself what we’re doing. You’re always trying to take a look at what’s in the best interest of your football team, obviously the health of your football team as well. But if we didn’t feel like Robert was full-go and he wasn’t ready to play and do all the things that you ask a guy to do, then he would not be playing in this game. We believe he can do everything that a quarterback is asked to do and if that’s sprinting out, if it’s running the option, if it’s dropping back, we think he can do all those things because he’s proved it to us in practice, and there hasn’t been a setback so that’s been a great sign.”

On status of safety Brandon Meriweather:
“I really don’t know. He was a little sore today. His groin was still a little bit tight. He did not practice today, and I’ll tell you more throughout the week.”

On the status of nose tackle Barry Cofield and how he is adjusting:
“He practiced today… He looks horrible [laughter]. No, he’s doing good. It’s Monday. It’s still early.”
On concerns over having a rookie start in the secondary Week 1:
“I think everybody’s concern is inexperience. Especially in a Monday night game, you’re hoping that he can handle the pressure and can concentrate on his job. Actually that’s a little concern coaches have - a young guy, can he still do the same things that he does during the week or during preseason games, play with that type of mindset and focus on his job?”

On if running back Chris Thompson will return punts:
“Chris is definitely a top candidate, as well as [wide receiver] Santana [Moss] and [wide receiver] Josh Morgan. Those are our three candidates going into the game.”

On if there is a future with the Redskins for wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe:
“There’s always a lot of different possibilities that you do have. When you do settle with somebody, that does give them the chance to come back. If you put somebody on IR, they’re gone for the season.”

On if he applies lessons learned from the development of mobile quarterbacks Steve Young and John Elway with Griffin III:
“That’s what you do as a coach. You try to take a look at what somebody does and does well and incorporate that in your system, whatever you’re doing. If it’s Steve Young or John Elway, you’re talking about two Hall of Fame players. You take a look at them. At least when I came in my first year with Steve, Steve had been in the NFL for a long time. He was pretty proficient at everything. He could obviously run the football, but he was very good, when I got him, relative to going through progressions as well. John had a little bit different of a supporting cast. He made a lot of plays on his own - a lot of scrambling, had a good feel of when it was man coverage, zone coverage. So each guy, a lot has to do with the supporting cast, what type of system that you’re running, but you’re trying to get a guy in a system that tries to utilize his top talents.”

On quarterback Pat White’s ability to represent Eagles quarterback Michael Vick in practice:
“He’s going to give us a great look. He’s amazing at what he can do with the zone read. He’s been out for a while and for him to execute like he did, as quick as he did, tells me a lot about Pat. He’ll give us a great look this week.”

On cornerback Jerome Murphy and safety Jose Gumbs earning spots on the 53-man roster:
“That was pretty easy. Murphy is one heck of a special teams player. When he has played the corner position, he’s played it well. He’s got speed, he’s got size and he’s been dominating on special teams. And Gumbs came in and competed. That’s what we tell these players. We don’t care if you’re a first-round draft choice or a free agent, we’re going to play the best players. And Gumbs came in and played well and he earned himself a roster spot.”

On the decision to keep only three offensive tackles:
“We feel good about Tom [Compton] playing left and right. And then we’ve got the ability with [guard Adam] Gettis and [guard Josh] LeRibeus to swap guys in there. So we feel good about our depth, feel good about our practice squad as well. But when you make those decisions, like I say, you trying to make decisions based on what you think gives the best chance for the team to be successful. We went with eight this year, and we do have a lot of confidence in our backups.”

On if the difference in having a bull’s-eye on the team’s back after last season:
“You better have the bull’s-eye on your back someday. Hopefully when you win the NFC East you should have a bull’s-eye on your back, but any time you go in with six new starters on offense, there is a reason why you have the bull’s-eye, you’ve got to go out and prove yourself. I thought our guys really handled the pressure well. They played their best football in the second half of the season. We lost a guy like [wide receiver] Pierre Garçon early, [tight end] Fred Davis early; guys still had the fortitude to fight through it, as well as some guys on defense. So that talks about character again like we’ve talked about a few times, and hopefully we can play our best football because we’ve got a very, very tough schedule, and you enjoy that because you are going to be up for each game.”

On releasing safety DeJon Gomes and if releasing players that have contributed in the past is more difficult:
“What you’d like to do is evaluate everybody and it’s not just based on this year sometimes, it’s last year. I thought D.J. started playing some of his best football the last couple of weeks. If he would have played like that since he’s been here, he would have been on the football team, and that’s why he was picked up by Detroit.”

On how to simulate the Philadelphia Eagles’ tempo and offense without having regular season film:
“We have film. We go back to college and we break that down, and take a look at their tempo off of the TV film. So, we see how they do things, how their tempo is and we try to simulate that in practice. It’s really not the same but you try to get as close to it as you can and hopefully get them ready.”

On if waiting until today to name Griffin III starter was about trying to gain a competitive advantage:
“I think I’ve told you from day one that Robert was going to be our starter unless there was a setback. I’ve told you that for the last month, so I don’t know why it’s a surprise that Robert is our starter. All I said is I talked to Dr. Andrews, who gave him a physical, and there was a couple of concerns, and I shared that with Robert when he was in my office and I also told you that after the game. So I don’t think there is any big surprise that Robert is a starter, but I still say if something happens this week and there is a setback, there’s always something that could happen.”

On if there is an advantage to playing team with new schemes in Week 1 as opposed to in the middle of the season:
“Yeah, I think sometimes there are advantages and sometimes there are disadvantages. Just like was mentioned last year when we opened up against New Orleans, New Orleans wasn’t really sure what we were going to do. I think we had a competitive advantage there. There were rumors, there was speculation, but they couldn’t see anything on film, so I think the element of surprise is an advantage.”

On what it says that the practice squad is made up of players that were on the team in training camp:
“I think once you get a little depth on your football team and you go through the draft, you are hoping that a lot of these draft choices can make your team. The better you get, the less likely that is to happen because there is a lot of competition, and that’s what I like right now. We lost five guys already on IR and we’ve still got some great competition. We lost two to suspension, a few more to IR, guys that would have been on our 46-man roster. And to still be able to have some depth, we’ve made some great strides in that area, but it also cost us in the money area. One of the reasons why we had to re-structure [nose tackle] Barry Cofield’s contract is, you know, we lost a few guys that we weren’t counting on.”

On status of suspended safety Tanard Jackson:
“I haven’t heard a word. I have not heard one word.”
I would assume he's saying he hasn't heard anything from the league. I get the feeling the team may move on from Jackson. You can only give a guy so many chances.
the one n' only Boone said:
On status of safety Brandon Meriweather:
“I really don’t know. He was a little sore today. His groin was still a little bit tight. He did not practice today, and I’ll tell you more throughout the week.”

This stinks, is health for this guy even possible?
Groin is better than the knee, I guess.
Shanahan could have avoided all the questions if the organization was on the same freking page for once. I know the media is obsessed with Griffin's knee, but he didn't do himself any favors. He says after the game that there are concerns, that he will share them with the media on Monday after he talks to Griffin. Then Andrews comes out and says there are no concerns. Then Shanahan says were concerns, but now he won't share them.
This stinks, is health for this guy even possible?
Groin is better than the knee, I guess.

groin can be a lingering/nagging issue can't it?

those 2 quarters were promising, but... at some point it's time to move on...
This stinks, is health for this guy even possible?
Groin is better than the knee, I guess.

groin can be a lingering/nagging issue can't it?

those 2 quarters were promising, but... at some point it's time to move on...

Attempting with all my might, to look at this in a positive light, so I am going to hopefully assume that he was "sore" and "tight" simply from seeing his first "real football action" in almost a year, and not from any actual injury.

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