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Skins Quotes 9/20: M. Shanahan/K. Shanahan/Haslett


The Commissioner
Staff member
BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

September 20, 2012
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On wide receiver Pierre Garçon:
“He’s still limited.”

On cornerback Josh Wilson:
“Josh was limited as well.”

On strong safety Brandon Meriweather:
“Meriweather is the same [limited].”

On his concern for Garçon:
“He will just keep working on it. Hopefully, it gets well. He’s going to get as much treatment as he can every day. He’s working extremely hard but it’s still sore. That’s why he’s not taking all the reps.”

On if Garçon’s injury is lasting longer than expected:
“I never know for sure. You just kind of keep your fingers crossed but it’s nagging him a little bit more than I was hoping it would.”

On where Garçon’s injury is located on his foot:
“Right next to the big toe. Right on the ball of the foot.”

On if quarterback Robert Griffin III still makes plays that surprise him:
“It’s kind of fun to watch him every day. You see him improving every day. He’s feeling more comfortable with himself, the defenses. You see the growth going like that obviously in games even though they’re limited you can see. He made a couple plays in that game that a lot of people can’t make. So it’s fun to watch.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance against the Bengals:
“I thought he did a good job. He continues to get better each day in practice this week. I thought he improved in the game also.”

On Griffin III’s improvement from Week 1 to Week 2:
“The game is not too big for him. I think everyone can see that. He plays hard. He’s as competitive as any quarterback I’ve ever been around. He fights on every play and he’s really fun to watch out there.”

On Griffin III playing in the pocket under pressure:
“I thought he did a good job. I thought that last drive – he had to go to a lot more drop-back plays to get himself down there. He got us down there and got us a chance to get in a situation where we had a chance to kick a field goal. I thought he did pretty good.”

On teams trying to be physical with a rookie quarterback:
“I think that happens. If guys get a chance to hit your quarterback – whoever the quarterback is – they’re going to. When a guy has that ball in his hands a little bit more and he’s running a little bit more, they’re going to take some shots. Guys are going to always try to get as good of a shot as they can. It’s a good thing he has the athletic ability to get out of the way most the time. You always hope to not have too many of them [sacks], but that is expected.”

On if he has an ideal number of carries for Griffin III this season:
“I don’t know. This is our first time going through it, too. We’re kind of learning as we go also. You never go into a game planning for him to carry the ball all the time. Usually, when the defense covers everyone else, he has to be a threat and pull it away and go run with it. You hope you’re not calling too many plays where he’s running it versus every single look. You just hope he’s only running it versus premier looks. When you do it that way, he usually has a chance to get some yards before he can go down. He’s not just running power up in there by himself, just butting heads with everybody – usually just trying to race people to the sidelines.”

On the number of hits Griffin III has taken so far:
“I don’t think you count it by numbers. I think quarterbacks take the worst hits usually when they’re in the pocket waiting to throw the ball. I think at least when he’s running with it, he has an idea of where it’s coming from. His eyes are on people. Not all quarterbacks have the ability to get out of the way, but he does. I think he’s done a good job of not taking too many big hits. I think that’s a week-to-week basis. You have to keep him healthy. It’s how he feels and what he can handle. He’s done a great job with it so far.”

On watching film with Griffin III and pointing out receiver he didn’t see:
“We do that on every play. You do that with every quarterback in the league. You always try to point out guys that they missed and how you can help him not miss him the next time and what he was thinking. Every single play – there’s dialogue with it. [You just] always try to get better.”

On if any of Griffin III’s moves surprised him:
“There’s no doubt about it. That move [the spin] I thought was just really good coaching [laughter]. You see him in college and stuff and you never know how he’ll be because the speed is so different. That move that he made on that around, we missed a protection, we didn’t have anyone for him and he was just as smooth as can be with the nice little spin. He got a chance to keep the play alive, where normally, 99 percent of the time, that’s a loss of 11 or sometimes a sack fumble, so I’m pretty amazed when that happens.”

On the tempo of the offense being slowed down by officiating:
“I think I heard something like that on the Monday Night Football or whatever it is. Anytime you have a rhythm going and the game is delayed, whether it’s for a review or a time-out or an injury, it always kills it a little bit. It’s part of the game. It’s not just the refs. It’s everybody. Anytime you’re in a rhythm and you’re going, you want to keep that going.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson’s performance:
“I thought Hank did a great job. He made a big play for us down the field, which I think everybody saw. He had a great game away from the ball. He had some really key blocks on one of Robert’s [Robert Griffin III] runs that he scored on, on both of them actually. We wouldn’t have had it if Hank didn’t make a key block. I think he played an all-around good game - his best game yet.”

On Hankerson’s blocking skills:
“He’s conscientious. He’s got size. He’s not like Niles [Paul] or anything where he’s a trained killer. He’s tough and he’s not going to turn anything down. He’s conscientious. He understands the run game and who his people are and he takes the right angles to guys and gets on people.”

On the difficulty of coaching toughness in blocking to a wide receiver:
“You can’t really coach a guy to be crazy or not. Some of these guys are pretty big guys that you’re going to hit head on. You want guys that aren’t scared. Usually when you’re a receiver, you’re undersized anyway. Most of the guys you’re going to. We’re not asking guys to just kill people; it’s about technique and positioning and getting a hat for a hat, making the guy get to the middle safety and the ball carrier has to make that one guy miss.”

On when he knew running back Alfred Morris could be successful:
“Pretty quickly. We saw it pretty early in training camp. Back in OTAs, we were rotating guys around a lot and he had to do a lot of work at fullback which he didn’t get to see as much because he was so in between all of the positions. Once we got to training camp and we could isolate at halfback and we got him in the rotation, especially when other guys were down and he started getting more and more reps, you could see his natural running skills at practice. We just wanted to see if it could carry over to the game, and from the first preseason game on, it has.”

On Morris’ potential as a running back without great speed:
“I think fast guys, those combine-fast guys, don’t see as many long runs. Game speed is about carrying your pads, pressing blocks, putting your foot violently in the ground and how much you accelerate out of the cut. Al is a guy that once he puts his foot down he actually gains momentum from that. He can put his foot in the ground and accelerate out of it and actually run faster out of the cut than he did going into it. For a lot of those fast guys, it’s like playing on ice sometimes because it takes them a while to stop and then resituate their hips and then they get going again. Al is very similar to Terrell Davis in that way. Terrell wasn’t a fast guy, but he hit that hole and if there was a lane, he hit that crease and he was gone. If a guy was really fast and right behind him, then he’d catch him, but usually he was pressing, making guys overrun the hole and then cutting back. And once you get guys to overrun the hole, they’re not going to catch you.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s height and if it affects his vision in the pocket:
“I don’t think so. It’s very rare that a quarterback sees over everybody. Usually you see through passing lanes. You have to keep the push off quarterbacks, whether you’re tall or not tall it doesn’t really matter. If the push is way up on you, then you’re going to have to be seven foot to see over those guys. I think it’s about finding lanes and windows and getting used to seeing defenses. Knowing where guys are when you can’t see it, just based on rotation, I think he’s getting a lot better at it.”

On Griffin III leaving the pocket during week 2 against the Rams:
“For Robert, especially for all rookie quarterbacks, it’s a work in progress. The good thing with Robert, especially in the drop-back game, is he is improving every day. I’m really excited about him in that aspect because he is very good at it already. There’s so much more room for improvement. He’s willing to do it and he works at it. You can just see it each day try to click for him and I think his upside is huge.”

On if it is important for Griffin III to improve his drop-back passing instead of relying on play action:
“You can’t always do play-pass, especially it’s going to show up on third down and in two minute. There comes a time where you have to drop back and I think it’s easier for everybody with play-pass because it’s more balanced and you don’t have to fight as many zone backers. You’re usually just worrying about the DBs [defensive backs] and not underneath coverage. You can get better pockets when you can get the D-line playing the run, but when it comes to third down and two-minute when they know you have to throw, you have to make your money and drop back. It’s something he’s getting a lot better at.”

On reverse fakes freezing the defense:
“On Hank’s touchdown, I think it was everything. The run action freezes the linebacker, the receiver on the fake around froze the middle third safety, and Hank beat the corner. There’s no one else left. That’s why he was so open.”

On the replacement referees’ impact on players’ technique:
“I don’t really talk about that. I think those guys are figuring it out as it goes. You have to rely on technique on everything. If you get sloppy, whether it’s replacement refs or real refs, you’re going to be in trouble. You have to stick with your technique and you’re not going to get away with stuff. Once you start to cheat and hold it’s going to come back to bite you. Whether they get a call, you get a holding, then you get in a first-and-20 situation. You’re just doing the wrong technique. It hurts our backs. It doesn’t allow you to stretch it and doesn’t allow you to press the box and get downhill. You get stuck in the hole. I think the guys do a pretty good job of that on their own.”

On Griffin III’s throwing an interception instead of taking a sack:
“He was a little bit late with it. Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan did a great job in zone defense reading his eyes and he got there. Robert saw him and he didn’t have enough time to readjust and go to his checkdowns because the pressure was about to get to him. The last case scenario is always an interception. There are a few things you can do before it, but you always get a sack before you throw a pick.”

On Bengals’ defensive tackle Geno Atkins:
“I think they have a bunch of good players. Their ends on the outside are long and they can rush the passer, but Geno has definitely had the most success and he is a very good player.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On last Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams:
“Obviously we didn’t play very well. We gave up too many big plays. In the running game, we gave up a couple big runs which we haven’t done this whole season, more because of missed tackles we didn’t play a couple things right. And then we gave up the big pass, a 50-yard pass, and then we got beat on a double move, a 30-yard pass. So, that was the disappointing thing because we knew that they were going to kind of dink and dunk it, get the ball out their hands fast. They didn’t want to have Sam [Bradford] hold the ball. They were going to run the ball. So, we knew what they were going to kind of do so you didn’t want to get frustrated from that standpoint. But the big plays are what did us in.”

On the challenge of facing the Rams:
“Well, No. 1, you’ve got to stop the run and then you’ve got to put them in situations when they’re third and long and they have to throw the ball. We just didn’t get enough of those. And then when we did, we got them in second-and-long a couple times and third-and-long, we let them off the hook. So, we just had too many big plays so that was really the downfall.”

On what he’s stressing this week:
“We’ve got to work on your technique which is vital in this situation. Obviously you’ve got to be able to tackle. But more than anything we’ve got to work on our technique in the back end, the double move. If you get beat on the double move, you’ve got double coverage on a guy. Stuff like that shouldn’t happen. It happened a week before against New Orleans, which we played pretty well but we did give up that big play on a double move again.”

On the challenge he faces losing defensive end Adam Carriker and linebacker Brian Orakpo to injury:
“It is a challenge. It’s a challenge for everybody. But we’ve got great confidence in [defensive end] Jarvis [Jenkins]. It’s good to see [defensive line Chris] Baker’s healthy now, so he’ll get an opportunity to play and see what he can do. Obviously, Rak’s going to be hard to replace because he’s a great player, three-time Pro-Bowler. But I feel good between [linebackers] Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson and Markus White, the three of them. We’ll work all three of them. They can make it up. Maybe they won’t play at Rak’s level but they can be efficient in certain areas. We’ll have to do some different things in those situations to help with the pass rush.”

On how he works on improving tackling in practice:
“We do it. We do it every day. Like we’ll do it today and we’ll have the pads on. We’ll do it sometimes with the thigh pads. It’s kind of a fine line in this business in tackling because you don’t want to get anybody hurt. You don’t go live tackling. That’s kind of throughout the league right now. But we had no missed tackles the first game against the Saints. We were outstanding and did a great job. We just had the first play of the game last week, we missed a tackle but we made a nice play. [Linebacker] Perry [Riley] stripped the ball. Josh [Wilson] picked it up and ran for a touchdown. So, we just had too many last week for whatever reason.”

On the growth he’s seen in Jarvis Jenkins:
“We actually just used him more on nickel stuff and then we kind of put him in a little bit on Okie. We were trying to limit the reps between the five starters where they would be fresh throughout the year. Now with the two injuries, obviously the reps will go up more for [nose tackle] Barry [Cofield] playing some nickel. It will go up for obviously Jarvis, because Jarvis was at 24-25 plays. It will go up extremely high for Jarvis. And [defensive end] Kedric [Golston] will still be in the same role. We’ll get [Chris] Baker involved also.”

On how he’s making up for the starters he lost:
“Well, I hope everybody steps up their game and does make up. That’s part of it when you lose somebody, you like to have everybody step up. I thought [defensive end] Stephen Bowen’s played two excellent games. I thought he was outstanding last week and I expect him to step up and be better. And Jarvis, the same thing. We’ve still got Barry... Between the three of those guys we’ll see how that works out.”

On what the defense will miss from injured linebacker Brian Orakpo:
“He does everything well. Even when he played last week, he played 15 plays and got four tackles, a sack and a pressure. He is playing with one arm because he hurt it the first play he was out there he had a sack with one arm. So, he is a heck of a football player. He had great offseason and we were excited about seeing him and Ryan [Kerrigan] together. But, that is kind of the way the league works, when you get an injury you have to move on. I feel good about the guys we have going in. We can use them right and do some things different, but that is kind of the league.”

On what adjustments were made during the second half to force three-and-outs:
“After about the middle of the third quarter, guys got in a groove and started playing well. The fourth quarter was outstanding; we were kind of hoping we went into overtime because the way we were playing in that last quarter in a half, we thought we had a good opportunity to win the game but it never got to that because we got too far behind. But we put Chris [Wilson] in and Rob Jackson and they kind of rotated in the other day. I thought Jarvis [Jenkins] played really well in the game. For a guy who hasn’t played much Okie, I put him in the game and he played really well.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:
“Ryan is really good. Besides a good pass rusher, he is a good cover guy. He is good on the run versus tight ends and he has got the whole package. He is a good football player.”

On Kerrigan stepping up after Orakpo’s injury:
”Well, I would like to have him step up. When you lose one of your edge rushers, the other guy can step up and get in that double-digit sacks and get a little bit more pressure and we’ll try to do some different things with him.”

On moving Kerrigan around:
“Well, it depends on the other guys on the other side more than Ryan and we are going to have to wait and see how that plays out as we go.”

On if he marvels at what linebacker London Fletcher is able to do at age 37:
“He still has his legs and he can run. He is extremely smart and a student of the game. He is a great leader. To do it his age, to have the passion that he has… Obviously he loves football, he wouldn’t be doing it if he doesn’t. He doesn’t really need to do it, he does it cause he loves the game and that’s why you love to have a guy like that on your football team. He is playing for one thing – he loves the game.”

On if he noticed a difference in the success the defense had covering when they were in man or zone:
“Well, we played better in man than we did zone last week. The week before, we played better in man too. They got the long 50-yarder on us with [Danny] Amendola, we were in a pure three-deep zone and he got behind the two linebackers. Before that, he caught like 14 balls for two, zero, one, eight, seven, three, two… And then we had a zone and he got behind us on the zone. The linebackers took the play fake and didn’t get enough depth on it.”

On what he uses to determine whether to call man or zone coverages:
“Just when you look at the receivers, what kind of protection they have. What kind of quarterback you’re playing. A lot of things go into it. Can we get there? Whether they protect and how they protect it.”

On what he thinks of cornerback Richard Crawford’s performance:
“I think he played a couple of plays right? I thought he did a good job on that one option route I think Amendola caught for about two yards. They were throwing the guy those little whips and options which are like a running play to us, but I think he did OK. I can’t remember anything negative.”

On if he expected the defense to get more pressure:
“Well, again like I said, we knew what the game plan was. It was to run and throw quick so you’re not going to get pressure when the ball is coming out in one- and one-and-a-half seconds you’re not going to get much pressure, so we were hoping to get more third-and-7 situations where we can let the pass rush go, but we didn’t get enough of those.”

On if it is harder to play a lot of man coverage when you have eight guys in the box:
“If you do, you just got to leave the corners out there one-on-one with the receivers so you have to pick and choose when you want to do that.”

On if he is hopeful to get defensive backs Brandon Meriweather and Josh Wilson back:
“It would be great if we could get everybody back but we will see how that goes.”

On the Bengals’ offense:
“It’s a really good, talented offense. [Offensive coordinator] Jay Gruden does a good job. You got two really good running backs. The quarterback is outstanding. You’ve got a good tight end. They have a bunch of receivers and a big, massive offensive line. They move the ball well. We’ve got another challenge. It’s a heck of an offense they have together and Jay does a good job of scheming everybody up.”


The Team Captain
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Aug 3, 2009
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Falls Church, VA

Michigan State

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance against the Bengals:
“I thought he did a good job. He continues to get better each day in practice this week. I thought he improved in the game also.”

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