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Skins Quotes 9/24: M. Shanahan

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Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


September 24, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan


On tackle Trent Williams:
“The MRI was negative. He’s still a little bit sore right now, so it’ll be a day-by-day evaluation.”

On if Williams has a bone bruise:
“That’s what it is.”

On tackle Jordan Black:
“I thought Jordan did a pretty good job. Like all guys coming in, you’re a little bit rusty. I liked his quickness. He played hard. I thought he did a fine job coming in and doing the things that we were hoping he would do.”

On Black transitioning back to the league after not playing since 2010:
“He came in a little underweight. I think he was 270 [pounds]. I think he came in thinking he would come back and play in the National Football League. We brought him in and had a chance to see what he could do relative to his quickness, his blocking in the run and blocking in the pass. We thought he did a good job. It didn’t take him long where he gained 15-20 pounds. He’s a big plus for us.”

On cornerback Cedric Griffin, running back Evan Royster and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson:
“Right now with Cedric Griffin, it’s a hamstring. That’s always day-by-day. With Royster, it’s a little strained patella tendon. We’ll see how that is day-by-day. Hankerson is fine.”

On running back Roy Helu, Jr.:
“He’s got the same problem that he’s had – a little bit of turf toe.”

On clock management at the end of the third quarter:
“That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does happen, you have to make a decision. Is it worth the timeout? Anytime you get the ball in that red zone or close to it, looking at down and distance, that’s where I’m looking at the clock all the time. Sometimes, the play will get in late. It’ll be the long formation will come up – combination of a lot of those things. I use those timeouts from the sidelines. I call them all the time.”

On the ball being improperly spotted by five yards at the end of the game:
“I actually told you that after the game. That happened and I knew it happened. That was one of the reasons for all the ruckus there at the end of the game. They had most of their football team on the field.”

On if cornerback Josh Wilson was down after his fumble recovery:
“Those are things that always disappoint you. I’m not going into detail on that. Instead of getting a touchdown, all of a sudden you have a turnover. That’s part of the game. Sometimes it goes your way and other times it doesn’t.”

On if Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan will face league discipline:
“I think we’ll let the powers that be take a look at what transpired on both sides and let them make the decision.”

On Kyle Shanahan addressing the media beyond a written statement:
“I read a little bit about it today. At least from my perspective, if all of a sudden Kyle, or any coordinator, hasn’t talked after the game for two or three years and they talk on a Thursday… It’s like last week, you guys wanted to talk to [Special Teams Coordinator] Danny [Smith], you wanted to talk to [Defensive Coordinator] Jim [Haslett]. I said, 'Hey, I understand special teams didn’t have a great day or our defense didn’t have a great day, but you’ll have to wait until Thursday.’ That’s what we do. That’s our protocol. We could change that every week relative to things like that. We have a process that we work through and that’s our process.”

On the possibility of changing the process:
“I don’t think so. If you want to ask a question, you can ask me. Kyle has already sent out a statement this morning – just like I would have. He wanted to talk to you guys and I said, 'We’re going to keep the same process going.’”

On if he was disappointed in the way Kyle Shanahan handled the situation:
“Well, he thought the game was over. I think he shared that with you. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on it. I tried to explain to you that the official told me that the game was over. We knew the game shouldn’t be over. They had half their football team on the field. What I was trying to do was get a personal foul talking to the official because he had told me the game was over. The game is not over. I think we should have a 15-yard penalty. That wasn’t the difference in winning and losing the game. Those things do occur. You would like that cooler heads prevail. That’s what I expect.”

On applying the 'keep your cool’ to coaches:
“Like I said, I don’t know if I was very cool in the situation. When somebody tells me the game is over and to go in and I know that we have a play, I’m not sure that I was very cool in that situation. I was very, very strong with my words to the official letting him know that it wasn’t the end of the game. Now, is that cooler heads prevail, or is he [Kyle] trying to get one more play in and explain what the rules are in the National Football League? You guys can evaluate that and come up with your opinions, but I was very upset at that time as well. I don’t expect anybody to go out to the middle of the field, but when their staff was there and it looked like they were leaving, at least that was my understanding, I wanted them to come back very quickly and at least give us one more shot.”

On tight end Niles Paul almost recovering the onside kick:
“When I looked at it when it occurred, I thought it could go either way. When you take a look at it at the angle we had, it looked like he did touch it just before it hit the line. Unless you had that camera right on that line, it was really hard to tell.”

On if he wishes he could have challenged that play:
“You’d always take a chance like that. That’s the difference in winning and losing the game. Anytime it’s that close, you would always like to take a chance – unless you have a great angle. Usually, if you don’t have a great angle, it’s not going to be overturned anyhow. “

On if he scouts film all the way back to college:
“We do. We go back. In fact, I just got a tape on the Wildcat, I think 50 plays of Rutgers going against the Wildcat and some things they adjusted to. You go back years and years and you take a look at all the different scenarios. They did a good job.”

On the process of making the decision to challenge a play:
”What you have is you’ve got a couple people checking on the replays upstairs, and I’ve got my flag. And, obviously I get a chance to see it, but normally they get a chance to see it a little better than I do. So I’m ready there until the last second, and they usually tell me if we should throw the flag or not. And, right after I threw the flag, that’s when they said, 'Oh my God, we just saw another [angle].’ So that’s when you know that you’re not going to get it; then it came up on the scoreboard about 15, 20 seconds later. But you don’t have the luxury to wait for all those camera angles, but we’ve got people upstairs that look at it, and we kind of wait until the last second, and that it was a little bit too late.”

On defenders needing to be aware of players who can throw out of the Wildcat formation:
“Well, we work on the Wildcat all of the time. Normally, the Wildcat – normally the people that run it – aren’t very good at throwing the football. And if they can throw the football it gives you, obviously, a little bit of an advantage. I think we went through that enough with [the] Denver [Broncos] last year, the advantages of a guy being able to throw the football from the Wildcat formation. But not too many guys that haven’t thrown the football in the past can throw a ball that well and right on the money. Good play, good catch, good throw.”

On if injured wide receiver Pierre Garçon could practice fully this week:
“I really don’t know. You know, he’s getting treatment every day. I’m hoping when he gets on the practice field on Wednesday he’s feeling a lot better and, hopefully, ready to play. But I can’t tell you at this time.”

On the play of outside linebackers Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson and Markus White in place of the injured Brian Orakpo:
“I thought it was good. I thought it was good. Rob [Jackson] made, like you mentioned, a great play there in the end zone, and a good interception, and I thought Chris [Wilson] played well. Rob really competed – we kept him fresh. Markus [White] came in the nickel situations and got some playing time in there. Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job.”

On how impressed he was by quarterback Robert Griffin III’s last two drives of the game:
“I was impressed. I was impressed with the way that he handled himself throughout the game, especially in the second half. You know he is a competitor; you know he’s going to make some plays and give you everything he’s got. You know that he’s into the game for 60 minutes. He wants to play well. You know, he’s so competitive that he believes the sky is the limit, which, usually, the great ones do.”

On how well-prepared the Bengals’ defense was and making offensive adjustments moving forward:
“What you do is you take a look at the scenario that we had in the first half. What you try to do is keep yourself out of third-and-long situations. If you’re in third-and-long too many times, usually good things aren’t going to happen. We’ve talked about that before. You know, you can’t get off-schedule. We were off-schedule – we were 1-for-6 with third downs; most of those third downs were long-yardage situations. If you do that, you can’t move the ball. And, I think the first couple drives of the third quarter, it was just the opposite. I think we had one third-and-5 and one third-and-7; we didn’t make mistakes, we managed the clock, we managed the down-and-distance and we were able to continue those drives. The third, fourth and fifth series in the second half, we did just the opposite. We put ourselves behind the eight-ball a little bit and got in those third-and-longs, and then we decided not to go for it in that one fourth-and-1. But, yeah, that’s usually what dictates having a successful offense for a half or an unsuccessful offense is not putting yourself in those long-yardage situations on third downs, especially for a young quarterback.”

On the number of hits quarterback Robert Griffin III is taking each game:
“I think we talked about this, too: you never want to play catch-up in the National Football League – I mean, if you can help it. You don’t want to put yourself in third-and-long situations – if you do, your quarterback’s going to have a number of sacks. That takes some time, those third downs, by young quarterbacks. I believe we had six sacks in the game. Same thing: you want to manage those third-down situations. You keep on putting yourself in third-and-long, you’re going to have some shots, because your quarterback is going to concentrate down field, and he’s going to take some pretty good shots. Relative to the other things, what you’re trying to do is keep yourself – or at least the defense – off-balance a little bit, and we’ll do what we think gives us the best chance to win. But no, you don’t want a quarterback taking as many shots as he did yesterday – that’s for sure.”

On the formula for a successful rookie quarterback being a strong running game and great defense:
“I told you the quarterbacks that have eight wins or more, I went into detail explaining how hard it is for a young quarterback to have success in the National Football League. That’s what I was talking about that the teams – that the five quarterbacks – that have had eight wins or more over the last 45 years, all five of those teams are in the top five in rushing offense, which we are. I said three out of the five were in the top two in total defense. So I said they go hand in hand. You don’t want to put too much pressure on that quarterback. If you do, then he’s vulnerable to some of those shots that we just talked about. You’re going to put him in situations that he’s not ready for. But the thing I loved about Robert [Griffin III] – he’s not afraid of anything. He wants to go out there and compete. You tell him to pitch the ball, hand the ball off and don’t take it up the field. Pitch it to the tailback. He’s going to compete. He’s going to do what he needs to do to win. And that’s what you like in a competitor. But as mentioned, you don’t want to put a quarterback through that situation too many times.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson playing more snaps than any other receiver:
“Number one, obviously, Pierre [Garçon] is down, and he [Hankerson] has played well enough to earn himself a starting position. He played extremely well in that game, took advantage of his opportunities. I thought he did a great job. The one that he went down the middle that Robert [Griffin III] gave him a chance to get to, he took a proper angle, I think he would have caught that ball if he didn’t run into the safety.”

On the defense:
“Overall, as I told our football team today, there’s some good things that happened during that game. We’ve got to play much better as a secondary. Our secondary has got to be much better than we played Sunday.”

On what specifically needs to improve in the secondary:
“There’s a lot of things, but I share that with the team. I don’t go through that [with the media]… For obvious reasons, that’s an area of concern. You ask me why we give up that many points, that many yards, and you’ve got to get into specific areas. I told our football team we’ve got to be better as a group and we’re going to work on that this week and hopefully improve.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan playing without Brian Orakpo on the opposite side:
“He played very well, both the run and the pass. He got some pressure. He knew his gap responsibility. Anytime you hold to 3.3 yards per rushing attempt, usually you’re doing some good things. At least you’re putting a team in a one-dimensional game. I thought we did get a little pressure on them at times, but we have to play better as a group overall in the secondary for us to accomplish our goals.”

On giving up touchdowns in Cover 0 looks:
“There’s only one play, one time it occurred the whole game, and that was a quick out on a six-yard rollout to the sideline and we just missed the tackle. And so, schematically, it was what they call a quick out and Josh [Wilson] stumbled on it. His toe got caught in the turf and what normally would be an eight-, nine-yard gain turned into a touchdown and that’s all it takes. But if he didn’t throw it out right away, it would have been a sack or a fumble. That’s what you do to keep an offense off-balance. You’ve got to have different things and you never know when it’s going to be the perfect call. But regardless of what the call is – if it’s two-deep, three-deep, all-out blitz… The other one I think you’re referring to is a two-deep blitz that was thrown a little bit inside for about a 15-yard gain. It wasn’t a blitz, it was a fake blitz. But those are the things you have to work through and you’ve got to make sure you’re coordinated and put some pressure on that offense.”

On if the thinks there is a good chance safety Brandon Meriweather will return this week:
“You know, I really don’t know. He did take a lot of reps last week with the scout team, so you know he’s close. To say he’s going to be ready this week, I can’t tell you until we see him in live situations.”

On the role of the players’ comfort level with certain schemes:
“You’re always trying to take a look at what your players do best, and at the same time, you want to keep an offense off-balance. I had a guy like Champ Bailey. He wanted to run zero blitz every play. He wanted an opportunity to make a play. But the thing you’ve got to make sure of is you’ve got to put some pressure on that quarterback. The zero blitz is not very good unless you can put pressure on that quarterback and a guy is free. So, a lot depends on the confidence of your corners. A lot depends on how well you disguise things to keep an offense off-balance. We know what bothers a team like us, keeps us off-balance, and we’ll continue to do that to different offenses, hopefully, over the years to come.”
 

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