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Skins Quotes 9/26: Shanahan/Schiano/RG3/Barber

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Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


September 26, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On running back Roy Helu Jr.’s turf toe:
“He has been fighting through a lot of pain. He has gotten shots every game and he said this felt much worse than the one he had last year. Last year, as I just told you, took about three months and he aggravated it again. Usually what’s best for the player is normally best for us as well. We felt, in his best interest, he needs to get that thing healed up so hopefully it will quit nagging him and we will see over time.”

On if Helu’s injury was a result of running without his shoe:
“He thinks he hurt it after he did take that run. I don’t know if that was it because he has been getting shots and it has been quite sore, but I do think that pushed it over the edge.”

On if Helu would have been eligible for the short-term injured reserve list:
“It could have been potentially. But, he said the last one took about three months and this one, he felt was worse. But anything longer than eight weeks, you have a chance.”

On why he chose to sign running back Ryan Grant:
“We have a pecking order of different guys we like on our list if somebody goes down at every position. He was available so we felt very fortunate to get him.”

On if the Redskins contacted former running back Tim Hightower:
“We did talk to Tim but my understanding was that Tim was going to go in for a [knee] scope. He re-injured it in his rehab and it was a little sore but he was the first guy we talked to but obviously that wasn’t going to work out.”

On the possibility of having the locked-out NFL officials back for Week 4:
“It would be nice to have them back.”

On what he likes about Grant:
“You could see when he was at Green Bay, you could see his running style. I think he fits with what we do. He is big and fast and he has some experience. He is a very sharp kid who picks things up very quickly. At this time of the year, you need guys who have a little bit of experience. Mentally, they are pretty sharp. They have been around football organizations similar to ours relative to the running game. I think he is a guy in a couple weeks’ time probably could learn the system fairly quickly and help us.”

On how much stock he puts in running backs’ ability to run a zone scheme:
“Well, the first thing we are looking for is the best player. Some guys have different attributes relative to what you look for. Some are better blockers. Some are a little bit more elusive, other guys got more speed, but we try to take a look at a guy and see if he fits into our system and can he do it all or is it just one phase. We looked at Ryan and we thought he could a do a little bit everything. He is a pretty good sized kid where he could block and he has speed. He is a pretty intelligent kid who picks things up very quickly.”

On Grant’s pass catching ability:
“I didn’t see as much catching ability on film but we will get a chance to evaluate that in the next couple weeks.”

On his confidence level with signing a player without a workout:
“Well, sometimes you get some information when he does workout for other teams when you’ve got people that you know. He was a guy that did work out for another football team. It’s a guy we needed to come in right away because he was our top guy. We had probably about 12 or 13 on the list, and when you take a look at which guys were in training camp, which guys had a pretty good workout in comparison to other players, you get that information. So we were kind of on top of that.”

On when running back Alfred Morris will become an every-down back:
“Well, he is an every-down back right now. We will kind of go with our gut. We don’t want to overplay him but play him enough where he will carry the majority of the plays unless he gets tired. But, as you saw evident in that game, he looked very good as well. We’ve got some backs that have a little bit of experience and I look at them as guys who can really help us win and play at a high level.”

On what advantages former Tampa Bay head coach and current Redskins defensive back coach Raheem Morris gives his team this week:
“Well, I think its more personnel, because you don’t know any tendencies because obviously he hasn’t been there with the staff. But he knows the personnel inside and out so it always helps to get some inside information on what the strengths and weaknesses of some guys are.”

On Griffin III taking hits because he carries out the fakes well:
“It’s really pretty easy; I mean it’s not hard. But he is such a competitor; he will deal with what he is used to dealing with. We didn’t do it during preseason. We haven’t done it a lot this year, but every game will be a learning experience for him, both in the drop-back and even running the option. If you’re going to carry out your options at this level, they are going to smack you pretty good. There are probably seven or eight hits in that game that he didn’t have to take at all. And he is going to get better and better at that. One thing we want to make sure is he stays healthy and we want to limit obviously the hits. But that is one thing about the option; you have a chance really not to take a lot of hits. And we looked at that film, and went through it, and we will see how that goes, especially out the shotgun. If you’re under the center it’s pretty tough. If you go back to the collegiate level, if you are a wishbone or a veer quarterback, you know you are going to get killed most of the time. If you are in the shotgun, you have a chance to do things to protect yourself a little bit more. But he is such a competitor, he wants that ball and he wants to make plays. You are going to have to learn how to slide a little bit and learn how to run out of bounds at the right time, but that is the problem you want. A lot of guys, that’s all they do. They take a dive and want to run out of bounds and it’s hard to change that.”

On how to change Griffin III’s mindset on option reads:
“When you ride the ball into the line and if the guy is going to tackle him, he is going to tackle him. If he tackles him, then you pull it out. If he doesn’t tackle him, you give it to him. What you don’t do is extend the fake. When you’re in college, you extend that fake and sometimes you pull the team. But, in the National Football League, if those defensive ends or outside linebackers give you a smack right in the face, it’s not worth it. And they are going to try to give him a smack anyhow and when he does that, he’ll get a 15-yard penalty. That is just different things we show on film. That is just different things that you do to stay healthy and kind of entice somebody into giving you a shot.”

On if he discusses the potential hits with referees before the game:
“Well, they know it. It’s kind of like when you run quarterback keeps when you fake a handoff. If you’re going to fake a bootleg, and you look like you have the ball, they have the ability on the backside to do what? Kill you. And they will take advantage of that opportunity. So when we are teaching quarterback keeps and the bootleg, it is the same thing as teaching the option. He will learn game-by-game and he will be very good at it because he is extremely bright and he is very competitive, but he knows he has to put the team first and the best way for us to win is to keep him healthy.”

On the advantages and disadvantages of the quarterback rolling out:
“Well, sometimes it’s advantageous to roll out, other times it’s more advantageous to stay in the pocket. Most of the time you’d rather step into the pocket than roll out for big plays for the quarterback. He has a pretty good feel for that. It was a couple times that he stepped up in those two-minute drives, had a couple of nice plays, and had a time or two when he did roll out and make some plays. So that is his athletic ability and kind of his gut feel for the pocket.”

On if there is anything different he is doing with the secondary:
“It’s more of a sense of urgency for everybody. When you are not getting something done as a unit, everybody picks up their game and that is what we challenged our secondary to do. We had a great practice today. Everybody has got to make sure they have their responsibility down. No missed assignments, and you play to the best of your ability and that is what we are working on.”

On offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan getting fined $25,000 by the NFL:
“Anytime you do what he did, you’re going to get fined. And that is the nature of the game. If you don’t abide by the rules you are going to pay a penalty, and usually after a guy pays 25 grand, they usually learn very quickly.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On how he felt on Monday after the hits he took against the Cincinnati Bengals:
“My body actually feels better this week than it did after the Rams game. This past game was more physical. I agree with everybody on that but for some reason, I just feel better this week. Doesn’t mean I feel great, but I feel a lot better than I did last week.”

On what he can do to help minimize hits:
“On some of the option plays, just make it more clear to the refs or whatever refs we have that I don’t have the ball because then they can’t hit me. But I guess if I don’t come out with my hands up, then they think I have the ball and, legally, they can hit me. So just make it clear to them I don’t have the ball and then if I do get one of those shots, we get 15 yards.”

On getting hit when passing:
“With passing… there’s a lot of contributing factors – getting rid of the ball, just knowing when to try to make guys miss and when not to. If you’re getting hit on your blind side, there’s nothing really you can do. Like I said, I’m not going to sit up here and throw anybody under the bus or anything like that. Everybody’s working hard. Everybody’s got a job to do. We’ve just got to make sure everybody does their job.”

On drawing the defense in when taking so many hits:
“We know the rules. I talked to Coach and he talked to me about it. If I make it clear that I don’t have the ball, they, technically, by the rules, cannot hit me. The players are hitting so fast. I really don’t need to try to do too much… What’s he doing? Is he coming up field? Is he going down hard? Is he in between? Then just making my decision off of that, instead of trying to take a step towards them and draw them in because I got hit in the face a couple times on a couple of those.”

On if he’s surprised by how much he has been asked to do:
“It’s early in the season so the jury’s not out. I mean the jury’s still out on whatever kind of team we’re going to have, on how our defense is going to play and how many points we’re going to score. The way I look at it, you take it week-by-week and you take it by the way the game’s being played. If it’s a 10-7 game and if our defense is playing great, then that’s how it is. If it’s a 45-45 game, that’s just the way it is and you have to be able to adjust on the fly. The way I look at it, I’m here to help this team win whether that’s handing the ball off and watching [running back] Alfred [Morris] and a couple of those guys doing work or taking on a heavier load.”

On getting hit when trying to sell the fake:
“If you take some of those shots in the face, you’ll learn real fast. I thought they were not legal hits but Coach informed me that technically they can hit me. Now, they’re not supposed to hit me in the head but they can hit me if I’m carrying out the fake. Even on keepers, they can hit you if you’re carrying out your fake. I didn’t know that so I guess I’ll just be running with my arms up a lot more, letting them know, 'Hey, I don’t have the ball. Please hit me if you want to get a 15-yard [penalty].”

On if he expected to get hit so much:
“It’s football. There’s not a person in the league that says, 'Hey, sign me up for a car accident every play.’ But we know what we signed up for. There’s going to be hitting going on. As a quarterback, there’s games where you rarely get hit and then some games you get hit almost every single play like I did against the Bengals. But it just comes with the flow of the game and you’ve got to make sure it doesn’t affect the way you’re thinking out there, as a matter of going out for the next few plays. So I just try to keep a steady head and know I was going to get hit. Sometimes I didn’t know I was going to get hit and I got hit. It’s just how it goes.”

On if he was hurt when he laid down near the end zone after nearly scoring a rushing touchdown:
“No. I was just a little dizzy. When I dove, I got the ball inside the pylon, thought it was a touchdown and I got up to celebrate. Everything on the left was on the right and everything on the right was on the left, so I just fell back down and took a second. I stood up and I was fine. They tried to check me and see if I had a concussion, but I didn’t have a concussion. I was just a little bit dizzy – nothing to worry about.”

On if the Bengals were more prepared for their offense than any other team this season:
“No. I think our first drive is kind of the one that set us back. We had a good drive going and then we had a negative play. Then after that, we kept having negative plays. It’s not that they weren’t prepared. They were prepared, but we just didn’t go out and execute. That’s a problem. They played a two-shell defense the whole game and we figured it out in the second half – what we needed to do. It was our basic game plan. We just needed everybody to chip in and be ready to go – just couldn’t have those mental mistakes.”

On taking a timeout after the near-touchdown:
“Whenever you have those extended plays like that, the clock can roll down on you pretty low. We just got the play in a little bit too late. There was 10 seconds on the clock when we got the play in. When we broke the huddle, there was no chance for us to get the play off. We had to just call a timeout.”

On the hit he took from linebacker Manny Lawson:
“I remember that. You mean when he scraped off the edge and ran full-speed at me? He didn’t care where the ball was at, he was going to try to hit me. I don’t think that was Lawson, I can’t remember which one it was, but I remember that. That’s just a play. You can talk about it in film with your coach and say, 'Hey, pitch it earlier.’ But when they have a mission to hit the quarterback coming full-speed off the edge, it’s kind of hard to avoid that. Maybe next time I’ll pitch it faster and we’ll see what happens.”

On his chemistry with recently-signed running back Ryan Grant:
“Ryan has been in this league and he’s been productive in this league. I’m sure he’s had a number of quarterbacks when it comes to the mesh. I don’t think it will take that long at all. He’s a seasoned back. He knows what he’s doing. He came in here right away and he’s picking up things. It’s good to have him on board. I watched him when I was – I couldn’t say growing up – but a few years ago I watched him play in the league and be very productive. It’s exciting to have him here.”

On Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano saying that being freshly removed from college helps him prepare to defend the Redskins’ offense:
“If that’s how he feels, then I guess so. The one thing he does with his defense is they play hard. They play fast. I don’t know what to tell you when it comes to that. They will run hard, they will play hard, they will hit hard. That’s that. When it comes to our game plan, you never know what could come. Sometimes, we’ll use some of the stuff we used in this past game. Sometimes we won’t. If we use it and have a good game plan for it, that’s that. They have to stop it still.”

On how different it would be if the original officials return this week:
“I don’t know. It would be a new experience for me. I’ve never experienced the original refs. We’ll see. Maybe we’ll get some more calls, maybe things will be cleaned up a little bit. I’m not going to get my hopes up too high. You never know what can happen with those kinds of situations. It’ll be a new thing for me. I’m sure the guys will be pretty pumped about that.”

On if Ryan Grant can help with pass protection and lightening the load on he and running back Alfred Morris:
“I think he could. Alf has done a great job of running the ball and Ryan has proven that he can. I’m sure he’ll get some carries in there. And then, he’s an experienced back like you said, so he can definitely step in on third down and be there to help pass protect and catch balls out of the backfield. That would be a good addition for us.”

On how helpful it would be to have wide receiver Pierre Garçon back:
“It’s a big help. It provides even more depth. He’s our guy. He’s a starter. So then, you have the guys who we’re starting now becomes the backups and the rotational players. They’ve got some experience and they’ve made plays. It just gives us more depth. It gives us a big, strong, mean guy out there. He might not be mean to you guys. I don’t know if he is. But if he’s mean to you guys he really loves you deep down inside [laughter]. He’s a definite asset. I like having him out there, so it’s good.”

On if team officials checked him for a concussion:
“Yes, they did. It was after the touchdown. They just came to me after we scored the touchdown and asked me what happened. I told them I was just a little bit dizzy –nothing to be worried about. They said to make sure I let them know what’s going on. They followed all the proper protocols. It wasn’t anything too bad. It’s not like I was out there wobbling or running to the wrong sidelines. So, it was all good.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Greg Schiano

On adjusting to coaching in the NFL:
“It’s been good. We feel very comfortable with our staff. We have a lot of experience on the staff. I brought a bunch of guys with me from Rutgers that are familiar with me. I think it’s been a good mix. We have a good group of guys here on our football team. They’re working very hard and they’re buying into what we’re trying to establish and the culture we’re trying to establish. just wish we could have won some of those close ball games. That would certainly keep perpetuating that culture, but it is what it is. It certainly doesn’t get any easier this week.”

On losing defensive end Adrian Clayborn to a torn knee ligament:
“It’s tough. Adrian is not only a real fine player, very productive, but also has a presence on our football team. He’s a great guy off the field, but on the field he is one of the tougher guys I’ve been around. So, we lose that. As we talk about as a team, that’s an opportunity for someone else to step up and show their talents. That’s what we’re counting on.”

On their defensive success with defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and defensive end Michael Bennett:
“Well, first thing is they’re both very talented guys. That’s probably the main thing. Gerald is really playing at a high level, as is Michael. I think [defensive tackle] Roy Miller is doing a good job – especially on early downs – doing his job, which helps those other guys out. Like we talked about, we have to replace Adrian [Clayborn]. We’ll kind of probably do that by committee. At the end of the day, the defensive front has to be a strength of our team if we want to do the things that we want to do on defense.”

On if coaching in college will help prepare for the option and quarterback Robert Griffin III’s offense:
“The part of the offense that is that [similar to college] – without a doubt. We dealt with that for years. I think the thing that may get lost on people is the Redskins are running a great deal of traditional offense as well. The zone schemes that they’ve run for years at Denver and now here at Washington have been very successful. They’re running them very well. The gun run game and then the option phases of it, certainly that’s what makes it hard to defend this unit and I think why they’re No. 1 in the league in scoring offense. There’ s so much to defend and you have to defend the entire field. You have to defend sideline to sideline. With his arm strength, you have to defend darn near tip to tip vertically. It’s a huge challenge.”

On defensive back Ronde Barber:
“He’s great. He’s a lot of fun to work with. He’s a guy that…He’s like having a coach on the field. The best part is his work ethic is extraordinary. His preparation in the meeting room, in the walkthrough, on the practice field, you would think he’s a free agent trying to make the club. He serves as a great example for our younger team.”

On running back Doug Martin:
“I think Doug is really a very good running back. Very rarely do you get a guy as a rookie that has the capability to do it all. He can run the football, he can block, he can pass receive. He’s a very well-rounded player. The combination of he and [running back] LeGarrette [Blount] – we really haven’t been able to get that rolling yet. LeGarrette got a little bumped earlier in the season. We weren’t quite sure what it was. We were a little hesitant and he missed a little time in practice, but I think he’s getting to where he’s ready. He’s practiced very well the last two weeks. I’m excited to see him get a few more touches in, spread that around a little bit.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defensive Back Ronde Barber

On having Raheem Morris as a head coach:
“He has a great personality for coaching and I think you guys probably know that being around him for the few months that you have. He’s very personable and that goes over very well with the players.
He has a really good football mind and he’s able to mix them together pretty well. I don’t know anybody here who didn’t enjoy being around him when he was our head coach.”

On if his or linebacker London Fletcher’s 15-year NFL career is more impressive:
“I have to say doing it from his spot. I don’t know how he’s doing it. I saw him in the preseason right before the game. Neither one of us were playing but we had a little conversation about it. I gave him props then. Doing it as middle linebacker 15 straight years is way more impressive than me. I’ve taken some hits in my day, but not nearly the type of pounding that he has over his career. Much respect for him.”

On if he attributes his 15-year career to perseverance or luck:
“It’s definitely perseverance. I think you make your own luck. If you take care of yourself, you can ward off some of the things that keep other people out. I’ve been pretty consistent with the things that I’ve done in the offseason and during the regular season for about 10 years now. Obviously, I haven’t been in any pile-ups or anything catastrophic that’s happened to my knees or something that’s kept me out of any games. That’s definitely part of it, too. I think if you do the little things and take care of yourself then it definitely makes it possible.”

On moving positions to prolong his career:
“I started at corner. When I was a second-year in the league, I didn’t play outside. I played inside. It was somebody that got hurt that allowed me to start playing outside. Obviously, the streak started. I was known as a slot corner for the first part of my career and then everything else just developed off of it. My transition is probably a bit different than most people’s, but it’s definitely a different ballgame in there. You’re more like a linebacker in most defenses. It’s why my sack numbers are where they are. That’s why my tackle numbers are where they are. If you’re a smart player, it’s not nearly as intensive running and covering receivers. It’s got a little bit more so over the years, but you can definitely make a career in there. I think I certainly have.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III in college vs. the NFL:
“He is a dynamic kind of guy. He seems like – and I haven’t watched all of his game tape – but what I have watched, the first two games of the season I’ve gotten through of him, he seems like he has the ability to do it all. He has a really strong arm when he wants to drop back and throw it. He seems like he has the willingness to want to stay in the pocket and deliver the football, which if you were stereotyping him, you would say he’s a guy that wants to get out of the pocket and run down the field and get all these yards. Most of his running yards are on designed runs. When they drop back to pass, he’s really looking to throw the ball. He has that going for him already. I am impressed. He presents some challenges now. He’s got that Cam Newton about him. They have that gun run option in their offense that’s really hard to prepare for. Fortunately for us, we saw it two weeks ago. That’s something with us a little bit this week. I think we just have to go in knowing he has the ability to do everything for them.”

On Griffin III taking shots as a quarterback:
“It’s the same thing with Cam [Newton]. I don’t mean to compare them, but I know we play them twice a year. A lot of the talk when we get ready to play them is that they try to limit his hits. You see Cam on film diving to the ground and sliding out from under hits before he gets them just so he doesn’t take a beating. If you’re going to run that offense that’s really popular in college, you’ve got to be a little bit wary of him taking a beating. I think they – I don’t know if they are – but I think they will probably be smart with him and limit those number of reps he gets doing that. When he has the ball and he’s not a passer, you have to treat him like a runner. He’s talented enough to make you miss. If you don’t, then he’ll make you pay for it. You have to be pretty diligent as a defender on knowing when he’s a running back and treating him like that.”

On Newton and Griffin III’s style causing hesitation in the defense:
“We see it twice a year because of him [Newton]. This will be the third. No, I don’t think any other teams have it. We’re a little bit more ready for it. The league is leaning this way with the Wildcat stuff, with another couple years ago. Just some innovation in the offenses is good – especially if you have the players that do it. I think it definitely presents challenges. You get frustrated sometimes having to look at all the film of it – trying to figure out how to prepare for it. I think if we put together a game plan for it and just have everybody sound enough to know what to do against it, you can have some success. That’s what we’re planning on.”

On his connection with Raheem Morris:
“I was very fortunate to have some guys, coaches I mean, that were friends – guys that have gone and had a lot of success in this league, guys that I still keep in contact with. I had a great 11 years with Raheem while he was here. He left from here, went to be a coordinator in college, but came back. Our friendship was even stronger when he came back. And it still is. I have a lot of ties to him and I always will. That’s not going to change because he’s in a different city. That’s just the way he is. That’s just his personality. Even if he wasn’t a football coach, that’s how he’d be. If you’re in the locker room with him, if you play for him, you just can’t help it. It’s just his personality and I think the guys appreciate him for who he’s always going to be.”
 

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Would have loved for the reporter to ask Shanny if he'd send an all-out blitz vs Schiano's offense, in the event that the Bucs perform a "kneel-down" attempt to finish off the clock at the end :evil:
 

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