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Skins Quotes 9/27: M. Shanahan/K. Shanahan/Haslett

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Boone

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Marine Corps Virginia


September 27, 2012
Redskins Park


Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On if tackle Trent Williams would have to practice on Friday to play on Sunday:
“Not necessarily so, but you would like to see improvement.”

On if he planned to practice Trent Williams on Thursday:
“No. We knew he couldn’t go.”

On his rules for injured players missing practice and still playing in games:
“I don’t have any rules specifically. With all the different things I’ve done through the years, a lot depends on the experience of the guy, if I know the guy, how he has played in the past, the way he has handled different situations, veterans, rookies, their experience. Each one is a little bit different. I don’t have one set rule for Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, but at least in my experience, if you don’t get some practice in during the week, it’s hard to play well.”

On wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s injury:
“It’s getting better. I can see that, but until he’s able to go it’s just getting better.”

On the previously locked out officials returning in Week 4:
“It’s good to get them back. I had nothing against replacement officials. In fact, I think they did a pretty good job. It’s hard if you don’t have the repetition or the practice. It’s nice to get the pros back for obvious reasons and I know they gave us their best shot. It’s tough to really be good when you don’t have the practice.”

On former Tampa Bay head coach and current Redskins defensive backs coach Raheem Morris’ ability to help out with the game plan:
“I think any time a guy comes from another organization, you know the personnel inside and out. If you have any questions about personnel, obviously he’ll know it. Sometimes you’ll get a coach from another staff that knows their scheme, other times it’s personnel. As much information as you can get, obviously it’s a plus.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On his $25,000 fine:
“It hurt. It’s a lot of money. I wasn’t surprised. I was expecting it. It is a lot of money. It’s my fault and have to live with it.”

On if he would have done anything differently given the chance:
“Definitely. Anytime you get a penalty for your team, you regret it – whether it’s justified or not, whether you think it’s justified. Bottom line is you get a penalty and it’s something that can’t happen.”

On the return of the regular NFL officials:
“I’m not going to go there but I’m looking forward to having the guys we’re used to. That’s for sure.”

On the consistency of the officials:
“This game is hard. It’s fast. It takes a lot of reps for coaches, players, refs. Anybody who doesn’t have a lot of experience is going to struggle, whether it’s a coach, player or referee. It’s good to get guys back there who have been doing it.”

On if teams play their ends wider to try to contain the zone read:
“No. They mix it up. Zone read hits inside. That’s where it starts. So, you play them too wide and they can get a lot of easy plays inside. You have to mix it up. You can’t play anything the same way because there’s too many options on it. The ball can go to about three different people, so you have to mix it up and change the defense. You have to continue to change off.”

On not 'majoring in’ the option:
“When something is working, it’s going to be really hard to stop doing it. When we brought [wide receiver Brandon] Banks in there, it was working. We’re going to do stuff until a defense stops it. When I say 'not major in it’…I think when you look at Denver last year, I think they kind of majored in it. They were running the ball about 55 times a game, no matter what the down and distance is. When that’s part of your offense – I think it will always be a part of our offense – so is the rest of what we do. I’d say it’s a third of it, just to give you a number. It will always be a part of it but it’s not your bread and butter.”

On giving the ball to Banks:
“It’s been something we worked on in training camp. It’s been something that’s been in the package for the last three weeks. You kind of try to see how they’re playing their defense and when it becomes the time. Cincinnati played us in Cover Two looks the entire game. We got Banks in there and it changed up some of the defenses, gave some different looks. It caused some problems for them, which I think made them adjust a little bit. Then, it opened some other things up, so it helped change the game just from a schematic standpoint. I think it helped gather our players some momentum and get the chains moving a little bit.”

On depth at receiver:
“I think we have a lot of guys who have been making plays. Anytime you can run the ball like we’ve been doing, where you can hand it off a lot in the game, get a lot of carries, usually having more runs than passes until those two minute drives…I think [running back] Alfred [Morris] has done a heck of a job having the run component with [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] – to pitch it to people like Banks. When you do that stuff, it opens up a lot of the other areas. You have a lot of guys who are making plays. You don’t need to depend on just one guy. When you can run the ball, you don’t have to force it to receivers. When you are running the ball well, receivers have to do a good job blocking. They keep running and eventually get their turn in the play pass.”

On adjusting play calling without wide receiver Pierre Garçon:
“You always adjust based on your players being out there. I have a lot of confidence in our receivers. Anything that we’d ask Pierre to do, we’d ask our other guys to do also – whoever is at that position, whether it’s Hank [Leonard Hankerson] or whether it’s Al [Aldrick Robinson]. They’ve done a good job with it. You adjust always.”

On tackle Jordan Black:
“I thought Jordan did a good job coming into the game. He came off the bench and he had a couple plays that he missed, but he came in there and battled. He gave up a sack which…He gave up two, but [in] one our back tripped him coming out of the backfield so I don’t put that on Jordan. And then he missed one in play pass, just a little too aggressive off the ball. He missed the guy and ended up getting the quarterback. He came in there and when you’re in that position, you don’t get many reps during the week, and to hop in during the game on the third play and to play most of the way through…Trent came in a little bit but he didn’t last very long. I thought Jordan did a solid job. If we play him this week, I hope he gets better.”

On if Raheem Morris gave him advice on how to beat the Buccaneers’ defensive backs:
“We talk a lot. Not even just this week. We don’t have much [of a] life, so usually what we talk about is football, whether it’s in-season or offseason. I have a pretty good idea off what he’s told me about his players over the last year. He can’t help from a schematic standpoint because everything is different. But you can get an idea from him. That stuff I think helps a little bit, but I think it’s overrated. Those players have to go out and matchup and you have to win those individual battles.”

On running back Ryan Grant:
“I’ve always been a fan of Ryan Grant. I think he runs the zone scheme really well in the years that he had, especially earlier on when he was getting the ball a lot. He was very good at pressing it, stretching it, getting downhill and running hard and breaking arm tackles. I think he’s a violent runner who gets the ball downhill and moves the chains. He’s always been a good zone runner. That’s what Green Bay has pretty much majored in, similar to us. Everybody runs a zone. It’s a little bit different, so you can’t say it’s the exact same, but he’s familiar with what we’re doing. I think it suits his skills.”

On if the offense would change if they had Garçon back:
“It does a ton. Pierre is a very talented guy, as everybody knows. He’s only played eight plays this year and still had over 100 yards. So, you guys can see what kind of difference he can make on the field.
The thing I enjoy about Pierre the most is how aggressive and physical he plays. He helps the mindset of our whole team. When you have a receiver out there who is tough, gets after it, who will fight you until the whistle is blown, it really helps the run game. I think it will help you get more first downs, whether he’s touching the ball or not. I think it just helps that overall mentality of your offense.”

On Banks and Morris helping tight end Fred Davis get open against cover two defense:
“Cover two is a little bit harder to throw the ball against than cover one. There’s just more people back there. It wasn’t until we started getting Banks in there and running different things that we got those looks. Once you do that, it opens up a lot more lanes for everybody.”

On shortening plays to avoid hits on Robert:
“You’ve just got to keep working on it. I think Robert is used to it. He has the most experience out of all of us in running the option. I think the more he does it, he’ll start to get a feel for the different speeds of the game. He’s used to handing it off and still being able to attack and act like he has the ball and still be able to get out of the way of those d[efensive] ends – which I think he did a decent job of in the game, but a few times they got him. I think the more experience he gets with that in NFL games, with the speed of the game, he’ll get used to it. When he can’t really carry out the fake, he has to show that he doesn’t have the ball. Once you show you don’t have the ball, you can’t get hit.”

On how he teaches Griffin III to avoid hits:
“It’s always on both of us. It’s my job to help show him and help teach him – not that I can really teach him how to run it. I can help show him tapes, show him where we think he could avoid some hits. He sees that. We look at it together. We try to put it together for him. That’s our goal. We want to keep him healthy, yet we still want him to compete like he does. We want to try to win the games. We definitely don’t want to get him hurt. The more we can help him with that…He’s a competitive guy, so you never know what’s going to happen in the game, but we have to try to keep him healthy.”

On if he brainstorms plays during the season:
“I learn every week. You don’t know how teams are going to play you when you have this part to your offense. You get a different look from people each week – even what you see on tape. You can study all week what you see on tape and you go into the game and they have a different plan. People play that stuff completely different than what they do versus another quarterback or another scheme. I’m learning each week on how teams might play us. Everyone has done it a little bit different. Once you see that, there are tons of things you can counter with it and go off of it. It’s about in-game adjustments and trying to think ahead so you can put your players through that stuff so they can execute it in the game.”

On incorporating plays into their scheme from other teams:
“That’s also what we did all offseason, too. You study people, whether it’s college or whether it’s pro teams who do that type of stuff. The pro tapes we’ve had – it’s been Carolina, it’s been Denver. Buffalo has done a little bit in the past, but Tennessee did some back when they had VY [Vince Young]. So you go back and try to study all that stuff. Then, you study the college stuff and you see schemes try to defend it. There’s only so many ways you can do it, but everybody has a different opinion of it. Everything works, it’s just what can you execute versus the right stuff?”

On the timing in the screen game now that guard Kory Lichtensteiger is back:
“Kory is as good as it gets on screens. Kory can run, he gets out there, he’s violent, he cuts people. He can get them down. Anytime you have Kory out there, it helps your screen game.”

On if Lichtensteiger took time to get back into the swing of things:
“He’s always been pretty good with the screens. The timing has to do with the quarterback setting his feet, pulling guys to him, the backs being able to get out of there without the d-line grabbing them when they see it’s a screen. They get grabbed all the time. That’s not something that’s every really been called, so it’s a timing by everybody – it’s the quarterback, the o-line and the halfback. It’s something that’s hard to rep in practice because you can’t really simulate that on cards and everything. It’s something you just keep doing and doing. It’s like osmosis. Your offense starts to learn it together and just everybody [is] on the same page.”

On Buccaneers’ tackle Gerald McCoy:
“He’s talented. Anytime you’re that high of a draft pack, I think everybody knows how talented he is. I think he’s finally healthy. He’s playing hard. He comes off the ball, he’s quick, he’s big. He’s a handful and we’re going to have to handle him during the game.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On what the defense can do to play better:
“We’ve got to play with better technique, No. 1. It’d be good to get guys healthy, get some guys back. But the main thing is to just play with technique... We gave up three big plays against Cincinnati. One on the Wildcat, we didn’t get lined up right and the receiver is covered and [we] missed a tackle and the young guy who gets beat down the middle of the field is covered, too, which is something we talked about… We talked about it. If 16 [Cincinnati wide receiver Andrew Hawkins] is in the slot, you’ve got to be careful. You’ve got to stay high to your shoulders. He’s a young guy and gets down the middle of the field. They [the defensive backs] are looking better. They worked hard yesterday. They’ll have a good practice today. They’re in tune. We covered our butts off in the first game against maybe the best offense that ever played in the National Football League so I know they can do it. We’ve just got to keep working at it.”

On the touchdown scored by Cincinnati out of the Wildcat:
“I’ll take the blame for that one because we didn’t practice it all week. [Linebacker] London [Fletcher] checked to it when they came out in it. The rule is that the safety’s got the quarterback. He keeps an eye on him. He doesn’t even cover him, he just keeps an eye on him. And the corner’s got the wideout. So we just got misaligned.”

On Defensive Backs Coach Raheem Morris knowing Tampa Bay’s personnel:
“Obviously, he knows all the personnel. He gave us a good background on them. We let our scouts give us our background on the personnel and Raheem gave an overview to the team – just a little bit, what he thinks their strengths and weaknesses are and what we can do against them, and obviously help us in the game planning also.”

On Cincinnati Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden knowing the Redskins would run cover zero against the Wildcat:
“We worked together, too, and he looked at all of last year’s tapes. We actually knew that the receiver could throw. We just didn’t know he could throw 50 yards on a rope. We knew he could throw, but we never saw him but we knew in the background… We just didn’t know he could just launch one up 50 [yards] right on the money. But even if we get lined up right, that’s okay. They were just taking a shot. If [cornerback] DeAngelo [Hall] gets on him and you’re off 10 yards, you’re still fine.”

On if stopping big plays is as simple as executing correctly:
“That’s it. You’re in the zero coverage and missed a tackle… If you’re in a one coverage and you miss a tackle, it’s a 30-yard gain. If you’re in two-deep coverage and miss a tackle, it’s a 15-yard gain. If you miss a tackle on zero coverage, it’s a little different… On the cover two look, Richard [Crawford] got beat down the middle of the field. It is about executing. We’ve just got to do a better job at that.”

On what safety Brandon Meriweather can bring to the defense:
“He can do a lot of things. He’s an ex-corner coming out of college. He’s got football intelligence. He can take something from the classroom to the field. He brings energy to the backend. He does a lot of things and obviously, we’ve missed him. We’ll get him back at some point. Whether it’s this week, next week, he’ll be back.”

On if it’s hard to stay committed to the cover zero:
“I think they’ve got to have an understanding... They knew that we had a free run to the quarterback, a free hit on the quarterback. They ran a 5-yard speed out on second-and-20, you’re talking about making a tackle and making that third-and-14. I think the guys have got to feel comfortable with knowing the ball is coming out, that you’re properly executing up front, which we have been because we work hard at it. We properly executed the front and we knew we’re going to get somebody to the quarterback. Then obviously you’ve got to do the backend. The backend has got to do their part of it.”

On if he would consider telling his defensive line to fire off against a victory formation like Tampa Bay Coach Greg Schiano has instructed his players to do this season:
“I’ll tell you what. First of all, I give him credit… To even think of something like that, to do it and get it knocked out, I actually think it’s kind of funny to see guys come flying out of the piles, but I don’t think offensive coaches would think it was funny. I would say you don’t want too many practices doing that because it’s not a good sign. But that’s his way. He’s a tough, hard-nosed guy and he believes in playing good defense and being physical and tough and running the ball and all that. That’s kind of his style.”

On if he would try firing off against a victory formation:
“I think you have to think about it – anything you can do to get the ball back to try to win the game.”

On if splitting reps between linebackers Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson and Markus White:
“That was by design. We were going to play Markus on a certain package. We were going to play [linebacker] Chris in a certain package and then Rob was going to play first and second down, just to split up the reps. As we go here, we’ll see who’s the best players are and just give them more playing time. I thought Rob played really well. He did a nice job on the run. He obviously had the interception. He played the play perfectly because we worked it all week. Then he had a couple good pass rushes. Hopefully he’ll just keep improving or even play the way he played – he played well last week.”

On defensive end Jarvis Jenkins:
“Jarvis was outstanding. The front played well. The front did a nice job. We stopped the run and did the things we wanted him to do. We put some pressure on the quarterback. I thought Jarvis really did a nice job in the run game.”

On what stood out about linebacker Rob Jackson:
“Just how he reacted to things fast, how those guys controlled the tight ends most of the time all day. I thought he and Ryan [Kerrigan] did a good job on the tight ends and they really controlled the running game. They couldn’t get outside on the edges on us and they tried every run possible – the sifts, the inside runs, the outside runs. I thought we did that area [well]. I think the longest run was the quarterback scramble. So I thought we did a good job in that area.”

On how to defend teams that get the ball out quickly:
“You’ve got to play tight on the body. You have to play some man-to-man. You’ve got to bat some balls down. You’ve got to get into situations where it’s manageable third downs and stay out of those third-and-shorts.”

On if he was happy with moving linebacker Ryan Kerrigan around:
“He did a good job. He’s still not 100 percent comfortable with doing that. But losing Rak [linebacker Brian Orakpo], you’ve got to try to take advantage of it. I don’t know if they gave him a whole sack but I think he’s got three sacks in three games, and he’s got some good pressure. We’ll keep trying to get the right match-up for him and for the rest of the group and get him a position where we can win.”

On if he was pleased with how Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson moved around:
“Yeah, I thought they did a nice job. Obviously, we need to get a little more pressure when they’re throwing the ball that much. We need to get more sacks. I think we only had a couple sacks, but we need to get a little more. Those things will come though.”

On if he would consider moving Kerrigan to the right side:
“He’s not really comfortable over there full-time. It’s totally different for him. And really, Rob’s not really comfortable on the other side. He likes it better on the right side. But we can do some of that. We do it more on third down, second down, less than on Okie, but we could if we wanted to.”

On if the end of the officials’ lockout will change communication between coaches and officials:
“I think the communication will be a little better. It will be a new group to yell at.”

On if it’s a priority to shift personnel on the field to stop the pass:
“It’s disappointing because we have done a good job on the run. We could get better in that area also. And I’m disappointed in the pass game because we are giving up too many yards. I think we’ve just got to clean up what we’re doing in the backend. We’ll get better in that area. These guys take pride in what they’re doing. They’ll be better. If we have to, we can go to a different type of format. You don’t need to open up two areas. You don’t need to have them run the ball and throw the ball. We’ll fix the one part.”

On Jenkins:
“He’s an athletic guy. He’s 315 pounds and is really, really athletic. He can play with more power. I think they all can. But his game is more athleticism than it is a power game.”

On Jenkins getting into a groove:
“He hasn’t played it a lot. Last year, he played, what, two preseason games? This year, this is really his first time he’s got a lot of playing time. He got 30 plays in. Hopefully, he’ll get more and more and he’ll get better and better.”

On if Barry Cofield is still trying to get into a groove at nose tackle:
“I think he’s over that now. I think he feels comfortable where he’s at. I thought he played an excellent game the other day.”

On defensive end Stephen Bowen:
“Stephen’s playing about as good as I’ve ever seen that position played. I think he’s impressive. He did a nice job. He’s had three really good games and hopefully he’ll continue that the rest of the year in that spot.”
 

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Without Garcon and Williams the Redskins are playing with 2 of their best offensive players on the shelf. Griffin really does have to do almost all of it by himself, along with an assist from Morris and Davis.

Neither Garcon or Williams injuries seem that severe but they are painful short term. I am questioning when Garcon will return. Shanahan says its a matter of pain tolerance?

Can we accept that on face value? If he isn't understating the injury, is anyone else getting a bit nervous about #88?

We saw Gary Clark come back way early from some severe hamstring injuries and gut it out and still be productive, even when not practicing during the week.

Is Garcon a low threshold guy as they were discussing on WTEM yesterday?
 

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