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Skins Quotes: Mike Shanahan/Robert Griffin III


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

Marine Corps Virginia

June 7, 2012
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On moving training camp to Richmond in 2013:
“Yeah I’m excited. I’m excited to have camp in Richmond. Obviously it’s not going to be for a year, but it gives the players a chance to spend three weeks together. A lot of people ask what the difference is, because we spend from 7:00 in the morning to pretty close to 10:00 at night at the facility. Anyhow, when you do have some downtime, you get to spend it in the hotel or spend it in the dormitory. Players just spend more time together. In my experience over the years, even though it’s only three weeks, it’s really a great time to bond together and for teammates to get to know each other.”

On former training camps in Colorado during his tenure with the Denver Broncos:
“I don’t think you feel it for a few years, but the players are wanting to go back. Their situation was a little bit different because they had a hotel about two blocks away, a lot of players stayed in the hotel, so it was like training camp for a lot of players that decided not to go home. So we gave them the option.”

On his preference on going away to camp:
“I’ve enjoyed it because it does mean training camp. There’s a lot of work to be done. You’re only gone for about three weeks. It’s something a little bit different, a little bit new. When you’re a couple hours away as compared to 10 minutes away, when you do have the kids, you do have a lot of friends, it’s so much easier to bond with your teammates than it is to run to the store for something or someone is maybe sick. But anyways, from my experience, it was some quality years for those camps.”

On getting the players mentally isolated and in the playbook:
“Yeah, you’re here for nine weeks, when we’re meeting for a couple hours a day. But the difference is, when you usually separate from the facility, you’re gone, especially with a lot of responsibility by a lot of different people with kids. But when you go there for three weeks, there is no going home. You do have some downtime, there is some recovery time. You get a chance to spend with your teammates.”

On the logistics of moving training camp:
“Anytime you go to a camp, you’ve got to make sure that you do have all of the facilities taken care of. You know your players obviously practice, we’re going to make sure the fields are right. We’re going to make sure our meeting space, the meeting space we do have, is a state of the art facility where we can get accomplished everything we want to accomplish, just like we would if we were here. I think that will be done. Bruce [Allen] understands it inside and out. The people there will understand it when we’re done. What we need to go about training camp, I think it will be a win-win on both sides.”

On what Secondary Coach Raheem Morris will bring to the secondary this year:
“Well scheme wise, anytime you bring in a coach, there’s always different ideas. You know, Raheem’s been in four-man fronts for about most of his career, some of the best. You take a look at Tampa Bay and you take a look at the coaching staff that they had from Monte Kiffin, to obviously Raheem, to Mike Tomlin. Their four-man front was probably as good as there has been for a lot of years, the last 10-15 years. He brings a lot of ideas from what he’s done in the past to what we’re doing now. There’s always different ideas that you toss around. But basically we have our same scheme, and he does a heck of a job coaching and getting the best out of players.”

On DeAngelo Hall’s role on the team:
“There’s a possibility that he could play more roles. He loves cornerback, he also can play the nickel, he can play the dime. Last year we had him just out on one side and we had Kevin Barnes inside so we decided to change a number of players and get more flexibility inside. Especially, with all of these three, four, and five wide receivers, you have to have the ability to have more than five defensive backs on the field at one time. Count your safeties; you can have six and sometimes seven. We’re a lot more flexible than we have been in the past. With these OTA’s structured the way it is, we get a chance to teach it the right way as well.”

On if he’s excited about planned improvements to Redskins Park:
“You always want a state of the art facility. You want players who come in here and enjoy coming to work. And that’s one of the reasons I think the bubble helped so much. We’ve been in there eight days already so if the fields flooded or there’s conditions where you can’t practice, we already have [a place] we can practice. The same thing with the weight room, you want a state of the art weight room, you want a state of the art media room, the technology that some of these news teams have and we want to have that ability as well. So, we want free agents to come in and say, 'Hey, you’ve got a great facility. I can see me coming here and getting to be a better football player and obviously we grow as an organization.”

On when improvements to Redskins Park will start:
“I’ll be honest with you. I don’t get involved in that. I’ve got enough stuff going on and I don’t think about the facility, but, Bruce [Allen] has got everything under control and I’m looking forward to, obviously getting that done.”

On safeties Tanard Jackson, Brandon Meriweather, and Madieu Williams:
“Tanard [Jackson] just got back here recently and he just healed up. So, I’m looking forward to watching him and evaluating him through the minicamp and him being apart of our football team going into the summer. Madieu [Williams] I’ve seen a lot of, Brandon [Meriweather] I’ve seen a lot of. Both of them are very impressive on how they practice and how they prepare. You can see why they’ve been excellent football players in the past and I’m glad to have them on our team.”

On why he signed three different safeties:
“Well, you sign players that you feel can play the position and our strong safety and free safety positions are pretty interchangeable. And that’s what we practice for. We get to evaluate those guys and see how they get to fit into our system. I think Brandon Meriweather, you know, ran a system in New England that is very similar to what we’re doing and in Chicago it was a lot different than what he has done in the past, with more of a two-deep structure and three-deep. So, I think he fits in our system a lot better than he did in Chicago and I can see that on the practice field. Madieu [Williams] is such a class act, very smart, fast and we’re looking for some big things out of him. We’ll have some competition in that position and that’s what you want. We’ve got some experience at that position as well, bring in [Jordan] Bernstine as well, you know a draft choice that has really impressed a lot of people with his speed, and that’s what you look for.”

On Brandon Meriweather’s legal issue in April:
“I talked to him about that situation. Obviously, it will remain with us. These players represent not only themselves but our organization. And we want people to handle themselves the right way, and if they don’t handle themselves the right way, they make too many mistakes, they won’t be with us. You know, we give people chances, but we go into detail what we expect of them, on and off the football field. And if we feel like, if they behave themselves the right way, they stay. But if not, we go in a different direction. That’s why you’ve got to have some depth.”

On the new offseason schedule:
“I think it’s been great. I think it’s been great for the players, I think it’s been great for the coaches. We’ve got a lot of work done over the last eight weeks and a chance to meet with the players quite a bit. I think the structure of the practices were good. The first two weeks, not football related, but they get back into conditioning shape. The next three weeks, we’re going to be on certain fields, but you still have an introduction to your offense and defense. The last three weeks we’ve had a chance to go against each other, learn the system, feel more comfortable with each other, going against each other. We’ve actually worked two different football fields, except for the last two days, because we’ve had a couple of guys who were a little banged up, with groins and strains and things along those lines. But for the most part, we’ve got a lot of repetition for a lot of people and have made some strides. I like the structure thus far.”

On the reason behind calling the team into the middle of the field during practice:
“What we do during these practices, you know, we’re emphasizing the red zone or we’re emphasizing third down and one. And as you go into a practice, and I sit with the football team before hand, we talk about the different situations that will come up in the game and one of those is the red zone. You work all the way down field, everybody is tired, that is where the concentration level has got to kick in. You know we weren’t very good in that area in offense last year, and we scored a touchdown on the first play, and we have a running back that steps offside. We talk about how that’s the difference between winning or losing during the game.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s “a-ha” moment:
“Anytime a quarterback has an “a-ha” moment, you’re always feeling good because that means that he’s feeling good about what he’s doing. They go up and down through these practices. One day the defense will have the advantage, the next day the offense, and you’ll open competition. You’ll open the guys into certain situations that they enjoy. And mainly what you’re trying to do is get everybody ready, so once we go to camp, they don’t have to think, they can react. We get a chance to evaluate all these players before preseason games, get a chance in a couple situations to see not life, but close to life, situations with shoulder pads on and see how they react to certain situations. So it’s part of the experience that we’re trying to get them to get ready for the season.”

On why cornerback Josh Wilson was not at practice:
“He has a thigh injury right now. He hurt it in practice a couple days ago. He won’t be at the minicamp, but he’ll be ready full-go by the time we get ready for the summer.”

On linebacker Perry Riley’s status:
“He was a little banged up with a tight groin at the end of practice yesterday. To be honest with you, I’m not even sure how many reps he got in today. But he was good enough to practice yesterday.”

On running backs Roy Helu’s and Evan Royster’s statuses:
“Roy has been a little banged up for about the last week. He was sprinting down the field about 25 or 30 yards, and he had a slight hamstring pull. Royster did the same thing. I believe it was his groin, and a little bit of hamstring. But these are just injuries that should not keep them out of when we start full practices.”

On running back Tristan Davis’ status:
“Same thing. About a week ago, he just banged knees with somebody, and we’ve kept him out, but he’ll be full-go by the time we get back.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson’s status:
“You know, we’re not even going to try to have him go full speed until we get back in July. He’s doing drill work with us. You can see he’s not full speed, but the hip is healed, so he has to get back in football shape. I’d rather wait and err on the side of precaution. Just keep on running him, getting him in shape, so we don’t send him back. So once we get to late July, he’s ready to go full speed.”

On how nice it is to be able to focus on football:
“Well, first year wasn’t necessarily about Albert [Haynesworth]. It was just trying to kind of get a feel of your football team, you know, where you’re at because you really don’t know your players until you get working. Like you mentioned, the second year, with the lockout, this is kind of nice because you know your players, you’ve got depth to all of the positions because you got a chance to evaluate those players to your time frame. I feel good where we’re at. I feel good about the attitude, the effort, and now we’ve got to go get it done on the field.”

On Robert Griffin III’s run game and pass game:
“We’ll see what he does best for the next couple of months. We know, obviously, his great running ability. We know he can throw the football. He’s feeling more comfortable with the system day-in and day-out. I think he really enjoys playing football. That’s the fun part about it. He enjoys coming to work, enjoys studying. You know he’s got all the intangibles that you look for. I’m just excited that he’s so excited because it’s contagious when you have a guy that loves what he does, and he’s coming out here early, staying late, and doing all the things that you’re hoping a quarterback will do.”

On Brian Banks’ tryout schedule:
“I think it’s going to be tomorrow, or at least that’s what I was told. I’m going to finalize that. I know I can’t tell you right now for sure. But that’s when, last week when I had talked to him, that was the day we had targeted. I will find that out and let you know though.”

Quarterback Robert Griffin III

On how he would characterize linebacker London Fletcher:
“Fletcher’s real competitive. It’s good to see that he’s out here, even at that age, still a competitor.”

On what it means to him that coaches are adding plays to the offense that suit his strengths:
“I don’t want people to think I’m just an option quarterback. That’s something that I have to look at. Last year, I threw for over 4,000 yards… The base offense is still the base offense. The offense will not change to an option offense.”

On the perception that he is just a running quarterback:
“It’s not something that you can prove, I don’t think. I think perception is reality so it doesn’t matter how many yards you throw for, what you do in practice or what you do in the games. If you can run a little bit, you’ll always be smacked with that stereotype. It’s not something I’m trying to take on by myself. It’s just perception [that] has to change. Even through all the passing and stuff like that, perception still hasn’t changed. I’m not going to continue to try to beat my head on a wall. Whatever Coach asks me to do, I’ll do it, but you better believe I’ll be throwing the ball a lot more than I’ll be running it.”

On the moment when he felt settled as the starting quarterback:
“For me, the 'a-ha’ moment probably won’t come until I’m retired. But as far as the offense and knowing what I’m doing, I think I had that 'a-ha’ moment yesterday. The defense was getting after us a little bit. We came into the last session of the day, and we just tore them up so we continued that toward the beginning of practice, [today] and then it evened out as practice went on. It felt good to know that as long as you know where you’re going with the ball, as long as you’re aggressive and confident in what you’re doing, you can complete any pass and do anything. I think I had that yesterday, and it felt good to come out here today and show off a little bit.”

On convincing teammates that he can be a leader as the starting quarterback even though he is a rookie:
“I think I have. You’ve got to ask them if you want the real details, but what they’ve been telling me and how confident they are in me as a quarterback is a huge step. That’s all I want. I want them to trust me. I want them to believe in me so we can go out and win together because without them we can’t do it. I can’t snap the ball to myself, throw it and catch it. I need other people out there to help me.”

On building game management situations into practice as he learns the playbook:
“Oh yeah, that’s what it’s about. I told Coach yesterday that after every practice I was writing stuff down in my booklet of things that I needed to work on the next day in practice. After yesterday’s practice, I only wrote one thing, and that’s 'Just play.’ At the end of the day, you know it. After a few weeks, you know the offense. You know what your checkdowns are. You know what everything is. You just gotta go out there and stop thinking about it. I just have to let it happen natural[ly]. In the two-minute situations and the four-minute situations where you’re having to take control of the offense kind of shows you that you do know. I think we put together two pretty good drives there in those types of situations. You guys come out here and get it on film, but we’re constantly working hard every day, even when you guys aren’t here. It was good to be able to show that.”

On trying to get a feel for the speed of the NFL without playing in a game yet:
“I think you feel it in OTA’s. One thing about practice is everybody takes more risks because in a game, if you jump a pass, and it’s the wrong guess, you lose a game for your team. In practice, it doesn’t happen. If you jump a pass and I throw a touchdown, it’s onto the next play. Nobody’s really ripping you except your coach. I think it’s not faster in practice by any means because on game day everybody’s a little bit faster. But I think I have gotten a little bit of a grasp of what it’s going to be like on game day just based off practice.”

On training camp moving to Richmond, where his grandmother lives, in 2013:
“It’s going to be cool. Change is a good thing, I guess. The coaches are trying to move it out there, Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder want it out there and that’s what we’ve got to do. It’s not like we have any say in that. It’s not like I said, 'Hey, my grandma lives out there. Let’s move it.’ It’ll be fun. It’s just something we have to go with. We’ll probably have to stay with another teammate and learn about each other that way so it’s a good bonding experience as well. I’m all for it.”


"I think he really enjoys playing football. That’s the fun part about it. He enjoys coming to work, enjoys studying."

so important. what's not to like abt our new QB?

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