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Skins Quotes: Spooky Halloween Version



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

Marine Corps Virginia

October 31, 2013
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the injury report:
“The only person that was limited today was [safety Jose] Gumbs. Everybody else was full practice.”

On if wide receiver Pierre Garçon sustained his calf injury during the game against Denver:
“Yeah, that’s why he didn’t practice [full] yesterday, but he was full speed today.”

On wide receiver Santana Moss’ production this season:
“He’s the same as he was a year ago. It all depends on how much we use what we call the Gator personnel – three wides, a tight end and a back. The more we use that, the more he’s in the game. It all depends on what our game plan that week.”

On if Moss still has the same playmaking ability as in the past:
“Well, I know we haven’t had the numbers the last few weeks, but I really believe he does.”

On how much he thinks the narrow goalposts recently installed at Redskins Park will help Kai Forbath:
“I’m not really sure. It’s something that he wants or he wanted. We brought it in for a reason. When I was in Denver, Jason Elam wanted that at that time when it had just come out. Whatever they feel will help them, we’re willing to get.”

On his response to Albert Haynesworth’s recent comments:
“Let’s put it this way. I think I’ve been a head coach and an assistant coach for about 40 years, and when you look back on those days and you take a look at the people that you get along with or people that – for one reason or another – that you may not get along with, Albert was one of the few guys that… Let me start this over again because I want to be pretty specific on this since you asked me that question… The only people I really haven’t gotten along with since I’ve been a coach – as head coach, an assistant coach – is someone that’s lazy and number two, when somebody is lazy and they may lack character, or they’re lazy and they lack passion for the game, those are the only people I haven’t gotten along with as a head coach or as an assistant coach. And so that’s what you’re looking for. When I take a look through my years at people that have been lazy or have lacked passion for their job, they don’t go into the next year. When they do, they don’t last the next year. So the people that I look at that come back and complain or do some of those things that you do when you don’t get along with somebody as a head coach or an assistant coach, it usually falls into one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion, and a lot of times, a lack of character. And he fits all three… You usually take the high road as much as you can. I usually do, but I thought that he’s been talking quite a bit over the last couple years, so I thought at least I’d be honest with you guys and kind of tell you how I feel.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On what it will take to have more success in downfield passing game:
“Just keep working at it. Keep getting better. We hit a few down the field passes the week before versus Chicago. We had a couple of opportunities versus Detroit on some deep balls. [Wide receiver] Aldrick [Robinson] almost caught it and then it came out against [Bears cornerback Charles] Tillman there at the end of that game. We knew we were going to have some opportunities in this game but we didn’t come down with them and it affected us.”

On if there is something that was happening last year that isn’t happening this year:
“No, I think last year I don’t think we took a lot of down the field shots. A lot of the play-pass plays we got to do were quick ones over the middle. We do do those when the coverage presents itself. When you get a quarters defense, which I don’t think we had too many quarters teams we played against last year, but Denver was a heavy quarters team. When you get a quarters team, you don’t get the passes over the middle. You’ve got to attack on the outside down the field or you’ve got to attack over the top over the safeties, and when you’re in quarters all the checkdowns are matched underneath, so it’s a little type of different coverages.”

On to what he attributes the differences in the passing game from last year to this year:
“I think everything has a factor in that. We’re definitely not where we want to be in any part of the game, but especially in the pass game, and we have made some strides in certain areas. We were I think 20th in the league last year. We’re 10th in the league this year. The completion percentage isn’t there. We’ve had to do some different stuff. Last year there was one play in particular that we ran 80 times and we completed it 60 times and that play is there versus certain coverages. We haven’t gotten that coverage as much as we did last year, so we’ve had to do a few more — stuff we didn’t have to do as much last year and we haven’t done it very well. We’ve got to get better at it. We can’t just run the same stuff all year and the new stuff we have done – or not necessarily new, but stuff we didn’t do as much of last year – we’ve been in situations where defenses take a certain type of play away, more of an easy play, and you’ve got to do the harder play. They’re going to do that and you have to keep doing it until you can execute and get them out of something that you’re struggling against.”

On if he’s concerned about the pass protection around quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“I think that game versus Denver looked pretty much like every game does versus Denver – especially with 58 [linebacker Von Miller] out there. You watch any of their tape last year, when you’ve got DBs who play man coverage so you don’t have easy checkdowns and you’ve got a pass rush that’s pretty good – especially with 58 back there, they hit every quarterback. That’s how it is when you throw the ball. You always want to protect him. You always want to keep him upright and take those hits off, but you turn on any tape versus Denver and that pass rush, especially when 58’s out there, I think a lot of those games will look worse and not many of them will look much better.”

On if the run/pass balance in the fourth quarter at Denver:
“You don’t have the run calls in the fourth quarter, which I know is what you guys are all getting at, and I don’t like it either. I don’t realize that until after the game. I know we’d do better, I know what philosophy we want – we want to be balanced. We weren’t balanced there in the fourth quarter, which I can attribute to a bunch of things. The main thing is it’s not something that you want to do as a play-caller, but as I always say, it’s tough to get runs called when you don’t stay on the field. We had four series there before we were down 17 points with six and a half minutes to go, and in those four series, our longest drive was three plays with another one being two plays. And 95 percent of the time, all teams in the league when you throw it on third down and you don’t have a drive over three plays, in order to get to that run-stat ratio you guys want to see, you’re going to have to be run-run-pass four series in a row to get it, and we didn’t do that. We had been running six out of the eight plays we had in the third quarter. We had inserted our receiver on three plays in a run play, had that play-pass set up - didn’t come through with it, didn’t get it done. Called a few more play-passes that we felt we had set up and then we did run it and lost a couple yards, but we didn’t stay on the field. I feel if we had gotten first downs and stayed on the field, I can promise you that ratio would have gotten back there, but we didn’t, so you end up punting it and the ratio gets skewed. But when I look back at it, and I look at myself hard, obviously I didn’t do a good enough job. When you turn it over five times in the fourth quarter, that’s all of us but it starts with me. That third series in particular, I started out with the play-pass that I really wanted to get versus a certain coverage and I didn’t get that, so that’s definitely one play in particular – I wish I ran on first down in that third series.”

On production of the running game this season:
“I think it’s been right there with last year. I think we’ve got good yards per carry. I think we’re doing solid. Haven’t gotten Robert on the perimeter as much as we did last year, but we’ve had our games where we have. But I’ve been happy with our run game.”

On if it is tough to commit to the run without the pass being a threat:
“It really isn’t. It’s tough to commit to the run when you don’t stay on the field. Those plays were open and they were open because we had been committed to the run all game. That’s what opened those plays up and we didn’t make those plays. It’s frustrating, so you punt or a couple times we turn it over and you hope we can get it back and you can get back to it. But you don’t just want to do the same thing the whole game. Sometimes you’ve got to switch it up. So we had been running it throughout third quarter. You want to try to keep them off-balance, come out and get a play-pass that you have set up. Hopefully you get a big chunk on the play when you do that, and then when you don’t, you get behind in the chains. I could have ran on a couple of second-and-10s there, but I chose to pass it and did a couple screens, too, and it didn’t work out. So obviously I look at myself, too and I would have done a lot of different things differently because we got our ass kicked there in the fourth quarter. That starts with me, but it’s not at all like we’re sitting in there as a coach saying, 'We’re getting away from the run game’. That’s what we’re planning on doing, we’ve been doing all game. But you call plays to attack coverages, you call play-passes that you’ve been trying to set up through the run game and when you end up punting, it’s hard to get those other calls.”

On if he is calling as many plays with both running and passing options this season:
“Yeah, we put those in when the defense shows that it’s a good play. Those aren’t something that are good every week. Usually when you have an idea of what the defense is doing, it’s pretty safe. Sometimes you don’t want to put in stuff like that because you can’t account for free hitters and stuff like that when your pass options can be covered and then you’re going to hand it off into unblocked guys. So there’s a lot of defenses and such you can’t take those plays into, but every time you can, we definitely have them in.”

On if he is frustrated by the mental mistakes, including a botched snap:
“It’s extremely frustrating. It definitely frustrates the coaches. It frustrates the players, too. That first third down we had to call a timeout because we just didn’t get lined up right and the players have responsibility in that, but so do we. When the players make mistakes, that’s the coaches’ mistakes too, because it’s our job to get them to not mistakes. On that third-and-1 on the fumble, that wasn’t a mistake. It was just Monty [center Will Montgomery] couldn’t hear in the crowd noise. It was real loud there. He thought Robert had said we were going on the quick count. It was a no-huddle thing, which we get snapped pretty fast and it was taking longer because Pierre hadn’t gotten set yet so Robert was waiting for Pierre to get set and Monty just thought he missed the snap count because of how loud it was. So he snapped it thinking he did it and Robert was looking to make sure Pierre got set and it was unfortunate. It’s one of the things that we try to look at how we can avoid. That’s one of the hard things about going no-huddle on the road.”

On if his is aware of his own play-calling tendencies:
“Yeah, it’s in my mind almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It annoys my wife when she’s talking to me and I’m not answering her questions because I’m thinking of stuff like that, so we do it throughout the game. There’s a fine line – you don’t want to be over-obsessed with tendencies and not put your best players in the best situation to be successful. But when you do have a tendency, you know the defense is going to play to it and it’s tough for anybody when they’re playing and they know where you’re going to go, to go there. That’s why if you’re running the ball in all these situations and even though it looks good, you know you’re going to get a run front so you try to call a play-pass off of it. If that doesn’t work and if you have a high tendency to follow a play not working with a run, sometimes you have got to man up and call the pass again and have confidence this is going to work and vice versa. When you’re throwing a lot in situations, most people will usually throw on third down, sometimes you’ve got to make yourself run it, because you’re always going to get pass defenses and just the threat of the run will throw tendencies off. So you’ve always got to keep that in mind, to answer your question. But like everything, there is a fine line. You don’t want to be over-obsessed with something and end up not putting your players in the best position to win.”

On wide receiver Santana Moss this season:
“’Tana’s been up and down with how much he’s out there. He’s only out there when we go to three-receiver sets. For the most part, that’s always on third down. He’s made some plays. He had more for us earlier in the year. These last few games we haven’t done as much three wide receiver sets on first and second down. That’s nothing against him. It’s basically just what defenses we want to go against, what coverages they play, what personnel they put in. It’s all about matchups. But Santana is somebody I’ve always believed in – still do. I know there was times last year where he didn’t do much for us because we didn’t go to him for a little bit, and there was games we relied on him and needed him, and it’s kind of a week-to-week basis when you’re a role player like that.”

On if Moss’ lack of playing time is related to the emergence of tight end Jordan Reed or if the two are not intertwined:
“I think a little bit of both. Jordan’s on the field when 'Tana’s on the field on third down and they run similar routes, so you kind of want to see who the defense is going to go to. People have left Jordan in a lot of one-on-one matchups. I have a feeling that’s not going to stay for a while, especially with how he’s hurt people. As soon as people start moving the coverages to him, then someone else has got to step it up. 'Tana is the guy who does it a lot on third down because a lot of plays are designed to go there, but when the coverages take him away, you progress and you go to Pierre or Josh or Hank or sometimes Helu. So you never know who is going to get the ball. You always try to get it to the guys in the best situation, but it is pretty random. There’s no exact way to look at it.”

On if he has been pleased with any secondary receiving threats opposite Pierre Garçon:
“I think everybody needs to step it up. Every single receiver, including Pierre – I think myself, I think our quarterback, I think our O-Line, I think our running back, I think our whole team – does. We’re 2-5. There’s been some good things but obviously not good enough. There’s definitely not one position who can say, 'We’re not the problem.’ It’s everybody. As always, that starts with your offensive coordinator and it goes to our position coaches and it goes to every guy out there. We’ve got the same guys we had last year. We need to be crisper. We need to be better. There’s not much more I can say about it. I just can’t wait until Sunday to have an opportunity to try to do that.”

On if it is difficult to have confidence in players who have had issues with drops:
“It’s tough to win when you have drops. It’s tough to win when you miss a protection. It’s tough to win if you have bad throws. It’s tough to win when I give them a bad play call. But we’ve got to overcome it. You can’t just start playing differently because you don’t believe someone is going to do something. Those are the guys you’ve got. I do believe everybody here is capable. It doesn’t mean everyone has done a great job at all times, but if you start worrying about the play that they didn’t make before and you start thinking about that stuff when you’re in the pocket or when you’re playing in the heat of battle, there’s no time to think. You’ve got to react. You’ve got to see coverages. You’ve got to let it rip and you’ve got to believe in people, as a coach and as a player. We go as far as our guys go, we go as far as I go, and we all – even though we have had some of those drops – you can’t just start avoiding people. You’ve got to throw to the right guy. You’ve got to expect guys to make plays. You’ve got to try to help those guys, put them in better positions to get more open or make it an easier throw. But the bottom line is I’ve got to get it done and all those guys have got to get it done also.”

On the downfield passing game:
“It depends on coverages you get. Versus Chicago, we had a few passes down the field – that one to Aldrick [Robinson] down there. But last year, it’s funny, our yards per attempt and stuff were a lot higher but they weren’t deeper routes. It’s a five-step plant-and-throw route that we hit going against mainly single-safety looks, a little quick play-pass over the top of linebackers, that’s not a very deep throw. It’s really caught at about 13 yards, but we usually averaged about 24 yards per catch on it. When you play quarters teams and things like that, you don’t have that play. People were sitting there in the middle. So you’ve either got to go to a dropback game or you’ve got to attack those safeties over the top who are coming up in run support or coming up to get the quarterback in our zone read series. So your choices when you play quarters teams like Denver is to try to suck up those safeties and go over the top of them or try to throw one-on-ones on the outside – outside the numbers – or it’s to run the ball. When those safeties come up hard, it ends up being a nine-man front which usually gives you the chance to go over the top. It’s something you’ve got to do or you’re going to be beating your head against a wall going into a nine-man front all game. The only way to get out of it is to make that play. We have made it in the past. We had a couple of looks versus Detroit when we saw some quarters where we made those plays, but we didn’t get it done in Denver. And as the game went, it ends up hurting you when you don’t make those plays.”

On if Griffin III is as accurate as he’d like him to be in those situations:
“He is at times. Nobody’s perfect. It’s a low percentage ball down the field – we’re not the 1970 Raiders where I’m just going to say we’re going deep for no reason, 'We’re just going to go deep because that’s who we are.’ We go deep when we need to go deep. And when those coverages are presented, you’ve got to get them out of stuff – they’re daring you to do it, and you’ve got to take that challenge and it’s usually the difference in winning and losing. And if you come up with those plays, I think you’ve got a good chance to win. If they’re daring you to go deep and you can’t go deep, it’s tough to go short also. And it makes it a long day.”

On Griffin III holding onto the ball and if it can be attributed to receivers not getting open:
“There’s no one answer. It’s all the things you just gave. There was a couple times where he had to hold onto the ball because I called a play that I was hoping for quarters and I got a soft Tampa 2, so everybody’s dropping and nobody’s there so you end up just having to check it down. There were some plays where it took guys a little time to get open. There were some plays he could get rid of it quicker, and there were some plays we didn’t block well enough. It was really all of the above from each position from play caller to everything.”

On how he gets Griffin III to be better at anticipating things:
“I just think that comes with reps. It comes with learning – when you do struggle on things, it’s trying not to get too down and let everybody beat you down. It’s really trying to get in there, study the tape and try to figure out why it happened, what you can do next time you’re in that situation and maybe see it faster to maybe let it go earlier, what the receivers could do to maybe show up faster, what I could do to make sure I call it versus the right coverage and not the wrong coverage. But it’s all of us. No one’s 100 percent. When you do have a bad play, we’ve got to survive those bad plays and get it to checkdowns and just get rid of it. But everybody is just working at it and looking at themselves hard and being a man about it and trying to get better.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On safety Bacarri Rambo:
“I thought he did a nice job. For the game, he had one missed tackle which is outstanding and he had 12 tackles in the game. We went into the game starting Jose [Gumbs] and then when Jose got nicked he came in and you can see he’s got his confidence back after that game and the way he practiced yesterday. I was proud of the way he played.”

On three straight weeks of strong play from cornerback DeAngelo Hall:
“I think he’s played well all season, but I think it’s kind of caught on to everybody seeing that he’s playing really well and he’s shutting, for the most part – you know we put him on [Broncos wide receiver Demaryius] Thomas last week and Thomas is… really the long catch he had, he had 45-yards receiving, was on a screen that was just not a good call. But it wasn’t really on DeAngelo. DeAngelo did a good job on him.”

On if Hall will be matched up on Chargers tight end Antonio Gates:
“Well, we usually don’t match a corner on a tight end, but he has the ability that he can do almost anything. We’ve put him on, obviously, big receivers. We’ve put him on quick, faster receivers, so he’s got the ability to do anything if his mind is into it.”

On where Hall has improved:
“I think a couple of years ago when he made the Pro Bowl I think he had a heck of a year and I think he’s doing the same thing he did that year. We did the same kind of things with him then, but also I think that it helps because [cornerback] Josh [Wilson] is really playing well and [cornerback] David Amerson’s coming into his own and he’s playing well. I think it helps when you have three corners that are playing at a high level.”

On if San Diego’s no-huddle offense is any different than others they have seen this season:
“San Diego does it when they want to, they don’t do it all the time. Denver, that’s kind of their deal. They just do it all the time. I didn’t think we had an issue with the no-huddle last week. We shuttled guys in and out. We had guys going in and we’ll be ready to substitute if necessary.”

On comments by safety Brandon Meriweather and how he looked at his first practice back:
“I already addressed his comments and truly believe Brandon is a good guy. He’s a good person, and I don’t think he’ll do anything that’s going to harm the football team. He said something out of emotion, the way he felt, and just knowing Brandon, the way he practiced yesterday, he’ll stay within the rules and try to do what’s best. He’s not going to hurt our football team.”

On the defensive turnaround this season:
“I feel good the way we’ve played the last four weeks on defense. We haven’t put the perfect game together, but we’ve played pretty good. We had the four turnovers last week which I thought was big against that team. We did a nice job in the first half. We’ve got to do a better job in the second half even in the situations that we’re put in – the defense has to step up and stop people. I think our guys feel good about where they’re at right now and I’m looking forward to this upcoming game because, you know, we’re playing a good football team, and our guys are excited about the opportunity.”

On the challenges posed by Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers:
“I think he’s an outstanding quarterback. He’s almost at 75 percent completion, you know 74 percent. He gets the ball out of his hand fast. He doesn’t get hit much. He has a very good knowledge obviously of the offense and what’s going on. He’s doing a heck of a job. They’ve got a great running game, really good receivers, a great tight end, so I think it’s a great complement. They’re number four in the league, we just played the number one team, he’s number two in a lot of the categories as a quarterback, so again this is a great challenge for us… I’m saying the guy’s a heck of a football player. He’s only been sacked I think 11 times all year. He gets the ball out of his hand. He can read. Obviously, he’s a big guy. It’s a good challenge.”

On Rivers’ unorthodox delivery:
“I don’t think anybody really cares how a quarterback throws as long as it gets there and it gets out of his hand fast and he has all of that.”

On observers writing off Rivers after last season and saying he wasn’t a great quarterback:
“I would totally disagree with that. I think he’s an outstanding quarterback. I think he’s doing a great job with the offense. Like I said, he’s a big guy that moves well. He gets the ball out of his hand extremely fast; it’s unbelievable how fast he gets it out. He’s got a high percentage of completion. He’s an accurate quarterback. He can throw it into tight windows.”

On middle linebacker London Fletcher:
“I think London’s the leader of our football team. He’s kind of like [former Ravens middle linebacker] Ray Lewis when he was in Baltimore, that he runs everything, and London runs our football team – not just the defense, London runs our whole football team. He has great leadership skills. He has an innate ability to find the football. He still does great in pass coverage. London is one of the best of all-time.”

On how Fletcher compensates for losing any physical skills:
“Everybody loses something when they get older. That’s the way life is. Like I said, he’s the best professional I’ve ever been around. He studies the game harder than anybody. He knows where the ball is going before the ball is snapped. He’ll call out the plays out on the field. From that standpoint, you don’t find guys like that. They don’t make guys like this. Very rarely do they come along in a coach’s life do you have a guy you can walk up to and say something to him and he takes it out to the field and implements it. It doesn’t happen. You’ve got to walk through it with most guys. You show it to them, show them on film. London can take something I tell him and he’ll walk out on the field and get it done. I mean, you just don’t find guys like that.”

On Fletcher’s mental ability:
“He’s the best I’ve ever been around from that standpoint.”

On the performance of defensive end Jarvis Jenkins against Denver:
“I think Jarvis had an outstanding game last week. I thought our line played excellent. We were just trying to get Jarvis going, get him in. He was a little bit over 30 plays. He was kind of where we want to get all of those guys – 30-35 plays a game. I thought Jarvis played his best game he’s played this year. I expect him to get better and better.”

On if linebacker Brian Orakpo’s three sacks on the season are disappointing:
“No, because last week he got chipped 22 times. The tight end was there 22 times. So that will tell you something about who everybody thinks, 'This guy has the ability to get a lot of sacks.’ So they were trying to take Brian out of the game. So he got chipped a lot, he got hit a lot. That kind of happens and plus you don’t get a lot of sacks on [Denver Broncos quarterback] Peyton [Manning] anyway. The guy gets, what, he’s only been sacked nine times all year. The guy gets the ball out of his hands fast and it just shows you when they stick a tight end over there to chip him before he comes off, you know, just what kind of guy he is… I think that’s all the time with him. Everybody’s targeting somebody and they target 'Rak.”

On the challenges of coaching a player with hearing impairment, such as safety Reed Doughty:
“It’s a grind because, one, it’s hard to communicate, obviously. It’s hard to communicate on the field with him and we’ve got to do hand signals. He’s got to make sure we have the hand signals because he doesn’t hear sometimes on the field because of the crowd noise. So we’ve got to make sure of the hand signals so he sees what coverage we’re in, if we change the coverage, whatever. So there’s a lot of things as a coach that I’ve never had to experience until I came here with Reed. But just watching Reed and the way he is, the true professional that he is – he does everything to a T. He’s like a coach on the field. Whatever you say he takes to the field. So I think there’s more of a sense of he focuses in on what he has to do because he knows that he could lose something from that standpoint from he can’t hear everything that everybody’s saying all the time.”

On how Doughty compensates for that:
“He’s a coach – everything you say, he takes to the field. If something changes, you’ve got to wait until you get to the sidelines to talk to him because you can tell he’s in a massive panic out there. It is a heck of a challenge for coaches. Like if I’m in a meeting room, I’ll talk to him and I know he didn’t hear me, so I have to wait until I get him to go one-on-one with him sometimes, but he’s outstanding doing it.”

On if he believes Fletcher’s mistakes are related to his age:
“I’ve got a couple other guys who are 22 years old and had some bad games, too. So that happens.”

On how much longer he believes Fletcher can play:
“I don’t know. I can’t get into it. I was 31 when I knew I was done. Guys know when they’re done. They don’t want to admit it, but they know when they’re done. I knew I was done at 31. Somehow I tricked them for another year, but they know. Everybody knows.”

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