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Skins vs. Giants: Post-Game Notes & Quotes


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Game Notes: Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants

• The Redskins defeated the New York Giants, 28-14, at FedExField on Sunday.

• The win snapped the Redskins’ six-game losing streak against the Giants. Prior to Sunday, the team’s last win against the Giants came on Dec. 16, 2007.

• Head Coach Mike Shanahan earned his 161st overall victory as a head coach, tying him with Bill Cowher for 15th-most in NFL history.

• The win was Shanahan’s 14th in season openers, the most among active coaches.

• The Redskins are now 11-4 in home openers at FedExField, including 8-2 in season openers.

• Attendance for the game was 80,121. The game was the Redskins’ 361st consecutive sellout, including preseason, regular season and playoffs. All 141 regular season, postseason and preseason games at FedExField have been sellouts.

• The Redskins and Giants met for the 156th time, making them each other’s most common opponent.

• The Redskins have now won two straight season openers, having defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 13-7, in the season opener a year ago. The last time the Redskins won openers in consecutive years was 2004-05.

• Quarterback Rex Grossman threw for 305 yards, the fourth 300-yard passing game of his career. Three of his 300-yard passing games have come in his four starts with the Redskins.

• This is the sixth individual 300-yard passing performance by a Redskin in a season opener. The last time a Redskins quarterback had a 300-yard passer in Week 1 was Shane Matthews (327 yards) vs. Arizona on Sept. 8, 2002.

• Grossman had the 600th completion of his career on a 10-yard pass to Tim Hightower at the 8:01 mark of the first quarter.

• Tight end Fred Davis caught five passes for a career-high 105 yards. Davis’ previous high was 78 yards, set against Philadelphia on Oct. 26, 2009.

• Linebacker London Fletcher played in his 209th consecutive game and started his 168th consecutive game. His 168 consecutive starts are second only to Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber (184), with whom Fletcher is tied for most consecutive games played.

• With two receptions on Sunday, tight end Chris Cooley now has 422 career receptions, passing Jerry Smith for most receptions by a tight end in Redskins history.

• Cooley is now one reception away from passing Bob Tucker and Jay Novacek to rank in the top 20 in receptions by a tight end in NFL history.

• The Redskins were 1-of-1 on fourth down, converting on 4th-and-5 in the second quarter. The Redskins were 6-of-12 on fourth downs a season ago.

• Tim Hightower’s one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his first as a Redskin. It was the 27th of his NFL career and his first since Dec. 12, 2010, when he had a 35-yard touchdown run against the Denver Broncos.

• Hightower carried the ball a career-high 25 times for 72 yards. Hightower’s previous high in carries was 22, set in his rookie season against St. Louis on Nov. 2, 2008.

• Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong’s six-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was the fourth of his NFL career. He has a touchdown reception in all three games he’s played against the New York Giants since entering the league in 2010.

• Wide receiver Santana Moss caught six passes for 76 yards. He is one reception shy of becoming the 14th active player with 600 career receptions.

• Jabar Gaffney’s four-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was the 20th receiving touchdown of his career.

• Rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan returned an interception nine yards for a touchdown in the first quarter in his first career game. He is the first rookie linebacker to score a touchdown on Kickoff Weekend since 2002 (James Allen).

• The interception return for a touchdown was the Redskins first for a rookie since Oct. 17, 1999, when Champ Bailey returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown at Arizona, a span of 187 regular season games.

• Kerrigan’s touchdown was the Redskins’ first on an interception return since DeAngelo Hall’s 92-yard touchdown at Chicago on Oct. 24, 2010.

• The interception return for touchdown was the first for the Redskins by a non-defensive back since linebacker London Fletcher returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown vs. Arizona on Oct. 21, 2007.

• Brian Orakpo’s first blocked field goal of his career came in the fourth quarter and was the team’s first since Brandon Banks blocked a field goal attempt against Indianapolis on Oct. 17, 2010.

• The Redskins scored a touchdown on both offense and defense for the first time since doing so against Chicago on Oct. 24, 2010.

• Rookie nose tackle Chris Neild registered the first two sacks of his career, dropping Eli Manning twice in the second half. His two sacks mark the first time a Redskins rookie has debuted with multiple sacks since sacks became an official statistic in 1982.

• Punter Sav Rocca punted six times, pushing him past 300 career punts with 305 total.

• Rocca had four punts downed inside the 20-yard line, the most by a Redskins’ punter in a season opener in team history.

• Three of the Redskins four touchdowns were scored by players in their first season with the Redskins (running back Tim Hightower, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and receiver Jabar Gaffney).

• The Washington Redskins honored victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during the team’s regular season opener against the New York Giants at FedExField. The game was played on the 10-year anniversary of the attacks and the Redskins held numerous tributes before and during the game.

• Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State, served as the Redskins’ honorary captain for the pregame coin toss.

• The Redskins opened their regular season against the Giants at home for the first time in 22 years. The last time these two teams met at Washington for a season opener was Sept. 11, 1989, a game in which New York won, 27-24, at RFK Stadium.

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the Redskins’ performance:
“I was pleased with the overall effort of the football team. I felt we played extremely hard. Nothing’s perfect though. You got to find a way to win a game and that’s what I thought we did.”

On the performances of rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and rookie nose tackle Chris Neild:
“You always want guys making plays, especially young guys. They both came in and played well.”

On quarterback Rex Grossman’s performance:
“I thought Rex played an excellent game. There was a lot of pressure up front; they were a very talented football team. It’s extremely hard to get big plays in the passing game against a defensive front that puts lots of pressure on the quarterback.”

On Neild’s pass rushing:
“Anytime a guy gets two sacks, I don’t think you are expecting that the first game of his rookie season, especially for a nose tackle, so it’s a little bit of a surprise for a guy to have two sacks. But, Chris has that type of mindset. He’s a worker. He does an excellent job at the nose tackle position, especially coming in as a young guy. I like the way he handles himself. He’s a worker, very accountable and he played accordingly.”

On Kerrigan’s interception:
“They did a great job. We had a max blitz on that play. We kind of read the quarterback trying to dump the ball off. We played a little smoke to the wide receiver – very edgy play by him – good adjustment. It was a big play.”

On the defense’s performance in the second half:
“It’s what you have to do. You got to make some plays on offense and defense. I thought our defense made a number of plays in the second half. We had some third and shorts, some first downs, put a little pressure on their quarterback and got him a little bit out of rhythm. I thought that was a big difference in the second half.”

On Grossman’s slow start:
“They did something that they normally don’t do – a lot of man-to-man and pressure early. It really challenged our offensive line and wide receivers. It was a good adjustment by them. It was something they hadn’t shown a lot of and I was pleased with the way we adjusted.”

On the importance of tight end Fred Davis’ catches:
“You have to make third downs. You have to have your quarterback stand in the pocket and make the proper reads. You have to have a guy like Fred and some of our other receivers make big plays which they did. That’s a big part of that football game – making those big third down plays. It takes a combination of everybody especially against a team that was really putting a lot of pressure.”

On the team’s mindset:
“I got a lot of belief in our football team, but it is one win. We got to take it one game at a time. It’s a long season, but you have to believe in yourself. I think our players believe in themselves, but like we said in the beginning, talk is cheap. You have to go out and prove yourself each week, and hopefully, we can continue to do that.”

On finishing the game:
“People have to make plays. You turn the football over, and your defense comes up and makes a number of big plays. That’s what you have to do. You have to finish games. We got a chance to finish a little bit earlier in that third quarter and we couldn’t get anything going offensively when we were in some excellent field position. Sometimes when you hang around like that all of a sudden it can come back and bite you, but we stepped up and kept working and persevering. I was pleased with the way it turned out. We played a full 60 minutes.”

On Davis’ overall performance:
“Fred had an excellent camp. I’m really proud of Fred and how he’s handled himself. He made some big time plays today as well as Rex stepping up in that pocket. You got to have everybody making some plays. We really had a chance to make a few more plays in that game, but I think down the road we will make those plays. For the first game there were a lot of positives.”

On playing on September 11:
“It was amazing – 9-11. It brought tears to your eyes. It was quite emotional.”

On adjusting to man-to-man pressure:
“Everybody’s got different game plans relative to what you do – running game, passing game. They did a good job. They put a lot of pressure on us. They did a good job of taking a lot of our runs away. We didn’t run like we normally run, but I thought we had a couple of big plays in the passing game.”

On linebacker Brian Orakpo’s sprained right ankle:
“Hopefully it’s not too bad.”

Quarterback Rex Grossman

On how he felt out there today after his slow start:
“Things don’t always work out the way you think they will to start the game, but you always have confidence that eventually they will. And some of the things that were happening to us, like the blitzes and the tipped pass, I mean things like that happen, but you just have to stick with it and get into a rhythm.”

On what changed after the first series:
“Nothing changed. The game went along and eventually things got going. I think I was 0 for 4 to start, but it was a lot of tipped passes and I had to throw hot, things like that; they just played better than we did to start the game.”

On if there was a specific sequence where he started to feel his rhythm:
“Not really. I’m not quite sure exactly, there are a lot of plays running through my mind. We had a decent drive where Tim [Hightower] had a good run, I had a long pass to Santana [Moss] and we got it into field goal range. After that, you just feel good. In the kickoff game you haven’t played for a long time and so getting that first down and all the little victories help.”

On how much faith the team has in Coach Shanahan:
“We trust Coach Shanahan with everything. All the guys in the locker room love playing for him, respect him and believe that that coaching staff is going to put us in the best position to win.”

On how it feels to play the way he did today after being the source of a lot of criticism:
“It feels good.”

On how huge the fourth-and-5 conversion was for the game:
“I think we have an aggressive coaching staff, obviously with him going for that, it was a great play in the game. Santana [Moss] got open, got it to him and he picked up the first down which allowed us to take the lead. That’s where coaching matters. We have one of the best coaches in the league.”

On if getting the first touchdown pass out of the way was a milestone and his reaction to it:
“No, just situations are more emotional than others. I just reacted in the moment. I was happy.”

On the fumble and the following 70-yard drive:
“The fumble was obviously my fault. It was just a bad play and our defense came up huge again. Our defense was the key tonight. We scored 21 points on offense and that’s pretty good. It’s not exactly where we want to be, but it’s pretty good, but our defense dominated. They scored a touchdown themselves and kept them scoreless in the second half; they did a great job. That last drive, that was big, because I fumbled and our defense stepped up. Kyle [Shanahan] had some great play calls that drive. We picked up some big third downs to Fred [Davis]. Fred did a great job with running after the catch and then finally finding Jabar [Gaffney]; felt like I was in Florida again. Fred stretches the field vertically as well as any tight end in the league. To have, in my opinion, two of the best route-running, pass catching, all-around good tight ends with Davis and [Chris] Cooley, you’ll see us in a lot of two tight end situations for the rest of the year.”

On pregame emotions after speaking with General Colin Powell and what this day means:
“Any typical kickoff weekend your emotions are high. However, with it being the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 and Colin Powell’s in your locker room giving you a pregame speech and you’re running out to the field and the fans are chanting 'USA,’ I was overwhelmed. It was a fun day and a day I’ll never forget.”

On finishing drives with touchdowns instead of settling for field goals:
“That was key. I think the first touchdown was off of a first down. The second touchdown was off of a second-and-1. We scored without putting ourselves in third-and-long situations. We were third-and-5 on the third touchdown, but we were on the five. Sometimes, during preseason, we would be third-and-12 on the 14 and there’s not a lot to play, so staying ahead of the chains allowed us to do that today.”

On his message to his offensive line during the game:
“Our huddle was positive. I thought they did a great job. That’s a good defensive front. Their coach brought some blitzes and things, but it wasn’t their fault, a lot of those sacks were my fault. They did a great job battling and stuck with it. We’re a team and our huddle was positive throughout the whole day.”

On if he was surprised by the amount of pressure given the injuries on the Giants:
“No, sometimes when you bring pressure, I have to pick the right guy quickly. You have to make decisions really fast. Sometimes, I made some big plays and couple times I took sacks because I chose the wrong side.”

On shotgun snaps:
“There was one to the right, but as long as they’re coming back kind of soft it’s not that big of a deal. If they fire back and go over your head then that’s a problem. Our shotgun snaps are fine, we have a great center.”

Linebacker London Fletcher

On what grade he would give the defense today and how it felt to get a win against a division rival:
“I think it was maybe a B, B+. First half we didn’t tackle well, we let them get a long drive on us, but second half I thought we were lights out. Ryan [Kerrigan] got the big interception for the touchdown, and it was the first time in a while that we were able to play with a lead against this football team. The defensive line did a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback. Chris [Neild] came in and got I think two, two and a half sacks. We had constant pressure on them. I thought we did a good job in the second half.”

On the day as a whole, including Colin Powell’s pregame visit and the 9/11 anniversary:
“This day in history ten years ago means a lot to both cities, and to America in general. We had terrorists attack our country, and we’d never experienced anything like that in United States history. To have Colin Powell come in and speak to us, it meant a lot. This is a man who carries and demands a lot of respect and to have him address us—I can remember him being the Secretary of Defense. It was huge to have him address us and just with everything that went into this day.”

On if he said anything special to the linebackers before the game:
“I told them I love them and to go out and dominate. The standard is set and it’s just a lot to live up to that standard.”

On getting the win against a Giants team that’s had their number in the past:
“Going into the game, we felt very confident about our football team against the Giants. No disrespect to them, we know the Giants are a good football team, very well coached, but going into this football game we just felt really good about our chances against them. I think today we were able to go out and prove that. We felt like we matched up pretty well against them. We knew they were going to come in and try to establish the run and we were able to hold their running game down and make them throw the football and we were able to get some pressure on the quarterback.”

On the Kerrigan interception’s effect on the game’s momentum:
“It was a huge momentum swing, just to come out and to finally have a lead against this football team. They’re a different team playing behind and it felt good to play with the lead. I think one thing that can’t be overlooked is our offense, right before the half, getting that score back tied. We gave up a big drive, Giants went up 14-7, and our offense comes back in and answers them, getting the score back to a tie at 14-14 at the half, and then for us to come back—I think we might’ve went 3-and-out the first drive—and then we were able to get the lead with Ryan’s interception.”

On if the defense is excited for play calls like a max blitz:
“Actually, the crazy part is we had a max blitz, and they checked to what they call a rocket screen, so if Ryan doesn’t make that flight—DeAngelo [Hall] I think would’ve made the tackle, but it would’ve been very interesting because they went to a rocket screen to the wide receiver. It was a great play by the rookie [Ryan Kerrigan].”

On the value the rookies and new free agents are adding to the defense:
“They were all drafted here or brought here for a reason. Whether it was Ryan being drafted in the first round to play that outside linebacker for us, Bowen at the right defensive end position, Barry Cofield at the nose tackle—Barry made a great play on the 3rd down play right before the blocked field goal. They ran a toss to our left, he gets out there and he and I both combined to make a stop to keep them from getting the first down. That was a huge play. Not a lot is written about that but that was a huge play to make them kick the field goal, and then we were able to block the field goal. Then Bowen I think got a sack…Chris Neild played great for us. We had a lot of guys who were able to play some great football today.”

On if he expected pass rushing ability from the nose tackle position:
“I think when you put the suits on, he stepped up and he played well today. His job first and foremost is to keep me clean and not let any linemen get up to me and he did a good job of that. We were able to get pressure out of him. Barry’s [Cofield] can also provide pressure up the middle too, so it’s good to have those guys who can do both.”

On if he thought today’s success was due to experience in the 3-4, the new additions, or both:
“It was a combination of both. If you think about it, we went from a very successful 4-3 defense to making the transition last year to a 3-4. It takes at least a year to get the personnel to match that. Last year, some of the plays the Giants ran—those would’ve been big plays against us. This year, having a year under our belt and understanding the scheme better, and with the addition of those guys, it makes a big difference.”

On how it feels playing football without the distractions of last year:
“It feels great. It’s hard enough to beat the opponent on Sunday with a week of preparation, and there’s a lot that goes into these ballgames, but when you have a distraction—whether we create it ourselves or not—it takes away from the preparation of the week’s ballgame. It feels good to not have that or the questions that you have to answer that takes your focus away from the opponent.”

On what today’s performance means about the future for this team:
“It tells me we have a team. The offense did a great job getting the score back tied at the half, defensively we came out and played lights out, and then there were those two plays that the offense did in the second half to give us a two touchdown lead. It’s a team…some of the punts that Sav [Rocca] made, those are big plays, being able to pin them down and force them to drive the ball 80, 90 plus yards. It’s hard for an offense to have to put a drive together like that so it was a great team effort.”

Tight End Fred Davis

On the big plays he made:
“Yeah that’s what it’s about. We just had the opportunity to go out there. Chris was a little banged up, he still played today and I think he did a pretty good job too. We started off a little slow, but it picked up. Rex threw the ball on point and you just got to make plays when they’re there. That’s what happened for me today.”

On Davis’ stretching the field:
“Yeah, I mean, that’s the type of player I am. I lost probably about twelve pounds this year just to get in shape. I wanted to be able to run around all day and be able to make plays down the seam. I see a lot of tight ends make plays down the seam and in this offense you can do a lot at the tight end position. I just wanted to benefit from it and that’s what I did today.”

On his play picking up during the game:
“Just for me, a tight end, it’s just that first catch or when you get that first ball you’re like 'Okay it’s time to go,’ and I think that’s what it was for me.”

On running back Tim Hightower opening up the offense:
“Oh yeah, Tim, he runs very hard. He’s hitting the hole hard. And not just him, you know, everybody, the blocking up front kind of helped him out a lot and can get better too. That’s the funny thing about it; we can still be better and that’s where our focus is.”

On if he expects more two tight end sets this year:
“I don’t know, you know, that’s one of the things that depends on the team we play and what the coaches feel. Other than that, I don’t really have an idea. I just go game to game and see what happens.”

On if he split out wide as many times last year:
“A couple times we did a little bit more this week, different things, getting off the ball in motion a lot. That’s what we usually incorporate in our offense.”

On the offense spreading the ball around:
“That’s the main thing, I think, just having those guys like Jabar [Gaffney], Santana [Moss] and [Anthony] Armstrong with the great catch. When you’ve got guys like that, it just makes it even easier. When you incorporate all those guys like Rex was doing – he was just hitting everybody. Whoever was open, he was hitting them. And that’s what we need and we took care of business today.”

On big hits over the middle of the field:
“Yeah you meet some people. I got hit with a good one; this time I kept it though so that’s good.”

On starting off the season with a win:
“Man, just getting started off with a win like this is great. One thing you want to do is always win the division and this is the start of something great for us and it’s only going to get better. We’re going to keep working.”

On what he could have done better the last couple of years:
“That type of stuff you can’t think about because everything happens for a reason, I feel. God put me in this situation for me to learn, sit back, and I watched [Chris] Cooley a lot of times and stuff that he has done. I learn from that stuff and the stuff that I’ve done in practice and just get better. Now I’m put in a situation to finally make plays and I had to. You know when you get the opportunity, that’s what it’s about. Usually, if you fall, that’s when you don’t last long in this league. You got to make plays when you got them out there.”

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan

On his interception and touchdown:
“Yeah, it was good to get some momentum going after that play, and I think that kind of set the tone for the rest of the second half. What we talked about at halftime was we need to come out with more of a swagger and just fly around a little more, have a little more fun. I think doing that really helped us, really carried us throughout the second half.”

On what he saw on the interception play:
“Well, I knew it was a quick pass because the offensive lineman was trying to cut me. I just tried to play the cut block, get my hands up, and fortunately I was able to get my hands on the ball and get into the end zone.”

On dropping into coverage on that play after a brief transition:
“Well, I mean, that wasn’t too much coverage right there. That was just playing the cut block and getting my hands up. Fortunately the ball found my hands twice and I got into the end zone.”

On the feeling of scoring in his first NFL game:
“I never scored a touchdown in college. That was pretty exciting to get my first touchdown in my first NFL game.”

On the camaraderie of Kerrigan and quarterback Rex Grossman being from Indiana:
“Yeah, I mean it was a good day for all of Redskins’ nation today. Just happy to get the win and be 1-0.”

On his last defensive touchdown:
“Well the last time I scored a defensive touchdown was in high school and it was actually on a similar play. They threw a screen pass and I batted it up in the air and picked it and took it to the house.”

On if there was a moment during that play that he will remember:
“I just remember not really being able to see anything as I was getting mauled by my teammates. It was just a great feeling. That was a moment I will always remember.”

On the overall play of the defense:
“Well the second half, we really, that’s how we need to play every week, week in and week out, and every day at practice. That’s what we expect. We got a lot of playmakers on this defense and I think if we can play like the way we did in the second half week in and week out, we can have a really good team.”

On grading his play:
“I thought I did okay. Did some things well, but did some things not so well, like when I was in coverage the one time the tight end caught the ball. I just need to get underneath him a little bit more. But, other than that, I thought I played decent. I need to get a little more pressure in the pass game and when I’m rushing. Just a bunch of little things that I need to fine tune.”

On if the speed of play was faster compared to the preseason:
“I’d say so. It was definitely quicker and definitely more physical. You definitely feel it more when you’re playing four quarters versus two.”

On keeping up with the game mentally:
“I think mentally I was very comfortable out there. We had a game plan that we really worked at, really honed in on all week and we stuck to the game plan. So mentally it was exactly what I was expecting. I’m just getting more comfortable in the defense.”

On if he feels like he belongs in the NFL after a good first game:
“Well I definitely feel like I belong. I mean the Redskins picked me to come in here and make plays for the defense. That’s my goal here and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Running Back Tim Hightower

On the commitment to the run today:
“That’s encouraging. Ultimately, we have to win, how we do it I don’t care – run, pass, whatever it takes. It is encouraging to see Coach stick with me. I had a couple of bad runs and they had some faith in me and stuck with me. I don’t feel like I had my best game today, but we got the win and I’ll be better next week.”

On the pass protection by the running backs today:
“We missed some opportunities. We let Rex [Grossman] get hit too much. He did a great job of staying in there. That dude is tough, nobody can question his toughness. We have to do a better job. Our starting quarterback has to stay clean, running backs, tight ends and the offensive line – we all have to do a better job. Clearly you can see that if we can keep him upright, he’ll find the right person.”

Wide Receiver Anthony Armstrong

On if he was surprised by tight end Fred Davis’ performance today:
“No. That’s one of the things we see from him day in and day out at practice. He’s been electric all training camp and all preseason, it’s carried over.”

On the progression quarterback Rex Grossman in this offense:
“I think the comfort level is there. Having been in the system for so long he’s able to just execute. He’s more precise with his decision making, he’s quicker. It’s showing on the field.”

On his catch at the one-yard-line early in the game:
“I know it moved the chains for us and helped set up our first touchdown. I was happy to do my job.”

On finishing the game strong:
“It felt great. I know everybody was harping on it, knowing that we had score on that last drive. Last year, I don’t know if we would have made those plays. It probably would have been a situation where it came down to the very end, keeping everybody on the edge of their seat. It’s good to show that we can go out and finish a team.”

On what the difference between last year and today was:
“I think it’s the extra year in the system. There’s an attitude in this locker room, something is happening with this team that I can’t really explain, but it’s something special and it’s showing up on the field.”

Wide Receiver Jabar Gaffney

On being able to put the Giants away:
“You have to put teams away and we were able to do that. We went up two touchdowns and that made it really tough for them.

On if he likes this team after the first regular season game:
“I love this team right now. There’s something special in this locker room. Every guy in the locker room believes that we can win and we’re going to try to go out and do that each and every week.”

On having so many weapons at wide receiver:
“It’s great. It helps keep the other teams off balance. We have a lot of weapons over here, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. As long as we keep showing up we’ll be tough.”

Tight End Chris Cooley

On the big division win:
“It’s a huge win for us. We’re a team that’s very confident right now and we feel like we can win football games. I think it was so important to start off fast and play well.”

On beating the Giants:
“The last six times we’ve lost to them and nine of the last ten we’ve lost to them. It feels so good to beat those guys. We’ve watched film over the past few years and thought that it was always a game we could win. I can’t really express how good it feels to get a win today. They’ve been such a nemesis for us and to finally get that off our backs is huge.”

On how he feels physically:
“I felt great today. I was really pleased to have been able to play. I did as much as I could for us and that felt great. So building on what I’ve done so far, I have a ton of confidence.”

Wide Receiver Santana Moss

On if he felt his early catches helped get the offense in rhythm:
“My job is to go out there and be productive, regardless if it’s early or late. I want to be productive always. When I get an opportunity I treat it like my last. When they call my number, I show up. I appreciate them looking for me in times of need. I feel like it did spark us. Me catching those balls wasn’t the only thing happening, I had guys blocking well, Rex [Grossman] throwing the ball well and I was getting open. I felt like as team, we did all that we could to get drives going.”

On how satisfied this team is with its performance:
“We’re very confident. We know that it takes time to be good. I feel like for the years that we’ve been here, we’ve been inching and scratching to get to that point. Right now, I feel like we have one of the best teams the Redskins have had recently.”

On how long it’s been since the Redskins have had a comfortable lead late in the game:
“I feel like it’s been years since we’ve had that kind of fun out there. I sensed this during training camp, during pre-season. We have a different kind of swagger in here. Everybody is confident in here, everybody in here is about the team. We don’t have any selfish guys and that’s what it’s about. We’re going to help each other win.”

Tight End Fred Davis

On what this win means for team going forward:
“It’s just a start. There were a lot of people talking bad about us before the season started, and this is a stepping stone.”

On Rex Grossman’s performance today:
“Rex had great composure today. He got hit and sacked a few times and was still able to throw the ball well. I think he had a pretty good game.”

On his big first down conversion catch today:
“It was a regular seam route, they were in a zone. Rex [Grossman] threw the ball perfectly. I got hit pretty hard but I held onto it. I feel like this is the start of something great for us. We were all able to make plays today, Santana [Moss], Jabar [Gaffney], all of the guys did great.”

Linebacker Brian Orakpo

On beating the Giants:
“It felt good, it felt good. We were what [against the Giants], 0-6 before this game – they really had our number, but I knew the type of team we had this year. I’ve been saying it since day one that it’s a new team. It’s only game one, but it’s a new team, new characters and win, lose or draw you are going to see a different attitude out there on this team.”

On this being a statement game:
“It’s still early. I don’t want to say we are going to do this and that. It’s still early, we’re 1-0, a great win at home both offensively and defensively, we played great! It’s something to feed off of until week 2.”

On this being an emotional day:
“It’s emotional. 9/11, it was the 10 year anniversary. Before the game a lot of guys were emotional, but once it was kickoff, it was time to go.”

On rookie nose tackle Chris Neild:
“He had a phenomenal game. Who would have ever thought--he had what, two, three sacks? Rookies coming in and making plays, that’s what we need — guys with hungry attitudes.”

Nose Tackle Chris Neild

On recording two sacks in his NFL debut:
“In college last year I had three sacks the whole season, the year before that I had none. So I didn’t expect that at all, I just went out there and tried to do my job.”

On the importance of the win over the New York Giants:
“Yeah, it’s been what, six [loses] in a row? Especially on a day like this, it was definitely big. Starting off 1-0 in our division is real big for us.”

On his development since training camp:
“It was all about adjusting to the speed of the game and [learning] how the Redskins play, whether it be on defense or offense. Overall it’s been a growing process day-by-day, but I’m just taking it all in stride.”

Defensive Lineman Stephen Bowen

On beating the Giants:
“This is a new team, a new era. We are trying to do things the right way. We are trying to get wins and concentrate on the little things that matter, and we are going to keep working hard.”

On sending a message with a two touchdown win:
“I think people may realize we aren’t a slouch team and that we are for real – people are going to have to prepare for us. [Playing against the Redskins] will not be an easy game. Each game we are going to go out there and give people our best shot.”

Defensive Lineman Barry Cofield

On the Redskins fan base:
“It’s a passionate fan base. It’s a situation where hopefully we put a product out there that they can cheer for, that they can get behind and get excited about. Ever since I’ve been here they’ve been great to me. I love it here. I love northern Virginia. I love DC. I love Maryland. I love this whole area – the fan base is extremely passionate. We are a new-look team. A lot of new faces and a lot of guys making big plays Rookies and everyone contributing.”

On pressuring Eli Manning:
“We had to eventually stop the run. I think that was the key. If you make any team one dimensional they are going to have a hard time if you have good pass rushers, and I think we do. It was about containing those two running backs. They had some good runs and they are talented – that was to be expected – but when we finally got our technique together and our gap responsibilities, we were able to slow them down.”

On his feelings about the New York Giants letting him go:
“I don’t think that’s what it’s about. I think it’s about finding a great spot in Washington. They showed me through my contract that they wanted me here. It’s not like the Giants kicked me out the door, they just couldn’t do what the Redskins did to get me here. I’m just here every week in and week out to show the fans what they acquired and make the front office feel like they made the right decision.”

Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin

On where the Giants fell short today:
“Up until halftime it was a very, very good and competitive football game. To start the second half off with an interception and touchdown…that’s a tough way to start the second half. We were battling even then, to be in a position to kick the field goal and have the field goal blocked – which were contributing factors there as well – that was extremely disappointing and that very well may have changed the complexion of the game completely there. The penalty in the drive, which, there’s no one touching the receiver – he can get up and run and he can do whatever he wants – then in comes a defender flying and, I guess, they called helmet-to-helmet. That’s a very difficult call for me, but the penalty contributed to that. I did not like the end of our game offensively at all. We didn’t move, we looked disorganized, we took a delay-of-game [penalty] again – that was totally unacceptable there. It’s our first game, I liked their effort. I had no problem with that at all. But the execution, particularly the offensive execution, and the ability to defend the pass off of play action was disappointing.”

On if the Giants encourage plays like safety Antrel Rolle’s head-to-head penalty:
“No, no, you’re not supposed to go helmet-to-helmet as a defender. It looked like he was trying to cover the guy up. I don’t know that there was any intent there. I was very surprised when the penalty was called. Of course it was way across the field.”

On whether the Giants’ blocked field goal was due to a low kick:
“I think it was a combination of that and there was penetration on our left side. There was penetration on the left side and the ball was not elevated very well. It takes little then to block it, but that can’t be an issue. Obviously, Lawrence [Tynes] has been out of action for awhile and we need to work on that. But that can’t be a problem. We just won’t let that be a problem.”

On the defensive coverage problems today:
“Well, a couple of times that was true [the defenders were leaving too much of a cushion]. There were a couple of double moves that made us look bad and then we recovered and made a few plays on the deeper balls. We did have quite a bit of cushion on a couple of plays.”

On the offensive stagnation from the preseason:
“Well, to me, it’s the consistency factor. It seemed like if we did have a penalty, we didn’t recover and that wasn’t a problem for them. When they had a penalty, they would come back and make a first down and we did not. Our third downs were atrocious again. I think our inconsistency and our lack of third down production…you’re not going to keep the ball if you can’t do something with it on third down.”

On if the interceptions were due to quarterback Eli Manning not seeing the defender coming up:
“Completely. Again, it was away from me. I did see a replay of it at the end of the game, but obviously that’s a tall man (Ryan Kerrigan) that can get up in the air and elevate and he did so.”

On if defensive end Justin Tuck was close to playing today:
“We thought so, but the doctors didn’t want him to play.”

On if the Giants lost today because they didn’t have their whole team:
“No, no, that’s not acceptable and we won’t make any excuses about that. We came down, we were very well prepared and our guys were excited about playing. We knew the significance of the day and we wanted to pay our respects by the way in which we played. As I said, other than a couple of things that took place in the first half, it was highly competitive. We did not play the same way in the second half obviously. Offensively we didn’t do a thing – we didn’t score a point. That was very disappointing.”

On what losing tight end Travis Beckum on Friday did to their game plan:
“He’s our third down tight end. He’s the guy that took all of the snaps for the whole week. That was part of the confusion with the two-minute drill at the end of the game. We had a tight end in there who hadn’t really had much work, trying to do the best he could and the execution wasn’t what it should have been.”

On the Giants having a difficult time on short yardage runs:
“Well, on the fourth down one, it looked to me like they were in a…they seemed to gain leverage on us on the outside and there wasn’t much room for the other back to go. They seemed to have the gaps covered along the front and the defender boxing the runs as well. Based on the formation that we use, I’m sure that there were nine, 10 people up at the line of scrimmage.”

On the Giants two starting safeties playing down:
“That’s not necessarily an indication of anything. In this day and age, safeties are all down at the line of scrimmage – you saw [Reed] Doughty down there the whole night for the Redskins. We had our safeties down and I’ll have to take a look at the tape to make any other comment.”

On how the Giants rookies played today:
“I don’t really know. I’d have to take a look at the tape. There were obviously some errors on special teams and there were some penalties, but I’m not sure if it was those guys or not. They tried hard, we’d like the performance to obviously be better, but until I see the tape I won’t be able to say.”

Giants Quarterback Eli Manning

On tackle Kareem McKenzie’s comment, “We shot ourselves in the foot”:
“I’ve got to give credit to Washington. They played a great game and did a lot of good things – some different looks. We had a few things that we didn’t connect on. When things were open, we hit them for the most part – but they did a good job mixing up different looks. On third down we’re one-for-10. That’s a big part of the answer right there.”

On his interception:
“No, we were cutting that guy. He just did a good job and a good move to avoid the cut – to jump up and tip it up. It was a good play by him – not a whole lot I can do about that.”

On how much pressure is on the offense because the defense is banged up:
“No, both sides of the ball have to do their part. I thought our defense played good tonight. They did a lot of good things, got us a turnover and stopped Washington for a good part of the game. We have to do our part. We have to keep the ball longer and help out our defense. We’ve got to win the time possession and sustain drives. We have to find a way to put more points on the board.”

On the performance of the offensive linemen:
“I thought we were on the same page. Everyone was doing the right thing. They did a good job. Some of the sacks weren’t on them. But, we have to look at the film. I thought they did a good job and gave us a chance to make some plays.”

On how he physically feels after the game:
“Physically, I’m fine. I feel good. So, no issues there.”

On his comfort with wide receiver Victor Cruz:
“I feel comfortable with the guy. We didn’t do a whole lot of three wides in the game. We got a little surprise on Thursday when [tight end Travis] Beckum was out. I thought our tight ends did a great job. [Tight end Jake Ballard] had two big catches for big yardage. It was just one of those deals – we didn’t go into that personnel a whole lot. I thought [Domenik] Hixon and all those guys did a good job – kind of being thrown into the mix. Hixon had to play some four wides so that we could practice all week.”

On Washington stopping the key short yardage plays:
“They just played it well. We had headshots and had opportunities – just one of those deals where everything has to be perfect. I handed off and I don’t always see exactly why it will make it or not make it, but that’s something we’ve got to get better at also – be able to convert on third and short and fourth downs and keep drives in the game.”

On Washington being a different team this season:
“They’re always a good team. They played us well when we were good last year in the last game of the season. They’re a talented team. They played well today.”

On the Giants’ offensive struggles:
“We try to figure out how to improve each week. That’s our focus – you prepare for the next game. We have a Monday night game coming up. We prepare for that and go out there and have a great week of practice and try to get better.”

On the single biggest thing he can improve on:
“It’s tough to say. You keep working and prepare – hopefully next week we have another good week of practice and we come out and play better than we did today.”

Giants Safety Antrel Rolle

On the second half:
“I wouldn’t say that something is off. There are times when we shut them down and there were times when they made good plays. They get paid just like we do. At the end of the day we tried to be effective with what we do as a unit. I think it is more so about us and not so much about them.”

On the helmet-to-helmet penalty:
“In the heat of the moment I felt like we were trying to get up. I don’t think I lowered my head at all, but the call was made you have to get up and play again. Next time we have to take him down before he gets there and it won’t happen. I don’t think it was helmet-to-helmet. We definitely made contact with him after the initial hit. I definitely didn’t lead with my helmet. I have never led with my helmet on any tackle and to say that is crazy. There is nothing I can do about it. The call was made.”

On third down defense:
“There were times we got after them and there were times when we played effective coverage. We just have to do what we have to do. We have to stop them, but at the same time they were pretty good at what they were doing tonight. They are a pretty good football team.”

Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck

On his injury:
“The coaches said it was best to wait one more week. The plan is to wait one more week. I wanted to play this week. I’m still not 100 percent, but I wanted to give it a go. The doctor said 'we would rather have you out one week than re-aggravating it and going through this process again and be out for a month’. It was a precautionary thing.”

On the game:
“You always want to be out there with your teammates. Hopefully, I will get that shot next week. I think the referees should throw more holding calls. I don’t even know why it is a rule in the game if it doesn’t get called. We are already off to a bad start, we lost a game. We are resilient. We will bounce back. What better way than at home Monday night. We are looking forward to it. If we can get some guys back we will be close to full strength.”
Giants Kicker Lawrence Tynes

On him kicking:
“It is going to take another couple of weeks to get back into kicking shape. I have to get to work. There was a lot of blood on the quad for two or three weeks. Just getting back to the number of kicks where I need to feel good. I was tired after pregame.”

On the block:
“I got ran over. I am not a very good tackler so I just got ran over. I felt like I hit it like I hit all of my kicks. They are not always going to be real high. Steve said I hit it good and that sounds good to him. We will look at film tomorrow. Any way you look at it, it is a miss.”

Giants Guard Chris Snee

On game:
“We have to play better. I am very disappointed. This is going to sit with me tomorrow and after I watch the film I am going to move on because I have to. There are 15 more games. There is no time to panic.”

(Courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
Hightower had less than 3 yards a carry? didn't seem like that.

thnx for the leg work.....
Yeah...he ran it 25 times for 72 yards (think that's a 2.8 yard avg). Hey - the Giants are no slouches against the run. We pounded it enough to keep them honest. I'd like to see us keep it on the ground more going forward though.
Yeah...he ran it 25 times for 72 yards (think that's a 2.8 yard avg). Hey - the Giants are no slouches against the run. We pounded it enough to keep them honest. I'd like to see us keep it on the ground more going forward though.

just reflecting that I thought he was up in the 4 yd/carry region. he looked good. must have been the several tackles in the backfield (off left tackle) that skewed the average.
Sure is nice to see a lot of positives and enough humility to realize that it is one game. A good start - on to the Cardinals.

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