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Nov. 11: Shawn Springs


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From ES Staff

Do you have an opening statement, Shawn? Maybe tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up...

Shawn Springs

I was born in Williamsburg, VA, about 2 ½ hours away from here--me and my Mom. My Dad played for the Cowboys, as most people know, but I stayed with my Mom. Then in Silver Spring (MD) I attended Springbrook HS. So growing up, I was torn; I lived in the Washington DC area, but my Dad was a Cowboy, so I always rooted against the Skins. Now I find myself playing for [them]--and that’s kind of cool.

From dawgjk9

We all know that the defense has had a tendency to give up big runs this year so far. What is the reason for being weaker against the run, and can we expect the run defense to be solidified as it was last year?

Shawn Springs

You know, I think people have just hit some plays on us this year, and the difference this year from last year is that we’ve missed some key guys. I missed a game or two, Cornelius [Griffin] missed a game or two. And other teams have had another year to game-plan us and see some of our weaknesses and stuff like that...so they’ve made some plays on us. But I think towards the end of the year, November and December, that’s when the best teams solidify themselves, and I think we’re going to improve ourselves on defense. Gregg [Williams] isn’t going to let us have too many plays given up.

From fuji869

I am a Redskin Fan living in the Seattle Area, actually I meet you last year on the Monday Night Live Episode after the Ravens Game. How does in feel to go from a city like Seattle, where the fan base is pretty fair-weather and the games were not always sold out, to Washington D.C., where there is a very dedicated fan base?

Shawn Springs

Ah, it feels good. Because you know, Washington is a football city. Redskins fans are loyal--they support you whether you win or lose, whether it rains or snows. So it feels good knowing that everyone are die-hard Skins fans in the area.

From portis&taylor

How do you feel after not making the Pro Bowl when you really should have last year?

Shawn Springs

I was alittle disappointed. You work so hard at trying to be the best at what you do. But I was proud of the fact that I played on a great defense last year. I didn’t get any personal accolades, which is fine. I would rather have won.

From santanamoss89

Are there any particular receivers you look forward to going up against this year with 8 games to go?

Shawn Springs

Well, you know you’re always up for a great challenge, because each team has a great receiver. St. Louis has Torry Holt. Oakland has Randy Moss and Jerry Porter. And of course we play Dallas again, and you look forward to going against Terry Glenn and Keyshawn Johnson. I would say Terrell Owens (laughs), but we probably won’t see him in Philly at the end of the year...

From Diablo23

Being the No. 1 corner on this defense, how do you prepare to play against the elite receivers in the league?

Shawn Springs

You know what? I don’t look at myself as a number one. I just look at [myself] as a left corner, and just go out and play hard. I study film regardless of who the competition is. I don’t want to let the rest of the defense down, so I just try to do my part.

From LiveStrongSkins

As a very well respected DB in the NFL, what type of receiver is harder to guard? A big new age "prototypical" WR or a smaller shifty guy like Moss? With the new rule changes it would seem like guarding Santana would be very difficult. Kind of like someone trying to mirror Allen Iverson

Shawn Springs

Yeah, it’s exactly like that. When you’ve got those small, quick guys, it’s already hard enough to put your hands on them, then you can’t put your hands on them down the field [either]. So for me, a guy like Santana is tougher, because I’m a bigger corner--they drafted me to play receivers like T.O. and Randy Moss and those bigger-type guys. Those little quick guys like Santana, I don’t like seeing them all the time.

From Huly

Since you grew up in Silver Spring MD, were you always a Redskin fan and if so how does it feel to play for the team you cheered for as a child?

(ES follow) And, if I might add, how does it feel to play against the Cowboys?

Shawn Springs

That’s a tough question, because as a lot of people know, my Dad was a professional athlete, and he played for the Cowboys for like seven years. In my household all I knew was silver and gray, and the star on the helmet. Then I got older and ended up playing in the NFL for the Washington Redskins, who I had to hate growing up–my Dad was a Cowboy, so I had no choice.

From mcarey032

Thanks for taking time out for the fans! When you joined the Redskins, did you know that you were going to be a part of so much blitzing off the corner? I know that Ray Rhodes did a lot of blitzing, not necessarily off the corners, but how would you contrast this defense with the defense you played in Seattle?

Shawn Springs

(Laughs) No, I didn’t. I didn’t realize how my role would be here. Gregg [Williams] really uses me in all the blitz packages, and I never thought I’d be used this way.

From Die Hard

You signed a large contact with the Skins 2 seasons ago. Do you think you have it within you to play out the contract? Are your expectations to play out the contract and sign another, assuming of course you still have your health?

Shawn Springs

Well, you take it year by year, and you never know with the cap. But when I signed in free agency and talked with Coach Gibbs, he said he wanted to change the way people looked at the Redskins. Because before, people looked at the Redskins as free agents, and [players] would be here 2 or 3 years and then leave. I told Coach Gibbs I wanted to play on a team where I’d play with guys, and we’d build something together. Coach Gibbs told me that was the kind of guys they were looking for. So I plan on playing my contract out with the Redskins. I don’t know if I’ll be signing another one (laughs), because I’ll be like 34 when I’m done.

From Chrisbob74

Tackling and playing physical football are two of the most impressive part of your game...could you see yourself moving to safety like players such as Rod Woodson, Troy Vincent and others have done to prolong their careers?

Shawn Springs

Well, that’s who I kind of pattern myself after, is Rod Woodson. I could realistically see myself moving to safety within the next year or two. I would be excited it that happened.

From steves504

Shawn Springs or Champ Bailey? Who’s the better all-around cornerback?

Shawn Springs

(Laughs) Being diplomatic? I’d say it depends on the receivers and the matchup. Right now I think Champ is in the tank--he’s struggling and going through some injuries. And I know what that’s like; it happened to me around my 7th and 8th year, and I think right now Champ is struggling. It comes down to how you feel at that particular time, and right now I feel like I’m on my game, probably better than at any part of my career. But you know, Champ is a great player, and I’d be wrong to say I’m better than him because there’s some things he does better than me, and there’s some things that I do probably much better than him.

From ES Staff

Did you enjoy getting these questions from the fans, and do you have any message for them?

Shawn Springs

I enjoyed it. Fans are who makes the games. Sometimes we take for granted how much influence we have on people and their lives ... [so] any time you can let the fans know from the player’s mouth what’s going on, and what we’re thinking in Redskins Nation, you get excited. Because you know, they believe in us and they support us. I love it. I love having people be able to come out and support us, and to make [those] people happy. I always love the fans–the fans take care of us.
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