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Redskins Park: Quotes - HC Mike Shanahan & Coordinators

Mark The Homer

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December 15, 2010

Redskins Park

Redskins Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On the players using their cars to go to an off-site facility to practice:

“First of all, the only reason we barreled into cars was because it was going to take us about an hour and half to get buses. Obviously, the snow came fairly quickly. But yeah, we’ll get that resolved in the near future. That’s not perfect right now relative to places to practice. We like it better and we’ll work on it in the future.”

On if he can quantify how much of a disadvantage it is to not practice on a field:

“I’m going to be honest with you, I just kind of deal with the elements. Hey, this is what we’ve got right now and we’ll deal with it. I think the players did a fantastic job of doing the things we need to do to prepare for a game. Our guys are not excuse guys. We go out there, get everything done and that’s what you want and want your football team to do. We got a lot of good work in today.”

On trying to build an indoor facility:

“We’ve talked about that in detail before. He’s (Daniel Snyder) asked me what I think we need and he’s very aware of my thoughts. Obviously, I don’t have to go into detail, but you want the preparation you need to get ready for a game.”

On if he could go through another year not having an indoor facility:

“It’s a priority for sure. It’s a priority.”

On how much it hurts his preparation when having to go to a gym to practice:

“The last time that we worked inside on a Thursday, we won the game. So maybe it’ll be a positive. That’s the way I look at it. You deal with the elements. Last time we worked out on a Thursday, we won the football game. Sometimes the guy upstairs is saying, ‘Hey, you’re practicing a little bit too hard or a little bit too long. You need to slow down a little bit.’ So, hopefully it works out in our advantage.”

On switching to a 3-4 defense:

“When you bring a defense in and you want to go to a 3-4, it’s going to take time to evaluate your own personnel to see what you have. Then after your first year, you’ll see what’s out there in the draft, what’s out there in free agency and try to build your football team to hopefully a Super Bowl caliber team and defense. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”

On if he had any hesitations with switching to a 3-4 defense and if he thought about making the transition more gradually:

“Obviously, we’ve switched totally. Even the four-man front, I didn’t feel like it was the direction we wanted to go even from a personnel standpoint. Even though, if you take a look at some of the stats, they were in the top-10 three years in a row. To get to our ultimate goal, I felt like we had to make some changes. We talked about turnovers, we talked about run defense and the things that go hand-in-hand with a 3-4 [defense]. We’re not there right now, but I’ve got some high expectations for the future and it’s something I feel very, very strong about.”

On if switching to a 3-4 defense has been rockier than he had expected:

“In some games we’ve played exceptionally well. You take a look at last week—you give up 17 points, you give up 13 points—you’ve got to score some, too. You lose a guy like LaRon [Landry], too. That’s kind of a focal point early in making some big plays. I think that’s a big piece of the puzzle. We’ve had a lot of guys step in and get better overall. Hopefully, we keep on getting better and you’ve got to do that in the offseason with the draft and free agency. We’ve got to build this football team as strong as we can.”

On if the rivalry between the Redskins and the Cowboys is lost for this game because neither team is making a playoff run:

“I think both teams are looking forward to going out there and playing a good football game and hopefully get back on a winning track. That’s just pro football players and pro coaches. That’s what you want to do. I think anytime you’re not in a playoff hunt, it’s disappointing to both organizations that are used to winning.”

On Carlos Rogers’ injury status:

“Same thing. He practiced. No setback and should be ready to go.”

On if he thinks the Cowboys are better with Jason Garrett as head coach:

“Well, they’re 3-2 and in the two games they’ve lost, we talked about briefly yesterday, was New Orleans they lost by three and the Eagles, they lost by three to lose both of those games. So, whatever they’re doing, they’re doing well. They’re a very talented football team, which we all know from the preseason predictions and it doesn’t surprise me that they’re playing at that level.”

Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On if practicing off-site puts the team at a disadvantage:

"It makes it harder, obviously, it does make it harder. These guys are pretty resilient. Over time, you are going to play in these elements at some point. The only bad thing, this week, is we don't. We play in ideal conditions. Obviously, they (Dallas) are inside practicing and getting good practices. It is just something you got to fight through."

On defensive lineman Anthony Bryant's performance on Sunday:

"I thought he played pretty well. He played a little high but for the most part I thought he did a nice job in there. He'll get more time as the weeks go on here."

On if they have been working on Bryant's technique:

"He has a tendency once and a while [to get high]. He's strong. He was playing on one leg a couple of times last week and he actually held his ground. If we can get his other leg planted in the ground and get him to bend a little bit maybe he'll do a better job."

On if playing time will be split evenly this week along the defensive line:

"We've actually played most of our guys throughout the year so you can kind of get a feel for where they are at for next year."

On how disappointed he is for safety LaRon Landry:

"I thought he was one of the better, if not the best defensive player in the league at the halfway mark. We surely miss him of course because the guy is a tackling machine and a playmaker and extremely fast. I'm disappointed for him and I'm disappointed for the football team because obviously he's a heck of a football player."

On safety Reed Doughty:

"I like Reed. I like the way Reed is playing. I thought last week he played one of his better games. He was instinctive in the box. We told him one time, when he came across on the motion, if it looks like a run, just go, if it's a pass just keep going. He caught a couple of run plays from behind doing it. I thought he was instinctive. I thought he did a nice job last week."

On Doughty's development within the defense:

"He's really better around the box, like most guys. He's smart. He does exactly what you want to the T. Recently, except for the one bad play in the Giants game, he's played extremely well."

On defensive lineman Jeremy Clark:

"I don't know if he'll help this year that much with the short weeks we have coming up but we watched him on film and he is a try hard guy, played hard, played in the 3-4. He was a guy that we thought we could maybe use in the future."

On hoping to see defensive lineman Jeremy Jarmon before the end of the season:

"He's going to play. He'll play some this week. He might play a lot this week. Again, still trying to win the game, but we're going to try to get these guys in so we can take a look at them."

On hoping to have cornerback Carlos Rogers back this weekend at full strength:

"I hope so. I don't want him half speed. Hard to play [defensive back] half speed. He worked a little bit yesterday and did a little bit today but it was hard to judge today. We'll see how he is tomorrow and see if he is ready for Sunday."

On what he liked about Chris Wilson’s pass rushing:

“We were just trying to get some speed on the field. Lorenzo [Alexander] plays a lot in there, but he’s got the hamstring. So, we’re kind of piecing everything together as much as we can. Chris had pretty good pass rushing the other day in the game. He’s got some speed. He’s another guy that we need to look at.”

On London Fletcher doing a good job in coverage and Rocky McIntosh struggling in that area:

“Rocky actually turned the wrong way on the deep ball—the touchdown. If he would have turned the other way, he would have made the play. It’s just something that comes up more with London than Rocky because we put London on the guys down the middle of the field more. That’s something that he’s going to have to be able to do—to cover tight ends down the scenes and on the outs and everything. When he puts his hands on people, he’s a pretty good cover guy. He’s got to be able to judge the ball when it’s in the air and do a better job of that.”

On if Dallas’ offense looks the same as it did in Week 1:

“Well, they’re doing a good job. The offense is averaging 35 points a game the last five or six games. I think [Jon] Kitna is making great decisions with the football. He’s getting the ball out of his hands fast. They’re doing a good job running it and I think they’re very effective in what they’re doing. It’s basically the same offense just with Jon running it.”

On if he thinks Dallas is running the ball better or if they’re more committed to it:

“I think a little bit of both. Felix [Jones] is a heck of a running back. Tashard’s [Choice] a good football player. They’re loaded at running backs. Even if Marion’s [barber] out, they’ve got two good guys that can tote the load. But they’re averaging, I think 38, 32, 25—that’s how many carries they’ve had the last four games. I think they’re running the ball a little bit more than they did before.”

On Brian Orakpo finding ways to get out of holds and getting more penalty calls:

“The call that wasn’t made in the game which should have been called was in the end five minutes of the game. The guy (referee) behind moves back to his original position. So now you’ve got the referee who covers the right tackle and the guy all the way from the sideline covering the left tackle. He couldn’t see the guy wrapping him. You’d think the guy could see it, but he’s had six or seven, maybe eight or nine of those this year already. It’s pretty bad. I think he needs another move. I think there are a couple of things [he can do] when those guys wrap their arms around him. He needs to work at humping and getting an arm off and getting back underneath. There are a couple of things we’ve talked about that I think would help him in the offseason.”

On if holding calls differ from crew to crew:

“No, all of the crews are designed to look at certain bodies at certain times.”

On Orakpo covering more from the left side than the right side:

“Basically, what we do is every week we look at the players he’s playing against and we figure out what side he should be on and we ask him what he thinks after he evaluates him. He gives you a write up of which guy he would like to go against. So, we kind of flip it back and fourth. The last three, four weeks he’s wanted to stay over there.”

On if Phillip Daniels and Kedric Golson will be available for Sunday:

“I don’t know that. I think that will be a game time decision.”

On if they were able to practice today:

“No, they didn’t do anything today.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On if practicing off-site has an adverse affect on game preparation:

"This is the first time we've had to do it a couple of days in a row. Later in the year, honestly, I don't think it's as bad as it would be earlier in the year because guys are sore and stuff and you get to rest some guys’ legs. You get to go through all of the X's and O's, picking up blitzes and walking through things but definitely does hurt the timing of things. Guys run some new routes and stuff. We haven't been able to do it full speed yet. Hopefully, we'll get to it before Sunday."

On if he has seen some plays earlier in the year which may have been affected by practicing off-site:

"I don't know. When any play doesn't work you can always guess that was the reason but you never really know and this is the first time it has been both days. We'll see how it goes. Maybe it will help us."

On if practicing off-site is a competitive disadvantage:

"This is my first time doing it so we'll have to see. It could be for some obvious reasons but we'll be rested more than some other teams too."

On Ryan Torain's performance on Sunday:

"I wasn't that surprised. He did a hell of a job. He's done a good job this entire year I feel when he has been in. We felt he was fully healthy. He had a good week of practice. He wasn't lingering at all. He had seemed as fresh as he had been in a long time. We thought we had a good chance to run the ball going into the game. It really worked out the way we planned."

On going away from the run in the second half of the game on Sunday:

"We didn't nearly have as half as many plays. We went three and out our first three series. We were running it just as much but we just didn't get the same amount of plays. If you don't get a first down in three series it is tough to get plays called. We didn't throw it as much either."

On if he felt the success of the running game in the first half would help the passing game develop in the second half:

"When you are running the ball that well, they got everybody sucked up in there so it's a premier time to pass. When we were also running the ball when everyone was up in there anyway we didn't have much of an opportunity to do much because we couldn't get any drives going. So whether we were throwing the ball on our first two plays on a series or we were running the ball on our first two plays of a series, when you don't get a first down on third down it doesn't matter. You are going to be short in both areas."

On what defenses are doing to cover tight end Chris Cooley inside the 20-yard line:

"No, coverages don't change. We went to him in the red zone last week. I think it was our first third down. We just didn't come through with the play. We go to everybody. Coverage dictates who gets the ball. You go through a progression. He's got the ball a lot this year. Coverage hasn't brought it his way lately."

On his conversation with Cooley on his involvement in the offense:

"I don't think he has any frustration with his involvement and how he is being used. Chris is cool. We talk about it all the time. We want to get him the ball. We want to get everyone the ball. We call plays to get everybody the ball. You never know how it'll be distributed. You have to see the coverage. Hopefully you got the protection to go through a progression and you really never know."

On if the flow of the game determines where the passes go:

"It's just the way the game goes. We did have opportunities to get it to him early and we didn't come through with them just like you got opportunities to get a first down and you don't get a first down. You can't call as many plays on that drive. When there are a lot of plays intended to go to Cooley throughout a game, there is a lot of plays intended to go to all five eligibles. You go through progressions [and] see who it ends up going to."

On what he likes about putting Cooley in motion:

"That's something I believe in. I do it with everybody. I like to move people around a lot. I think it messes up the defense and I think it helps give receivers leverage. Helps them get off the ball faster where you can't keep them in such tight areas and have those outside [line]backers and d-ends beat them up before they release. Something that I've always done and I believe it helps guys."

On how Dallas has changed defensively with Defensive Coordinator Paul Pasqualoni:

"Not too much. You can tell it's still a similar philosophy. They have changed a couple of things up that you didn't see earlier in the year that you see now. You can tell their philosophy is still pretty much the same. They do a couple of techniques differently and stuff but it's pretty much the same defense."

On the screen game:

"I think we have been doing well with screens. You keep working at it. Screens are something that everyone is different, every screen that you get. You can never really plan it out exactly how they will happen. It's just trying to get o-linemen out and get people to rush up the field. I think the more you do it, the better your guys get."

On if he talks to quarterback Donovan McNabb about the rumors circulating about his playing status:

"It really isn't relevant to what I'm doing unless I'm told something. If I knew something, I would talk to him about it. When you just hear it out in the media and stuff like that there's no difference this week than last weekend. There's nothing really to talk about until I know something."

On if he expects McNabb to be the starter against Dallas unless he is told something differently:

"Definitely. Prepare this week no different than last week, no different than the week before."

On the long-term development of wide receiver Anthony Armstrong:

"I think he can be a very good player. He's done a good job for us this year. He's just started to get his opportunities this year. He never had a catch until this year including preseason. He's a guy who can run. He's very fast. He's got natural hands and he's tough. He can get in and out of a break and he's smart. I think the sky is the limit for him. Hopefully he continues to grow and I think he has throughout the year."

On if quarterback Rex Grossman has been getting more reps in practice this week:

"No, it's been the same every week."

On if his communication with McNabb has improved since the beginning of the season:

"I think it's been the same since the day I met him. Donovan is never too high, never too low. He's pretty consistent in how he is and I feel our relationship has been the same since he got here in mini-camp. You get to know each other better and stuff but I can't pinpoint a day that anything has changed. I think our relationship has continued to grow [along] with every single person since I moved here."

On McNabb's performance over the last few weeks:

"I think it's been up and down. It was good last week. I thought he finished with a real good drive. I thought it was one of his best drives of the year. He had a couple of touchdowns and no picks so I thought he did some good things last week but I think he and I would like to get him and the rest of the offense playing more consistently."

On what he liked about McNabb on the final drive against Tampa Bay:

"He moved us all of the way down the field and scored a touchdown to give a chance to go to overtime. We threw the ball on every play and he throws it so he did a good job."

On McNabb's footwork:

"As a coach, you are never pleased. No one has ever reached so they are perfect. When you coach quarterbacks, those are the main things you work at. I'm really never going to teach a guy how to throw. He would probably laugh at me if I did. All you work at is their feet and try to get them to throw from the same position all of the time. It's always something you work on that guys never reach. It's something you do every day and I think he has shown some improvement."

On if the play calling can be predominately pass oriented at times from a running back’s perspective:

"I think all running backs feel that way. We do what the defense dictates. We do it based on what the game situation is like. Some games we go into knowing our best chance to win the game is to run the ball. Sometimes when you study a defense all week you know your best chance is you got to throw the ball. Get them to back up [and] start to run. I think it varies week to week and then when you get into some situations where we want to run the ball more but we don't get the first downs, like in the second half last week, then you really don't have much of a choice."

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He needs to work at humping and getting an arm off and getting back underneath. There are a couple of things we’ve talked about that I think would help him in the offseason.”

Brian Orakpo will be the best Humper in all of DC. His wife/girl/random girls will be all over him.

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