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Redskins Park: Quotes - Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan, Jim Haslett


Mark The Homer

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August 30, 2011

Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On wide receiver Malcolm Kelly’s release:

“It’s really a shame that he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He’s feeling better right now than he’s felt since he’s been here. I know he’s feeling a lot better but still isn’t able to go. Hopefully, in the next week or so he is able to go, because his weight is down and he’s feeling better. We had to make a decision on what direction we are going to go. Since we do have some depth at the wide receiver position, we released him… He came into camp 15 pounds lighter than he was the year before and he looked like he was in excellent shape, but we haven’t been able to watch him on the football field.”

On quarterback Ben Chappell’s release:

“I talked him yesterday and had a good conversation. It’s always tough when somebody puts that much time in. He left this morning and you never know when quarterbacks go down, someone that knows your system and the terminology, that’s always good to have.”

On release of Clint Stitser, Graham Gano’s competition for the starting kicker position:

“Graham [Gano] has really been doing a good job in practice. Clint missed a couple of field goals in practice. We never gave him an opportunity in a game because of Graham’s consistency and hopefully he keeps it up.”

On Gano:

“I feel comfortable with Gano. He’s been very consistent all the way through. I think he feels very good about himself right now. You can see his maturity and concentration level is there. Hopefully, it carries over to the season… I think everybody does [have something to prove in regular season games]. You always want to play when the season starts. That’s the nature of the game, but you can’t do anything about the season until you play well in practice and preseason. And that’s what he’s done and that’s all he can do, so he’s done everything we have asked of him.”

On offensive lineman Xavier Fulton’s release:

“He came into camp in excellent shape so it’s always tough to release one of those offensive linemen that you have a lot of respect for. He has come in here and worked hard. I thought he deserved the opportunity to be released a little bit earlier because I knew he wasn’t going to be on our football team and he might be able to go and make another football team.”

On releasing players this year:

“It’s always tough on some of these young players because they haven’t had the opportunity to show us everything that they could do. Missing the OTA days is tougher on this year’s class than most even though we had 90 players because, when you have 17 OTA days, you’re talking about a lot of reps to evaluate some of these guys.”

On how the team will determine the 53-man roster on Saturday:

“We’re [evaluating] constantly. We’re doing that after every practice. Every few days, we’ll sit down and talk about each guy and each position. They do change according to games and practices. We’re just constantly evaluating throughout the preseason.”

On if coaches advocate to keep certain players:

“They talk about how they feel every day and you listen to their feelings. You listen to the scouts, you listen to the coordinators and you listen to the position coaches. It’s an ongoing process and feelings change from one week to the next depending on how somebody is doing. All of a sudden a guy will be practicing well and then he loses that focus in games. You never know and that’s why you look at all of these preseason games as a good evaluation.”

On how much has been determined for the roster:

“This game is big for a lot of players.”

On the evaluating the 53-man roster:

“Another game is a part of the evaluation process. We’re going to sit back after the game and evaluate the top 53 so I can make a good decision on Saturday and hopefully come up with our practice squad. Every day we’re going to evaluate these guys and hopefully come up with the best players.”

On defensive end Stephen Bowen:

“When he played against us in the first game [last year], he really stood out to me. As I watched him throughout the season, he really stood out. I asked him why he didn’t start more games because I thought he was a difference-maker in the running game and the passing game. I liked the way he played throughout the season.”

On safety Oshiomogho Atogwe not practicing:

“He was a little tight and we wanted to get him well. I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to keep him from practicing next week.”

On tight end Chris Cooley:

“He was trying to test his knee out and make sure it doesn’t swell up. He caught a couple of routes out there just warming up. Hopefully, there is no more setback and we’ll evaluate that next week.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On how close the quarterback battle is:

“I think it’s very close. We’ve only had three games and John didn’t get to play in one. They both have done a good job and had good numbers. When we review the tape, it’s pretty neck-and-neck.”

On the value of practice compared to games as an evaluation tool:

“I think practice is very much an important factor. Without OTA’s, there has only been three games and it’s not a lot of time in them, especially with John not playing in one. So, I think practice is just as big of a factor as games.”

On if he expected the decision between quarterbacks to be this difficult:

“No, I knew it was going to be tough. When we lost OTA’s and minicamps, unless one of them came out and played like we weren’t expecting, then it would have been easier. We were confident they both would do well. When you knew you only had three weeks to a month to do it, we knew it was going to go down to the wire.”

On the quarterbacks knowing their role mentally:

“I think that’s what they should do everyday. I think these guys knew going in that it was going to be a competition. I think this is the situation they’ve been preparing for. I think both of them are strong enough people mentally. I believe they are secure enough and expected this situation. I think both of them are doing a good job handling the pressure.”

On if he believes the quarterback controversy is affecting the rest of the team:

“I personally don’t at all. The guys are not worried about the quarterbacks. I think guys are worried about their job and making the team themselves. If you have a player worried about a quarterback situation, I usually think that’s make believe. I think they’re worried about beating the guy in front of them. As long as that guy can call the plays and execute the offense, I think they’re going to go with who ever is in there.”

On if plays are called differently for each quarterback:

“Yeah, there comes a time when one has advantages over another. Right now, we’re just going with the same game plan.”

On if he calls more bootlegs with John Beck at quarterback:

“If you watched our offenses over the years when I was with Houston, we booted with whatever quarterback we had.”

On if the offense can improve in one particular area from last year:

“I don’t know if it’s just one area specifically. I expect all areas to improve. I think just the continuity of eleven guys starts up front with the offensive line with those five guys being used to each other, understanding what we want. It goes from the running backs to the wide receivers and quarterbacks. I think everybody is more comfortable with what where doing and I think it’s showing.”

On the excitement of seeing running back Ryan Torain in action:

“I’m very excited. I know it’s been tough for him being out with an injury and I know he’s eager to get back.”

On if has graded both quarterbacks:

“Definitely, but I can’t tell you guys that. I will say, it’s not an easy decision, they both are right there. They’re making it a tough decision. They both are doing a good job. I wish they would make it easier on us. You want a tough decision — that means they’re playing well.”

On the final preseason game:

“It’s different than usual. It’s the fourth preseason game and we have not been playing football that long. The more playing time [for starters] is where I think it changes a little bit.”

On running back Evan Royster:

“I think Evan has improved in picking up the blitz in practice. He’s definitely smart enough to know it. The more looks those rookie running backs get — especially the blitz pickups, the protections, how fast those stunts are going to come, how fast those linebackers are going to shoot those gaps — it’s something you really don’t know until you experience it so you can get better at it.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On the injury to defensive end Jarvis Jenkins:

“I feel good about our group. It’s a shame what happened to Jarvis this early. He’s going to be a good football player. We feel good about the guys we have in.”

On the depth at defensive line:

“It’s always nice to have some depth and some options. There’s a million different things you can do. Right now, we’re trying to get Barry Cofield settled in with playing nose tackle.”

On defensive tackle Barry Cofield playing defensive end:

“That’s a possibility. He’s obviously played some defensive end before. We have to see how Chris [Neild] can play. We know a little bit about other guys so that’s not a problem. All those combinations are reliable.”

On the rotation of defensive lineman:

“We have an idea of how much each lineman will play from game to game. Really for the whole year you have an idea. The nose guard or nose position is the most physical so you have to be careful with how many snaps. ”

On worrying about keeping guys fresh throughout the game:

“No, not necessarily. It depends on what type of body you have while playing the defensive line position.”

On if safety LaRon Landry isn’t ready for the season opener:

“You know, that’s why Reed Doughty, Chris Horton and DeJon Gomes are here. It’s a good combination.”

On safety DeJon Gomes:

“The biggest thing on DeJon is him not having an offseason, which kind of set him back. He does a lot of good things. He’s a good player and, in time, he will be OK. These young guys just need time on the turf.”

On good execution from the defense:

“I feel a lot smoother and comfortable this year with these guys. You can see how Brain Orakpo reacts this year than he did last year. He’s not doing a whole lot of thinking. It takes time obviously, and if you talk to some guys that have been in it for a few years, they feel more comfortable.”

On defensive end Ryan Kerrigan’s offside penalties against Baltimore:

“That’s something Coach [Lou] Spanos works on with doing hard counts all day. We stress it on third downs. You know, as a young kid, that’s one of the things that hurt us the most last week was Ryan jumping offside. It’s a good learning experience. I’d rather him do it in the preseason games than the regular season games. I think he has a couple sacks already. He just has to learn that, and not just him — everybody. We have to understand that people try to get in their third-down workable situations. There are situations on third and nine or ten where teams will try to hard count you to get you in those situations.”

On if he’s surprised by the quick adjustment linebacker Keyaron Fox has made to the system:

“No, not necessarily. He’s played in the scheme at Pittsburgh, and some things are different. Once he gets over the fact that we don’t call [plays] the same, he’s going to be a good solid football player. He’s a great pickup for us.”

On what goes into the decision-making process for making cuts:

“There is a lot that comes into play. Obviously, this year we have a salary cap. Contracts play a part as well. Obviously, the final decision is made by Coach Shanahan and Bruce Allen. The assistant coaches will give their overview. It’s just not one thing anymore nowadays. They’re a lot of things that go into play when you’re determining your final 53-man roster.”

On safety Oshiomogho Atogwe’s hamstring tightening up last week:

“Obviously that’s a concern. We will think about [Atogwe] when he’s healthy and ready go, but he’ll be fine.”

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Did Hass just spill the beans on Gomes and Horton making the team?

On if safety LaRon Landry isn’t ready for the season opener:

“You know, that’s why Reed Doughty, Chris Horton and DeJon Gomes are here. It’s a good combination.”

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Did Hass just spill the beans on Gomes and Horton making the team?

On if safety LaRon Landry isn’t ready for the season opener:

“You know, that’s why Reed Doughty, Chris Horton and DeJon Gomes are here. It’s a good combination.”

I think you are right. That kid has looked great! The one Nebraska kid that only a few on the board knew anything about and he's been solid so far.

I also think the way that Kyle is buttering up the press with the "it's hard to pick a qb, it's really close" talk, it has to be Beck. He and Rex are good buddies, so you know that's going to sting a bit.

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I don't think we will keep 5 safeties. Either Horton gets cut or Gomes goes to PS.

Plus I think Kareem Moore stays on the PUP. That way we have 2 options in case of injury later on.

We could pull Gomes up form the PS or have Moore back off the PUP after week 6.

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Did Hass just spill the beans on Gomes and Horton making the team?

On if safety LaRon Landry isn’t ready for the season opener:

“You know, that’s why Reed Doughty, Chris Horton and DeJon Gomes are here. It’s a good combination.”

I thought of the same thing. I really like what I've seen of Gomes so far; he seems like a playmaker.

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I don't think we will keep 5 safeties. Either Horton gets cut or Gomes goes to PS.

Plus I think Kareem Moore stays on the PUP. That way we have 2 options in case of injury later on.

We could pull Gomes up form the PS or have Moore back off the PUP after week 6.

From everything I've heard, Moore is without a doubt staying on the PUP list. Anderson Russell is probably headed to the PS.

But I think this means that Landry could miss the 1st game. As such, it would be imperative to have 5 safeties on the roster.

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