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

Mark The Homer

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November 10, 2011

Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On if he is ruling out tackle Jammal Brown for Sunday’s game:

“Not yet.”

On if Brown seems unlikely to play at this point:


On Landry not rehabilitating his Achilles injury on his own:

“It’s always disheartening when somebody is going through some pain and limits their practice, that’s for sure. You know it’s hard to play well when you don’t practice.”

On how soon he knew Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall would be a starter after drafting him:

“First practice.”

On if Marshall is playing at a higher level now:

“He was pretty consistent when he first came in [to the league]. You could see his strength, his speed, his quickness and his hands. You could just see the first time he went one-on-ones in OTAs that he had something that most players don’t have. You still didn’t know how he was going to do in game time, but you had a good feeling.”

On how much the Dolphins move Marshall around:

“Brandon is a very, very intelligent guy. He can play all the different positions on the team. [He] picks things up very quickly [and] knows all the different positions on the team. So they can put him wherever they want to put him.”

On tackle Sean Locklear playing both tackle positions:

“Well, Sean’s done a good job. He’s played both the left and right side. He’s practiced there since he’s been here and I think no matter which way he goes, since he’s been practicing on both sides, I think he feels comfortable.”

On if he thinks safety Oshiomogho Atogwe is unlikely to play on Sunday:

“I really don’t know.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On the importance of getting more big plays:

“It’s really important. It’s been something that I’ve always believed in and something that I feel like I’ve always gotten. We haven’t been getting them the last few weeks. [We’ve] struggled to get it a lot all year. It really helps out your offense and it takes the pressure off. It’s tough to get 12-play drives together. When you can get a big play, it really changes the game.”

On what he can do to generate more big plays:

“The defense has got to give them to you, first of all. You do everything you can to generate big plays. Last week was a week where they weren’t going to give us those. They played soft – a lot of zone coverages. I think we had one opportunity to get by the safety and we didn’t take it. Big plays aren’t automatic. It’s tough to complete it when you go downfield anyways. Percentages aren’t as high, but we definitely aren’t being given as many looks. We just have to make sure when we do get those looks that we’re aggressive and let it go.”

On wide receiver Jabar Gaffney saying he was open deep but quarterback John Beck didn’t see him:

“Definitely – there were a couple of times during the game where I thought Jabar was open and he [beck] didn’t [see him]. It wasn’t way down the field. It wasn’t over the top of safeties. I don’t think it was something you guys would have considered a big play. There were a few times in the game where I thought he could have got it to move the chains.”

On wide receiver Anthony Armstrong’s recent struggles beating bump coverage:

“It’s frustrating for me, but I know it is for him. He’s an awesome guy that’s working his tail off out there. He’s had a real good week of practice. I think that’s what my dad says a lot, but he does need to get better in that aspect of the game. And he is. He did a better job this week, and hopefully those opportunities will come for him.”

On if Beck will see the field better with more time:

“Yeah, I think that goes for everybody. When quarterbacks don’t play a lot, you know they’re going to miss some stuff. I’ve been happy with John. He has learned from his mistakes – stuff he’s struggled with each week. He’s done a good job of eliminating those the next week. Yeah, there definitely are some times that he missed some reads in the game. I think he’ll get better with that.”

On wide receiver David Anderson’s familiarity with the system:

“We’ll see. He’s been looking good out there the last couple of days. We’re getting him in there with some of the receivers banged up and having to shuffle guys around. I’m confident with what David can do and he’s got to be able to help us.”

On getting tight end Fred Davis more involved earlier in games:

“It doesn’t help when the opportunities he did have early he didn’t make. He dropped the ball. You’d like to give him those as quick as you can coming back. Any time you’re struggling on offense and you’re not putting long drives together, it is hard to get those opportunities. When you do waste one, you don’t know how long it’s going to be before you get another. If you’re moving the chains and you’re getting first downs and you’re getting plays – it’s a lot easier for everyone else to get involved. You can spread it around. You can run the ball. You can pass the ball. You can set things up, but, these past few weeks, we haven’t been able to sustain drives. When you don’t sustain drives, a lot of this is going to suffer and show up.”

On Beck’s production increasing in the second half of games:

“We want to be a balanced team. We try to come out and we want to run the ball and throw the ball. We want to set up some things and we want to be aggressive in the pass game. We also don’t want to put all the pressure on the quarterback. We want to be able to run the ball. In the second half in these last few weeks, I believe in the last three games, we’ve been down two scores in the third quarter when we’ve gotten the ball. And that does skew the stats a little bit. You start throwing it more. We’ll obviously get him better stats throwing the ball. If you can be balanced throughout the game, it can be spread around a little bit more, but it hasn’t been that way.”

On setting up defenses with plays early in games:

“You run your plays and you figure out how you’re going to stop it. Sometimes they stop it because their guy beats your guy. Sometimes they stop it schematically. You want to put your players in the best position to succeed, [to] find the matchups and you’ve got to count on your guy to beat that player in front of him. Usually, they’ll do that when you put them in the right situation. Then, defenses adjust to stop that schematically. When they do adjust to stop a specific thing schematically, they’ve opened up a hole for something else. Those are things you can play off and I thought we did a better job earlier in the year. I think that’s kind of why our numbers, as far as running the ball, have been skewed too. Whenever you can get first downs and get those longer drives, there’s a little more to it, but, for obvious reasons, it’s been tougher the last few weeks.”

On running back Tashard Choice:

“We got him out there these last couple of days. I know he’s coming off an injury. He did some things for us today. We’re trying to get him in there. We know he’s coming back from an injury and he’s trying to learn an offense, but I’ve seen him play before in Dallas and he’s on our roster. And we expect everyone to help us who’s on it.”

On what he likes about Choice:

“He’s a hard runner. He’s natural. He knows where to run with the ball… He finds a way to get to the hole and move those linebackers and cut it back.”

On wide receiver Leonard Hankerson’s performance against the 49ers:

“I thought he did a good job. He didn’t get a ton of opportunities, but, when he did, he made the play. Hankerson has come along way. He earned this. He earned it by showing the team on scout team. He started off slowly in training camp and, this last month on scout team, he’s been making a lot of great plays – kind of ‘oohing and aahing’ everybody. Just by him doing that consistently for about a month, you know he’s learned this. We gave him an opportunity and he didn’t get too many opportunities out there, but the ones he did, he did a good job. I thought it was a good first start.”

On the Dolphins moving around linebacker Cameron Wake:

“They’ll move him to the open edge usually in base personnel. When it’s nickel personnel, they’ll have him on our right side, but you never know.”

On Head Coach Mike Shanahan saying earlier in the week that he told him not to come to Washington:

“I think my dad understands the NFL. I think he understands the situation I was in in Houston – having a very good established quarterback and being there with a group of guys we had success with. Coming into an unknown, I think he understood that it wouldn’t be easy. So I think he made sure to say that stuff to make sure that it was something I absolutely wanted to do, kind of like he told me my whole life not to get into coaching. Once he realized that it didn’t matter what he said, I was going to do it and he was excited that I was. It’s a hard business. It’s hard stuff. You have to make sure that’s what you want to do. It doesn’t matter what he says. That’s what I wanted to do. Once I think he realized that, then he was excited to have me.”

On if the criticism is worse because he is the coach’s son:

“Not really. I’ve been his son my whole life, obviously. I got it when I was little if I started at point guard on my fifth grade basketball team. It was ‘most likely because of my dad.’ I’m used to getting all that. I think it comes with the territory. I think that’s human nature. I think I’ve been real competitive my whole life. I think that’s why I’m a perfectionist. I think that’s why I work really hard at what I do. That’s why I try to make sure that I’m on top of this game. There’s nothing I feel like a player can’t ask me that I can’t help him with. It comes with the territory. When you don’t have success and your last name is the same as the boss’, you’re going to get that. It doesn’t bother me. It drives me.”

On the areas in which Beck has improved the most:

“It’s been a little different week-to-week. We went to an extreme with all of those sacks versus Buffalo and then he was going to make sure he didn’t get those sacks against versus San Francisco. So he did a good job getting rid of the ball and not sitting there when nothing was there. That’s something to develop. If the pocket collapsed, he got rid of it. He did that against a very good pass rush and definitely showed improvement there.”

On if check downs are a sign of progress for Beck:

“It’s give and take. We knew that defense had a great pass rush. They had a good front seven, as good as anyone. I knew he was going to have to make quick decisions to get rid of it. We did not want to happen what happened the week before. Also, a lot of it had to do with the way they were playing us. They weren’t playing much man coverage and blitzed very few. They played really soft and they were going to make us go methodically down the field and see if we could do that. And we didn’t. I think there were a couple of times he might have gone to the back too quick where he could have had a throw – those ones mentioned by Jabar. There were just a few of them. It was more of what the defense gives you. You never go into a game planning to get the running back that many balls, but most of that the defense dictated. They were very soft. John was trying to get rid of it.”

On if you never really want to check down to the running back:

“Unless you can make some unbelievable plays, you want to throw touchdowns every play and you hope that they can get aggressive enough that there can be some holes in the defense and attack them. When they’re playing soft, you’ve got to be able to hit the backs. Not just the backs, but underneath routes to try to pull people up to open up holes deep. This was one of the biggest games that I’ve seen that I’ve been in where we couldn’t get them to do anything – they didn’t want to blitz us, they didn’t want to come up, they just played real soft.”

On if he anticipates teams following San Francisco's defensive blueprint:

"If you struggle some, people will keep doing it until you can make them pay. If that's the case, then we've got to figure out ways to generate and get people downfield. And if you can't, we’ve got to get the ball in people's hands and make some plays underneath. People want to get downfield and we'll check some of our players underneath and they've got to turn it up there. You can live with that as long as you don't [falter] — you know, Helu had a heck of a game, but then he dropped a third-and-4 [pass] and then you punt. We had a bunch and we had another drop on third-and-3. They're kind of counting on you messing something up. If those guys don't do that, it's pretty easy to step back and hit a back underneath and do it all the way down... It only takes one weak link on a play and we've got to be more consistent and we've got to make those plays if we want to generate some touchdowns."

On if having three weeks of film on John Beck has helped him better adapt his play calling to Beck's strengths:

"It has helped me a lot. I'm learning about him a lot. I thought he played his best when he came in vs. Philly. I thought he played his best at Carolina. I thought it was his worst at Buffalo and I thought he played better vs. San Francisco than he did at Buffalo, but still not good enough. He's been a little different in each game. There's been some growing pains. But I think he can get better. He's shown he can improve in areas, and I know John is a tough guy. The physicality of the game doesn't bother him. He'll hang in there. He can throw it, too. I know he's smart enough to read the defenses. I think just give him some time and allow him to develop and I expect him to get better each week."

On if he can now tailor the play calling to Beck:

"To a degree. I can't just say that in a total absolute. Each game has been totally different. He's done one thing in one game really good and the next game he's struggled in that area. So I'm still trying to figure out exactly who he is and I think he is too. It takes time with a quarterback. They've got to find their niche."

On running back Ryan Torain:

"Ryan's had some opportunities. We have competition out there every day. We're going to try to play the best players. We felt Helu gave us our best shot this week; we wanted to get him out there on the field. He did a pretty good job with his opportunities. You never know how that's going to play out. Just like we thought Tim [Hightower] would have the opportunities in St. Louis, [he] came out for a couple of plays, Ryan came in hot and he looked hot, and we kept with him. It's kind of a momentum deal. You go with who is hot and it is kind of tough to just keep rotating people and no one ever gets hot. We started with Helu, got him going. Ryan came in on a couple of plays and just didn't have any great opportunities. But if he would have just broken one out, we were going to get him some more."

On the offensive line:

"I thought the O-Line did a hell of a job. I really thought that was going to be one of our toughest — if not our toughest — tests as far as the front seven [is concerned]. Mo [Maurice] Hurt came in and played for his first time and went against who I thought was their best player in Justin Smith and he battled and he did a good job. By no means were they perfect at all. We didn't do good enough as a whole offense but I thought the guys battled and they did a good job against a good front."

On if Will Montgomery is more comfortable at center:

"Yeah. He's more comfortable there. Will did a good job at guard for us last year. He didn't practice guard at all this year, so he's a little rusty coming in. He got better each game, but center is definitely his position and it helps us to have him there."

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On the run defense:

“Last week, we actually did a good job except for the one play – we missed a tackle and he hit the 37-yarder. Besides that, I thought we did a pretty good job on him as a whole.”

On his impression of running back Tashard Choice when the team played against him:

“I think he’s a good football player. He’s solid. He can catch the ball. He’s a good running back. With the little time I’ve spent with him so far when I’m talking about Dallas, he’s smart and understands the game. He’s a good pickup for us.”

On if safety LaRon Landry’s Achilles injury is hindering him this season:

“I don’t think so. It’s just bothering him a little bit. I’m not sure on where he is right now. I think we’ll see how it goes the next couple of days. I don’t think it will be an issue though… I coach the guys that are available and, if he’s available, we’ll get him ready to go, And if he’s not, we’ll put the next guy in and be fine.”

On if giving up big plays has been the main issue for the run defense:

“It’s a missed tackle here and a missed assignment here. Those things happen. We just have to do a better job of tackling… Those things happen. You can’t miss a tackle when you’re free to the line of scrimmage and we have to do a better job of cupping it and keeping it in the field of play and not letting it get to the sideline.”

On Dolphins running back Reggie Bush:

“Well, last week, they used him all over the place. He was out wide as a wideout. He’s in the backfield. They try to give him the ball in space. Obviously, he’s an excellent running back. He can play wideout and he’s done a good job, I think, of spreading him around. They don’t just use him one dimensionally. They kind of use him for a little bit at everything. Receiver, halfback — he’s kind of done a little bit of everything.”

On if Bush is being moved around more for the Dolphins than he was with the Saints:

“New Orleans did a good job with him – getting in-space players. You can see Miami is kind of doing that also.”

On how dangerous Bush is:

“I think he’s scary more than anything because he’s obviously got great speed and he’s quick as a cat. I just remember watching him when he came out at USC. I watched a bunch of games, but with the Fresno game, he was unbelievable. I watched him return a punt where not one guy was blocked and 10 guys are free coming in and he made all 10 miss and he scored a touchdown. So he’s got that type of ability. He’s a heck of an athlete.”

On Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore:

“I think he’s done a good job. I’ve played against Matt before and I think he’s a good athlete and he’s got good touch on the ball. He can make all the throws and if you’re going to give him time to sit back and do those type of things… And he can run. He’s got that elusiveness. You could tell he felt much better and more comfortable in the offense last week.”

On how much momentum a team gets after winning its first game following a losing streak:

“I don’t know. I’ve gone through that a few times in my life. It’s a relief, No. 1. They have a good football team. If you look at it as a roster, they have a good makeup on offense. They’ve got skill players. [brandon] Marshall is one of the better receivers in the league. I like their whole receiving corps. Their line is big and physical. Their running backs do a heck of a job. I like all of the running backs. And the quarterback did a nice job last week. So it’s a good group.”

On if it’s more dangerous facing a team looking for its first win or coming off its first win:

“It’s always dangerous – with them being at home. Obviously, the win that they had makes them feel much better about themselves and I’m sure it’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be a heck of a game.”

On the team’s red zone defense:

“I think we’re second in the red zone. We’ve done a good job keeping people off the board. We kind of mix it up down there. We don’t do the same things all the time. We try to take their main plays away. Our guys know points are the most important thing. We try to keep people off the board and, if you do that, at least have the opportunity to win some games.”

On placing cornerback Phillip Buchanon on IR and signing D.J. Johnson:

“I’m disappointed with Phillip. We were looking for big things from him. Obviously, we’re not getting anything from him this year. I think the big thing for him is to get healthy and try to make a run at it next year. He’s got a shoulder issue and a couple of other things. Hopefully, he can get those fixed and come back. I don’t know that much about Johnson. I watched the highlight tape and listened to what Morocco Brown and those guys said about him. He’s a good looking kid. He’s big. He’s tall. He’s 6-1. He’s long. Watching his movement out there yesterday, I thought he did a nice job on the scout team. We’ll see how it plays out in the next couple of weeks.”

On if there is a risk of division in the locker room:

“Not with this football team. I don’t think so. Our guys understand. I think defensively you need to set goals for yourself where you have something to envision. Our guys feel good about the way we played. Obviously, we can do better in a lot of the areas – the run game. I hate keep bringing that up, but it’s always the negative stuff. We went out last week and had a great practice. They’re out there and they’re working hard. If we continue to do that and obviously with what’s going on – we struggled as a defense last year, we didn’t play well. I think our guys hung in there. This is a good team to be around. I like being around the guys on defense. That’s as good a group as I’ve been around from that standpoint. And they have a goal – they want to be one of the best in the league. As long as they have a goal and they keep working hard at it and try to do that, that’s all you can ask of them.”

On if the defense needs to shoulder a heavier load:

“No. Guys know and understand that the offense will pick it up. We’ve got confidence in them and they’re going to get things going. You can’t worry about what the offense is doing or what the special teams are doing. As a defense, you can’t worry. The thing you have to worry about is what you can do to stop them. If something bad happens, turn it into good. There’s always something bad going to happen in a football game and I believe that there’s always something that’s going to happen. Nothing’s smooth sailing for 60 minutes in the NFL. It doesn’t work that way. When bad happens, the best thing to do is turn it into good. If something happens bad and there’s a turnover, stop them and make them kick the field goal. Stop them and get the ball back. That’s the only thing that you can control. If we can do that as a defensive unit, then the offense gets on going and clicking, you’re going to be fine.”

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall forcing a fumble after the offense fumbled:

“I thought he had two. I thought he had the one that we got. I thought there was another one that came out and Gene [steratore], the referee, blew the whistle right as the ball was coming out. I thought the ball was out. He just had a bad angle and he couldn’t see it. I thought we’d get two of them.”

On Hall’s performance this year:

“I thought he’s been playing fine. He’s been playing at a high level. He’s doing a great job tackling. He’s been good in coverage. He’s had a lot of opportunities to get interceptions, but I think those will come also.”

On why Hall doesn’t have more interceptions:

“We’re getting more running attempts. Don’t quote me on the exact numbers, but it’s like 37, 38, 33 and 35 rushing attempts on us the last four games. There’s a number of different reasons why that happens. If somebody rushes 35 times and you hold them three yards a carry, which would probably be No. 1 in the league, you still give up 105 yards. We’ve just had a lot of rushing attempts. We haven’t had a lot of where we get leads or teams aren’t taking shots at us down the field and that’s when you get those interceptions.”

On getting off the field on nine-of-12 third downs last week:

"We should have been off the field on 11-of-12, to be honest with you. We didn't play one right, and one wasn't a good call, The third-and-nine wasn't a good call because we put London [Fletcher] in a bad position. I think our guys, they know we've got some pretty good rush guys. We've got almost as many sacks as we did all of last year. I think we can four-man rush. We can blitz. We didn't blitz much last week. The week before we blitzed a lot. We have the capability of doing whatever we need to do for that situation. I like our guys in a straight rush and I like our guys when we blitz, so I think we've got a good combination."

On who would play if safeties LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atowge are unavailable:

"We would go with DeJon [Gomes]. He would be our starter if LaRon didn't go. Kareem [Moore] would be the backup, probably."

On what makes Miami wide receiver Brandon Marshall a difficult matchup:

"Well, he's 6-foot-5, 230 [pounds]. That's a starting point. He has great physical skills, obviously. He has got great catch ability, and his run after the catch is outstanding. He's hard to bring down. He's such a big guy and he's fast, so he's got great qualities."

On if Marshall compares to any receivers he has faced:

"We've played some pretty great receivers over the last couple of years. Him, Andre [Johnson], Calvin Johnson. You've got the guys in Philly — they're a different type of guys but they're fast. You've got Dez Bryant. We seem to get good ones all the time."

On defensive end Kentwan Balmer:

"Here's a guy who was a first-round pick... He fits the bill of what you're looking for in a 3-4 [scheme]. He's 6-5, 320. He's athletic. You know, he had some issues in San Francisco, which was a negative, but then he went to two teams that really didn't fit what he does and that's that he's a 3-4 end. That's what he is. He's not four-man down lineman. He's not a three-technique. He's not a nose [tackle]. He got stuck in those two positions with Seattle and Carolina. So we thought it would be an opportunity to take a look at a guy that fits kind of what you're doing, at least body-structure-wise... There's a clean slate with us when he comes here. We're going to judge him based off of what we see in practice and the scout team, and if he gets an opportunity, we'll go from there."

On if Balmer could adjust quickly to playing defensive end in his system:

"I think so. We don't ask them to do too much, per se, at least in the base stuff... I just think, for the future, over the next eight games and next year, it's a good chance. It's hard to find guys that are 6-5, 320 sitting in the street... He's a first-round pick. Obviously he has some talent. But he has some issues that we dealt with and we understand. He understands there's a clean slate here. He has got to prove to use that he wants to be a player."

On if defensive line was an area of need:

"No. [signing Balmer] was just something that would help upgrade our football team. You always try to get players that are better to upgrade [your team]. Hopefully, if it works out, in the future, you get a good football player out of it.”

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Well I scanned this kinda quickly because I'm at work but here is one thing I didn't like hearing.

Kyle: On what he can do to generate more big plays:

“The defense has got to give them to you, first of all. You do everything you can to generate big plays. Last week was a week where they weren’t going to give us those. They played soft – a lot of zone coverages. I think we had one opportunity to get by the safety and we didn’t take it. Big plays aren’t automatic. It’s tough to complete it when you go downfield anyways. Percentages aren’t as high, but we definitely aren’t being given as many looks. We just have to make sure when we do get those looks that we’re aggressive and let it go.”

I don't want my OC saying big plays have to be given to him. The offense needs to go out and TAKE them.

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