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Press Release: #Redskins Quotes- Goldson, Williams


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Safety Dashon Goldson

** The following is a transcript of a conference call with local reporters this morning.**

On how hard it is to come to a new team and establish himself as a leader:

“I wouldn’t say it’s hard but at the same time, it can be that way because you’ve got to make sure your peers accept you. But with me, what you believe in has to be positive. You know, you can’t come in here and go through the motions and, you know, expect guys to believe in you or respect you as a leader if you’re not doing the things that you need to be doing, whether that’s on the field or off the field.”

On when he felt that he could lead in the manner that he wanted to:

“When they signed me, pretty much, when I signed on that dotted line. I knew what I wanted to do when I came in here and that was win, so why not, you know, express how you feel? Why not go out here and… I was always a hard worker and did the unnecessary steps in order to better myself. So, with that being said, a lot of guys see that and respect that. I mean, it would say it was a natural thing for me.”

On his impressions of the Redskins prior to being traded to the team:

“Before I got here, I didn’t know too much of what was going on inside the building or inside the locker room. But, from afar, I knew they had talent. There was a lot of talent here. I mean, the roster was pretty much decorated. With that, I mean, I knew we had the potential, I knew the team had the potential to go… I knew this team had the potential. I didn’t know what was going as far as inside the locker room or in the building but I knew they were decorated pretty good on paper.”

On what he noticed was missing in the locker room when he arrived:

“It’s simple, just leadership and somebody that believed in them and just pushed everybody to want to do better. I mean, I’m a guy who… I pull guys aside or I’ll compliment a guy based on what he did in a game or at practice because little things like that can go far. When you have got somebody that believes in you and see things that you can do, it kind of motivates certain guys. I can reach guys one-by-one and even that, I think that’s a good deed.”

On relying on his experience in San Francisco and his message to Washington entering the final stretch:

“Well, simply, man, from the beginning I told the guys that the difference between a good team and a great team — a good team and an average team — is just the mindset. And, like I’ve said, we always, the team had the potential. Just coming in here, they have the athletes to get it done. It was just a mindset based on how we practice and our preparation and going into these games believing we can win. It was the same thing in San Fran. I mean, when I got there, we didn’t do so good in our first couple of years. We had the same players and we had the same roster but there came a point where it became a mindset of what we wanted to be and we worked hard every day. A lot of the credit goes to same of the coaches that we had. You know, Mike Nolan bringing in those guys, Scot McCloughan at the same time, bringing in those players. Mike Singletary laying the down the discipline and [Jim] Harbaugh coming in and just making it fun for guys. I mean, a lot of things took part, you know, in that success we had in San Fran. I think that we’ve got it here as far as the coaching, you know, and the players as well.”

On noticing similar characteristics between coaching staffs of former teams and Redskins staff

“I definitely do. I tell players, even when we’re in our position meetings… I know a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to go to different teams, so, they don’t know what it looks like from the other side of the fence. When you’re in different locker rooms, you take a lot from that, and you see a lot of things. When I got here, when I got to learn guys and understand players, and get to know a lot of the guys in the building, it was just like… all that was needed was the mindset because we have everything else.”

On the dime formation and what makes it a successful defense for the unit

“What made it successful was those guys’ [Redskins secondary] talent. Those guys are talented players. Kyshoen [Jarrett]… you say he’s a rookie, but he’s…you know… I think he’s so far along on a lot of rookies from a discipline and a mature standpoint. He understands what’s going on – on defense. I mean he’s a versatile guy. He got here in training camp. They moved him around a lot… safety position he was drafted as. He played nickel. He played corner[back]. You know, when you got guys like that, you can do so much with them. And, D-Hall (DeAngelo Hall) is just a decorated vet. He’s been playing this game for a long time, so, he understands the game of football. You can probably stick him anywhere on a football field and he can get it done. With him stepping in there like that, that helped out. That just upgraded our secondary. I felt, because, when you have a corner[back] that’s playing safety… guys go down all the time in this league, and we got guys that we can plug in at any spot. We got guys who play nickel. We got guys that play corner [back] playing nickel. We got nickels playing corner[back]. We got corners playing safety. That can be definitely a weapon for us. When we line up against teams, they don’t know what we’re doing or who is playing what.”

On if defensive versatility is developed through practice or natural talent:

"It's definitely both. It's talent for sure. It takes work to understand what we are doing. You can't just really stick a guy out there. But at the same time a defense doesn't really change that much. Cover 1 is Cover 1, Cover 2 is Cover 2 and Cover 3 is Cover 3. When you have basics down you can pretty much play, but you just have to tune up a few little things such as your keys, what you need to read and where you need to be at certain times. And I mean that comes with practice and Perry [Fewell] at film study."

On what he has learned about the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry and preparing for the game:

“I learned about it when I was getting ready to sign here. Somebody told me, ‘I don’t care how many games you guys win, as long as you beat the Cowboys.’ At that point I knew it was serious. As far as what I’m doing to prepare for this is simply just the same thing I do week in - week out. Film study and knowing my opponent, understanding what they’re doing and relying on our game plan to execute that. I'm not trying to be Superman out here. I’m just trying to win a football game.”

On Coach Perry Fewell and if his time at NY Giants helped them:

“Coach Perry Fewell as a coach is pretty good. I think it's a little bittersweet that he’s in our room now based on he came from being a defensive coordinator and now is a position coach so he has a lot of knowledge about a lot of things. So he can help you and pretty much answer whatever questions you have from a defensive standpoint. I think he’s a good coach for the simple fact that he believes in the players. He lets us work things out, just so we can be on the same page. He doesn’t try to over coach things. We’ll find something on film and whatever it is whatever we feel comfortable playing, how we played, for the most part he’ll let us do that as long as we’re on the same page. I think that right there is awesome for a secondary.”

On telling Kirk Cousins he needs to become a more vocal leader:

“Well we’re all family, first of all. That’s what you do, if you feel some kind of way, I mean we talk about it as players. It wasn’t to take a shot at Kirk [Cousins] whatsoever. I just wanted the team to understand that he is our leader at the end of the day, he’s our quarterback and we’re only going to go as far as he does. It’s rare you see team’s that don’t have the quarterback with a captain with the C on their jersey. I just wanted to let him understand that and the team to understand that just because he doesn’t have the C doesn’t mean that he’s not our captain or our leader. So, that’s why I did that and made it a point in front of the team."

On the chemistry in the secondary:

“I don’t think it’s a problem. I feel, I mean, it’s an advantage if anything because I get to play with everybody. I believe — I trust — every guy that I line up with on that football field. That comes, you know, from the classrooms and understanding on the practice field being able to trust that person next to you. I don’t think I wish I had this guy next to me. Whoever is next to me I’m sure they’re going to ride with me and vice versa. So, like I’ve said, I trust any guy who lines up with me and I believe in him to get the job done.”

On keeping the team from becoming overconfident:

“We don’t really focus on teams’ records and what's going on in the media. We let that stuff work itself out. But what we control is our own destiny and what we can control and that’s our preparation leading into these games. As far as the New Orleans game, we played a good football game as a team – not just defense or not just offense; it was a good team win. We keep showing little spurts of that throughout the season, little sparks of what we can do and what we have. It’s just the consistent part that we’re trying to get down. It’s not being overconfident, it’s more being what we’re really capable of doing that’s kind of driving us to be better at what we do.”

On if his time in Tampa Bay affected what he brings to the Redskins:

“That’s a great question. Everybody keeps talking about San Francisco, but I learned a lot being in Tampa as well. When I got to Tampa, it was the same thing. I played with… Adam Hayward was there when I was on that Tampa team. When I came in, it was the same thing; it was a lot of potential we had there. We had some good players. We just had a bunch of young guys and they didn’t understand how to be pros. We were going back and forth with a lot of adversity. We had a lot of off-the-field things, we had coaches’ problems. We just had a lot of things that were distracting us from football. So that was tough. I was trying to focus more on football than that. Then I came in my second year with Lovie Smith, and I respect the guy so much, I respect him a lot, it was just tough because I don’t think he understands the player that I was. It was just hard for me that year because they wouldn’t let me be the player that I am or even try to lead the football team. I felt like they didn’t trust us then because they were first-year coaches. It was hard to try and lead that football team from a standpoint of my experience and what I am as a player. It was more their way or the highway.”

On if DeAngelo Hall can transition into a top-level safety:

“I see the potential. He definitely could be a top-level safety. He has the speed, he has the coverage, he understands football and he’s a tough player. I’ve seen him dive in there a few times. I didn’t know DeAngelo had it in him like that [laughter]. That was exciting to see. At that point I knew he was on to something. That’s usually the case. When guys get a little higher in age at that position, at the corner position, they usually transition themselves to safety. I think he’ll transition well, if anything.”

On if Giants QB Eli Manning had trouble identifying coverages because of the secondary’s versatility:

“I felt he did struggle. It could have been that or could have been just our front seven. Our front line was just in his face the whole game and he couldn’t get things going. They made it rough for him all day. They put the panic on him. So, I wouldn’t want to take all the credit for it, we don’t want to take the credit in the secondary. I think our front line played a hell of a game.”

On the success of the run defense last week:

“It was just our preparation I felt and definitely our attitude on the tackling stand point. A lot of those games that came down to the rushing, they got a lot of rushing yards based on missed tackles. I think for the most part if you watch that game, it was more than one or two guys on a tackle, guys just swarming to the ball. We just have got to have that week in, week out. We can’t be up and down on that. We know that they’re athletes too, they’re good football players. It wasn’t like we were playing against the ‘slappies.’ We had some good guys that was running those footballs.”

On the challenge against Cowboys’ RB Darren McFadden and the offensive line:

“Like you said, that line is probably one of the better lines that we’re going to face this year and that running back is pretty good, he’s a big guy. We definitely have to get after them, man. We have to attack them just like we’ve been doing. We’ve got to bring guys down. We’ve got to make sure we get all 11 guys on the ball. Our D-line is definitely going to have their work cut out for them. Front seven, we’ve got to get off blocks and make tackles. That’s going to be the key."

On how Redskins DB Coach Perry Fewell's mentality has helped the secondary:

" I think he rely on us, especially me and DeAngelo [Hall]. I think he trusts us back there, he understands that guys look up to us and he knows that we know what we're talking about too. We're not just going out there making up stuff. We're guys that have played a lot of football and were successful in a lot of times. So, I think he rely on us to really get a feel of what we are comfortable doing."

On how Fewell's method enables him to lead the way he wants to:

"Well, it benefited [us] a lot, like you said. We have a lot of guys that's young in the secondary and we've have a lot of moving pieces, and we're still able to go out there and succeed in the secondary. I think we play well. We mesh well together and we're just a good unit. We fit each other."

On how much he will rely on Cowboys QB Matt Cassel's game tape on for preparation:

"Well, I saw more from Cassel than I did of [Tony] Romo this year, you know? So, we’re definitely going to break down the tape and see what they were doing with him versus what they were doing with Romo. When you have a backup or a guy that you go get off the street, it's kind of tough to emulate… that playbook. It's hard for a coach to just open up the whole playbook to him because it's so much information for a guy that just got off the street. I'm sure if he has some history those coaches, but it looks like he's moving the ball pretty well. He doing things. They rely on their run game a lot when he's in there just watching a couple of those past games he had. But he's a proven veteran and he's played in this league for a few years. He's definitely a starting quarterback. It's no slack on him. He's not a guy you can overlook."

On if General Manager Scot McCloughan specifically told him to be a leader after Tampa Bay:

“No, not really. I don’t think they even knew that about… you know, what happened in Tampa. I don’t think they even cared. But, when I got here, he just told me to be me, man. He was excited of me being here. He was just like, ‘I’m excited of you being here. We want you to be you at the end of the day,’ and the same thing with Coach Jay [Gruden] when I sat down in his office. He was like, ‘Man, we’re just looking for you to just be who you are. Don’t walk on eggshells around here or bite your tongue. Just be who you are as a football player. I think the rest will be fine.’ With that being said, I mean, they just let me be me, which is what I am today.”

On if his message at the team meeting got through to the team based on last week's performance

“Oh no, it’s definitely going to take more. I mean, yes, Sunday was a step — definitely a step in the right direction — and it goes a long way. That’s just being attentive in the classrooms here, you know, doing what you’re asked of by your coach and just being a better teammate, your work ethic on the practice field and week in, week out. Until we win a championship then, we will figure it out.”

Tackle Trent Williams

On the difference in atmosphere this December as opposed to the last two Decembers:

“We feel relevant at the time, I mean right now. But it’s so hard to try to relax and feel accomplished when there’s so much more to be had. We have five more games, and those games are just as important as the last one. It’s not a time to sit back and kind of gloat on accomplishments.”

On the feeling in the locker room in December in 2013 and 2014:

“It was miserable. You [were] there. You’ve seen it. You’ve seen how dead the locker room was. It was a dark place to be to know that you come into work for a whole month, month and a half knowing that the games were basically meaningless. As you can imagine, it was pretty tough.”

On if he appreciates the presence of the veterans who were successful elsewhere who are now in their first seasons in Washington:

“Yeah, I definitely appreciate it. I think the hat goes off to Scot [McCloughan] and the guys in the front office, just going out and searching for those right pieces – guys who have been in competitive situations, guys who know how to win and ultimately veterans who know how to lead. And I think it’s definitely helped this locker room tremendously.”

On being able to win on the road and win consecutive games:

“Yeah, I think it would be a huge step in the right direction and a huge confidence builder if we can definitely win two games in a row, which we haven’t done in I think about a year. I think we only had – what, two back-to-back [home] games, the first two games of the year? – which we feel like we’re a completely different team from the team that faced Miami. But then again, we still haven’t played to our potential. We’ve had some tough games on the road. We came close. We’ve been in games where we weren’t close. I think the only thing we have left to do is to try to get a win on the road and ultimately win two back-to-back, but I think we play well at home, which every team does in a sense. But I think it has to do with the maturity of the team, and we’re growing as we speak. I think if we can get those two roadblocks out the way, it’ll be a huge confidence builder for this team.”

On the success of the offensive line in protecting QB Kirk Cousins last week:

“I think we’ve had plenty of games where Kirk didn’t hardly get touched. Last few games, we passed the ball I think a lot. Probably in Carolina, one of the best defenses in the league, so we were [inaudible] in a sense where we had to play catch-up ball and that’s always kind of a hard spot to be in as a far as protection-wise and as far as the quarterback throwing into a defense who knows the pass is coming. So with that being said, we didn’t put ourselves in position to be able to dominate the pass rush like we know we can. The Saints game, we just had a couple of individual efforts and let them breakdown, but for the most part, I feel like we’ve kept Kirk clean throughout the season.”

On G Spencer Long:

“I mean, he’s improved in every facet of his game. Just his knowledge of the game has improved so much and you can tell it’s helping him. He’s more comfortable. He’s not in situations where he gets nervous or he freaks out. He settled into the role and he has the ability to be a dominant player. He just has to put it together week in and week out. I think he’s starting to get that and he’s starting to do it, ultimately. I feel like his best football is definitely in front of him. As long as he continues to work hard like he has, I think he’ll be a heck of a player.”

On preparing for the Dallas Cowboys with their quarterback situation in flux:

“We just worry about our offense over here. We’re just trying to put our best foot forward on Monday.”

On Cowboys DE Greg Hardy:

“He’s a great player. He jumps out on film all the time. He’s very disruptive. He’s a big strong guy with a lot of athleticism. He’s a dominant force. That’s the reason he’s a household name and everybody knows who he is is because of his play on the field and how he can control the game at times. So, you know, I’m going to have to study him during the week like I do all my opponents and I’m going to have to bring my A-game. He definitely is one of the best D-ends in the league.”

On if he talks to RB Alfred Morris about returning to his level of production from the last three years:

“I’m busy evaluating my play. I don’t even have a chance to evaluate the running backs. I guess you’ll have to leave that question up to Coach, maybe, or the offensive coordinator or Alf. Maybe he can answer that question. To me, he’s been the same Alf when he’s had the opportunity.”

On the reversal of circumstances from last year’s Monday night game against Dallas and if he has to talk to the team to avoid Dallas pulling the same feat:

“No, I don’t think we have to voice that. Anytime you play a division opponent, it’s always going to be a dogfight. You never know who’s going to have the advantage. It’s a weird deal. The teams know each other really well and it really doesn’t depend on the personnel. It ultimately comes down to which team doesn’t make the mistakes in the end to cost their team the game.”

On playing through pain throughout his career and from where that mindset came:

“I mean, I think everything is learned. I probably learned it from my parents. My dad was an extremely hard worker and he hardly ever missed a day of work, no matter how sick he was. There was even times my dad even walked to work when he didn’t have transportation. Just seeing that type of stuff, it instilled a certain type of determination inside of me, and ultimately I’m a competitor, man. No matter if it’s the Super Bowl or if it’s a preseason game, if my team is out there, I feel like I should be out there and I should be contributing.”

On his father:

“My dad was a mechanic. He stood on his feet all day. Later in his work life he was dealing with a bit of arthritis, just standing on concrete floors all day working. Even with his knees being swollen or feet being swollen, he would get up and walk I would say three or four miles to work. And this was times where he could have called and had people come pick him up or even called off of work, you know? But him being the person he is, he didn’t want to ask anybody for anything. He always handled his business no matter what his health was or whether he was ailing or whether he could barely walk. He always found a way to handle his business. I think I should go about it the same way.”

On the excitement to have something to play for this December and if it can build confidence:

“We’ve just got to work today, so I haven’t even had a chance to talk to guys. But I’m going to be pushing to keep the locker room as it’s been in the past weeks, just keep guys relaxed. We know we have a lot to play for. That’s not a question anymore. It’s just how we’re going to play, how much work are we going to put in during the week and go out there and try to repeat that same performance. I think that’s the huge part. I don’t think it’s about how happy everybody is. It all comes down to your play on the field.”

On his evolution as a vocal leader:

“I think it comes with maturity, me being more comfortable to talk up knowing that me as a captain I do have an influence on guys, and if I want this team to be where I know we can be, that I just have to speak up and I can’t just sit by the wayside and just do my job and say little things here and there. I’ve just got to be a constant voice. And we have a young team – a young, impressionable team – and I think that’s what’s best for us to try to accomplish what we want to accomplish.”

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