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Mike Shanahan Full Transcript: 11/18

Posted Nov 18, 2013

On Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.

On Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.

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On the injury report:
“[Tight end] Jordan [Reed] is going through the typical concussion protocol. No change there. [Wide receiver Leonard] Hankerson, looks like it’s an LCL. They’ll decide in the next couple of days if surgery is needed, but he is quite sore. The MRI was positive, so we’ll wait and see on that one. [Defensive end Stephen] Bowen – knee is sore, but an MRI was negative. [Cornerback] E.J. [Biggers], same thing. He’s sore. MRI was negative.”
 
On if he was aware of the incident between tackle Trent Williams and an official during the game:
“No, I was aware of it after the game. People had told me what had happened. I talked to the players today and I will talk to the league here probably over the next day or two.”
 
On if he has ever heard of anything like that happening:
“I have, one other time... Nothing happened at that time, but we had a few players that were involved with this one so it’s a little bit unprecedented. One of our players – they were mic’d and we’ll find out if the NFL has any information on that. But I feel very strongly about the words that were used to our players because you have a number of players that said they heard it. So I’m disappointed in what had happened but that’s probably all I can discuss at this point.”
 
On if he wishes Williams would have not gone public about the incident:
“Well, someone is upset after the game and I think with that type of conversation sometimes people will break out. Could he have handled it differently? Maybe. But he handled it the way he thought was right at that time. It is quite unusual for somebody to use that type of language.”
 
On if the incident makes him question some of the official’s judgment:
“I just really talk about the issue at hand right now. You just really can’t use that type of language to get your point across.”
 
On if the NFL has contacted him about the incident:
“They have not.”
 
On what he saw on quarterback Robert Griffin III’s interception and if Griffin III had any other choice:
“Well you always have another choice. Any time it ends in an interception, you always have another choice. It’s third-and-one, the quarterback’s always trying to make a play at one of the hardest positions in sports to play. And there’s going to be many decisions like that through the years and you grow with them. You’d always rather have it fourth-and-one than an interception, we all know that, so you’ve got to be able to throw the ball away at the right time. But he’s trying to make a play.”
 
On the Eagles anticipating plays and if he is worried about losing the trust of his quarterback:
“No. What happens – teams are going to play different defenses. If a team has been very good against the run and very poor against the pass, you play a soft coverage. We kind of anticipated that during the game so that’s why our running game was so effective in the first half against a defense that has normally shut down the running game. They were going to take the passing game away and [that was] one of the reasons we had the success we had early running the football.”
 
On how often a team knows what play they are about to see:
“They really don’t know if a play is coming or not. What they do is they’re going to play aggressive – take away the run or take away the pass. Some people will mix it up and really try to keep you off-balance. So you never know what’s going to happen coming into a game and you’ve got to be able to adjust. More in the fourth quarter they were trying to take away the run.”
 
On how to coach Griffin III to not make mistakes:
“You need reps. You need repetition. One of the things we talked about in the offseason, I think the biggest growth from the first year to the second year is those 10 weeks of just going back and doing things that you haven’t done before. That’s what you miss besides training camp. So when you take the first nine, 10 weeks of the season and you take maybe the first three weeks before we start our first game, he’s getting all those reps right now. The more reps he gets, the more comfortable he’s going to be, especially in game-type situations. I think he feels very natural with the zone read and some of the play-actions off of it. Some of the dropback passing attack will take a little time. But he’s so sharp at picking things up. He can make any throw. Not many people have that ability to do that. The great part about it is the sky’s the limit for him in the future. There is going to be some growing pains. It’s not going to be automatic. We didn’t expect it to be automatic. But there will be growth in what we do with him as time goes on and I think he’ll keep on getting better and better.”
 
On his reaction to postgame comments made by wide receiver Joshua Morgan:
“It was a little bit unusual to hear that, but anytime I take a guy who has been dressing and he doesn’t dress, what I do with them is I will sit them down – maybe special teams plays where I sit down and go over 10-12 plays, and maybe as a receiver where I go through 20 plays – and talk to somebody about why they aren’t dressing out for that game, what they have to do to dress out in the future, and what I expect of them in the future – to play at what level in both areas. I’ve got a lot of belief in Josh Morgan. We did make the switch for [wide receiver/punt returner] Nick Williams because I wanted to take a look at him as a punt returner. I do have a lot of confidence in Josh that he’ll come back strong and help us this week as a wide receiver, but I explained to him what he needs to do in both special teams and at wide receiver to get to the level that I think he can get to, because he does have the ability to be a Pro Bowl player, and I want to get that out of him.”
 
On if Morgan’s comments to the media last week played any part in his deactivation:
“No, it had nothing to do with his deactivation.”
 
On if there is anything he could have done better yesterday:
“Yeah, I mean that’s what coaching is about. You try to put your football team in the situation that gives them the best chance to be successful. When you fall short of that, you always go back and you look at everything – you look at your offensive game plan, defense, special teams. We did a lot of good things in that game. We fell a little bit short. I was pleased with the way our defense came back in the second half – some of the plays made – and I was proud of our football team the way they fought in the fourth quarter. All of a sudden you tie it up in the fourth quarter and you find a way to win when you’re 24 points down – that doesn’t happen very often in the National Football League. So two games in a row we fell short in the fourth quarter and I’m disappointed that we did lose those games, but I also tried to explain to the team that if we had won those games now everybody would be talking the other direction. So it’s a fine line. You’ve got to believe in yourself. They made a bunch of plays on both sides of the ball, but we’ve got to keep on getting better to win a football game.”
 
On if he feels the direction of the franchise is still positive:
“I really do. I really do and I think you’ve got to take a look at a number of things when you take a look at the direction of a football team. I think when you take a look at the offensive numbers and that just doesn’t happen naturally with a lot of new players. We talked about it last year – we had six new players on our team and putting up the numbers that we’re putting up are pretty impressive, especially with losing the $36 million salary cap over those two years’ timeframe. You don’t have the type of depth, but you’re able to put a very solid football team together. In the future it will get better because we do have the ability to get more depth, we’ve got the ability to add some players on both sides of the football and that gives you a chance to get better as a football team.”
 
On play of wide receiver/returner Nick Williams:
“It looked like he played in his first game. It’s always tough that first game of the season, but I think we saw in preseason against Tampa, one of those punt returns he did have, it was really a knuckleball coming off of his foot and it was pretty hard to judge. I’d rather have a guy err on the side of not going after the football or going after the football and turning it over, so we’ll see how he does this week in practice and make a decision again on who is going to be our top 53.”
 
On how he reacts to Griffin III’s comments that the Eagles knew what the Redskins were doing:
“Robert is so used to having teams play us in an eight-man front where they’ve got to stop our run, and we’ve had people through the years – we’ve had wide receivers wide open. Our first year everybody played us in an eight-man front, sometimes almost in a nine-man front with their free safety, and when you do that you’re going to have guys wide open like we did last year – one of the reasons why the play-action game was so good and one of the reasons why we were ranked where we were throwing the football with yards per play. This year they’re saying hey we’re going to play a little more passive. You’re going to have to earn your right in that running game, which we’ve been able to do, and you’re not going to always get that deep ball so you’ve got to dump it off and be patient. That’s part of the NFL. No matter what quarterback you’re going against. No matter what system you’re going against. You’ve got to be able to relate or adjust your game plan accordingly. That’s one of the reasons why we ran the football so much against a team that was very good stopping the run.”
 
On how the final few games of this season will impact his future with the Redskins:
“I don’t talk about those things during the season for obvious reasons.”
 
On if he considered changing quarterbacks the first half:
“No, I did not. And when you take a look at defenses, you take a look at sometimes it may be a pass protection, may be a dropped ball, it may be an overthrow. There’s a combination of different things that go into having success in that first half. Second-and-five on the five, we got a chance there as well. So we had a chance to get a couple scores in there and kind of controlling the clock as well. So when you take a look at everything collectively, you’ve got to make a decision what gives you best chance to win and that’s the reason why Robert was in there.”
 
On how he keeps players believing in the system and organization:
“Well, as I shared with you a second ago, we talked about the Minnesota game – you’ve got to be able to close that game. We talked about Philly, we had a chance even though it was in the fourth quarter to come back and have a chance to at least tie it up and go into overtime, and it’s disappointing we didn’t get it done. We’re playing some good football teams. We’re not finishing games. Like I said, when you’re No. 1 in the National Football League rushing, it means you’re doing some things good. How you win games is to not turn the football over, which we didn’t last year, which we’ve done this year, and that doesn’t help you win football games. So a couple areas we’ve got to get better at, but when you can lead the league in rushing, usually you have got a chance to have success.”
 
On if his one-on-one time with Griffin III is as frequent as it was last season:
“He has never sat with me every day. That’s a head coach and a quarterback. Usually they do that with the coordinators. I’ve got a chance to talk to Robert quite a bit. It’s always usually the coordinators that spend 14-16 hours a day with the quarterback because there’s so much time involved in going over everything you need to do to get ready for a game plan.”
 
On what gives him hope that the team can put together another comeback run:
“I think what you do is you don’t think about a run, you think about winning a football game I think if you do that then you’ve got a chance for a run. We know we’ve got a good football team coming in here, a Monday Night game. To find a win, we’ve got to make sure that we play great in all three areas and we haven’t been able to do that consistently.”
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