November 11, 2010
Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan
On Brandon Banks, Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain’s injury status:
"Ryan practiced today. I thought [his hamstring] felt a little bit better for him. He looked pretty good. Clinton sat out most of the practice. Got a few reps in there. I don't think he set himself back. He is a little bit sore today. Brandon is just getting treatment. Catch some punts tomorrow and some kickoffs. We'll see how he looks."
On Friday being the day to see if Brandon Banks may be able to play on Monday:
"Friday, Saturday we'll get a good feel both days, practice days. Saturday is like a Friday this week with the Monday night game. We'll get a chance over the next couple of days to kind of work him into things."
On Portis' progress:
"It kind of scares me. Like I said before, normally when you come off of this injury, your first week of practice you’re trying to get back into football shape. You feel good and it's sore the next day. That's exactly what's happened. Had a good day yesterday. A little bit sore today. Didn't want to over push it. We got a few more days to practice and see how he feels. There's a chance. We'll just monitor it day by day."
On if injured players need to practice a full day and not feel sore in order to play:
"You just got to get a good gut feel. Number one, are they in football shape? If they do go in, can they last the whole game or are they going to go in for five or 10 plays and be out? With a 45-man squad, it really hurts you if a guy just goes in there temporarily and can't play more than a few plays. You got to get a good feel."
On who the starting running back will be if Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain are both healthy:
"Like I said, you want to make sure whoever you have, if you are going with two guys, three guys or four guys, you would like them to stay healthy. That's part of the evaluation process. You got to get 45 guys that you think give you the best chance to win."
On if he knows who he would want as his starting running back if Portis and Torain are both healthy:
"That's part of the evaluation. You can't say who's your best running back. We've got two guys that we know that can play. Right now, both guys aren't healthy. If they were healthy, I could answer that question. They aren't healthy. We'll evaluate it during the week. If they are both healthy and they are healthy next week then I'll give you the answer to that question."
On how comfortable he is with the reserve running backs if Portis and Torain cannot play:
"Right now if both guys could not go, Keiland [Williams] would be the guy that would get the start."
On if he is comfortable with Keiland Williams as the starting running back:
"I'm comfortable. I think he's got a good feel of our system. I think he could go in there and play a heck of a game. "
On what needs to happen in order to run the two-minute offense effectively:
"Two-minute is really the extension of your third-down package. A lot of the same routes, a little bit more base. We just haven't had a chance to run it very much this football season and we went over the reasons why. This week gives an extra day and hopefully we'll get a chance to work that on Saturday if everything works out the way I planned."
On if the two-minute drill in practice is a good simulation for running the two-minute offense in a game for Donovan McNabb:
"Like I said, you have to be able to go full speed in a two-minute situation. You're running to the line if you are going with a normal two-minute situation. It all depends on how he feels. Like I talked about, If he's full speed, ready to go and I feel like we can do the two minutes then he'll get some reps on Saturday."
On McNabb’s injury status:
"Same thing, still a little bit tight. Better than last week, but still sore. He's getting treatment on his hamstrings everyday."
On if McNabb is taking his normal amount of practice reps:
"He's getting the same amount of reps that he's had. The reason why we brought it up, we talked about it last Tuesday, there's a question of whether he was even going to dress for the game, at least according to [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess]. One hamstring was really bothering him. The good news he got a lot of rehab this last week and feeling better this week. Hopefully, he keeps on improving but I don't want to overdue it in two-minute situation. I'm not going to take a chance of an injury to put him through that just to run a two-minute offense. Everybody is happy and we go on."
On who calls the plays during the two-minute offense:
"A lot of times the quarterback will take over. A lot of times if a coach has got a feel for a play while 15 seconds are on the 40-second clock, a coach can call it. It all depends. It all depends what the situation is."
On if the play calling during the two-minute offense can change play to play:
"You can communicate with the quarterback up until 15 seconds. You are constantly talking."
On how many plays are available in the two-minute offense:
"I don't want to go through that. You got your whole game plan. It could be anywhere from 20 to 50."
On who has run the two-minute offense the best from all of the quarterbacks he has coached:
"Usually, it's a team. It's not a quarterback. It's your offense in general. It's your offensive line, your tight ends, your wide receivers, a group of guys all on the same page, all going in the same direction."
On if the two-minute offense was better when he was in San Francisco or in Denver:
"[We were] No. 1 I think two out of three years in San Francisco and when I was there, pretty good offense at that time. Denver, we had a few pretty good teams there. If you are in the top two or three, usually you have a pretty good offensive system. We're not quite there yet but hopefully we can be."
On if he notices any extra motivation from McNabb this week:
"I think for our whole football team, I think Donovan has done a good job this week getting ready to play, a lot of distractions. We've fought through it as a group. We're ready to go on. Sometimes, as I have said, you make decisions you feel are in the best interests of your team, not always right. Sometimes you go with your gut but the bottom line is you make it and you go on. Hopefully, we'll play our best football here in the second half of the season."
On how much it changed the first game with Philadelphia when Vick left because of an injury:
"Michael as we all know is a great athlete. [Kevin] Kolb is an excellent quarterback as well. Different style of system when both guys are in. We know what Michael can do with his legs. Kolb came in and did a heck of a job. Couple of good drives in there. I think both guys are very capable and whichever direction they decide to go, outside of Michael playing and starting. They got the capabilities. They have two different game plans which I think always keeps a defense off balance."
On if the defense, particularly the cornerbacks, played as well against Philadelphia as any game this season:
"I think that was one of our better games. We played well relative to slowing down their wide receivers. They got a great group. You take a look at their skill; running backs, tight ends, wide receivers, quarterbacks, they got it all."
On the team's level of conditioning returning from the bye week:
"I think everybody kind of handles conditioning differently. The guys that are going to condition, condition and the guys that aren't going to, they're not. What I usually do is on that Monday and Wednesday, we get two good workouts in pads and today we went with pads about through half of the practice. I feel very good about where we're at conditioning wise after two and half really good days of practice. Now you kind of tone up a little bit and do the little things that you need to do to get ready for the game."
On Brian Orakpo’s injury status:
"His back was hurting him from yesterday. His back was sore and didn't feel like he could go."
On if Chris Cooley, Stephon Heyer, Jammal Brown and Kareem Moore were able to practice:
"All of those guys [were able to go]. I'm trying to think of anybody else that was limited. I think that was it."
On why he thinks Brown played his best game of the season in Detroit:
"That's a good question. I'm not really sure. Sometimes when guys go in on second team instead of first team all of a sudden they get better in a hurry. He played much better. I don't know what loosened him up but whatever happened he played at a much higher level and hopefully he continues to play at that level."
Quarterback Donovan McNabb
On if he thinks it seems weird to go five weeks without practicing a two-minute drill:
“We have a tempo at practice in which it’s like the two-minute [drill]. We’re in and out of the huddle. We’re all accustomed to it. We ran it through the off season. That’s about as far as I can go into it. There are a lot of things that kind of go into it, obviously, that he [Mike Shanahan] explained.”
On the demands of running a two-minute offense:
“It’s tendencies. As a quarterback, you know what coverages they like to play and when they like to blitz. Certain calls you make in the two-minute [offense] kind of pertain to that. You want to be able to get the ball to your guys and give them an opportunity to get up field and pick up big yards or possibly a touchdown. A two-minute drill is an exciting time because no one knows what to expect and kind of the unknown happens. I’ve been a part of it for years.”
On how many plays he has at his disposal during a two-minute offense:
“It’s a lot. You have a lot. Certain plays you want to call just to get completions and get going. Some plays you want to take shots. Some you want to pick up first downs. So, it’s kind of methodically planned depending on who you’re playing.”
On who dictates calling plays during the two-minute offense:
“Well, it varies. Some coaches like to have their hand in the whole two-minute deal. Some coaches give the green light to players and let them run it. We’ve had a little bit of both.”
On what dictates how you run the two-minute offense:
“It depends on the coach.”
On his teammates saying he thrives on end-of-the-game situations:
“I do. I enjoy that part, especially when you’ve gotten things going, you’re in that rhythm and everybody’s getting involved. Everyone feels they’re contributing. You’re spreading the ball around, you’re picking up first downs and you get yourself in the red area where you feel like good things can happen.”
On if he feels that he’s limited at all because of his hamstrings:
“It was a lot of different things through the weeks that I wasn’t able to do. But so far, so good right now.”
On what he makes of comments about him not knowing the playbook or not being in condition to run the two-minute offense:
“It’s been quite entertaining, I should say. From the talks to the reactions and things of that nature, I’ve been getting some pretty good support from some of the ex-players and commentators. I thank them for that. For me, at this point, it’s just an opportunity for me to move on. We’re playing against a tough team that’s playing pretty well right now, coming off a great win. We’ve got to be able to match that intensity and go out on Monday night. [It’s] a great day to play and just look forward to the challenge.”
On if he feels his relationship with the organization has changed:
“Not at all. I have a pretty good relationship with the people in the organization here and some great backup support. So, that goes for the players as well. For me, it’s just going out and playing my game and having fun doing it.”
On reports that he and Kyle Shanahan aren’t clicking:
“I think anytime you get into a situation where, if we were 6-2 or 7-1 and everything looks fine and dandy. But, we’re 4-4. [We] had some opportunities and offensively we haven’t been clicking as well as we want to and as well as we need to. There are going to be some reports about that. But, things happen over time. Nothing happens quickly. So, at this point for me, patience is everything. But, I’m looking forward to improving this thing in the next couple of weeks.”
On if he and Kyle Shanahan had to hash anything out in order to move on:
“No, we’ve talked. We talk every week. I think now we kind of have an understanding of each other and some different things I like, some different things he likes. Obviously, playing against different teams, the main part about it is just execution, for our offense to do what we need to do so that at the end of the game, we can be in a victory formation.”
On if Mike and Kyle Shanahan have assured him that he will not be benched again:
“This is football. We’ve talked about the whole issue. We’ve kind of hashed out a lot of different things. I’ve been in this situation before. The whole deal about it is that I’m going to treat it as such and focus on my job and do it at a high level.”
On how he is able to compartmentalize things and vent in public:
“First of all, I like to handle my business behind closed doors. I don’t go through the media and try to vent or react to certain situations. I think that’s not truly professional. My professional manner is to talk to you man-to-man and try to find out what the problem is. You find out what the problem is, you come up with a solution and you move on. I think for a lot of guys, it’s a hard deal to manage because they want to vent. But what do you really get out of the whole deal before it becomes an on-going battle of he said, she said? That’s just not how I go about business. For the guys in the locker room, they know that I’m just going to be me. They’ve seen me over the years, they’re seeing me here hands-on. I believe it’s important that when the guys in the locker room and people in this organization understand how I feel and that’s by sitting down with them and talking to them and for them to get to know me in certain situations and obviously what has transpired over the last couple of weeks. We’ve put it out on the table and we’re moving on.”
On being benched in Philadelphia and coming back to have a great season:
“You have to understand what’s at hand here. You want to come out and you want to do some different things but you still have to manage the game and make sure that you’re prepared going into the week and going into the game and just kind of have fun playing. This doesn’t take my passion away or my determination to do well each week. Each week is different, yet you want to come in with that same attitude to do what it takes to win.”
On if he gets a different adrenaline rush after hearing criticism:
“Not necessarily. When I step out on the field, I already have that adrenaline high. All throughout the week, you feel like you’re getting better and you’re knowing more about your opponent and the things you can do and do well. For me, this week is just really game planning and being on top of things and making sure we have a great week of practice.”
On if he is glad to be playing the Eagles on Monday Night Football:
“It really doesn’t matter who you play. I think when you come off a bye week, everyone wants to know how we’re going to respond to start off our second half of the season. We’ve got some guys healthy and for us, we recognize how we played in the first eight [games] and what we need to do to change.”
On breaking into Mike and Kyle Shanahan, [Quarterbacks Coach] Matt LaFleur and quarterback Rex Grossman’s circle that has history:
“I don’t even focus in on that. I’ve been playing this game a long time where I’ve had numerous amounts of coaches, guys who have gotten a job because they were close friends with a coach or whatever it may be. I really can’t focus on that. My job is to focus out here on this field and make sure the other guys in the locker room feel confident in me being out there. Now, to get in that circle, that’s nothing you talk about on a business level. As far as friendship and communication is concerned, I think communication is very important in our job titles. That’s all that matters to me.”
On if he feels he has a friendship with the coaches:
“I think we have a great friendship, yes.”
On if he feels that the coaches will do anything different to take better advantage of his skills:
“We’ve talked about a lot of different things and that was part of it. I think it’s important for us to be successful and everyone be comfortable with some of the things we do well. There are a lot of things that we want to do that we haven’t been able to do in the first eight [games] and I look forward to showcasing that.”
On if he ever thought he’d be involved in a quarterback controversy with the Redskins:
“I don’t believe that I am.”
On where he expected the team would be at this point:
“Everyone wants to be a little further ahead. I would love to be sitting here 8-0. I would love to be sitting at 6-2. We’re 4-4 and that’s what we are right now. We can do things to change that in these next eight games. I think it’s important that we focus in on that and not focus in on the first part of the season. We’ve all been apart of it and we know and recognize what happened. It’s important for us to go out and change it.”
On how important it is to have the bye week:
“It’s very important. It’s important for guys to refresh their memory and get their bodies back and understand the task at hand. [We’re] given this opportunity to play at home on Monday night against an NFC East opponent and a rival and one that we have an opportunity to move further in the division. That’s the thing that we focus in on.”
On how he thinks Michael Vick has played and handled his controversy:
“I’m excited for him. I’m excited for the team because a guy that was given the opportunity to get back on his feet and now he’s kind of flourishing in the moment. I think a guy who is learning and sitting in the room and getting some great teaching from a guy who has coached a Hall of Famer and probably one of the best to play the game with Andy [Reid]. He’s surrounded by a great group of talent. He’s been doing a great job with that. He’s stayed humble and I’m excited about his play. I’m mostly excited by how the fans and everyone has kind of embraced him now and giving him that opportunity. Just cheering him on instead of what happened last year, pretty much. With that whole aspect, I look forward to seeing him on Monday.”
On if Andy Reid had reached out to him after being benched against the Lions:
“I haven’t talked to Andy. I wouldn’t really know what to say to him because I got benched with Andy, too. But, the whole thing about it is that we talk about different things. We haven’t talked about this situation and nor do I want to rehash it. Like I’ve said, I think it’s important that we move on from it. We put everything out on the table, we’ve talked and now it’s time for us to forward.”
On the most effective methods he uses to learn the offense:
“There are a lot of ways of going about it. There’s film work, getting out here at practice, telling it to yourself and writing it down and communicating with your coaches. With that, being able to come out here on the practice field and execute it. We all have to be on the same page and if we’re all on the same page, execution happens.”
On how hard it is for every starter when learning a new offense:
“It’s complicated but yet, you want it to happen now. You’re willing to do whatever it takes so that it will happen now.”
On Washington fans being behind him and having their support:
“It’s good to have the fans backing you and supporting you. I think that when you get in certain situations, obviously they can add their opinions and things of that nature. You feel confident that you can just go out there and be yourself. And when you be yourself, you know you have your fans and the supporters of the Redskins to continue to give you that push you need.”
Running Back Clinton Portis
On if he is going to play on Sunday:
"I'm not a rocket scientist. I can't tell you if I'm going to play. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to go out and try. One day at a time."
On his recovery process:
"I think I'm making progress but I can't sit here and tell you it's a definite. I got to go out and continue to get through the rest of this week. Hopefully, on Monday, I can go out and help this team."
On if he feels he is able to go at full speed at this time:
"I've been attempting to, minor set backs, but that's why I'm in the training room. It's just a work in progress."
On the level of soreness the day after practicing:
"It's real sore. I think that these were signs they expected. [I am] pretty much just staying on top of it every chance I get, just getting treatment."
On if he has been able to test his groin at full speed:
"What's considered full speed? I don't have Usain Bolt type speed. My full speed and Usain Bolt's speed [are] different. I went out and did what I could. Nobody had a clock so I don't know how fast I was running."
On the level of swelling:
"[There is] swelling. It decreased. After Monday's practice, it kind of swelled back up. It's going down again. Like I said, it's day to day."
On if he is able to cut like he wants to:
"Not like I want, but I attempt to cut during the ladder drills. Hopefully, by Monday, I can."
On if he has any fear that he will play on Monday and re-injure himself:
"There's no fear. If it happens and I can go, I don't think I would wait to get into the game to attempt that. I would attempt that later in the week and see how it feels and go from there."
On if he is anxious to play:
"Of course I am anxious to play. Why wouldn't I be anxious to play. I think we're in a perfect position to do something special around here that we haven't done and that's win the division. Being 2-0 [in the NFC East] and having the Eagles come in on Monday night, I would love to be a part of that."
On what he expects out of Donovan McNabb on Monday:
"To go out and do the same thing that he's been doing. You can't ask Donovan to put all of this on his shoulders. There are other guys around Donovan that got to help. We got to take the pressure off of him. I think Donovan when comfortable and can sit in the pocket and make the right read [is] spectacular. I think we just got to allow him that time."
On if it is hard to watch the criticism of Donovan McNabb:
"It's not hard because I've been experiencing that for years now. It's kind of shocking to see somebody else go through what I have been going through for years. It's always a story blown out of proportion and somebody making the story bigger than it is. What happened with Donovan, it was simple. I think in this locker room it's forgotten about and everybody [has gone] out to practice ready to move on with Donovan as our quarterback."
On being able to carry the ball 30 times if asked on Monday:
"They didn't ask me to do 30 carries when I was healthy. If I get the opportunity to play, whatever it is I can do or [contribute] to this team, that's what I do. "
On if he would like the groin to be pain free prior to playing:
"When you think about Week 9, Week 10 of a football season, you'll never be pain free. I don't think there's anybody in the NFL who's played in a game to say 'Oh, I'm pain free.' I want to be able to be stable, where it's not going to be a reoccurring issue. Next week, I don't know if I'm going to play against Tennessee and the following week I'm going to be going through the same thing. When I step back on the field, I want to step on the field and be healthy enough to carry and help this team for the long run."
On the groin being stable if pain exists:
"The one thing you should know by now, I've been playing with pain for a long time. It's situation after situation. The same situations that I wasn't practicing through and wasn't fighting through and received the criticism for, it was because it was pain. This is no different."
On wanting to play because of Ryan Torain's injury and the inexperience at the running back position:
"I don't think that makes [me]. I just think being able to help the team [makes me]. If you see Keiland [Williams] step in and if you go out and watch Chad [Simpson] in practice, those guys are capable of running the ball. I think it's just the pass blocking and the play-making. I think it's aside from having the ball that would be the worry. Other than that, as far as running the ball, I think Keiland, Chad, they can get it done. Therefore, there's really no pressure. As a team, we just got to go out and take the pressure off of Donovan [McNabb]."
On if he sees things in the pass protection that he knows he could fix:
"I can't tell you that I could clean it up. I can try. I can throw an extra body in front of Donovan [McNabb] and absorb some of the bruises that he [gets]. Try to take some of the bumps away. I wouldn't be the savior. I can't tell you I'm the answer for Donovan getting sacked."
On wearing a Philadelphia Phillies hat:
"I just felt like wearing red today. It didn't have anything to do with the Phillies. I just felt like wearing red today. This was the only outfit that I had so I put it on."
On the Washington Nationals having a red hat:
"I don't have a Nats hat. It's crazy that I don't have a Nats hat. Nobody will send one to my locker or anything."
On what he has seen with the offensive line through the first four games of the season as compared to the last four games:
"I think just position, being out of position. You can't take away that we're playing some talented [pass] rushers. Starting with Clay Matthews, the rushers they've been seeing aren't slouches. It's just people making plays. You go to Detroit. Who figured Detroit's d-line would cause that much havoc. It's just getting into situations. It's really positioning [and] not being in position to make the block or maintain the block. We got to do better."
On if he thinks he will be in game shape by Monday:
"I think that comes from the preseason. Not playing the last four weeks, I don't think I fell out of shape because I do a lot of treadmill and running on the Ultra G Machine. As far as game shape, I think I'll be fine. I don't think you can go all offseason of training and getting prepared and then all of sudden you miss a couple of weeks [and you are out of game shape]. It's not like I've been sitting around doing nothing. I think I'll be fine."