December 24, 2011
Game Notes: Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings
*As of the conclusion of Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET games.
- Attendance for the game was 68,370. The game was the Redskins’ 368th consecutive sellout, including preseason, regular season and playoffs. All 148 regular season, postseason and preseason games at FedExField have been sellouts.
- Rookie running back Evan Royster received his first career start. He led the Redskins in rushing attempts (19) and rushing yards (132), both career highs. His previous high in rushes was 10 last week at the New York Giants, and he recorded a previous-high 44 yards in Week 14 against the New England Patriots.
- With Royster’s 100-plus-yard performance, the 2011 Redskins became the first squad in team history to have two different rookies rush for at least 100 yards in a single game in the same season.
- Royster became the third different Redskins running back to post 100 rushing yards in a game this season, joining Ryan Torain and Roy Helu. This marks the first time since 2002 that the Redskins have had three different running backs rush for 100 yards in a game in a single season (Ladell Betts, Kenny Watson and Stephen Davis).
- Royster’s 132 rushing yards were the most by a Redskins rookie running back since Reggie Brooks rushed for a rookie-team-record 154 yards at Philadelphia on Sept. 19, 1993, a span of 299 regular season games.
- Royster’s 132 rushing yards were the highest individual total allowed by the Vikings this season and the most allowed by the Vikings since 2006 (Steven Jackson – 142).
- Royster recorded a career-long run of 28 yards in the third quarter. His previous long was 15 yards, registered in Week 14 against the Patriots.
- Royster’s 132 rushing yards are the most registered by any player in the 21 games contested by the Redskins and Vikings.
- Kicker Graham Gano was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, tying his career high for field goals made in a single game, which he set vs. the New York Jets on Dec. 4 this season.
- Gano made a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter, his fourth field goal of 50 yards or more this season. The four field goals of 50 yards or longer ties the Redskins’ team record for 50-yard field goals in a season, held by John Hall (2003) and Mark Moseley (1977).
- With 14 points on Sunday, Gano set a season high with 114 points. That total ranks tied for 12th most in team history and is the most since kicker Shaun Suisham scored 116 points in 2007.
- Gano improved upon his single-season career high in field goals made (30), tying him with Chip Lohmiller (1990 and 1992) for third-most field goals made in a single season in team history. He is three field goals shy of tying Mark Moseley’s team record of 33 made field goals during the 1983 season.
- Receiver Jabar Gaffney led the Redskins in receptions (six) and receiving yards (77).
- Gaffney now has 919 receiving yards on the season, surpassing his previous career high of 875 yards in 2010 as a member of the Denver Broncos.
- Gaffney caught a four-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rex Grossman in the fourth quarter. The touchdown reception was Gaffney’s fifth of the season, tying his single-season career high, set in 2007 as a member of the New England Patriots.
- Grossman had a 100.5 quarterback rating in the first half, which is the fifth time he has recorded more than a 100 quarterback rating in the first half of games this season.
- Grossman found Donté Stallworth for a five-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. The receiving touchdown was Stallworth’s second of the season and the 34th of his career, tying him with Santonio Holmes for 30th most among active players.
- Linebacker London Fletcher played in his 223rd consecutive game, which is tied with Tampa Bay’s Ronde Barber for most among active non-specialists. It was also his 178th consecutive start, the most by any active linebacker.
- Fletcher was credited with 17 total tackles, giving him a league-leading 163 tackles for the season according to NFL GSIS. His 163 tackles surpass his previous career high of 158, set in 2005.
- Fletcher and defensive end Adam Carriker split a sack of Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder. The half-sack gives Fletcher 2.0 for the season, and the half-sack give Carriker 5.5 for the season, improving on his career high.
- Wide receiver Terrence Austin caught a 23-yard pass in the second quarter, improving on his single-season career-high totals in 2011. He tied a single-game career high in receptions with three.
- Fullback Darrel Young registered a career-high in receiving yards in a game (33). His previous high was recorded in Week 11 against the Dallas Cowboys (27).
- Return specialist Brandon Banks had three kickoff returns for 80 yards, giving him 49 returns for 1,121 yards this season, both single-season career highs. Banks leads the league in both categories.
- Banks’ 1,121 kickoff return yards currently rank as the 10th most in a single season in team history. Banks, who had 1,155 kickoff return yards last season, joins Brian Mitchell (four) and Rock Cartwright (three) as the only members of the Redskins with multiple seasons of 1,100-plus yards on kickoff returns.
- Linebacker Perry Riley recorded the first sack of his career in the fourth quarter.
- Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe appeared in the 100th game of his career.
Head Coach/Executive Vice President Mike Shanahan
On the fans:
“I’d like to start off by saying thanks to our fans. Any time you’ve got a five-win season and a team comes in with two wins, it’s not too often you get that type of support. Obviously, we didn’t make them very happy with the way we played. But I’d like to thank them for being as loud and showing up over other things you would do over Christmas weekend.”
On offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan appearing mad on the sidelines after a late penalty:
“He was upset at the [no call] hand to the helmet at the end of the game when we threw the Hail Mary. A hand came through and hit the helmet. At least from our angle that’s what had happened but there was no call.”
On if there should have been a call:
“I want to take a look at the ball in the air. It’s really hard until you look at film. It doesn’t matter either way.”
On the holding call on fullback Darrel Young:
“Obviously it’s a big play called back. Usually you don’t have a holding call on a reverse play. Everybody is going the other way so it’s quite unusual to start with.”
On how frustrating it is to lose after knocking out Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Christian Ponder:
“I think it was just the opposite. I thought [Joe] Webb came in and did some things well with the football – the counter options and keeping the ball alive, which wasn’t what they had been doing. He made some big time plays, made some big time throws and kept us off balance. It’s a credit to Webb and how he played in the second half.”
On why there were snap problems:
“I really don’t know. What happens is, in a hurry-up situation like that, Rex [Grossman] was signaling to a wide receiver, obviously our guard or our center thought he was trying to get the ball. That happened twice, and obviously it hurt us. It hurt our chances to make at least an easy throw to the end zone with 10 to 15 seconds left.”
On the sloppiness of the game:
“It’s what wins you games and loses you games. There’s a 60, 70, 80-yard play turned back. You have a team stopped and you jump offsides, you give them seven points there. We turned the ball over on the 20-yard line, you give them a field goal there. That’s the difference between winning or losing. That’s what you’ve got to do, you can’t beat yourself. You don’t win the turnover war and you make a couple of those penalties, like you mentioned, the first down turned into seven points and they’ve got to punt the football. You go back and you say ‘Hey, that’s the difference in winning and losing games.’ You’ve got to work, as a football team, to eliminate those things. Sometimes we’ve been very good with penalties, other times we’ve lost our focus and concentration. Today, I was disappointed that we had as many penalties as we did in some crucial situations.”
On rookie running back Evan Royster’s performance:
“I thought Evan did a great job. Any time you average nearly seven yards a carry against a defense that has been doing very good against the run, you feel like you’ve had a great day. He’s got to feel good about his performance. He even had a couple opportunities that I think if he looks back at the film he’ll wish he had kept his feet – he had a chance to go for a few more yards. As he gets more experience and feels more comfortable with himself and this system, I think you’ll see him get better and better. The one thing he is able to do is blitz pickups. He’s able to run the football. Mentally, he’s very on top of his game, especially for a young player.”
On Graham Gano’s performance:
“That’s what you have to do – you have to come through in those situations to keep your job in the National Football League. I was really pleased with him coming through on a 53-yarder or 53-and-a-half or whatever it was. That’s what you’ve got to do. We had a chance right there to go to an overtime game, but he’s got to make that [47-yard] field goal. I was really proud of the way he stepped up and made those.”
On preparing defensively for an option quarterback:
“You prepare for it. When he’s in the game, a lot of the time it’s going to be one of those wildcat plays and you work on the wildcat plays sometimes with a quarterback, and sometimes with a receiver that has good skills. I thought Webb did a good job running the counter option, making some plays, and he had a couple good throws too. The one in the corner of the end zone, and one on the slide. A couple nice touchdown passes, he really helped himself a lot.”
On focusing during a short week during the holidays:
“I think you go back to the first half and I think both defenses played really good. I thought the key was when Peterson and all of a sudden Ponder goes out, and they seemed to pick up some speed. I think that’s what happened. I think Webb gave them a little boost, and kind of kept us a little more off-balance than in the first half. It’s really a credit to them. We still had our chances. We moved the ball offensively, especially right there at the end of the game. You throw in an extra 60 or 70 yards there and it’s a heck of a performance. A couple times there in the red zone, you’ve got to get touchdowns. It’s not always going to be a 17-14 game, sometimes you have got to win 45-42. It’s going to happen and we haven’t been able to do that.”
On evaluating his young talent:
“You take a look at [Willie] Smith and to start against two excellent football players. Next week is no different. You get a chance to see him grow. A guy like [Maurice] Hurt was on the practice squad and we had a chance to see him play and perform quite well and that’s valuable experience. Then with Jammal [Brown] being on and off we got Tyler Polumbus to come in, and we had a chance to get a look at Sean Locklear as well. Erik Cook has come in at times and played at center and the guard position. As well as receivers and running backs, safeties as well and inside linebackers. That’s what you’re looking for is guys that they can show that they can play and at a high level.”
QB Rex Grossman
On how difficult and frustrating it is to lose close games:
“It’s tough. We need to win tough close games consistently.”
On if the interception was a miscommunication or a bad route:
“It was high. I could elaborate but it’s pretty simple.”
On if he knew there was a holding call against Brandon Banks:
“Yeah, the flag almost hit me. I stopped and prepared for a second-and-11.”
On what happened to the snap on the 10-second runoff play:
“We called a couple of plays in the huddle, and we weren’t lined up in that formation. So in two-minute drills I had to change the play, and as I was changing the play, [Will] Montgomery rightfully so, heard the first sound and snapped it. I had to get the play changed and so we snapped it.”
On if he felt like he moved the ball effectively:
“Yeah, we need to do something well. We’ve got to finish those drives with touchdowns. Too many times we settled for field goals. We did get a couple of touchdowns in but we got to have more of a first quarter as well.”
On if he felt like they had the momentum going into this game after the New York Giants game:
“It’s kind of odd that a 5-10 team feels confident all the time, but we know we are competitive and we can beat anybody. And every week we take the same approach, and every week we are confident playing for each other, and playing for your teammates and we go out there and fight to win. We feel like every week we can win. And anytime you do win, you feel like that is what you are supposed to do.”
On what his thoughts were on the touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney:
“It was a hell of a catch. I tried to put it in a spot where only he could get it, and he was able to do it.”
On if his first play to Donté Stallworth was a designed play:
“It was a designed play. In a normal situation, you probably don’t throw that, but since he is such a big strong wide receiver, and I felt that his safety was off just enough to give him a chance to run it out. I felt like the safety was deep enough to go ahead and give him a shot to catch the ball and spin off him like he did, and it worked.”
On if he was hit on the last play:
“Yeah, my eyes were downfield. I definitely felt like I got hit. When you are playing, you are so focused that you don’t know exactly when you get hit or where because your eyes are downfield. You get hit, you just stay downfield. He [Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan] obviously had a good look at it.”
On if he can tell if it’s going to be a tough game based on practice:
“Not at all. We had a good week of practice and a lot of our plays were plays that we ran during the year so there is no excuse for penalties or anything like that.”
On what he thought of Evan Royster’s performance:
“I thought he did a hell of a job. The offensive line created a lot of holes and he moved pretty fast. He gets in there, and when he gets in there, he kind of glides through the holes, and he is a pretty effective runner.”
RB Evan Royster
On his thoughts on how he played:
“I was pretty happy with how I played. I think we did a great job up front. These guys have seemed to be playing really well and I’m comfortable. I think we played really well on offense. We just have to capitalize in the red zone.”
On when he found out he would start and how he felt about it:
“I actually found out right before the game, when they decided that Roy [Helu] would be inactive. I was excited to finally get my first start and actually get to carry a little bit of a load.”
On when he felt like he found his rhythm:
“I felt pretty comfortable early on. We came out pretty strong. When you start out like that, the rhythm comes pretty quick. We got into it pretty early on. The second quarter was probably my best quarter. Once you get going, it’s hard to stop.”
On if he likes getting the ball on the pitch back and what the advantages are:
“It just gets you the ball a little deeper in the backfield, which lets you get a head of steam going before you get to the line of scrimmage. I’m pretty comfortable doing that. I haven’t actually done it very much in college, but I did a little bit in high school and it’s kind of good to get back to it.”
On how many reps he was taking in practice with the first team:
“I was taking most of them with the first team in practice this week. It helped me a lot, it has helped me get used to it. It’s hard to explain, there’s not one thing you have to get used to, it’s the whole thing. You have to be able to react on the fly, and I think running with the first team has really helped me get used to that.”
On how important it is to get yards after contact:
“It’s really important. If you have a running back that is going down on first contact every time, then you have to find another back. Our running back coach, Bobby Turner, says that all the time, if we are not breaking tackles, then he has to find someone else to fill in. That’s the nature of the game. We really have to go out there and get some yards after contact and move the chains.”
On if he had a lot of family and friends at the game, since he’s from the area:
“Yeah, this is actually the first game that a lot of people I know were coming to. It was good to come out and have a pretty good game… I probably had about ten friends and almost my whole family [here].”
On the compliment by Coach Shanahan about his pass protection and if he has done much of that in the past:
“Yeah, it’s something I’ve done throughout my football career, in high school and in college. I pride myself on it and I still need to get better at it. I didn’t get too much of a chance to do it very much today, because they really weren’t blitzing very much when I was in the game, but it’s something that I pride myself on and I hope to get better at.”
On if he was discouraged when he started this season on the practice squad:
“Absolutely. I never thought that I would start a game this year, to be honest. But that’s not to say that I wasn’t prepared to. I came in every week, preparing like I was going to play and it ended up paying off.”
On if his carries in last week’s game against the Giants were good preparation for this week:
“Yeah, I kind of got broken in pretty slowly, and it’s been good for me. I think I got one carry in my first game and none in the second. It’s helped me get more comfortable with the game and playing at this speed.”
On if this Christmas is bittersweet without a win despite having a great game:
“It is. You always want to win, but individual accomplishments are secondary, but they can still make you feel good at a time like this.”
On what he thinks his start today does for competition at this position:
“I don’t know. Hopefully the coaches see that I’m ready to come in and get some more time and get more carries. That’s what I want, but that’s their decision. Roy [Helu] is still a great back and even Tim [Hightower], when he gets back, there is going to be a lot of competition in this spot and hopefully we can all contribute.”
FB Darrel Young
On the holding call penalty during Brandon Banks’ punt return:
“[It was] a bad play. I cost the team the game, I just have to overcome it and hopefully have another chance to do it.”
On his thoguhts on the call:
“I mean, they called it, so it’s got to be okay.”
On the offsides penalty in the first half that cost the team a touchdown:
“I heard something and I jumped, and it cost the team a touchdown again. They are just mistakes that cost us two touchdowns.”
On if today was a learning experience:
“Definitely. It’s no positives to it, but you can learn from them and try not to do those things. As a competitor and a player, you don’t want to do those things, but I cost the team the game and I have to take responsibility for everything that happened.”
WR Santana Moss
On his thoughts about losing after the team’s strong performance in a win at New York last week:
“Every week is a new week. You just try to go out there and play hard and fight for all you can fight for, but whatever happens happens. We are just trying to get a win and you kind of forget about last week and just try to ride the high and hopefully it can take you in to next week.”
On how he accounts for the team’s home record:
“I have no answer for it; it’s just something you don’t want. You need the home field advantage, you have to come home and [have] that be the worst place you play all year, so I have no answer for it. I just hope we can do something about that.”
LB Ryan Kerrigan
On the Vikings being able to move the ball after Adrian Peterson and Christian Ponder were injured:
“It was disappointing because that wasn’t us out there. We feel like we have the capability to be one of the top defenses in the league, and to allow 240 rushing yards, no matter who it’s to, is disappointing. If our offense can score over 20 points, we need to take the responsibility as a defense to secure the win.”
On having a losing record at home:
“I don’t know what to say. Your home field should be an advantage and we need to play better in the future.”
On the Vikings’ reserve quarterback and running back having success today:
“They [Joe Webb and Toby Gerhardt] came in and played well. It’s disappointing because our offense played so well and we didn’t do our job as a defense. That game should have been in the bag.”
LB Lorenzo Alexander
On if the team was flat after last week’s victory against the Giants:
“No, I wouldn’t say that. It’s always hard when you have one less day to recover physically, but I thought we had a good week of practice and were ready to play a good game today.”
On if he felt the team turned a corner after the win last week:
“I say yes and no. It’s all about consistency and we haven’t been able to do that for several games. It’s been one game here, another game there. We haven’t been able to put together three or four consecutive performances where we have been dominant. We’ve been very sporadic, and you can’t be a good team in the NFL if you are sporadic.”
On if the team will get up for the Eagles game next week:
“Yeah, it’s a divisional game. The Philadelphia fans will have that stadium rocking. It’s another NFL game, and we have to step up and showcase our talent.”
C Will Montgomery
On the loss:
“It’s very disappointing. Every week that we go out there, we are trying to win. When you don’t get the job done, it doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth, especially because it’s Christmas Eve and we’ll be hanging out with the family for the next couple of days.”
On the fumbled snap near the end of the game:
“It was a miscommunication between me and the quarterback. He was calling out his routes to the receivers. At that point we’re moving on a quick rhythm and we just had a miscommunication.”
On Evan Royster’s performance today:
“I think he played well, he was reading the holes and getting the yards when they were there. I think he played very well.”
Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier
On winning today’s game:
“It feels good to be at a press conference after a win. It was a terrific win by our team after some of the adversity we faced this season. We just kept fighting right down to the end.”
On the Vikings injury report for today’s game:
“Running back Adrian Peterson has a sprained knee that we will evaluate and condition as soon as we return home. We will do some tests to determine the status. Quarterback Christian Ponder had to leave the game at the third quarter because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms. By league rule and protocol, we were unable to let him return. Wide receiver Percy Harvin is fine and we allowed him to return to the game. Everybody just battled today, and I appreciate the effort put forth today.”
On quarterback, Joe Webb:
“He found a way to make plays and lift the spirit of our team. He is a tremendous competitor.”
On the significance of running back Adrian Peterson’s injury:
“I don’t have any idea how significant it is exactly. They want to evaluate it after tests are run and results are submitted. He did have an X-ray done, but the MRI will be the ultimate determinant of the extent of the injury. Tests will be run tonight.”
On the game plan changing after losing quarterback Christian Ponder and running back Adrian Peterson:
“The players have gone through a lot and they are a resilient group. We had a tough loss a week ago and I remember just talking with them about how we should bounce back after losing. In result, they showed me that they could today and that we can move past that. Our players have a willingness to play which inspires me and keeps us moving forward in the National Football League.”
On quarterback Joe Webb’s ability to come in and perform as a second-string quarterback:
“Some of the things he does and how it affects the rest of our team you can’t ignore. He really lifts our team and makes them shine. Joe’s personality is so outgoing and infectious. The players like being around him.”
On Webb making great NFL throws:
“That’s Joe – even in practice, he’ll have some bad throws, but then all of a sudden he’ll make a throw like he did today, and he’s done that on a number of occasions, where he might have a couple bad plays, but in clutch situations he finds a way. It’s like a guy who has missed his first ten shots in a game, now the game’s on the line, he makes that game-winning shot and Joe’s just like that in a lot of ways.”
On zero-blitz situations:
“[Joe Webb] had a zero blitz against Detroit – he goes 65 yards. He had a zero blitz today and throws it down field to Percy [Harvin]. So, Joe has shown that he can make plays. He’s a playmaker.”
On considering the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft:
“I want to win. I want to win next week. That never enters my mind. Win. We came here with one purpose and that was to win this game. We’re going to line up next week with one purpose, that’s to go out with a home win – pure and simple. We’ll deal with the offseason when the offseason comes.”
On safety Mistral Raymond’s interception:
“It was great that Mistral caught that interception. It felt good. I told the coaches on the headsets, ‘Hey thank you, I don’t have to deal with the interception portion going forward.’ That was good. [I’m] happy for Mistral, his first interception. He had a nice fumble recovery a week ago so he’s got a little streak going. Hopefully he’ll get something else against Chicago.”
On Ponder playing next week:
“We’ll have to weigh it when we get back. I’ll follow the doctor’s lead, Eric Sugarman, and our medical staffs’ lead on what they recommend.”
On running back Toby Gerhart’s confidence growing:
“I don’t think his confidence is weighing. If you look back at the starts he’s had in Adrian [Peterson]’s absence and he ran with great authority, particularly after the first start. You can see the momentum really begin to come for him and he’s just continued with that. So his confidence is there, he’s getting the carries, so he’s getting opportunities and he’s making the most of them.”
On the positives he takes away from this season:
“The biggest thing is the way the guys have fought. We’ve had some tough, tough losses this year and they have continued to show up and fight and play to win. I don’t think they’ve ever come into a game with an attitude of, ‘We’re not going to find a way,’ and they’ve continued to compete. We had three losses that were really hard losses, lopsided losses, and they have not let that affect their psyche which tells me a lot about the character of our guys. So, it’s something that I think we can build on. We have to add some pieces to our team to do certain things, but I think the foundation is laid so when we do get the right people we’ll handle success the right way because I think we’ve handled adversity, for the most part, pretty well.”
On the team getting fed up with having to handle adversity:
“We talked this week, and last night as well, that somehow, someway, this is going to be our day, no matter what bad happens. You don’t anticipate losing [Adrian Peterson], you don’t anticipate that, but we’re hoping that we were going to find a way. This time we’ll find a way as opposed to the other team finding a way and the guys did. They battled and made some plays and we finally ended up on top.”
On bracing himself for the worst with Peterson’s injury:
“Some people told me what they saw on TV and they said it looked pretty bad, so I’m just hoping and praying it’s not what I’m being told from what people saw on TV. [I’m] just hoping for the best.”
On what Peterson said to him regarding the injury:
“He was just disappointed, bummed he was on the field just hoping it wasn’t nothing serious and that, ‘I’ll be back.’ So, just discouraged, just a little bit discouraged.”
Vikings QB Joe Webb
On getting the win:
“It was a great team win. We saw Adrian go down so Toby [Gerhart] had to step up to the plate. Then Christian [Ponder] went down and I had to step up to the plate, so it was a great team win.”
On his confidence:
“I always had confidence and try to have great leadership so I can rally the guys around me. The guys see me come in and step in the huddle with great confidence and knowing that we can go down and score from there, they’re going to have confidence. We’re out there, and I try to come in and do my best. It was a great win today.”
On if he should start:
“That’s up to the coaches. That’s the coach’s decision. I’m just playing my role right now so that whenever my number is called, I need to step up and show the guys that I am able to play quarterback at this level. I’ll leave that decision up to Coach [Leslie] Frazier. I can only control what I can control, and that is on the field.”
On his spirit:
“I just try to motivate the guys. Like I said, if they see me have great confidence, they’re going to rally around me. It depends on my spirit. If I come in with a down spirit to just get the game over with then they are going to be the same way. I just come up with a great spirit and that will lead great people.”
On running more option plays:
“We get a little bit more confident the more and more we practice it [and] the more we run it in the games and go back and watch it to see what we can do different. It started to come along with us.”
On running back Toby Gerhart’s long gain:
“That set the tone. That set the tempo. It was a great momentum gainer, so that was a great job by Toby busting through and making that long run. I think we lost a great player in Adrian Peterson so Toby stepped up and made great plays.”
On the passing offense:
“Not much changed. I’ve been practicing plays all through the week and going thru it in my head mentally so even if Christian [Ponder] is getting the reps, I’m going thru it mentally… If they play this coverage, what’s the best route that I can throw it to? I practiced those days at practice and it showed in the game.”
On what he has to do to get more playing time:
“You know, it’s just all about execution. Execute the plays. You know, I’m the type of guy [that] I don’t want to come off the field with three and outs. I believe in giving the defense a break. I believe in, you know, going down, getting, if you can’t get seven points, at least three points. That’s our job. Once we step on the field, we have one job: that’s to go score whether it be seven points of three points.”
On dealing with other quarterbacks getting opportunities earlier in the year:
“You know, you’ve gotta try to look at it in a positive way. Like I said, you never know when your number is called. Just like last year with [quarterbacks] Brett [Favre] and Tarvaris [Jackson] in front of me, I just had to stay prepared. So my opportunity came and I had to take advantage of it. So just like this year, stay prepared, opportunity comes, take advantage.”
On taking big hits on the run:
“I try to avoid big hits. You know, if I see somebody big coming, I’m gonna get down. I try to avoid big hits and if I can wiggle a little bit, try to make them struggle to tackle me down, that’s even better.”
On his block during receiver Percy Harvin’s reverse:
“I just tried to get in the way. I didn’t want to do too much. They brought back a holding call or hands to the face, you know, anything to bring the play back. So I just tried to get in the way and let Percy do what he [does].”
On Gerhart’s running unfolding slowly:
“Yeah, I mean, Toby [Gerhart], he’s a different kind of player. You know, you’ve got [running back] Adrian Peterson who has got the burst, the power, he can hit the hole at full gear. You’ve got Toby, a little bit more of a slow player, but you can’t mistime his speed because, you know, he has a little speed, but it was a great play by Toby. You know, it definitely got us going.”
On if he has received a lot of text messages after the game:
“I haven’t checked my phone. [I] just got out of the shower, but I’m pretty sure my mom is going to have about 15 messages. You know, texting me, ‘Hey baby, good job.’ All that stuff.”
On his opinion of the Redskins’ defense:
“They have a great defense, great playmakers. You know, [outside linebacker Brian] Orakpo, he’s a great guy. [Middle linebacker London] Fletcher, he has been in the game a long time, you know he made great plays. [DeAngelo] Hall outside at cornerback, you know, he’s a great playmaker. So I think the offense did a good job by keying on those guys.”
On if he thinks that the Redskins were ready for him at quarterback:
“I think they prepared in this way. You know, [quarterback] Christian [Ponder] got hurt. I just thought they prepared for the Blazer package, but fortunately things happened and it was a great job by us.”
On what he brings to the huddle:
“[I] bring energy. You know, with those guys on the field, the offensive line, they’re huffing and puffing, trying to catch their breath. You know, too many guys don’t talk in the huddle. You’ve gotta bring energy, like I said, confidence. Show those guys, ‘Hey, we’re about to take this ball down and score no matter what. No matter what you gotta do, no matter how hard you’ve got to play, lay it on the line and that’s going to score.’ You can get your rest when you get to the sideline after you get points on the field.”
On what the coaches emphasize to him:
“You know, everything. I try to work on my game in each way. You know, passing game, reading coverages, still running the ball just the same. I watch film and try to see what can I get better at. [I] go to practice each day: How can I get better today? What do I need to do to get better? Is it extra gassers, run a couple of laps? Is it get a couple of throws after practice with my receivers? You know, things like that. I just try to get better each day.”
On if the team was thinking about overtime:
“No, I knew we had the faith, you know. The defense had the faith in our offense that we were going to put up points. We had faith in the defense that they were going to come up with a big stop and a big turnover. [Safety Mistral] Raymond did that, the safety, No. 41, did a great job getting that big interception that led to the three points and then two scoring drives. We believe in one another. We’re just trying to finish strong and carry over the momentum to next season.”
Vikings WR Percy Harvin
On his team’s performance:
“In my mind, I wanted to go out there and get this win, no matter whatever it takes. I’m assuming that’s what the rest of the team was thinking. Toby [Gerhart], he ran the ball in two minutes as he did the last four games. Like I said, we came out and got a good win.”
On Webb’s reaction to the Redskins’ blitz:
“Like I said, those were big plays that I’ve been talking about all year. Things that we’ve kind of been missing. One thing about Joe [Webb] is that he’s known to be the gunslinger. If it’s a deep ball, he’s going to throw the deep ball. If it’s a run, he wants to run for the 80 yards. Once we knew it was a blitz, there was no doubt in my mind that Joe was going to let it hang out.”
On the effect of Adrian Peterson’s injury:
“It definitely was [tough to deal with]. Especially when you’ve got a guy like A.P. who’s done a lot for this organization. To see him go down, it kind of took me a while to come back. I knew he was seriously hurt by the grimace and his pain. I saw his leg.”
On the importance of the Vikings’ win:
“It kind of shows the battle we’ve been going through all year. This team is not a ‘quit’ team regardless of whether we’re executing or not. This team’s not going to quit. We showed that today. I think that once A.P. went down, everybody just got together and said ‘Man, let’s just win this game no matter what. We don’t have a quarterback. Somebody just hike the ball and we’ll get it done.’”
Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe
On the importance of the win:
“It gives us a little bit of velocity. We go into next season with a little bit of velocity.”
On Webb’s performance:
“Joe Webb has been playing like that every time he gets a chance. He comes through every chance. He has a track record of it. So it’s no mistake. It’s his skillset.”