News | Washington Commanders - Commanders.com

Gregg Williams Media Session

On the intensity he expects from the Eagles:

"It's an NFC East game. These guys have had a lot of rivalries back and forth. There's a lot of pride on both of these teams. The fact that those guys aren't in the playoffs really doesn't mean anything. We understand that they're going to finish strong. They want to finish strong. There are an awful lot of young players on that team that are playing for a position for next year. We have to go up there and play our best game. We cannot afford to not play our best game, especially coming down the stretch."

On facing an Eagles team that is out of the postseason race:

"It somewhat irritates me when I hear people say that they have nothing to play for. They're professionals just like we are. They're going to play. They have a job to play for. Some of those guys may not be back next year if they don't play for their job. Andy Reid-coached teams are very well coached. I have a lot of respect for that coaching staff. They've probably been as good as anybody in the NFL in the last five or six years at keeping continuity with what and how they want to do things. We know that we have to play our best. There is no doubt in our minds."

On Eagles QB, #4 Mike McMahon:

"He's very mobile. He'll be a guy that will be able to improvise and make plays when things have broken down. He's a dangerous quarterback because of that. Lots of times, there are big plays that result when people relax or take their eyes or focus off of their responsibility because he has taken a bad play, improvised, and turned it into a good play. We have to be right on him to try to keep him contained."

On Eagles RB, #23 Ryan Moats:

"He's very explosive. He has done some things in the run game to give them the big play. The Philadelphia football team has improved in their run game since the last time we went against them. All you have to do is pull out the Giants the film--the last team to play them [at Lincoln Financial Field]. They rushed the ball for 175 yards against the Giants. They have backs in there right now that are able to take it the distance. They may have two or three [zero-yard] gains in a row, then, all of a sudden, pop a 50-yarder. We're going to have to be really gap sound and do a good job of tackling in this ballgame."

On the chance to secure a playoff spot with a victory in Philadelphia:

"It's huge. That's what we play for. This is why we do what we do. These are the March workouts. This is the 95-96 percent attendance that we had all off-season. It has come down to this one ballgame. To a certain extent, [regarding] the good way that this team has responded, we've been this way for four weeks. We've had four playoff games. Our guys have understood that we've had to be able to line up and do this. We have to go out there and continue on the same positive momentum that we have had. We have to play tough, physical football going down the stretch the way Joe Gibbs teams do."

On Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs maintaining the same demeanor through both the team's three-game losing streak and three-game winning streak:

"That comes from confidence. That comes from a person that knows exactly how to be in situations in which he's been in before. He has coached an awful long time. He has been a part of a lot of successes and even the depressions that happen throughout the course of a season. He understands that confidence comes from doing and saying the right things over and over again and not getting down on yourself. Those are some of the tremendous things that I've learned from Joe as I've watched how he has handled this football team. He has made sure that he doesn't let a lot of the key players that could get down on themselves do that. By no means did he back off in any way [during the losing streak] because we worked harder and harder, but he did a good job of keeping spirits up and the positive motivation that needed to be going on around here."

On his approach toward working players:

"During the course of the week, I'm on them pretty hard. When it comes to game time, I back off. The hardest job is preparing them during the week and not letting them be lazy or have a lack of focus during their preparation. You will always play well and with confidence when you are prepared. When you're not prepared is when things jump up, bite you, and become distractions in stressful situations. That's my job. My job is to prepare them during the workweek. So, in those situations on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I try to put as much external pressure and stress on them as I can. I start to back off a little bit on Saturday, but I'm still kind of biting in that respect. Then on Sunday, I let them play. I tease and joke that coaches get a lot more credit on Sunday than they really deserve. If I get the package on and off the field right and we manage the clock correctly, then it's about letting them play--if they've done a great job in their preparation during the workweek. I really don't ever back off in practice."

On how Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs balances latitude and discipline:

"From an observation standpoint, I'm learning more about him, too. I haven't been with him other than these two years. I see him as being the father that allows his own children to grow up. If you cross a line that he tells you [not] to, you don't want to see the stern Joe Gibbs. There have been some people that have seen the stern Joe Gibbs behind the scenes. What he does a tremendous job of is never embarrassing people in front of their peers. He does a lot of that in a one-on-one setting. I probably need to learn from that myself. Sometimes, I don't go behind the scenes enough. But when he has to be stern, he does it behind the scenes. That's his philosophy and our players respond very well. There is a tremendous amount of respect from our guys for getting a chance to play for a hall-of-fame coach. Then, with his credibility, when he says something, people listen to him. A young coach or a coach with less credibility or stats in that department might have to earn more trust from the players. From the day that Joe Gibbs walked in here, he had their trust because of what he has accomplished in the past."

On rumors that he is a candidate for head coaching positions around the NFL:

"There's really nothing to that. To my knowledge, I have to work my tail off to keep the job I've got. To my knowledge, there are no job openings right now. I really get uncomfortable talking about that. I really like what I'm doing here and like the guys that I'm doing it with. It never comes up. I have no control over that. I have no control over what other people talk about. All I have control over is my own little laboratory up there [inside Redskins Park] and my little laboratory out on the field of play. That's all I worry about. Sure, [it helps to have gone through it already]. It's not a distraction because I [only] have 24 hours each day to worry about the Eagles. This is a tough preparation for us to make sure that we're covering all of the things. It's going to be a wide-open game. We may have to play the best we've played the whole last part of the year to go up there and win this football game. We really believe defensively that we're going to have to play the best that we've played so far because of the things that they're going to do. They're going to go for broke. We have to be prepared to play a lot of critical plays in the ballgame. [Eagles head coach] Andy [Reid] has done a good job in the past with the things that they do. I have a lot of respect for him as a coach. We're going to have to play very well."

On handling players who are superstars:

"I've been on a lot of teams with players like that: Jevon Kearse. Keith Bulluck. Nate Clements. The team comes first. That's just how we've always approached things. I probably learned that from Buddy Ryan. Buddy Ryan, when he came in and I got a chance to be in an assistant, that's the one thing I took from him. From the Mike Singletary's to all of the players that he's coached, he came in and told a marquee guy that we had on our defense, 'Look, I've cut guys better than you.' That's how it starts. We have to play as a team. Sometimes in basketball, you can have one guy take over a ballgame. In football, you don't have one guy who can just take over the game. You have to play as a team, especially with all of the skill guys at the receiver and running back spots in the NFL. There's not one defensive player out there who can say, 'I'm going to take away that receiver.' We don't have them here. We have to play as a team. That's how I've been everywhere I've been. The good coaches in this league that last a long time and that, year in and year out, produce are that way. They get their players to respond in that way. You have to get your guys to play hard and play as a team. The number one job that Joe Gibbs always wants us to do is to win the toughness battle. Then, play together and play as a team."

On Redskins LB, #56 LaVar Arrington's performance:

"I've been very proud of how far he's come. The biggest part of it is, he's just had to get healthy. For the most part, since I've been here, it's been unfortunate that he's had the injury bug. When he's healthy, he can do some things penetration-wise and run people down--some things that other guys can't do. We just have to find ways to utilize them all, and we have been doing that when he's been healthy."

On his thoughts on Redskins LB, #56 LaVar Arrington buying into his system:

"That's good that he's bought into your system. That's outstanding. He's excited about the fact that, he's been here a long time and hasn't played in a playoff game. It's not really my system, it's Joe Gibbs's system and the way we have to play. Hopefully, the season continues, and it only continues with us playing our best game this. We have to play our best."

On replacing Redskins LB, #58 Chris Clemons:

"What we'll do is, we'll rotate a lot of people. I don't ever talk about how much people are playing. If people want to know how much they play, come to the game."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising