On Thursday, June 6, 2013, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan addressed the media following an OTA practice at Redskins Park.
On quarterback Robert Griffin III setting the first day of training camp as his target for returning:
"Well, you always want somebody to have goals, that's for sure. You want him to come back as soon as he is ready to go, but the doctors have got to OK him. From the beginning they have talked about the recovery time being anywhere from seven months to nine months. I think August 9 is seven months, and so we will just have to wait and see."
On tight end Fred Davis:
"Any time you have an Achilles, it's some tough recovery time. He has worked very hard to get himself where he is at, but I except Fred back full speed ready to go at camp."
On if he will ease Griffin III in during his return or let him go full speed:
"I am going to sit back and talk to the doctors and see what they say, how they feel and kind of go from there."
On fullback Eric Kettani being promoted to Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy:
"It is quite unusual to have somebody do what he has done. Not only is he a good football player, but you can tell that he has been quite busy over the last few years. He has been out of college for a number of years. To have that type of drive, still what he does for the service and still what he does on the football field, it keeps him pretty busy. He is a class young man and he has got a chance to compete for a position on our football team."
On what it was like to be a part of Kettani's pinning ceremony on Monday:
"It was great. I have never been a part of a ceremony like that. I am very proud of him. He is a class young man and he represents our country the right way."
On when cornerback and safety relationships develop and how quickly they are formed:
"I think it all depends on how good the players are. The better players you've got, the quicker that chemistry comes together. I thought when Brandon played last year – Brandon Meriweather – he played exceptionally well. Tanard Jackson, when he played with his limited experience, looked good when he was out there. I thought Reed [Doughty] did a fantastic job last year coming in and playing the role that he did, and you can see him play at a very high level besides special teams; he always plays special teams well. We're looking for some guys to compete. I think when you take a look at Phillip Thomas, you take a look at Bacarri Rambo, you're talking about some depth along with some good players as well. We're going to let this thing play out, let these guys compete and the best players will play."
On the return of running back Roy Helu, Jr.:
"Helu brings a lot to the table. I'm glad he's feeling good. He has practiced the last couple of days. He has looked good in practice. He talked to Dr. Anderson a couple days ago. He OK'd him, and it's fun to have him out there. Hopefully he keeps on getting better and better, but anytime you have a guy that weighs 225 pounds, he under that 4.5 40, has receiving skills and the opportunity to make a big play… So it's good to have him back and a chance to compete."
On cornerback Chase Minnifield:
"We kept him out today. He didn't ask to be out, but we practiced him yesterday. Anytime a guy comes off a knee injury, we like him to practice when he is OK, but we don't want to overdo it, especially when you've got a month and a half of recovery time. So, he's going to practice next week on Tuesday and we'll probably give him Wednesday off as well."
On the impact wide receiver Joshua Morgan's injuries had on his performance:
"Well Josh, the last two days, has had two great practices and I see him getting better every day. He is a heck of an athlete. He can make the big play and he is exceptionally tough. In the running game last year, you could tell that he wasn't comfortable with his ankle and the screws, but he played and he played hurt, but he did an unbelievable job just being able to go out there and compete, especially with some of the setbacks he had with those screws in there. So, I expect him to get better and better."
On if the screws in Morgan's ankle limiting his ability to get yards after the catch:
"Any time you have screws in your ankle and it is bothering you out of cuts, it is going to bother your running with the ball in your hands. But he's over that right now and hopefully doesn't have any setbacks like he did last year."
On linebacker London Fletcher's interception at the end of practice and the excitement it generated:
"Anytime you've been practicing – for two weeks and it's more of a conditioning [time], and the next three weeks the offense and defense is on the field, and this is the third week of a four-week time set – you get these guys very competitive. All the sudden the offense will have a few good plays, and give the defense a little bit of static and the same thing works the other way. So when London intercepted that ball in that four-minute period, he was excited for the defense and rightfully so. I like guys excited, especially when you're 38 years old, or whatever he is right now."
On how different special teams philosophies are across the NFL:
"There's a lot of different ways to do things on special teams. It could be punt protections. It could be coverage. Everybody's got a little bit different angle, but the one thing you want to do is make sure you're sound."
On his own special team philosophy fitting with Special Teams Coordinator Keith Burns:
"First of all, when you interview somebody, you take at a look at all the different areas that he's coached, and he's coached all different areas on special teams and he teaches that to you. He presents it the way he's going to present it to the players. And then you've got to get players to play hard. You've got to motivate people and you've got to feel good about the people that are on your football team. When Keith was with me, he was just like Lorenzo Alexander. He was a great special teams player. He led by example; first guy there, last guy to leave. He'll do the same thing as a coach."
On linebacker Brian Orakpo's recovery:
"I walked over to him yesterday and I said, 'Hey, I know what it's like to be out. When you're out, sometimes you do miss the game, don't you?' He said, 'Yeah, you really do. You realize how much you enjoy playing once you're away from it.' And I said, 'I just love the way you're playing. I love your energy, your attitude. You can tell that he's giving it everything he has and he's really practicing at a very high level."
On the defense:
"I think anytime you're with the system for three full years, starting on the fourth year, you're able to take a look at last year – the things we did well, the things we did poorly. If it's putting players in better position for pass rush, if you're trying to get better with one defensive scheme compared to the other – what I mean by that is one coverage compared to another coverage – you feel a lot more confident in what you're doing. And we have a lot more depth than what we've had, especially with this system that we have right now. So, full speed ahead and [I'm] looking forward to Richmond."
On pressure to handle Griffin III's return from injury:
"I'll do the same thing I do during the season, the same thing I've been doing for 40 years of coaching. I ask the doctors. They're the best at what they do and they're going to tell me if he's ready to go and when he's ready to go. And we'll get a chance to evaluate him once they do clear him. But that's what they do for a living. They take a look at the ACL, the LCL. They're going to look at it inside and out. They'll test his strength. They'll watch his agility drills and tell me where he's at. These guys know what they're doing and when the doctors say that he's OK, then we'll evaluate him on a day-to-day basis and I'll try to make a decision if he can do everything full-speed, just like he did last year."
On running back Jawan Jamison:
"Well, if you'd asked me what Alfred Morris showed me last year, I told you with the running backs and the safeties, a lot of times it's hard to tell until you get into that first game or second game. [It's a] very tough position to evaluate until you put the pads on. And he's going to get his opportunity in a short time to show us what he can do, but right now he's just trying to learn the system, the blocking scheme, the combinations so that when he does play in a game, he doesn't have to think, he can react."
On the possibility of moving an NFL team in London:
"I know it's pretty hard to travel. I'm sure if they did have a team there, it would be five home, five away. It'd be unique for sure. I'm not exactly sure how they would do it. I'm sure there's a lot things involved, but it would be interesting if they'd do something like that… I think we all know if they did do it, we know what they're doing it for. I think it's always tough when you're traveling that far away. Especially, for us it would be a little bit easier going there, but if you're on the West Coast, it'd be a little bit tougher. You're talking about an eight-hour, nine-hour flight and you're playing the next week. Sounds pretty tough to me."
On veterans like Fletcher attending voluntary practices:
"Well, that's why London is, you know, playing at 38 years old because that's a priority for him. Staying in great shape, understanding the defense inside and out, leading by example. That's why you want guys like that on your football team. If they don't do that in the offseason, that means they're probably going downhill very quickly. The great ones I've been around, Jerry Rice was there at 40 years old and he was the first guy there and last guy to leave, one of the reasons why he played so long."
On if cornerback Jordan Pugh still has an ear infection:
"Yeah, they won't let him travel. That's the reason why he's not here."
On tight end Deangelo Peterson:
"He had a little break in his bone yesterday in his foot. Not sure how long it is going to be right now. There's some swelling and I can tell you more probably the next couple of days. Right foot, I think it was the fifth metatarsal."
On safety Reed Doughty:
"I think anytime you get a guy like Reed, who came in here as a backup player and played exceptionally well on special teams… He should not be as good as he is on special teams but he's got the desire, he's got the work ethic, and he will find a way to make plays. Same thing on defense. When his opportunity came this year to play the safety position, he played at a very high level, especially when you go back at the end of the season and you really study him. So he's a guy I have the utmost respect for because he gives you everything that he has on every play and he's trying to teach younger players to be as good as they can play. So he's a very unselfish guy. Guys like that give you the chance to win."
On if Doughty has a chance of being named as the special teams captain:
"Oh, Reed's a guy that I considered one of the captains last year with the way he played. But we have a number of guys that have that ability. Niles Paul has played at a very high level. We've got guys that have some speed, have some athletic ability. We've got some great competition and that's what the preseason is all about. You get a chance to evaluate these guys."
On his respect for Doughty:
"Well, just as a person. If you're ever around the guy and how he handles himself both on and off the football field, how he prepares, how he lives his life, you know that you've got the real deal, a guy that your very proud to have in your organization."
On the second year of Niles Paul's transition to tight end:
"Well, that's what we're practicing for, to find out where he's at. But not too often do you have a tight end that can run under a 4.5 40, that's exceptionally strong, that can play on special teams very well, can line up in any position. He can be in the backfield. He can be at the line of scrimmage. He'll just keep on getting better and better with time. That's what you kind of look for when a guy makes that transition from the wide receiver to tight end position, it doesn't happen overnight, but he has really done a good job of adjusting both mentally and physically, and hopefully it will pay off this season."
On the versatility of tight ends Jordan Reed and Niles Paul:
"Well, what you want is you want people that can make plays, and the more speed you have, the more ability you have to make big plays, but you still have to be able to block. So we have the flexibility right now with five of our tight ends to do a lot of different things. So the addition of Fred coming back and a guy like Jordan hopefully coming back and playing at a very high level with a guy like Logan Paulsen, you take a look at Logan and he's just been so consistent with the running game and the passing game, and so you just hope that you're injury free and ready to compete."
On when Davis will return to practice:
"He might be able to go next week but I'm going to keep him away even if he wants to go. I like what I see on a day-to-day basis. You can see the explosion. I just don't want him to push against anybody right now. I just don't want to take the chance when he has an extra month and a half recovery time. So we won't push it, but if we were playing next week, I think he might be able to go."