On Wednesday, July 31, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon training camp practice at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
On practicing in the rain:
"It's kind of nice to get a day like that where you have the type of weather that we had. We had no lightning, so we had a chance to finish practice in some wet conditions. That doesn't happen all the time where you're able to do that. I thought we got a lot done. It kind of puts those players in positions that you don't get to practice very often but you'll probably see some time during the year."
On the high school coaches in attendance:
"It was nice to have all the high school coaches out here today. I got a chance to talk to them afterwards. They added some spark to our practices and it was sure nice to get them out here."
On if he is concerned about the state of the practice fields because of the rain:
"I think these fields are great. You're always going to have a situation when there's a lot of rain. You're going to have some people slipping. I didn't think we had that many people slip today. I thought the conditions were pretty good and the conditions you have to practice in. You want to put players in situations that you're going to see during the season. You don't get a chance to do it like this very often because of the lightning factor so I thought that was a positive. Ball security – we had a few turnovers on offense. You can't do that. You've got to deal with the elements, so I thought that was a positive."
On tackle Tom Compton and cornerback David Amerson getting extended reps because of injuries to tackle Trent Williams and cornerback DeAngelo Hall:
"It's nice. Especially when you have 90 people on your football team, there's going to be a few guys injured, but you get a chance to evaluate a lot of players, just as you mentioned. You've got a couple of veteran players. You know what they can do. You want to make sure they're ready for the season. You want to make sure they get in football shape and they're ready for the first game, but it's not going to set you back when these guys have got a couple days of rest and you get to evaluate some of the guys you had mentioned. I think it's good."
On the purpose of hosting the high school coaches:
"Anytime you come to a practice, you're hoping the coaches take a look at one area that they're interested in and they might see a drill, they might see a play they're interested in that hopefully they can take back to their football team. You know, I told these coaches when I started talking to them how much high school coaches influenced me in my career – one of the reasons I got into coaching, I take a look at my head coach, the offensive and defensive coordinator, my head freshman coach, guys that I kept in contact with through 43 years since I graduated, and they're still part of my life. Those type of things are important. I let them know how important they are to the future of our game, and I think they enjoyed themselves today.
On kicker Kai Forbath:
"Everybody looks at the kicker; they look at if it's good or bad. They don't take a look at the snap. They don't look at the hold. Kai is pretty good. Our timing has got to get better. We had a few people off today. Sometimes it was a snap, sometimes it was a hold, sometimes it was a kicker, but that's why you practice. I've got a lot of confidence in Kai, what he did last year was short of spectacular and hopefully he can continue to have that type of mindset and that concentration as we go through camp."
On how he balanced reps on a wet field:
"Well, really, it was pretty good conditions, considering the field is not very old. A lot of times you have poor footing. I thought our footing today was fairly good considering all of the elements. So as part of the practice plan that if you can have a day like this where it's not lightning and you can go out there and practice for a couple hours, have guys actually practice in tough situations and still concentrate, I think it's something that helps you because it's going to happen sometime during the season."
On if he considered decreasing the number of reps because of the weather:
"No, in fact it was just the opposite. I wanted to practice more because they have got to handle those situations. Like you mentioned, when you do have a guy like Robert [Griffin III], or a number of people that have ACL injuries or serious injuries, they've got to be a little more careful. They've got to slow down their stride. But that's one of the reasons why Robert is not in a team situation, where he's got to take off very quickly because that could obviously hurt somebody."
On the skill difference between Rob Jackson and Brian Orakpo:
"We'll find out. You want football players. I think Rob Jackson proved himself that he can play and make plays. I think the more he played the better off he got. Just like I said about 'Rak, I think he's going to have a great year. He looks like he possessed on the football field. He looks like he's quicker. You can tell he's excited to play, but we'll find out through the season how they both play. I think they'll both play well."
On if he has considered rotating practice fields:
"Yeah, that's what we usually do. We'll usually rotate it. One week we'll go on one field, another week we'll go on the other, especially if a field is getting torn up. After a day like this, a little bit tougher on the fields… Hopefully we don't have too many days like that where you just tear the fields apart, but I do like the shape their in considering they were only put in a short time ago."
On Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas and the difficulty of evaluating safeties outside of game situations:
"Like you mentioned, it's a start. We are going to have these guys all play in game-type situations. As they play in game-type situations, we will get a better chance to evaluate them over the course of the preseason. But that is why you practice, to give them a chance once they do get in these game situations to show what they can do, see if they can make plays, see if they can eliminate mistakes, how do they play when the lights are on. That is the fun part once we start those preseason games."
On 'overshadowed' linebacker Perry Riley and wide receiver Josh Morgan:
"If you really study Perry Riley on film and you just looked at him, you'd say, 'Boy, this is one of the fastest linebackers in the league.' Very physical. I expect Perry to have an excellent year this year… Josh Morgan, as you mentioned, he's coming off playing with a lot of injuries. He played with a lot of pain last year. He is looking better. He is a lot more comfortable coming out of his cuts and hopefully he shows what he can do during the preseason."
On the contingency plan in case of inclement weather:
"We have a facility we can go through. It will be more of a walkthrough stage, but you can still get a lot done. If we start getting consistent rain in the afternoon, we will move up our afternoon practices to the morning and walkthroughs in the afternoon, but we will wait and see. I kind of liked today. I thought it helped us with practice. I wouldn't mind a couple of practices like this but you do not want 10 in a row."On increasing quarterback Robert Griffin III's reps:
"Our plan initially was to give him on the first three days we'd gave him eight reps in 7-on-7. Next three days, we gave him 10. Today, he had 16 or 17; we will continue that for about a week. We have got a plan if there is no setback. If there is a setback, then obviously we alter the plan. But we do have a plan to try and get him ready, and right now we have stayed with the plan."
On offensive lineman Maurice Hurt:
"You know I really can't give you a timetable, except [strength and conditioning coach] Ray Wright is working him out over there and our trainers say he is making a lot of progress. Will it be three days? Will it be a week? Will it be two weeks? I can't tell you for sure, but we've got to get him in football shape. Anytime you have surgery, you don't want to push that knee too hard until he's ready to play. But we've got a lot of players, we have some depth. We watched him play over the last couple of years so we know what he can do. So I want to make sure that he's healthy before we put him in any game-type situation."* *
On why certain players did not participate in practice:
"I was going to let [tight end] Fred [Davis] go off first, because you know he's coming off the Achilles, and I told him he could take off today or tomorrow and he wanted to play today. So I kept [tight end] Jordan Reed off. You know Jordan didn't go through the OTAs. He's been playing very hard. He's got a few blisters on his feet. I just thought it was best with the way he's been practicing to shut him down for a day, and we'll do that with Fred tomorrow. So we've got a game plan with some of these guys that have worked extremely hard to get back in good shape. You go three, four days in a row, you see the little bit of wear and tear, you just want to back off for a day and then hit 'em hard."
On if Griffin III appears stronger late in practice sessions:
"We talked about patience to start off with. Anytime we go through drill work we evaluate our people during drill work – not just Robert, but a number of our players. [Safety Brandon] Meriweather for example, we curtailed his workload back. [Running back] Chris Thompson, we curtailed his work back some, and you know, that's part of the process of looking at players. With Robert, we haven't curtailed anything back, but we've got a plan, a patient plan, to get him ready, and so far we've been able to stay with that plan."
On having quarterbacks with different styles and how he adjusts game plans accordingly:
"We've run our offense with a lot of number of quarterbacks and you want quarterbacks that can execute, quarterbacks that can step up and execute your game plan. And Kirk [Cousins] has proven when he's had his opportunities, he's stepped up and played extremely well. Obviously Robert [Griffin III] has done just as well. And we're dealing with a situation now of evaluating a lot of players, not only at the quarterback position, you know with Rex [Grossman] and Pat [White] and you're just hoping that guys, once they get the opportunity to play in a live situation, that they'll impress you. And Kirk impressed us and everybody last year when he did do what he did in the Cleveland game and the Baltimore game and he's getting some valuable practice reps right now."
On cornerback DeAngelo Hall:
"He's just not ready to go yet. This will be day-by-day but I don't think it'll be too long, at least according to our trainer. You never know for sure with those ankles but D-Hall is very tough, very tough-minded and he'll get back as soon as he can. But like I think was mentioned before, it'll be nice to evaluate some of these younger players in team situations that normally you can't when your veteran player is healthy."