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Mike Shanahan Full Transcript: 09/06

On Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.


On the status of safety Brandon Meriweather:

"Same as yesterday. He's limited. You don't want to push it too fast. You want him to be able to practice, but you don't want him to go full speed. You don't want to set it back. So it'll be day by day."

On Meriweather's availability for Monday night's game against Philadelphia:

"We'll see tomorrow. He was limited today."

On if there are any other injury updates:

"Nope. Everybody else is in pretty good shape."

On the challenges of having a rookie start in the secondary:

"I think any rookie starting, you're not really sure - offense, defense, special teams. You're always hoping that they can keep their composure."

On the advantages and disadvantages of having a prime-time game to open the season:

"I think it's always a compliment to have your organization on Monday Night Football.  I think we're all well aware of that. The disadvantage, as you just mentioned, it is a short week [the following week] and it's always tough on the players and the coaches."

On if there have been any rule changes regarding hitting quarterbacks carrying out fake handoffs:

"No, there is not, but I think they did have to clarify it because in the past, nobody has run any type of option-type offense in the National Football League. But about 10 years ago or 12 years ago, there was the talk, after a quarterback handed the ball off, if you faked it, could he get it? And the answer was he could. Anytime you carry out a fake as a quarterback, you're susceptible of taking the shot. So what they ask you to do is if you do fake it and you put your hands up, then they're not allowed to hit you. But if you do fake it, just like you saw last night with a screen with [Denver Broncos quarterback] Peyton [Manning], he took a pretty good shot."

On if he emphasized to quarterback Robert Griffin III to put his hands up in order to avoid hits:

"There is no reason to do it unless there's somebody that's going to hit you. The only reason you do that is when there's somebody right there and you don't want to take a shot. If you have that fake, and it's very smart to carry out that fake so you put some pressure on the linebackers or the safeties... If there's nobody there, those quarterbacks will continue their fake. It all depends what they're coached."

On Manning's performance last night:

"You know, I didn't stay up for the whole game. I went to bed in the middle of the third quarter. It was a ball game then and obviously Denver must have played very well in that second half."

On the benefit of quarterback Pat White representing Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick on the scout team:

"I think the more the scout team can give the offense and defense a great picture, the better off you're going to be. We really emphasize to the scout team that we want to see a better picture during the week than we are going to see on game day. So they've got to take a lot of pride in their execution, and Pat has the ability to give us a great look."

On how tackle Trent Williams has improved over the years:

"He's improved mentally and physically, and that's what you're hoping that rookies do. They come in and learn to be pros. They become accountable. They understand it's a profession. It's just not a part-time job, it's your full-time job. I think Trent has gotten better in all areas, and that's one of the reasons why the team voted him as captain."

On what Williams must do to continue to improve:

"I think what he has to do is prepare everyday like it's a playoff game. Once you start preparing like that for every game, you develop a standard on how you go about your business, and that's what he's been doing. He's been working everyday like it's a playoff game. If he continues to do that, he'll get better and better."

On the key to only having 14 turnovers last season:

"You've got to work at it, and we work at it quite a bit during the week. We're stressing stripping the ball. It doesn't matter if it's the quarterback carrying the ball, or if it's a running back, wide receiver. Your scout team does a great job of trying to strip 'em, trying to hold people up and gang tackle, somebody always reaching for the ball. That's how you improve. You've got to emphasize it every day. It's usually the biggest stat in football, that turnover ratio. Hopefully we can keep on getting better at it."




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