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Mike Shanahan Full Transcript: 09/23

*On Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA. *

. On how to keep the run-to-pass ratio balanced:
"I think when you take a look at that ratio, you have to look at the total game. We had 22 passes that were with 38 seconds left; we had five at the end of the half, we had 17 at the end of the game. Then you take 12 third-down passes, and you get 35 passes there. Then you take your first-down ratio of run-to-pass; I think we had 14 runs, 13 passes. Then you take second-down; I think we had five runs and 11 passes. That's the type of ratio that we're looking for. Once you get into the two-minute situation, those numbers can get really carried away one way or the other and that's what happened. But when you really break down a game – you've got to break it down, you've got to look at it – and the run-pass ratio was right at 50 percent… Did all that make sense? That's what we look at quite a bit, trying to keep that ratio fairly close to 50 percent, if we can do it. It doesn't always happen."
On if he planned for linebacker Nick Barnett to spell linebacker London Fletcher for a few plays:
"To be honest with you, we've been talking about giving London a few plays off. We don't want to overwork him, especially with the offenses we go against nowadays with the hurry-up and the no-huddle. I'd like to give him a few more plays off, not to just wear him down. That's what happened yesterday. I think he got a few in the second half. I was hoping that Nick would get a few in the first half, but we're trying to keep London at 100 percent and we don't want to set him back at all."
On the line of reasoning for Barnett playing some in place of Fletcher:
"First of all, we feel very good about London, but we want to keep him healthy, we want to keep him fresh. We think Nick is doing a good job, too."
On quarterback Robert Griffin III's progress in learning to slide:
"You practice his sliding. He actually practices it at practice. Not that he's a great slider, but he's getting better. He didn't slide very much in college. He's gotten better at it in practice. He'll continue to get better as he does it."
On Griffin III's interception yesterday:
"That was not his fault. I was very upset during the game. I thought he just kind of threw it haphazardly, and really it was a great throw. It just didn't work out that way. I'm not going to go through the blame, but as I said after the game, I thought it was just a mistake, and it was a good throw."
On how to regain the confidence the team had during the offseason:
"I think you just work day-by-day and you've got to eliminate some of those mistakes. We talked about it after the game. All of a sudden, you get a turnover or a touchdown pass, and all of a sudden you win the game. Everybody's excited, everybody's happy. Now, you don't win the game, you go back and look at every play in the game. That's just the nature of the difference of winning and losing. That's just the nature of the business."
On if Fletcher has shown any signs of being physically worn down:
"Not at all. In fact, London, I think, needed a break. That was our game plan going in. We talked and if he ever felt like he needed some time to kind of sit back and give himself a breather, we encouraged him to do it. He did it during the game."
On if the defense needs to improve its ability to counter opposing offenses' in-game adjustments:
"I was really pleased with our defense going into the game. I thought we had a good week of practice. I thought we played hard. We gave up some big plays in the passing game. We put them in more of a one-dimensional game, giving up 2.7 yards per rush. We had a couple of missed assignments in there. They got a couple big plays. We had a couple of young players make mistakes. But, hey, that's part of football, but that was much better than our first two games. Not as good as we want to do. Anytime you give up that many big plays, there're deficiencies there, but I like the direction we're headed."
On if he has an update on tight end Jordan Reed's bruised quad:
"No. Nothing up to date, same as it was. He's got a sore quad and how long it's going to take, I'm not really sure."
On why he decided to have wide receiver Joshua Morgan return kicks:
"I just wanted to give him a chance and see. He's a bigger body. Give him a chance, see what he can do."
On if he is satisfied with the lanes being created by the kick return unit:
"We had a couple missed assignments early. They kicked it to the corner of the end zone and we didn't get back to the middle quick enough, and we had two guys make plays. Other than that, I was pretty pleased."
On time management decisions at the end of the first half:
"The third-and-13 with 13 seconds left? What we were hoping to do is we had what we call a deep over in the middle of the field, and we were hoping to get that play. If we did get that play, I think the receiver would have taken it to about the 30-yard line. We had a timeout. We would have called a timeout then and set up the field goal. Unfortunately, it didn't work out, but he was there."
On Griffin III's fumble and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson's overturned touchdown reception:
"Yeah, they were correct calls. Both calls were correct. Aldrick – the ball did hit the ground. Robert – you can go head-first, but you have to have ball security when you do hit the ground. Even though you can slide, once you stop sliding forward, if he had control of it then and then he was getting up and let the ball go, then it wouldn't be declared a fumble. But that was a fumble."
On if he spoke to the NFL for a clarification of that rule:
"They've clarified that a few times. I actually did talk to them just to make sure that I had the correct interpretation of the rule, and it was correct."
On why tight end Niles Paul did not return kicks:
"He's still a legitimate guy, a legitimate threat as a kick-off returner. Josh [Morgan] has a little bit more wiggle than Niles does. He's more of a power-type runner. We thought we'd give Josh a shot at it."
On if Paul is better as a blocker on kick returns:
"Yeah, he helps us there as well."
On Griffin III's sliding feet-first or head-first:
"Like I said after the game, I've had a lot of guys do it both ways. A lot of people would rather go feet-first, other guys want to get the extra yards and go face-first. Sometimes they feel a little more protected going head-first. I told Robert he can do it any way he wants to, he just has got to hold onto the football if he goes face-first."
On if last year's finish gives him any solace about the way this season has started:
"I really don't think in those terms. You just have got to concentrate on a daily basis and go find a way to win first. After you take care of that, then you can think about the other things."
On how to keep safety Bacarri Rambo's spirits up:
"When he gets his opportunities, he's got to take advantage of it. We're not here to keep his spirits up. When he does play special teams or whatever role you're in, you better play it 100 percent and make some plays. If he doesn't play anything on defense, he better play well on special teams and if you don't play well on special teams and you're not a starter on defense, then you won't be dressing. So everybody's got a role and it changes during the season."
On if they are working with safety Brandon Meriweather on eliminating helmet-to-helmet hits:
"No. First of all, the first hit he had, the one he got fined on, the $42,000 fine, I think that will be rescinded because that hit was a legal hit, at least that's my interpretation after seeing it again, so I think that will be rescinded. But I think what they are going to try to do is emphasize – even coming in on that angle – from now on will not be allowed in the National Football League, so that will be a new rule that will be implemented as time goes on."
On why Morgan did not start:
"We thought [wide receiver] Leonard [Hankerson] had a better game the week before so we gave Hank a few more reps than we did Josh just because of his play the week before. A lot of competition there for playing time."
On Morgan's explosiveness and overall health coming off of last year's injuries:
"He's much better than he was a year ago, there is no question about it, but there is still that competition. People are fighting for playing time. You've got two guys that are close, and each game dictates how much they will play the following week."
On play of cornerback DeAngelo Hall versus the Detroit Lions:
"D-Hall played well. He was very competitive. He was very physical. I thought he played one of his better games since I've been here. I'm very proud of the way he played, and we need that type of play to play great as a defense."
On third down defense in the second half:
"Yeah, that's what you've got to do. You've got to step up and make plays, and if you don't get them off the field on third down, it's hard to be a great defense."
On Rambo's playing time:
"We had a different game plan. They started in a three wide receiver package and so we kept our base defense on the field, but with three wide receivers, if you ever want to play man-coverage, you want a corner to match up with a wide receiver. So at the free safety we put Brandon [Meriweather] back there rather than Bacarri because of his experience as a tackler and a center fielder. That was our game plan going in."
On if that will be a strategy going forward:
"It could be. It could be. We also play nickel, and when you play nickel then you take a look at three corners and two safeties, who gives you the best chance to play well and a lot of different game plans that go into it."
On what fans should be excited about right now:
"They're our MVP right now because the fans were great. Hopefully we can play at the level that the fans are helping us, or at least trying to help us, because they were excited all through the game. I thought they helped us, especially in that second half, and I thought we made a couple of plays to at least get us in the game. It's always disappointing when you lose a game that you feel like you should have won because you beat yourself, but that's part of life. I think our football fans see that we played well at the end of last season and hopefully we can on a run."



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