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Mike Shanahan Full Transcript: 09/25

*On Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA. *

. On Wednesday's injury report:
The guys that didn't practice today were [kicker] Kai Forbath, [tight end] Jordan Reed and [linebacker] Brandon Jenkins. Limited was [tight end] Fred Davis. [Linebacker Ryan] Kerrigan, [safety Brandon] Meriweather and [wide receiver Leonard] Hankerson were full participation.
On who made the decision to have linebacker London Fletcher take plays off during games:
"It was London's call during the game. He was a little tired. But we encourage people, not just London, but anybody if you're going full-speed – offense, defense and special teams – and you can't go full-speed, we ask these guys to take a break a few plays off, let somebody else go in and get their job done so you can play full-speed."
On if Fletcher taking lays off is meant to conserve his energy:
"Like I said, we have different game plans. Sometimes we do it early, sometimes we do it late, sometimes it might be a long play – somebody going 40-50 yards down the sideline. But again we encourage people that if they feel like they need a break to take themselves out."
On status of tight ends Fred Davis and Jordan Reed:
"I don't know with Jordan. I think Fred, since he was limited today, hopefully he'll be able to do a little bit more tomorrow. Jordan did not practice so we'll just have to wait and see. Any time you have got a thigh contusion, you don't know for sure. He's getting treatment three times a day. That's a good sign. He's improved a lot in the last 24 hours and hopefully he can keep that progress going."
On mentality of the team after starting 0-3:
"Like I said, you're one play away from winning that game, so your mindset has to look at what you did right and wrong and be tough on yourselves just like we did in the first two games. And once it's over, it's over. We had a good practice today and hopefully we can continue that throughout the week and it carries over to Sunday."
On if he has to game plan for two potential starters at quarterback for Oakland:
"I think you just said it right there, you have to account for both of them because you don't know for sure, so two different types of game plans. I guess when you take a look at [Raiders quarterback Terrelle] Pryor, we know what a threat he is in the running game and you have to be ready for that. Other quarterbacks can run it, but not to the degree he can. You have to be ready for both."
On quarterback Robert Griffin III's progress:
"First of all, you have to play in order to get better and I think Robert's done that. He's healthy, he's going to get better and better each week and I thought he got better this last weekend. The more he plays, the more he's comfortable getting back playing in game situations, the better he's going to be."
On if he thinks defense problems are related to execution or the scheme:
"The first thing you have to do is try to put a team in a one-dimensional game and take away the run. We were able to do that against Detroit, but we didn't finish. We gave up a couple of big plays in there that we were hoping we wouldn't give up, but we still played well enough to win. That's what you've got to do. You've got to take away the run, hopefully, and give yourself an opportunity to win the football game. We had those chances, but we just didn't get it done."
On if he believes Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett is taking the defense in the right direction:
"Yeah, I thought we played much better against Detroit than we did in the first two games. Anytime a runner runs like he did, it's really hard to slow up a football team. In both games we had, they rushed the ball extremely well. When they have that, the quarterback usually has a big day."
On if there is a domino effect that comes from the defense not stopping the run:
"The first two games we played a little bit more nickel than we did base – almost all nickel, with the type of set they had – and obviously we didn't get the job done stopping the run."
On if running back Chris Thompson or wide receiver Joshua Morgan will return kickoffs:
"It'll be one of those two guys… There's some other options, but the options right now would be one of those two guys."
On the challenges of playing at Oakland and how he prepares the players for that environment:
"You don't say anything. I know that [the environment and the fans] better than anybody, by the way. I've got firsthand experience out there, quite a few years. I don't think you do anything. The baseball field, it takes a while for the kickers to get used to. The receivers will go out there and get adjusted. It is a different type of atmosphere for a kicker because they're not used to kicking off that infield, so you've got to make a decision in the pregame exactly how they're kicking and then make decisions during the game."
On allowing the Detroit Lions to use the Redskins' overhead pictures during last Sunday's game:
"When you have got equipment on either side, at least from my standpoint, if they come to our field they should have the opportunity to get the pictures just like if I was over there, I'd want the opportunities to get the pictures. I'm not going to go into who is to blame for it or whose should be working, but at the end of the day, I just think it's in sportsmanship that they should have the same right to pictures that we do."
On if he has any special memories of his time coaching the Raiders:
"It's been a long time ago. I was there in '88. That's 25 years ago. It's been a while. With Denver, we've had some great games through the years. It was always a big rivalry. You look forward to those types of games, just like the games we have here in the NFC East. It doesn't matter if it's the Giants, or the Cowboys, or Philly. The more you play them, the bigger they get, and we had a bunch of big games together."
On his confidence in kicker John Potter:
"I thought Potter did a great job on his kickoffs, and he did a good job on the extra points and the field goal."
On his level of surprise about the length of kicker Kai Forbath's recovery time:
"You never know with groins. You don't want a guy to over-kick himself. He might set himself back for the whole season. We'll get a chance again to evaluate him on Friday and see where he's at. Hopefully, he'll be ready to go."
On cornerback David Amerson's performance:
"I thought he did good. I thought he made a few plays. He gave up a couple plays there, too. One was just a missed assignment - just a young guy and the other guy competing. They got a little shake route on him, but that's part of the game."
On Amerson's inexperience and trying to make plays on the ball:
"I thought when he went for the ball he did a pretty good job. He batted down a couple. The other one, the big one on our sideline, the shake route – that's experience. He's right there, he's just got to finish the play. I thought everybody saw him make a couple pretty good plays in the open field – pretty impressive for a young guy."


On if changing the offensive play calling can help reduce the team's slow starts:
"I thought we were much better this game even though we stopped ourselves. We were better in the third downs, better running the football. When you do that, you've still got to finish plays. It could be a turnover, it could be red zone – hopefully we can put a game together where we can score some points."
On how safety Bacarri Rambo can work himself back into the lineup:
"Just like everybody. We're going to evaluate that week-by-week, see how guys play. It's part of the evaluation system for us. We'll look at special teams. We'll look at how a guy plays at defense, what type of game plan that we have against another team. It may be a base package; it may be a nickel package. How do we match up with different receivers, different tight ends? It all depends on what our game plan is that week, and that will change week-by-week."
On if he evaluates defenses differently because of the league's offensive shift:
"Yeah, I think you have to have a lot more packages defensively with some of these wide receivers and how you matchup. It's not the same as it used to be, just a base defense you go out there and you play no matter what, because some of these teams are in four or five wide receivers to start out. You never know for sure what an offensive game plan is going to be, so you've got to be able to adjust defensively depending on what the personnel is."
On if the Raiders' "mystique" has changed in the absence of long-time owner Al Davis:
"No, I still think of Al Davis when I think of the Raiders, and I still think of his son running the organization right now. He accomplished a lot. Even though we had our differences, I had a lot of respect for him."
On how Griffin III is handling outside scrutiny:
"You'll have to ask Robert. I know he's going to be in here in a second. I know he can answer that better than I can. I know one thing – it's that he's a competitor. When you get down or you don't have a great game, he's going to do everything he can, or he can do, to get himself the best opportunity to be successful. And that's what he does. He's a hard worker and hopefully he'll play his best game of the year this weekend."


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