On the thought process behind drafting tight end Jordan Reed:
"When we looked at Jordan, we felt we had a guy that was very special catching the football and very special in and out of breaks – more like a wide receiver than a tight end. You could not see on film, consistently, how he blocked, so we weren't sure if we were getting a polished wide receiver or a tight end. Very quickly we could see that he was a very competitive player and he's done a good job in both areas. We thought he was a special player and we thought he was a first round talent, but you could not see the blocking ability, so that's why we took him when we did – and it was based on talent."
On if he has heard from the league regarding possible disciplinary action for safety Brandon Meriweather:
"Haven't heard a thing. No, we're not bracing for him to be suspended. No, I don't think he'll be [suspended]."
On his thoughts on Meriweather's penalized hits:
"I'm not going to go into detail on those right now. I've looked at them quite a bit. We've had conversations. I can't go into detail on it, but I have talked to a few people and we'll leave it at that."
On if he has coached Meriweather to change the way he hits:
"Well, I think he knows exactly what he has to do and sometimes there's no intent there. Sometimes you hit a guy a little bit higher than anticipated. Even on the last one, he came to the sideline and said, 'Hey, the one guy told me it was a good hit and the other official told me that he saw it differently.' There are a lot of different interpretations of it. At the end of the day, we'll find out."
On if disciplinary action for helmet-to-helmet hits should be based on a single play or a player's history:
"My opinion really doesn't matter here. It's what the league thinks, and so we're going to wait for the due process and see what they say and we'll go from there."
On if there is uncertainty at the safety positions and if that will change the way the team prepares:
"You're just going to have to wait and see. There's not a whole lot you can do about it except prepare the best way you can and that's what we'll do."
On his feeling after the victory versus Chicago:
"It's always nice to win, especially the way we did it. [We] had a lot of mistakes, but we found a way to pull it out in the fourth quarter and that's what a good football team does. We had some adversity there, but the guys played hard the whole game. Everybody hustled to the ball both on special teams. We flew around [on special teams]. We did a lot of great things with the type of movement that you want – same thing on defense. Offensively, that last drive showed a lot about our guys being able to find a way to win."
On the most encouraging thing he can yesterday's game:
"Winning. You always like to win."
On defensive end Stephen Bowen's injury:
"It's a PCL tear. Right now, he's sore. [We will] probably know more [in] the next couple of days."
On if this is the same injury Bowen sustained in 2011:
On answering Chicago's points with points of their own and what that ability says about the team:
"What you want to be able to do is put the ball in the end zone, and that's what we were able to do. We scored some touchdowns instead of field goals. We haven't been able to do that consistently early in the season. We want to be able to get some drives going where we've got that continuity going. Any time you have that balance like we did, anytime you're able to rush for 200 [yards] and throw for 300 [yards], you have the type of balance that you feel gives you the chance to get the ball in the end zone. For the first time this season, we were able to do that. It shows you a lot about our guys – that they wanted to win. You've got to respond. You've got to make some plays, and they did it when it looked like they were in some pretty tough situations."
On if this was quarterback Robert Griffin III's best performance of the season:
"Yeah, I think Robert did a great job. Any time you score 45 points, you should be excited, but I don't think our guys were. We knew we left a lot on the field as well. It's encouraging when you're able to score some points and get some yards both rushing and passing, but you're still not satisfied with your performance. That means you've got some guys that have some high expectations and believe in themselves."
On if there is a correlation between Griffin III having success running and the offense having success:
"I think the threat of the run is very important. Any time the defense is afraid you may run the football, they have to cover the whole field and all the aspects of your game. I think anybody that has a threat of running the ball, you never know who they're going to take away. Sometimes they're going to take away the running back, sometimes they're going to take away the quarterback. Defenses can do a lot of different things and we really don't know which direction they're going to go."
On if there is an injury update for safety Reed Doughty:
"No, not yet. He'll get tested tomorrow and then he'll go through the same protocol we did last week with all of our players. He'll be tested every day and hopefully he'll be fine and ready to go."
On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson:
"We've got a lot of belief in Aldrick, and he does have some big play capabilities. We need to get him in the ball game a little bit more. [wide receiver] Pierre [Garcon] has been playing well, so you don't want to take Pierre out of the game too often, but you do want to give him opportunities to make some plays like he did [in the Bears game]."
On improving on special teams:
"I think we improved drastically, even though it doesn't sound like it because of the punt return for a touchdown [by Bears' running back Devin Hester], but if you watch our kickoff coverage, I think [safety Trenton] Robinson really helped us and [linebacker Josh] Hull came in and did a great job, but you could see the sense of urgency on our football team. If you watched all of the special teams play-by-play, you saw a team that was playing extremely hard – not that we can't get better. We're going against Denver this week, [a team] that's great in kickoff returns and punt return. [Denver is] ranked 3rd and 4th in the National Football League, and usually, they don't go hand in hand. They've got a duel threat in both return games and we've got to be at our best this week as well."
On what went wrong on the Bears' punt return touchdown:
"First thing is we were going to hang the ball up. First part of our game plan is to have a high hang-time so they didn't return, [and] they had to fair catch. Then, the other was getting it out of bounds. It doesn't always work out that way as planned, so [on] the long punt, we were trying to get that thing out of bounds and he [Hester] made a great play and we lost containment on the one side and he did the rest."
On if he is satisfied with the trade-off of giving up 41 points but scoring a defensive touchdown:
"You hold a team to 46 yards and all of the sudden they have a break-out second half. Especially with their backup quarterback, you're not very happy with that. I think we got a little carried away with our pass-rush lanes. You get a quarterback that's very mobile that likes to run… They took advantage of a couple of opportunities just scrambling. We kept them in the game. We wanted to play hard but you've got to keep your poise. We had a couple of 15-yard penalties in there with a couple of our guys that kept their drives going, or else they're off the field. It's a combination of poise, focus, playing smart – don't give a football team an extra opportunity [and] stay in your rush lanes. Those are the things we look at when we're looking at film."
On his thoughts on package with three middle linebackers and five or more rushers standing:
"It cost them a couple of timeouts. The first time, we got a sack on it. They had a hard time judging who was who. After that, they did a pretty good job. They picked up all of our blitzes. We beat a couple of guys one-on-one, but after the first time, they did a pretty good job of adjusting. But it did burn a couple of time outs and it did give us a sack early – not a sack but quarterback pressure."
On tight end Niles Paul not returning kicks:
"I think we talked about that last week. It doesn't really matter who the kickoff return guys is, it's 11 guys working together. We've gone against some pretty good kickers. You get that ball up there hang-time as much as it's been hanging up or out of the end zone… He shouldn't be returning the ball. You get the ball on the 20-yard-line with no penalties and you've got a pretty good chance. The couple of opportunities we did have – we had one we could have had a fumble. Niles Paul did a good job recovering that ball. The other time, we had a chance to break something and we just got a little bit caught up. That's what we're going to work on, things we've done poorly just like last week, and hopefully correct it."
On how he decided on his substitution pattern with the running backs:
"I kind of said this quickly after the game. We run our kind of hurry-up offense because we call it a turbo offense, where we're not huddling all the time. We're tired and they're tired and what happens sometimes [is] you're going to give your running back a break because he's carried the ball quite a bit in those scenarios and that's a great opportunity to switch guys in there and put a fresh back in there. When the defense is getting tired and you've got a fresh running back… That was part of our game plan."
On Jordan Reed's potential:
"I've been saying that for the last four weeks. You've been asking me about Jordan Reed and I said that's why he's going to be an excellent football player. Hopefully he can stay healthy but he's got the intangibles that you look for. We get a chance to evaluate guys day-by-day and Jordan has been pretty impressive in practice and that's why he's gotten the opportunity to play in games. We really don't know each day or each week who our starters are going to be. Sometimes based on how they practice, especially with the younger players, they earn themselves the right to start on Sunday and that's what he's done through practice. You get a guy like Jordan, he gets a chance to step up and how does he play during the game? Targeted nine times, nine catches, that's not too bad."
On Griffin III saying he improvised on the touchdown pass to Robinson:
"It all depends on who he sees as his number one receiver. We've got a couple of receivers on that play and he gave the deep guy an opportunity to make a play. I thought there was a collision at the five yard-line. I thought it was going to pass interference with the safety coming over the top, but it wasn't, so I thought Aldrick made a heck of a play. That quarterback's got a feel when he's got a chance to make that play. Robert had a feeling there and fortunately, we came up with the play."
On the role of tight end Fred Davis:
"We've been talking about this since the start. We've had four guys up. Fred's been down because he's been hurt in the past and now it's based on who practices the best. Just like we talked about, Jordan's getting the opportunity to play a lot more because of what he's done during the week. Sometimes when a guy gets hurt and then a guy gets an opportunity to play, he takes advantage of it. Or another scenario is we dress three tight ends out this week and one of the reasons why we did is we felt like we had to bring a guy like [safety Trenton] Robinson up so he could help us on special teams. He could have saved us the game with the play that he made on that last kickoff return with the throwback at the end of the game. You're always going to try to do what's best for your football team that week and that's what we try to do."
On averaging 11.5 yards per play in the hurry-up offense:
"You've got your stats down, don't you? That's pretty good. If it's that good, we're going to use it some more. No, we look at all of those things. Our football team is in pretty good shape. We've got a fast and quick football team and it helps us when we do kind of change the tempo of the game. We might try to tire out the defense or we may call plays at the line of scrimmage. Just because you hurry up to the line of scrimmage doesn't always make it a hurry-up offense. A lot of people huddle on the line of scrimmage and they take their time and call out audibles and check defenses out. Other teams will try to go a little bit quicker. We'll change it up there, but it is a high-tempo offense for us and we do it to keep defenses a little bit off-balance and fortunately it has worked."
On the status of Reed's hip:
"He had a hip pointer. He felt better during the game. He got a shot. I'm sure he's a little bit sore today, but he should be ready to go next week."
On how he will prepare for Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos:
"The first thing you do is prepare for the game. After you grade this film and you look at everything, you talk with the coaches and now that's what we do today. That's what we've been doing the last couple of hours – looking at Denver and kind of getting ready, putting a game plan [together], getting ready for that football team. We all know how talented they are. Of course they're going to be hungry after coming off of a loss. We're going to get their best shot, so we're looking forward to it ourselves."
On the emotions surrounding his return to Denver:
"I think anytime you're at a place for 21 years, you know, that's quite a long time. In football years, that doesn't happen very often. It's been where we raised our kids. I was head coach there for 14 years, an assistant for seven. I've got a lot of great friends there. You look forward to that type of rivalry. Obviously, you always want to play your best. I'm looking forward to playing there."
On if he spends any time anticipating the Denver crowd's reaction to his return:*
"I don't think you really do. I think it'll be very positive because you have 21 years and you have a lot of great memories. I think it'll be fun going back there, getting a chance to spend all those years in one place. I'm sure hoping I don't get booed."
Mike Shanahan Full Transcript: 10/21
On the thought process behind drafting tight end Jordan Reed: