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Mike Shanahan Full Transcript: 11/13

*On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA. *

. On the status of guard Maurice Hurt:
"Maurice started practice today and we have three weeks to make a decision. Good first day."
On if there is an update on the status of defensive end Adam Carriker:
"There is no update. He still can't go."
On if wide receiver/returner Nick Williams will return punts vs. Philadelphia:
"Well, we'll get a chance to evaluate him this week. Nick has done a good job since he's been here. He's a hard worker. I think we all know he could return punts, kickoffs, slot receiver – I think he could play X or Z. We'll evaluate him this week and see where he's at and make a game-time decision."
On comparing 3-6 records between this year and last year:
"The only thing I think we can draw on is that our goal is to be 4-6. I think if you do that and you have that type of mindset then you've got a chance to take care of business. I think that's what we did today. We had a good practice today. We know Philly is playing exceptionally well the last couple of games and we had the type of practice that you needed."
On if he is starting to evaluate players for next season while still working on turning this season around:
"I think I made a comment last year along the same lines that you always see when you have a little adversity how hard people work in practice, how they play in the game, and that's a constant evaluation, especially when you're 3-6. You find out which guys are mentally there, which guys practice well, which guys play well, if they give you effort for 60 minutes – it's all part of the process."
On if uncertainty in players' contracts is a distraction or motivating factor:
"If you're a guy that's really worried about your contract and not worried about the job that you're doing you might not have the right guy anyhow. So we're hoping we have guys that want to go out and give us everything that they have to possibly get that new contract if that's what their motivation is. So I can't speak for them but I think anybody that's in the last year of their contract – some of these players – we understand the reality of what we're dealing with. They'd like to put the best performance on tape. That gives them more leverage and rightfully so. We'd like our players to make as much money as possible because they work extremely hard for us."
On if they look at the upcoming Eagles game as a chance to "get back" at the Eagles for the Week 1 loss:
"We want to get back at everybody. We want to win each week. It's a very important game because this is a division game. I think everybody wants to win the division. I think we all know what the records are. We know this is a very big game for us, especially on the road – an NFC East opponent. We want to play our best. Very important for both of us."
On if it is difficult for him to not think about the status of his own contract:
"Not at all. I've got a contract for next year. I've got a contract this year. I'm concerned about our games. I've been very lucky – I've been in this profession for a long time and your focus is on your job. And I say that with all due sincerity – it's something I do not think about. Anytime I talk about a contract, if it's with a player or a coach, it's always after the season. Once we get started we don't talk about it because we've got to focus on each game and if you don't focus on the game you take away from what you're trying to accomplish."
On if wide receiver Pierre Garçon has played his best football in recent weeks:
"He's been playing that way since he's been here. I think everybody else is starting to see from the outside how good of a player he is. The more we get him the ball, the more opportunities he takes advantage of. He's a very physical wide receiver. I think you saw that a couple catches that he had that he's not afraid to run over safeties, linebackers. He's exceptionally strong. When I bragged on him that one game about blocking – and the reason why I did it so much is a lot of people don't see how physical he is, and he takes that to the next level, or at least a lot of people saw him take it to the next level against Minnesota when he ran with the football. But he's playing at a very, very, very good level."
On their use of the up-tempo offense:
"We put it in a little bit, every now and then. We did it on the last drive of the game and it got us down to the four-yard line. We implemented it against Chicago. I think it was a difference in us winning that game. Every game we've had some type of tempo offense in there. We've probably mixed formations up a little bit more than most people – personnel groups. So we don't do it all the time, but we try to keep defenses off-balance with doing it."
On if they have changed their preparations for Philadelphia's up-tempo offense:
"No, not really because they have been going against us since camp started. We started the first day of training camp. One reason is because we knew we were going against that type of offense. Another reason why we put it in is we had six new starters and we thought the second year would be the time to put it in and get more comfortable with the system."
On getting the team to play a complete game:
"The key is you've got to find a way to win and if we would have got the ball in the end zone there on the four-yard-line – second-and-goal – we'd say, 'Hey everything's great.' When you don't accomplish that, there's a lot of things involved. You just keep on trying to do the little things the right way and work on the mistakes that you did make and hopefully when the situation occurs again you can finish that game."
On how helpful it is to have game film on the Eagles as opposed having none in Week 1:
"Well, to be honest with you, except for there's always a couple of wrinkles everybody puts in, this is what they've been doing all the way through the college days so there's not a lot of surprises. But there's a lot more film on what they've done through all the years in college. They've taken that to the NFL. It's nice to see on film because you're not surprised like you are in the first game because you're not sure which direction they're going to go because they're not going to use everything in preseason, but once you get to this game during the season, they've shown most of their wrinkles and you get to see it on film and different adjustments they've made [and] what defenses have done against them to try to keep them off-balance."
On how much their tempo was a factor in Week 1:
"Like I said, we've got it in our system, so I think they're used to it. There's a number of teams in the NFL now that are using a no-huddle – maybe not quite the tempo that they're doing, but sometimes their tempo slows down too. So you have to adjust either way."
On if he has seen a difference in the Eagles' offense since Week 1:
"It all depends. It all depends which game. Are you going to talk about their games against Dallas and the Giants or are you going to talk about the last couple of weeks relative to Green Bay and Oakland? Even those four games are completely different, just like a lot of our games are. So they're going to look at all our games, we're going to look at all of theirs and try to get a game plan that we think best fits our opportunity to attack them."
* On if he fits players to his system or adapts his system to his players:
"I don't think you really have much of a choice. Whatever players that you have, you have to adapt a system to those players. Now everybody has a philosophy on what you'd like to do, but you're not always able to do that. It may be the quarterback, it may be the running back, a receiver, or it could be a linebacker, defensive lineman, a three-man front, a four-man front, taking a look at your secondary. Do you have strong corners? Are you going to play more a two-deep attack? Do you want to put as much pressure on them as compared to one-deep safety and man-to-man coverage or three-deep zone? So a lot has to do with your personnel and a lot has to do with your philosophy and what kind of background you have to implement those things."
On if it was difficult to adapt his system to accommodate the zone read last season:
"It's something that we felt gave us the best chance to win, the best chance to be successful. What you do is you kind of adapt your system to what you think your players can do and we're going to adapt our system every year to what we think [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] can do and he does best. The one thing that was a little harder this year – we didn't have an offseason to tinker with some things we normally do. He's adjusted very quickly and I think he's gotten better each game and I think everybody can see that as the season has gone on."
On what Robert Griffin III is doing now that he wasn't doing last season:
"I'm not going to get into all that. I'll do that at the end of the season for obvious reasons, but it's the continual growth. The more reps he gets, the better off he's going to be and I think people watching can see that he's more comfortable with himself physically. The more repetition you get I think the more relaxed you feel, the more comfortable you are out on the field, and we see growth."
On if he knew about Garcon's physicality before he got to the Redskins:
"You think you know but you don't know for sure until they actually come into your program. You see how they practice. You see what type of competitive spirit a guy has – if it's one-on-one in a passing drill, if it's just doing some run-related drills. But it didn't take long to figure out he was very competitive."
On what jumps out about Eagles quarterback Nick Foles' recent play:
"He's been very smart with the ball. They've had an excellent running game, especially the last game. Their offensive line has been very consistent. They've got a lot of depth at their offensive line – two tackles that are outstanding, playing exceptional football right now, as well as their center and their guards. They've got some depth there – you can see they're pretty cohesive. That gives them an opportunity to focus downfield, but I don't want to take anything away from him because he's made some great decisions and he's playing well."
On what Williams can do to translate his return ability to the NFL and how he will be evaluated:
"First of all, maybe some guys are just returners, some guys you want not only as a returner but as a wide receiver. We'll see how he catches punts and kickoffs this week when he knows he's going to be playing on Sunday afternoon. And you get a chance to see guys, when they are activated, how they practice and how they do things and that's what we'll try to do is make that evaluation and decide what gives us the best chance to win."
On how Griffin III has changed since Week 1:
"You guys have been writing about it from Week 1 until now so you guys know as much as I do. You've seen the growth, his ability to move around, his speed, his quickness. He's just feeling better. The more practice reps you get, the more comfortable you're going to feel with our system and you can see he's a lot more comfortable now than he was after Week 1."

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