On Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
. On the injury report:
"[Tight end] Niles Paul did not practice today. He was ill. [Tight end] Jordan Reed was limited. [Fullback] Darrel Young did not practice, and [safety] Jose Gumbs was a full practice with his ankle."
On what else Reed has to do to be cleared to play:
"We just more had a short practice today. He'll get evaluated every day, and if there are no setbacks, he should be OK."
On how the absence of Young impacts their normal game plan, especially in short yardage situations:
"Well, not just short yardage, but he's in our base package. Any time you lose your fullback, it does limit you. We have tight ends that can play the same position, which was evident against San Francisco."
On if they have filled the open roster spot:
"No, we have not."
On if they did not fill the roster spot yet because they are evaluating players:
"We have an idea. We've got a couple of people in mind – possibilities. Sometimes, there's injuries where if you don't have to replace somebody right away, you can wait till the end of the week or possibly after the game, but right now we haven't done anything."
On if it is worth it to try to return kickoffs when you can take the ball at the 20-yard line:
"That's a good point. That's a very good question. What's leading the NFL that's usually between the lowest and the highest is five yards, so that's why you've got to do the best thing for your football team. You've got to put that in the equation depending on who your top 53 are or who your top 46 is for game day, but that's part of the thought process that you have when you're getting people ready for a game—offense, defense, special teams, that's part of the mindset of what direction you could go."
On how much blame falls on quarterback Robert Griffin III and if he has seen a resulting loss in Griffin III's confidence:
"First of all, everybody is going to look at the quarterback. It's just the nature of the business with the won-loss record. We all understand you win as a team [and] you lose as a team. That's the way we think. That's the way we operate. Not one person loses a game. Everybody loses a game, starting with me."
On the Giants defense:
"They are just playing very good as a whole. You can tell they're very well coordinated. They're playing the same defense that they have been. You can see they're a little bit more comfortable with each other. I think [linebacker Jon] Beason coming in has helped them. It looks like they're playing with a lot more confidence with him in the starting alignment – just a confident football team."
On the difference in Griffin III's public perception from his rookie year to this season:
"I think any time you set the record for having the best year in the history of the game, it's always going to be hard to make that jump or make that comparison, which he did the year before. Any time you're second, or first really, in yards per play, that doesn't happen very often, let alone a rookie, and making the Pro Bowl, so we understand the type of year he had. We also understand that he's coming off of an ACL [injury]. That's not easy. You don't get many reps in the offseason because you're going through rehab. That's part of the growing experience for a quarterback missing an offseason, and as I've mentioned before, between winning and losing, it's everybody doing their job."
On how to approach Griffin III psychologically:
"It's not just the quarterback, everybody struggles. When you lose, you lose together. We understand all of the scrutiny a quarterback goes through and it's part of the job and there's a lot of responsibility with it. You've got to be tough. You've got to believe in yourself and when the tough times start, you've got to be tough enough to fight through it. He is tough enough to fight through it."
On his relationship with Giants head coach Tom Coughlin:
"You know, I know Tom fairly well. I've got a lot of respect for him. We've had some knock-down, drag-outs through the years, going back to Jacksonville and obviously with the Giants. But I've got a lot of respect for him as a person and as a coach. We've never coached together, it's just us competing throughout the years. In fact, it was kind of interesting – when I was at Florida, I was going to go to Philly as a wide receiver coach and Tom wound up going. That's when I first heard of Tom – coming out of the collegiate ranks. That goes back to '84, so I've known him for a while. I wound up going to Denver and he wound up going to Philly, but I had interviewed over there with Marion Campbell, who was the head coach, so you're talking about almost thirty years ago."
On wide receiver Santana Moss returning punts:*
"I talked to Santana and wanted to know if he wanted to go back there and he said, 'Coach anything to help the team out.' Sometimes, I don't always want to put a veteran back there for obvious reasons, but he said, 'Hey, whatever I can do to help the football team I want to do,' and I thought he was our best choice to get a little spark going."