On Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On the injury report:
"Everybody was full at practice today, so no injuries."
On keeping Vikings kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson in check:
"Kick it out of the end zone – that gives you your best chance. Our coverage teams are getting better. They have been much improved over the last few weeks so hopefully we can continue to do that and we'll find out – we'll be tested Thursday night for sure. He's No. 1 in the National Football League in kickoff return yardage and we've got our work cut out for us, that's for sure."
On the key for a quarterback to stay consistent week to week:
"Just your growth – continued growth at the position. The more comfortable you feel with reading coverages, your technique with throwing, your ability to side-step and move around the pocket and still focus downfield, your familiarity with the strength and weaknesses of football players – be it a cornerback, a linebacker – a lot of things go into it."
On the key to controlling Vikings running back Adrian Peterson:
"I know the one game he got hurt, so he went out early. I think everybody knows how talented he is and if you give him one step, one chance, breaks a tackle, he's got the ability to go the distance. So you've got to have everybody involved. Everybody has to have a sense of urgency to get to the football because he's got the unique ability to make people miss and if you don't have a lot of people around there, he's going to get some big plays. Team defense is going to be the key for us, a lot of people getting to the football."
On what has allowed the offense to sustain long drives the last few weeks:
"I kind of said this after the second or third game, I said evaluate us at mid-season and evaluate us at the end of the season. That's football. We've talked about third downs, it may be a third down play, it may be a dropped ball, but the consistency with 11 guys playing together is usually the key."
On the importance of conserving energy in a short week:
"When you have a game like we did Sunday afternoon, when you have a practice today, today's Friday for us in game preparation. So Friday is usually the day that you're not pushing the guys too hard, you're getting ready for the game. A lot of it right now is mental preparation – watching a lot of film over the next 48-plus hours. It's not really physical coming off that game we just had, especially going into overtime, but you take all those factors into consideration in a short week."
On what they thought of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder prior to the 2011 NFL Draft and what they think of him now:
"I don't go through a lot of those things for reasons because of free agency and when it does come up you don't always show your hand, but we had him in here, I think he's a great kid. He's a guy that was ranked very high. Really a class individual. A good athlete as well. He's in that 4.6 speed, or has that 4.6 speed. He's quick and he's got a good arm, so I've got a lot of respect for him."
On comments by Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier that they limited Peterson until November last season and how that applies to Robert Griffin III this season:
"That's a good question and I think the big difference with a quarterback, especially coming into his second year, is what you miss in the offseason. As a running back, what do they really do in the offseason in trying to get themselves in great football shape, working on their strength. As a quarterback, you're working on your drops, you're working on mechanics, so many things that you do after your first year of learning the system, learning the terminology, and I think that's the big difference with a quarterback because you miss all those months of preparation getting yourself ready for your pro debut and when I say that going into your second year because now you know the terminology, now you know the system, but I thought Robert did a heck of a job getting stronger, quicker, got a lot of mental reps, did everything he could do*to get himself ready. Now you just kind of work through it, and that's what he's doing. His best game was last week."
On if playing Thursday games seems counterintuitive to the NFL's push for player safety:
"Yes… I don't want to get into it obviously. Do I agree with you? Yes, yes I do, but you know they didn't call me up when they scheduled these games."
On what the Vikings do to be effective stopping the run:
"That's a great question. That's a playoff team a year ago, and they're playing like that. They've given up some yards on pass defense, but when I take a look at them playing Dallas I see that Dallas had 36 yards. They didn't even try to run the football. They're no different. They're a heck of a defensive football team and I've got a lot of respect for them – a lot of players that are out there playing extremely hard. They decided on Ponder as their quarterback and he played extremely well against Dallas and had a good chance to win the football game. So our football team understands that and we know playing over there with a 1-7 record – people don't like 1-7 records in the National Football League, especially a team coming off a playoff [appearance] with a lot of pride so we know we're going to get their best shot."
On who is responsible for monitoring locker room behavior:*
"Every team is a little bit different. I think the situation we are talking about in Miami is really a unique situation. I read a little bit more over the last 12 hours exactly what has been transpiring. That's quite unusual. I've never heard of anything like that before. So to compare that with most locker rooms in the NFL, I wouldn't even make a comparison there because I don't think it happens very often. I've never heard of anything like this happening, but you've got your leaders in the locker room that hopefully would prevent anything like that from happening – that they knew about, anyhow."