On Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, Redskins HC Mike Shanahan addressed the media following afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On the injury report:
"[Tight end] Jordan Reed did not practice, same thing with the concussion. Full practice was [guard Kory] Lichtensteiger, [safety Brandon] Meriweather, [fullback] Darrel Young and [safety] Trenton Robinson."
On if there is any thought to shutting Reed down for the remainder of the season:
"We're testing him day-by-day. That would be a doctor's decision. Right now that has not been talked about – just evaluating him."
On if he's concerned about the amount of time Reed has taken to recover from his concussion:
"Well, that's why he's seeing the doctors every day and seeing different doctors to see why he does have some headaches and why he hasn't passed the tests. So it'll be an ongoing process. I think that's why they have this process to make sure somebody doesn't come back too early, no matter what type of headache they do have. But if they don't pass the test, there's reason for concern."
On how quarterback Kirk Cousins has progressed from last year to this year:
"He has got to get a lot more repetition. When you're the second team quarterback, normally the second-team quarterback is getting very, very few reps during the season. And all his reps are basically working the scout team. So to get the opportunity to get some reps with the first unit is something that he hasn't had for a while. He's jumping in full speed and getting as many reps as he can."
On if there's a natural adjustment period that should be expected for Cousins:
"I think what you do as a second- or third-team quarterback is you're getting reps as a scout teamer and you're trying to relate plays that are being run against our defense and trying to look at it in our terms. So you can et better as a quarterback going through the natural reads. Even though the depth may be a little bit off, some of the plays are a little bit off, just getting those reps does help."
On if Cousins playing against Atlanta last season will help or if it's irrelevant:
"Probably mostly irrelevant at this point, but he did get valuable time in that game and had a couple good experiences and a couple tough experiences."
On if it's more difficult that the Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan is his son:
"One of the reasons why we talk about this in the beginning is I've been through this, I've watched it happen with different families and that's why somebody has to have somewhat of a resume before they do come in here, because if not, then it's a total disaster because of the last name. I think everybody wants to be judged by their work. I think that's natural regardless of who you are, but it's part of the process."
On if what he sees on TV has impacted practice or if practices have felt normal:
"Oh, it's definitely normal. I don't get a chance to watch TV during the season. You get home at 10, 10:30 and you get here at 5, 5:30 in the morning, there's not a lot of TV watching. I understand what goes with the process and its part of the National Football League especially when you're having a rough year. You know what's happening even though you don't see it and some of the questions that are being asked. But the only thing you do to change it is win, and that's why your focus is on Atlanta. And that's why you put all your time and energy with your football team and your coaches on one goal because if you get caught up in the other stuff then you don't do your job."
On how he's seen Kyle Shanahan grow over the past four years as a man, as a son and as a football coach:
"I think if you look at any coach coming in, I'll talk about myself – every year is a growing experience from your first year until whatever this is for me now in the National Football League – 30. Every year has been a growth because you gain valuable experiences, it could be on the field or off, as a head coach, as a coordinator, and you value that learning experience. It could be in a draft room, it could be free agency. There a lot of mistakes, there's a lot of good things that happen throughout your career, but you try to soak everything in so when you are presented with decisions, you've been there before. You feel like you're making the right one because of your experience."
On if he thinks Kyle Shanahan is better off having had this experience with the organization:
"Every time that you go into a situation, I look at it as a positive – no matter what happens. I thought one of my best learning years was the year and four games I lasted with the Raiders in 1988. I actually knew what I wanted as a head football coach if I did get the opportunity again, what I was looking for. I think that really extended from my opportunity I had at San Francisco as an offensive coordinator. So you learn. You're with different organizations, different programs, a lot of people do things a lot of different ways. At the end, I think every job you do have, you look at the positives and you look at the negatives, and at the end, you grow from it, especially as a young coach."
On if he was aware how much of a project this would be when he was hired:
"I think I knew exactly what it was going to take to turn this thing around. Yeah, that's from your experience. And then all of the sudden sometimes things happen where you adjust during the way. I think I shared that with you – going into our third year we didn't expect that big of a hit, we didn't expect any hit. When you do make a trade or you do all the things that you do, it's usually based on the information you have at hand. A lot of times you have to adjust and that's the nature of the business."
On if he fears Cousins will take a lot of hits in the remaining three games:
"First of all, you make a decision that you feel is based in the best interest of your organization. You do take a look at Robert, you do take a look at Kirk and you do take a look at all those things you've talked about. Is it the offensive line, the receivers? Maybe somebody experienced something a little bit different in his high school career, in his college career, in his pro career. There are so many different factors into making the decision, but at the end of the day you have to make a decision based on what you think is in the best interest of your organization long term. We don't get into details why, but I really believe this is in the best interest of the organization. As I spoke about before, time will tell. But if we would have gone into the last three games and something did happen to Robert, I think it would really affect him going into next offseason."
On John Madden's comments that benching quarterback Robert Griffin III affects the integrity of the game:
"First of all, I respect the heck out of John. I've known John for a long time and he does an unbelievable job. But unless you're really in the situation – you're in our situation – it's really hard to jump into somebody's shoes. And everybody has opinions on everything, especially when you get paid to give your opinions. But when you're here and you're the coach, you're going to do the best thing that you believe – with all the facts involved – that is the best thing for the organization. And sometimes you don't know all the things that we're evaluating."
On Griffin III's role on game day:
"He's in a position just like [quarterback] Rex Grossman was. He's getting ready for the game. If Rex gets sick or Kirk gets sick, he has to be up; he has to be ready to go. That's the nature of the business. The third-team quarterback is inactive, if the other two quarterbacks are healthy. That's the nature of if you go with two quarterbacks. If somebody would get injured in the next two games, we would probably bring somebody back on our football team where we wouldn't have to put Robert in that situation. But if somebody got hurt or somebody got sick the night before the game, Robert's got to be ready to be a player in the game. So he's got to prepare himself both mentally and physically."
On what will happen moving into the offseason if Cousins plays well in the next three games:
"Well that's the problem that you want to have. You want to have everybody playing good. We made a decision a long time ago that Robert is our quarterback. He's our quarterback of the future. We made this decision based on what we think is best for him and it could be the best for our organization. If he lights it up, we've got a lot of options with Kirk. I hope that's what happens."
On if defensive end Adam Carriker is done for the season:*
"Yeah, he would be done."