On Thursday, November 21, 2013, Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett addressed the media before an afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On if he has seen anything change in 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick:
"I haven't seen anything that's changed based off what I've seen from last year to this year. I think one, he's a great athlete. He's got great speed. He's got a big time arm. He does a great job with their zone read. I think he's running the offense as well as he can. I think he's doing a nice job."
On if it is easier to prepare for Kaepernick now that there is more game tape on him:
"Well, that and they run a lot of similar things that our offense runs so a lot of it's the same so our guys have an idea going into the game. There will be some things that will be different obviously, but the motions in the backfield, the shift boots and all that comes into play."
On what has contributed to Kapernick's struggles this season:
"He's had a lot of injuries at that receiver position. I'm not really sure why the numbers aren't the same but he didn't start until halfway through last year. But I think you look at the receivers – he's had a lot of injuries in that area, you know, [wide receiver Michael] Crabtree being down and they traded [wide receiver Kyle] Williams or cut Williams and I think that kind of plays into it."
On pursuing and trying to tackle Eagles running back LeSean McCoy last week and how that compares to what the 49ers present in the run game this week:
"Getting him down wasn't the easiest part but I thought we did a good job on McCoy. We've faced three of the best in the league back-to-back-to-back here, so I think [49ers running back] Frank [Gore] is different than [Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian] Peterson and obviously McCoy is a jump around guy and he jump-cuts you and all that. This is different. This is a violent runner who goes downhill. He hides behind people. He has great power and strength, great leg drive. So it's a different type of guy, but we've seen three of the best the last three weeks so this is a great test for us because I think we've done a pretty good job on the other two."
On the key to containing Kaepernick:
"You've got to be disciplined, No. 1. He's got great speed. You've got to have somebody that can run him down. But he'll run at the drop of the hat. If nothing is open, he turns it up and he's got great speed. So it's a good test for us up front to make sure we stay disciplined in our rush lanes."
On if Kaepernick is running as much as he did last season:
"Yeah, I think so. I don't see any difference."
On outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan getting matched up in the passing game on LeSean McCoy and what causes that to happen:
"Well, it happened – we ran it 10 times during the game and he covered him like six other times. We did have a blown assignment on it. On that play that we would have had a guy if he ran the same play [linebacker] London [Fletcher] got the sack – same exact play they ran versus the play we ran he got a sack, so we had a missed assignment on it probably when it happened. It's one of those situations we ran it 10 times during the game and we just had a missed assignment that got him open."
On defending the screens:
"We weren't very good on the screens. We made a change at halftime. We did a couple of things different to take it away. That was one of our bugaboos. We haven't played that well – the tight end screen and the halfback screen. We made a little change later on. They ran a couple of other ones at us and we took it away so we'll hopefully continue to do that. We're going to keep working on that area but that was probably, out of the game, the stuff you can play 60-something plays, we had four really poor plays and two of those were screens."
On if the 49ers offense is a favorable matchup for the Redskins defense:
"I don't know. I just think the guy [Gore] is a heck of a running back. You know, we played them a couple of years ago and he got out on the edge on us one time – we missed the tackle and he ran for 27 yards I think it was – but the guy is a great running back. So even if you're all in the right spot at the right time, you've got to tackle him and that's probably the hardest thing about the whole thing."
On if he does anything to keep practices engaging despite the team's record:
"I'm going to be the same way I've always been. We'll be upbeat. We'll be on the field. We'll get them to do the right things. We had a great practice yesterday on defense. I thought we were outstanding. So as long as you see that, that's all you can ask from your players and I don't see any difference. We're not coaching them any different. This whole coaching staff on defense will get after them and we're not going to let up. We had a nice talk on Monday with the team, the defense, and we're not going to have trouble. We're going to try to play better. We're going to try to play more consistent. That's what we're going to try to do. If we get 60 plays, we're going to try to play 60 perfect plays. Is there a chance that's not going to happen? Probably doesn't happen too often in the NFL, but we're going to try."
On if that was the message of the talk on Monday:
"The Monday talk? Yeah, basically. We've got to take care of business. It doesn't make a difference how many games are left, how many days are left, what the season is, what the record is, you've got to go out and play every snap like it's the last one and practice that way. Like I said yesterday our practice… we had a great practice yesterday."
On why he has been consistent with where linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan line up:
"It's really more based on who you're playing, what they're doing, and we just haven't done that as much as we did maybe last year or the year before, but we'll try to get those guys mismatched as much as we can. We haven't had a lot of leads this year to do those types of things."
On Orakpo's improvement versus the run:
"I think 'Rak is – you know, missing last year, he's come back – I think he's starting to peak to where he was before. His sack total has jumped up. He's rushing much better. He's violent in the run game. A couple of weeks ago you guys were asking me [if] his sack total was down… I think he's coming around and looked like the 'Rak of old… I think 'Rak is good on the run. You know the No. 1 criteria for outside linebacker is obviously pass rusher. No. 2 is you've got to be able to handle a tight end, beat up a tight end. I think him and Ryan are excellent in both of those."
On the challenges of facing a physical runner like Gore:
"I said he's a different type of runner than*Adrian Peterson and McCoy. I think there's three different types of running backs. You've got one big guy that kind of jump cuts, slips through holes and McCoy was a jump cutter and he runs all over the place – Barry Sanders-type guy. Frank's the kind of guy who takes the ball downhill. He's going to run you over. He's not looking to miss, you know, juke you and all that stuff. He's going to take it, put the foot in the ground. He's got great leg strength and drive and I think that's our challenge. When you get to him, you better be able to tackle him. He's got a little stiff arm and all that, but he's a heck of a running back."
On if success containing Peterson and McCoy will translate to stopping Gore:
"I hope so."
On how to take advantage of facing a quarterback with a low completion percentage:
"You can take that and you can say that. I think they're smart in how they use Kaepernick. I think they're a really good football team, a team that went to the Super Bowl last year. They got a great defense. I think they're smart. They're going to win because their defense is a heck of a team. They don't want the quarterback to take a lot of risk. You know, you don't have to. He doesn't have to be a great risk taker. They run the ball as good as anybody in the National Football League and they use the quarterback extremely well. So I think what they envision how they're going to win football games, I think they coach the quarterback up to do exactly what they need to do to win."
On the similarities in the read options between San Francisco's offense and Washington's offense:
"I think there's a lot of similarities when they run it. There's just the exact – the reads, the shift plays they run with it, like I said. There's a lot of similarities."
On if those similarities will be helpful:*
"I'll let you know."