On Thursday, September 19, 2013, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan addressed the media following an afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On saying they didn't get to 90 percent of the game plan in Week 1 and what percent of the game plan they got to in Week 2:
"Equally the same. It was almost the same situation. Different reasons why, but whenever you're down that much in the second quarter, it kind of changes."
On if the lack of read option is by design:
"Not at all. We've ran just as much read option as we have with other run plays. We haven't run many run plays at all, but we haven't gotten any quarterback pulls. I think most people notice it when the quarterback pulls it, but we've ran the read option, just haven't gotten pulls... You only pull it when the defense allows you to pull. When guys are rushing the quarterback every play, you hand it off. I'd guess right now we probably ran about three versus Philly, about three versus Green Bay. That's about normal percentage-wise, because we haven't had many run calls because we've gotten out of our run game plan pretty early in the game."
On the key to setting up quarterback pulls:
"The key is to stay on the field and actually run an offense. You've got to get first downs or you've got to not turn it over to stay on the field. We've got to set a lot of stuff up. If they tackle the back the very first play, we'll pull it the first play, but if you understand the zone read, you don't force anything you read a defensive end. [Green Bay linebacker Clay] Matthews was straight up the field, just like he was versus San Francisco the week before, and you hand it off. Usually there is a hole in the defense when they're doing that because they don't account for a certain spot. We got about five yards on our first one to Alf [running back Alfred Morris]. We got three yards on another. We weren't too clean inside, but you keep getting that, you keep pounding guys going inside and eventually they go get the back and when they do, you hope the quarterback reads it right and pulls it and gets the big play outside."
On if he has confidence in quarterback Robert Griffin III's ability to run:
"Yes, I do."
On tight end Fred Davis' playing time in the second half:
"It wasn't really the plan going in. It's like I told you guys last week, we have got a bunch of tight ends. We have confidence in all of them, so there's a lot of competition there. It's something that will be week-to-week, game-to-game and as the game went on, we felt we had a better chance with [tight end] Jordan [Reed] there in the second half."
On what has kept Griffin III in the pocket more than he was last season:
"I just think it's been the situation in games. It's definitely not the plan going into it. I don't think in any game last year we were ever behind that much. In every game last year it was a pretty close game except for maybe the Pittsburgh game, but from what I remember it was still close late in the third quarter. It wasn't three scores in the second quarter. When you get into a two-minute type offense at the start of a third quarter, you are not going to run him intentionally. If people aren't open, then the quarterback scrambles, but people were open in these two games and I think that's why he's had pretty good statistics throwing the ball, but you scramble when no one is there and the defense allows you to and it hasn't been that way."
On if there were discussions in the preseason to make Griffin III more of a pocket passer:
"No, not at all. Our long term plan is to do what Robert does best and to try our best to make him and our team successful. Whatever we think that is we're going to try to do. We obviously haven't done a good job with that the last two weeks. We haven't really been able to stick with our plan going into it as I think everyone has mentioned with the score getting out of hand early, but our plan is not going to change. Our plan is always going to be what he does best, what our team does best, and what gives our team the best chance to win."
On where he saw improvement in Griffin III from Week 1 to Week 2:
"I thought he definitely improved. I thought he was better in the pocket. I thought he was better throwing the ball. He had an interception in that game, but the interception wasn't his fault it was a dropped ball that got tipped up in the air. He didn't throw in any real bad looks, so I thought he played better."
On if he is concerned by Griffin III indicating he might need to run the ball more:
"No. What guys say to you guys doesn't really concern me much. I think what Robert is saying to you guys is he wants to make some plays, and I hope he does. I hope all of our guys out there want to make plays, and however those plays are made, I hope we start making them because it helps everybody no matter who it is and no matter how you make it. You make a play in this league and it changes the game and I'm all for anybody making plays."
On third down struggles:
"Last week, it was really everybody had their part. Every position had their part, which means every coach had their part. We just weren't clean. Whether it was a penalty, whether it was a drop, whether it was a missed throw, whether it was bad protection, whether it was busted protection, whether it was a bad call, it just wasn't clean. We had some opportunities and we didn't execute them, and when you don't execute them, you can't stay on the field. We're just trying to clean it up. You don't ever feel out there like it's anything they're doing where we just can't get anything going. It's just one guy after another and you are only as strong as your weakest link, and it seems on third down especially we've had a weak link."
On if Griffin III and the receivers not being in sync:
"I don't really know what the reason is, but I think that's pretty obvious. It's been every position. The receivers have had their moments on third down, so has the quarterback, so has the O-line, and so have our running backs in some protection issues, so it's been everybody, including myself."
On challenge of keeping Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh out of the backfield:
"Well, he's usually on the right side, so usually it's on those guys, but he can move, you never know what will happen. It's a challenge. He's as good as anyone in this league. He comes off the ball. He's quick and athletic, and he'll get after you if you don't account for him. We'll have our hands full with him."
On play of tackle Trent Williams versus Green Bay:
"I thought Trent had one of his better games here. He was pretty impressive. He had a few highlight plays that you guys probably know of that you don't see very much from a tackle in this league or anywhere that were very impressive. I think he played consistently, too. I don't think he had a penalty in the game. I thought he did a very good job."
On if he has the desire to design plays toward Williams:
"Yeah, you obviously want to go to your best players, but I'm pretty OCD in tendencies and stuff like that so I try to balance everything out and keep people honest. But, yeah, he definitely is a guy who better things happen when you're in his direction. But I think defenses can figure that out too and they know how to help to that side of the field also so you have to stay balanced."
On his emphasis in practice:
"You just don't want guys to lose their confidence. You have to look at the tape and be hard on yourself and you've got to really see what the issues are. When the issues you can see on there, it's one guy here, one guy there, you just try to show the guys that you can still play. You're still a good team. You're still a good offense, but if you don't get it done, if you don't stay on the field, you're going to punt. We've done that for two first halves now. We've finally gotten it going in the third quarter. We've got some offense going, but by that time it's been too late. I'm happy with how the guys have played in the second half, but it really doesn't mean anything because we have two losses. We really have to make sure that, no matter how the game is, whether it's we need to win 6-3 or 50-48, that we're ready for that, and we can get a W."
On if these struggles are easier than in years past because of the talent level on the team:
"It's always hard when you lose. I don't think coaches ever feel great. You can win 14 games in a row and then if you lose a couple you are starting to press already. Every week is the same in this league. Every year has almost been the same for me. I feel confident in our guys that we can get out of this. I'm confident in our players. I'm confident in our coaching staff. Every week I want Sunday to come. It couldn't come faster, because I want to get this feeling out of us."
On if passes off the zone read can be effective without Griffin III setting them up with runs first:
"Whether it's zone read or outside zone or power or man-blocking, whatever kind of play-pass you want to do are definitely better when the defense is honoring the run. The more you can make a team honor the run, the better those passes will be. We still have gotten a lot of yardage these last two games with play-passes, but the more we can pull the defense up and make them account for the run and 100 percent commit to the run, it makes the pass game much, much easier."
On if any of the plays are designed to account for Griffin III recovering from an injury:
"No. When you are told someone is healthy, and he seems healthy to you, then he's healthy. You call plays that put that guy in the best position to be successful and your best chance for your team to win. I've played with guys that are banged up and stuff and do things, and yeah, you don't want to put them in positions that you know they can't do. But when you know a guy is healthy it doesn't change my mindset."