News | Washington Football Team -

Mike Shanahan Monday Press Conference

On fullback Mike Sellers:"Health wise, I really don't know how he is doing. He is a little sore right now. I think we will know in a couple of days a little bit more. He made it through the game and was sore after the game. I don't know if he can tell quite yet exactly where he is at."

On tackle Stephon Heyer:"Yes, he sprained his ankle early in the game. The first play that he was in [he sprained his ankle] then he played for about four or five more plays and wasn't able to go. He is sore right now and hopefully it will get better as the week goes on."

On playing Heyer:"We were going to rotate a little bit more. We were going to rotate the series and give both guys a chance to show us what they can do. After Stephon went down right away, Jammal Brown took the game for us."

On if it is an open competition for the right tackle job:"We thought Stephon did well enough when he did play to get some more playing time. There is competition all the time, especially when we set it up for guys who will play in a series. When he went down, Jammal played the rest of the game."

On how much tackle Jammal Brown's injuries are affecting his ability to move:"I think it has bothered him. I think he is playing through it and he is getting better each week. There is still the situation with range of motion that is not quite there yet. He is working through it. It is painful, but he plays."

On safety Kareem Moore:"One of the reasons why he didn't play as much is that he is still hurting. His knee swells up and we wanted to give him a little rest. We see in practice that he tries to go, but he can't go full speed. We are afraid that if we play him too much we might slow him down for an extended period of time. By playing him as much as we did we felt like it would be a little bit better for him and our football team. He is such a tough guy, you got to keep him out of there. I thought he was more effective playing him in the limited role just because of his knee, it just swells up. The whole point of the bye week coming up is that it can heal up a little bit more. Anytime you are out for about a month and you come in and start playing as much as he did, there is a conditioning factor there. We might have played him a little bit too much in the beginning and might have got him a little bit too sore. His knee is just a little bit swollen and hopefully we can monitor that and keep him healthy."

On running back Clinton Portis:"He will definitely be out this week. Hopefully, with a lot of treatment over the bye week when we come back there is a chance he could go. But, right now he is definitely out."

On fullback Mike Sellers injury:"Yes, the bottom of his foot is quite sore. It is not an ankle sprain, but it is the bottom of the foot."

On if he is pleased with his 4-3 team:"We will go back to the other quote, 'You are what you are' we are a 4-3 football team. We had our chances to have six wins, but we are not. Obviously, we got a chance for losses as well. You are what you are and you got to earn them. Our football team is smart enough to take one game at a time. As the old saying goes, 'You got to find a way to win those type games' and hopefully we can do that as time goes on."

On if running back Clinton Portis gets his starting spot when he returns:"We are going to play the best players and the people we think give us the best chance to win. A big part of that goes to how somebody practices and we see where they are at when the game comes. It doesn't matter what position they are at – offense, defense or special teams. We evaluate them during the week and play the guy we think gives us the best chance to win."

On kicker Graham Gano:"I think he said it best that he probably wishes he played the wind a little bit more. The wind was blowing pretty consistently and it hit the upright. That is football. I got a lot of confidence in him."

On running back Ryan Torain:"I think he is doing a good job. He has had limited play in the NFL and I thought he played very well down the stretch, especially against an excellent defensive front. I thought he made some good runs and got some tough yards. We want to eliminate those fumbles and that is part of the growing process with a running back. But, I like what I see."

On why they were able to run the ball so successfully:"They flip-flopped their defense so you are never really sure which side you are going to get [defensive end] Julius Peppers. You go left and right and they try to keep you off balance. Normally they get you to go to the tight end side, but they weren't doing that. We tried to change it up a little bit to some of the schemes and they just did a good job on the right side."

On running back Ryan Torain development with blitz pickup:"I think he is making some strides. It is tough being a running back. You ask people to run but you are not really comfortable picking up base blitzes and nickel blitzes. He has come in without a lot of playing time and he has been in situations where he hasn't had a lot of reps in. Getting a chance to play, getting a chance to get a lot more reps in practice, he should start to feel more comfortable in it and he should have a lot more success."

On if he used the tight ends more on Bears defensive end Julius Peppers:"Well, really when we put our tight ends in motion that is the only way we really could get Peppers on the tight end. We didn't do it a lot but we did it sometimes in the running game. Peppers is a difference maker relative to his pass rush ability. He played very consistent over the last 4-5 weeks and really dominated the offensive tackles that I have seen him play regardless if he is getting sacks or not, he is getting a lot of pressure. We did some things with our tight end to put him in motion and to slow down Peppers a little bit. It wasn't our game plan, but it probably should have been."

On the play of Albert Haynesworth:"Albert played exceptionally well. It is the best he has played this season and from last year. I think it is the best game he has played since he has been here. He played hard every play he was in. He played 33 plays and I liked what he did both pass rush and running game. He played hard and that is what we expect. We expect that type of effort out of him and we know the type of ability he has. During the game more of our defensive linemen are going to play anywhere around 50 percent. Some a little bit less and a few a little bit more if they are playing both the base and the nickel. We want to keep people fresh. That is why we bring six people up. Every play is so important in that defensive line. We are going to continue to do that and play people that give us the best chance to make a big splash."

On if they plan to use Albert Haynesworth the rest of the season:"Well, you got to play the run and the pass. They did run the football and Albert did a good job adjusting to the run. Part of being a good football player, a total football player, is being able to do both. You just can't do one and play all the time, unless you want to play 10-12 plays a game. We expect our players to go in there and to play a full game both rushing the passer and playing the run. If you are just playing the rush and the passer and you give up some big plays, obviously it sets your team back. Albert has adjusted to the run as good as I have seen him in a Redskins uniform. He is one of the big reasons why we are able to have so much success on defense."

On what he attributes all the takeaways to:"Number one, we have been working on turnovers from the first day we talked about turnovers and the 3-4 defense and trying to keep people off balance and offense is difficult in their game play, not knowing which guy is coming and that is part of the reason why we went to the 3-4. We felt like we could put some pressure on offenses that we haven't seen or we haven't done here before. We get guys like Brian (Orakpo) making the type of plays like he did, Albert rushing the quarterback and DeAngelo making so many interceptions. All of a sudden you have a six turnover day and that is what you are looking for. That is the difference between winning and losing."

On Albert Haynesworth:"The first thing that I look for in anybody is someone who plays 100 percent on every play. The next thing you have to do is you have to know your assignments. If you don't do an assignment, regardless of a run or a pass, you are going to leave something open. That is why I was so pleased. I was pleased with his effort and his adjustments in the running game and passing game. Even on the one turnover for the touchdown, you saw the guy 20-30 yards down the field take out an offensive lineman and that is what you are looking for. You are looking for people that are going to play every down. When they do play every down, they play at the level that he played at it gives you a chance to win."

On cornerback DeAngelo Hall's four interceptions:"DeAngelo is a very smart player. What you are looking for is a guy that really plays the scheme. I think that is what DeAngelo does a great job of. He is very aware of the reads of the quarterback and he understands the strengths and weaknesses of the defenses. He understands offensive patterns and he can anticipate different throws. One of the reasons why he makes so many plays is because he has great hands. He has done an excellent job coming back from a week ago where his back was sore, fighting through practice and doing the things he needed to do in practice to get himself a chance to have a great game and he had a great game."

On DeAngelo Hall wearing his emotions on his sleeve:"Everybody has different personalities. What you want and what I keep on reiterating is people practicing hard to give themselves a chance to play well on Sunday. Usually, the great players that practice hard during the week usually take to the field. DeAngelo had one of his best weeks of practice this week and he took it to the field. He had an exceptional week. When you take a look at people and judge them everyday I thought he had one of those weeks where I looked and thought his practice was exceptional relative to his preparation. Then they challenge him during the game. Sometimes a corner doesn't get those opportunities, but when you do you got to take advantage of them. I thought he did that and took advantage of his opportunities."

On Chad Simpson:"He tweaked his hamstring on a kickoff return. Exactly how bad it is, I can't tell you for sure. I am hoping Wednesday he will be able to practice. I heard it was just a tweek and not a pull. Initially I heard it was a pull I figured he would be out anywhere from 2-3 weeks. I found out it was more of a tweek and that he is running right now. Hopefully, by Wednesday he will be ready to go."

On why quarterback Donovan McNabb had questionable throws:"A little bit of everything. Sometimes it is pressure. Sometimes you feel uncomfortable with the play of the system. I thought initially we had a chance for a couple of big plays. With the drop from [Anthony] Armstrong, you couldn't throw a better ball, that should have been a touchdown at third and ten. Even with Chris [Cooley]. Sometimes it is the offensive line, sometimes it is a poor throw or a bad read, but collectively after we talked after the game, we just have to keep on working. I thought we made some strides on our running game, especially during the fourth quarter when we had put it away. We have some work to do and hopefully we can get it done week by week."

On the interception of the pass intended for Joey Galloway:"That wasn't a miscommunication. That was what we call a bench post and the safety was deep. Joey probably thought with the safety being that deep, probably I am just guessing I haven't talked to Joey yet, that he wasn't going to get the ball. He has got to be aware that the ball is coming."

On tight end Chris Cooley:"I think Chris was a little sore during the game. I think he was hurting a little bit. I thought he played through it and as you mentioned made some big plays. Had a chance and gave him a little screen out there. He obviously had a smart play knocking that ball out of bounds, but obviously we didn't want him fumbling the ball in the first place. We got a chance to put it away there as well. But, we found a way to fight through it and that is what you are looking for."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content