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Mike Shanahan Monday Press Conference

On evaluating the younger players in Sunday's 20-17 win over Jacksonville:"One of the reasons they got that opportunity was we had a bunch of our players hurt. When some players go down, and as we've talked about all year, guys get an opportunity. If you're part of the 53-man squad or part of the 61-man squad and you're activated from the practice squad, you're going to get a chance to show what you can do. I think that's what happened. We had a number of defensive players step up and a couple of offensive players get their opportunity. You evaluate them and you like what you see. It definitely helps your chances for next year."

On if he sees a different energy with guys getting their first opportunity:"You're going to see people playing extremely hard. You're just hoping they're playing very smart. A lot of times you get too excited and you want to hit somebody and you forget your assignment. But, the starters that are playing, they've got to play at a little better level than they've played at before. They've got to play they're best game as well. I was pleased. I was pleased with the effort. It wasn't perfect by any means on either side of the ball, but we got the effort that you needed to find a way to win."

On Rex Grossman's performance:"I'll be honest with you, I thought he played extremely well up until the interception. After the interception, it looked like he lost a little focus and missed some of the reads he normally would make. That's why you try to put people in game situations to see how they would react. But up until that time, I thought he was playing very well. You've got to know when to throw it away, when to take your chances. But some of the things he normally does right, some times you lose a little focus after an [interception], and I thought that got to him a little bit."

On Grossman having two full years of experience with this offense including in Houston:"First of all, you've got to take a look at Houston. He only played, I think, 12 plays and came into the season very late. [He] didn't pick up the offense until training camp. So, to say that a person has two full years in the system I think is a little bit unfair to him. I think realistically, he's had a chance to have two games and we'll get a chance to evaluate him against another team playing for a playoff spot, which should be a good evaluation."

On if he is more lenient in Grossman's evaluation because he doesn't have two full years of experience:"Well, it's not two full years like I explained to you. This is his third game. Even though he's had a chance to get to learn the terminology, he hasn't taken practice reps—very minimal. Now we get a chance to see him in live situations."

On Grossman's interception:"He probably should've thrown it a little bit quicker to have the timing. He had a chance to have a touchdown on that play. I know it was disappointing. It shouldn't have been an interception to start with, or ended up being. But that's another story in itself. But what you have to do is fight through that. You've got to keep your concentration even though that does happen. You've got to concentrate and really keep focus. It's like a defensive back, as we've talked about in the past, being beat on a go route. In the back of your mind it's there, but you have to go up and challenge that wide receiver, knowing that the next time you go against him, you're going to shut him down. It's good experience."

On if he plans on starting Grossman on Sunday:"Yes."

On Grossman's learning process:"Like I said, it's an evaluation process. You look at everything. You take a look at sacks, you take a look at touchdowns, you take a look at interceptions and you take a look at dropped passes. So, when you evaluate that offense, you evaluate everybody. I was pretty honest with the assessment with Rex. But you work through those learning experiences and hopefully next time that he's out, he takes advantage of those opportunities."

On Grossman in the Dallas game versus the Jacksonville game mentally:
"That's a good question. I have to talk to Rex about that."

On Graham Gano's performance and mental toughness:"I think we talked about it, at the time at least, following his poor outing that kickers are going to go through that. How does a guy kick in practice? He's been very consistent in practice. I was proud of him because of the conditions. That was a 48-yarder, but if you're down on that football field, you knew how that wind was swirling. He had a lot of pressure on him to kick that kick, obviously early in the first quarter with all of the pressure he was under. Then to come back and kick the game-winning kick shows you the type of toughness he does have. I was just happy that he took advantage of an opportunity."

On if he has spoken to Donovan McNabb's agent Fletcher Smith:"No, I haven't. I told him that when he was down here in this area, if he'd like to meet with me, I'd love to be able to sit down with him one-on-one. But, I haven't."

On his decision process on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line:"Like I said last time we were in this room, somebody asked me [the question] about fourth-and-1. The chances are, fourth-and-1, I'll be going for it about 90 percent of the time. That's just me, my personality. If we don't make it, I've got confidence in our defense that if we can stop them in three plays, we get the ball in position to kick a field goal, at least maybe one first down later. That's just me. That's my mindset. Now, if it's fourth-and-2, depending on the team we're playing and the conditions, it might be a little bit different. But through the years, fourth-and-1, I'm going for it the majority of the time and it's worked out to our advantage."

On Brian Orakpo and Carlos Rogers' injury statuses:"I just keep my fingers crossed that they're able to go. I really don't know at this time. I think with Carlos it's a little bit more of a question mark than [Orakpo], at least from our trainers. I'm giving you their opinions. But, until we actually practice on Wednesday, I can't tell you for sure."

On if the performance of the reserve players will affect Orakpo's status for this weekend:"No, not at all. If he's ready to go, he's going to play. Obviously, the guys that played well will get a chance maybe depending on how many we play at different positions."

On if the McNabb situation is disappointing:"Yeah, you hate to see it. It's kind of like a soap opera, like you're saying. You hate to see different quotes go out. That's why I try to stay away from it unless someone documents something. But, I think there's been enough talk about that over the last couple weeks."

On Joe Joseph's DUI:"The first thing I do is I'm going to have a chance to talk with Joe. I don't really know the circumstances or exactly what happened. I'll make a statement after I talk with him."

On Redskins going to the Pro Bowl:"You're always hoping guys on your team get recognized. Usually with the win-loss record that we have, you don't usually get as many as you'd hope. But, that's with coaches and players voting. Usually you'll have the most when you have a great season."

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