Press Releases from Thursday 11.03.05
On the match-up facing the Redskins on Sunday night:
"The Eagles are going to try to get back on the winning page. Luckily for us, we have that same agenda. Both of us got blown out and didn't play solid football last week. This week, both teams have to step it up. It's going to be a physical game. It's going to be a hard-nosed game. Hopefully, we come out on top."
On whether he worries that dressing up for his weekly media session motivates opponents:
"I don't think the other teams need motivation. Once we step on the field, there's a lot to motivate us. If this motivates them, let it get them excited. That's not going to stop us from playing."
On whether the Redskins' performance against the Giants was an aberration:
"Sunday was a one-game aberration. For whatever reason, the Giants had our number. Offensively, [with] 12 drops, we couldn't get anything going. It was just one of those days. In the two years that I've been here, you've never seen us play that way. When we were stinking up the place last year, we didn't play like that. We were always the most physical team. Every game went down to the wire. Last week, the Giants had something special going on and they came away with a win. I can assure you that, on Sunday night, the effort will be 100 times higher."
On whether the Redskins worry about struggling against the Eagles defense:
"Philly has a talented defense. To win the NFC East four straight years, you know they have something good going. We know that it's going to be a physical game. We'll be fine if we just don't make any mistakes or have any penalties. You don't let a defense dictate what you do. In all of our games, we've been hurting ourselves. Turnovers and penalties have been killing us. Our goal this week is to play our style of football, not get behind, not turn the ball over in the red zone, and sustain long drives."
On whether Philadelphia's struggles to stop the run through seven games excites him:
"I noticed that every team that gives up those types of rushing [yards], once we play them, they have their best defensive effort. I'm not going to get excited about them giving up two 200-yard rushing [performances]. We have to play our game, keep our focus, mix in the run and the pass, and open up things downfield. Eventually, they're going to have to take something away. Hopefully, we'll be in the right call when they do and we'll come up with a touchdown."
On whether changes to the offensive game plan incorporated in the off-season are working:
"As a team, we're headed in the right direction. Everything that we were trying to do as far as opening up the offense has been working so far. Until last week [against the Giants], everything was going fine. We were putting up 400 yards per game. Our offense had been playing spectacular, [even] with turnovers. If we can find a way to cut out our turnovers and continue to give the type of effort that we were giving before we went to New York, we'll be fine. When we've run the ball, we've succeed. When we've thrown the ball, we've succeed. Last week was the first week where nothing worked. This week, we're just going to go back to the basics and take it play by play."
On whether insufficient effort caused the Redskins' loss to the Giants:
"The effort was there. It was just a sluggish game last week. You have guys around here with a lot of pride, starting with anyone on our depth chart. If you're here, you have pride and you're a physical person. We have guys who actually want to play football and put the hat on their head and hit someone. That's the beautiful thing about this team. Everyone is going to give their all. Last year, we developed a lot of character, being 6-10 [after playing] in the type of games that we were in. Nobody ever gave up. No one ever quit. [We] came into this season with a positive outlook, knowing that we were better than a 6-10 team. We set out to prove that. That's happened [so far]. Last week [in New York], I don't know what was going on. That wasn't Redskins football. This Sunday night, you'll get Redskins football."
On how the Eagles contained San Diego Chargers RB LaDanian Tomlinson:
"San Diego got behind. Once you get behind, you want to try to throw to catch up. People feel like throwing the ball is going to bring [them] back quicker. Tomlinson never really got into rhythm. They did a good job of keeping Tomlinson out of rhythm. They never let San Diego get focused on handing LaDanian the ball. Once it's late in the game, you're out of rhythm, and playing catch-up, that happens. The same thing happened to me [against the Giants]. I had four carries. I wouldn't say that the Giants stopped me, but they took us out of our game plan. They did a good job of making us a one-dimensional team. That's what defensive coordinators set out to do. It happens. You don't take anything away from the Eagles defense. They had a great game plan and got on top [early]. San Diego couldn't do anything."
On the Eagles' imbalanced offense:
"They want to utilize their weapons. They have some big-play guys who can catch the ball, as well as a running back [#36 Brian Westbrook] who is almost like a receiver. They want to get him some touches. That's kind of unusual. Usually, your running back gets more touches running the ball. This guy gets a lot of touches by catching [the ball]. It just shows the versatility of their offense, [particularly] their running back. He's a skillful guy. In the past, that's the guy who has hurt us."
On injuries along the defensive line:
"I'll continue to pray [for quick recoveries]. I hope our guys can have a speedy recovery and get healthy. I know those guys. I definitely expect our veteran guys to be out there playing on Sunday night."
On how the Redskins defense plans to eliminate opponents' long runs:
"Most importantly, we have to worry about ourselves. Every time we look at the long runs [on film, we notice that] we were in position to make the play. Our theme has been worrying about us. We have to correct what we need to get corrected. That's our defense. We'll be alright."
On whether the Redskins have adjusted their practices in light of Eagles QB, #5 Donovan McNabb's mobility:
"We've practiced like we always do. We'll just try to contain him. We try to do that with all quarterbacks. He doesn't run as much as he used to. I think that's probably because he's injured a lot. He has good presence [in the pocket]. He knows where the [defensive] linemen are. He escapes a lot. We just have to keep him in the pocket. Hopefully, if we do that, we'll get some sacks and make some plays on him."
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH – DEFENSE
NOVEMBER 3, 2005
On the health of the Redskins defensive line:
"We're banged up, but each week, we get one or two of [the defensive linemen] back. We purposely rested a couple of them last week, knowing that we would be able to get them back this week. We're in about the same position as we were in last week as far as numbers. We'll have a healthy seven or eight [linemen] going into the game."
On playing Redskins defensive linemen at multiple defensive line positions:
"That's one of the things about having a veteran staff with [defensive coordinator – defensive line] Greg [Blache], [linebackers coach] Dale [Lindsey], and the other guys on the [defensive] side of the ball. We look for universal guys. We look for guys that can play more than one position. In training camp, and even in practice [now], we train guys at more than one position. Each game, you have someone who's going to go down that you didn't think about [going down]. If an injury does happen, we have a plan for throwing a [replacement] in there, instead of throwing him in there without knowing how he is going to react."
On the amount of time DL, #92 Demetric Evans spent practicing the defensive tackle position:
"All [of last] week, but [also] last year and in training camp. That's why the off-season practices are so important, which I continue to teach [S, #21] Sean Taylor [who did not attend off-season workouts]. Every single day that I talk in a classroom or a meeting about something we learned in off-season training, I bring up his name. Demetric took a lot of snaps [at defensive tackle]. Those are snaps that will come back to help us in [players'] memory and retention when we're throwing them in the heat of battle. He did really well. I was pleased with how he did last week [against the Giants] in the limited number of times he was back there at that particular position. The more [a player] can do, the longer your career is in this league."
On when the Redskins will determine which defensive linemen can play against the Eagles:
"We always try to get them in one day of practice. But with those guys being veterans, we'll take [their injury status] all the way up to the time of deactivating players on [the day before the game] because they've had so much experience and so many reps. Whoever is in there, we'll have a plan for them. We'll have a plan for the skills that they can bring into the mix, too. Some guys can do things better than others. [DT, #96] Cornelius [Griffin] just happens to be one of those guys who can do an awful lot of things because of his natural talent. Other guys who [may] have to play in his place because he can't go will be used in a way that we can maximize their talent."
On whether S, #21 Sean Taylor sat out of Thursday's practice:
"Yes. He'll practice tomorrow. We did that on purpose. He had a lot of good work on the side today. He took all of the half-speed reps. We have certain drills in practice for[injured] guys to get the mental repetitions they need to get, so that when they go in tomorrow [Friday], they'll be going full speed."
On the Redskins secondary's performance through seven games:
"We've played really well. Our secondary has done a very good job. We have a really good group back there. They've stayed in tact here for a couple of years. We played really solid last week [against the Giants]. We had a good plan. We just didn't force them to [throw] it up enough. They had 31 attempts. I go back to [the fact that] we played almost 90 snaps on defense. We did a pretty good job there. Even when you look back on the [Giants] rushing [game] last week, they had 45 attempts. We gave up two [big] plays. The other 43 rushing attempts were for [an average of] 3.3 yards. Those [big runs] are plays you have to play. After that opening play [Giants RB Tiki Barber's 57-yard run], which was [a result of] two missed tackles, we still had an opportunity – which I thought was really neat – to come away [having given up] no points on that drive. We sacked quarterback [Eli Manning] and got the ball out, but the ball bounced back to him again. One of the things we pride ourselves on is that, if we give up a big play, [we] give ourselves another play. [The players need to] run it down. Their will, commitment, and competitiveness are the most impressive things that I see about this group of guys. If [a running back] pops outside, they chase him down. Shawn Springs chasing [Tiki Barber] down was impressive."
On whether he expects the Eagles to run the ball more often against the Redskins than in previous games this season:
"Each week, you have to make a team one-dimensional. You have to do that. When a team can do both [pass and run], you struggle. I don't know what their plan will be or what the health of their players is. We're going to defend their offense. We know what we see on film. We also know, as we've gone back, how we matched up last year. Coaches are creatures of habit. We see what their habits are this year, but that doesn't mean they'll come out and do that. We have to be ready for both."
On Eagles RB, #36 Brian Westbrook:
"He's one of the best players in the NFC. He played very well against us [last season]. We have to do a good job against him. A lot of the success of our game plan will be about how well we play against him."
On whether Eagles QB, #5 Donovan McNabb looks as mobile as in seasons past:
"He does. There's no doubt that he is one of the fiercest competitors in the NFL. There's no doubt that he loves playing this game. I see very little effect [from his sports hernia] on him. I see him being the same guy on the move, running out of the pocket, running around, and throwing to his left and right. I don't see any difference."
On whether he expects Eagles WR #81 Terrell Owens to play on Sunday night:
"I see that he practiced today. We don't ever get caught up in the drama of [injury reports]. We'll be prepared, [until] the inactive lists are turned in, for him to be in the ballgame. That's how we go about doing it. If he's not, then we'll make our adjustments after that. We prepare like he is going to be playing."
On whether Redskins S, #23 Omar Stoutmire practiced today:
"He did limited things on the side. We'll have to wait to see if he can go tomorrow [Friday]. He's a guy who has been really good on special teams and is able to play in a lot of different packages defensively. I'm more comfortable when you have a nine-year vet that can do the things he can do."
On whether he enjoys playing on Sunday night:
"It's hard to wait around [on Sunday afternoon]. You learn over the years that you have to prepare just a little bit differently. I enjoy being in the atmosphere with the players. The players take it up a notch. There are a lot of things throughout the course of the week that I wouldn't mind passing on to someone else. You don't like doing some of the things you have to do to get to that game. You don't like waiting around all day Sunday. Being on the field of battle with [the players] makes it fun. It makes the wait okay."
On CB, #24 Shawn Springs taking a nasty hit against the Eagles last season:
"We talked about it a little bit this week. He won't look sideways if he gets a shot at that guy. That's the competitive part of the ballgame. That was one of the first comments I made when we started the week. I remember Shawn Springs looking up at me with pretty blue eyes. One [eye] blew East, one blew West. He had no idea where he was at. We'll see if he can rectify that shot he took."
On the Jim Johnson-led Philadelphia defense:
"I have tremendous respect for [Eagles defensive coordinator] Jim Johnson and what that whole staff does. In the off-season, we study a lot of other people in the league. He's one of the guys that we study quite a bit. We each steal from each other. We each take one thing or two that we can add to our own packages. [Defensive coordinator – defensive line] Greg Blache was on staff with him [at Notre Dame and in Indianapolis], so we know quite a bit of the things that they do. We're going to have to have our hard hats on when we play. When you play his scheme, you have to make sure that your protections are really sound because he'll challenge them."
TO BENEFIT HURRICANE RELIEF
ASHBURN, VA – Washington Redskins players Santana Moss, Clinton Portis and Sean Taylor will be signing autographs Friday, November 4th at the team's official store in the Montgomery Mall in Bethesda to benefit hurricane relief efforts.
The players will be at the store on Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to autograph items in return for a donation that the Santana Moss Foundation will turn over to relief organizations. The requested donation is $20 for a signature on a "flat" item such as a photograph, and $40 per signature on items like jerseys, helmets or balls.
The Washington Redskins official store is located on the lower level of the Montgomery Mall, at 7101 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD.