Coach and QB Talk: September 23, 2009

Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell addressed the media today. Here is a transcript.

Head Coach Jim Zorn

On if quarterback Jason Campbell sat out during practice:
"Yeah I kept him out some of the movement plays just to not put a strain on his foot, but I would say he did all of the things that he could."

On the right guard situation after the season-ending injury to RG Randy Thomas:
"Yeah it's working, but I'm giving both guys, Will Montgomery and Chad Rinehart, an opportunity, and it's about half and half. We're going to try and see what it's all about, we've got one more day tomorrow and then we just need to close in on our decision.

"Both did well. Chad [Rinehart] was strong. I've got to see the video because I might've missed some of the things down the field, but I saw him battling in there and I saw Will [Montgomery] battling in there."

On if Chad Rinehart has to show significantly more in practice than he did in the preseason:
"I would say that in this case [Chad Rinehart] has to really show that he can step up. Will Montgomery has to show the same thing he did during camp."

If Will Montgomery's play in last Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams was surprising as a substitute after Randy Thomas' injury:
"It puts him in the mix. I wouldn't say it was a surprise because he's been battling all summer long. One of the reasons that he is up because he can play both positions (center and guard). He has had starts at that position and that makes a difference, whereas Chad [Rinehart] hasn't really had the starts yet. We want him (Chad Rinehart) to be successful as well, but it's the experience that he (Will Montgomery) had, and he did a tremendous job coming in with zero reps with the starting group and maintaining his composure and making some big blocks. I would say, to answer your question, it wasn't really a surprise."

On Anthony Alridge:
"We expect to use his speed. He has to work into things on special teams. He will be participating in special teams. Maybe we will be getting him out there, if he is active, and be able to run some plays. It's that change-of-pace back that helps sometimes. That is where we will use him."

On the amount of running backs the Redskins are currently carrying on the roster:
"I think it's very unique. It's hard to carry that group. I think we are doing it for the right reasons. We like the mix. It's just hard to use them all. Some of those guys will be down. I just didn't want to put another offensive lineman in the group. He would be playing down the road, but this guy can play right now."

On the Detroit Lions:
"I don't see any desperation at all. I see a very solid football team. I see an excellent team that is playing hard the whole game. Their special teams are outstanding. I think that their defense is very fast and physical. They play within their scheme. It is one of those teams that does a nice job. You can tell they are coached well. They all play well together. On offense they have a young quarterback, but he has tremendous talent. So it just takes longer in that area, that's the only thing I think they are trying to get up to their level."

On Detroit being desperate for a win:
"We are all desperate for a win."

On what type of rush the Detroit Lions are going to be doing:
"He (defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham) mixes it. It's probably not as much as what the New York Giants are going to do. He has pressures, but not the kind of in-your-face, every-down pressure. He is playing his defensive scheme. Now, when they do come, they have a good attitude about coming."

On Jason Campbell being limited and affecting the game plan:
"Well I'm planning on not making that an issue until he shows me that it's going to become an issue. He is going to have to be able to scramble anyway, that part of what we do and that's part of his effectiveness as well. So, he will have to show me that he can't do that, and I'm sure that he will be fine."

On feelings of moving on after the game against the St. Louis Rams:
"Well, with all the people asking questions about it all, its just part of everyday in the NFL. That's how I'm looking at it. I am hopefully game-planning and going about my business. We did win the game last week and that's what I'm concentrating on. I owe it to the players and to the fans to stay strong. We have a lot of quality characters on this team. Those are the things that I'm totally concentrating on."

On going for it twice on fourth down last week:
"I always calculate those based on how we were doing when we got down to the red zone. I felt that the one where we were on fourth- and -two and we gave the ball to Clinton Portis, that was the play that would work. On the fourth- and -one I thought that it was the right play in that area at that time. But I called timeout because I had to think about it, and unless you know for sure, you need to make sure. There were a lot of issues going on during that drive, so I had to think about and talk about it and went with it when I took that timeout."

On goal line runs being tough to simulate during practice:
"In training camp it's a little bit easier, but it's hard to go live in this area because it's such a collision. It's very violent. But that's no excuse for not being tough on the goal line, that's not why we didn't score."

On having the right blocking scheme:
"I think we had the right blocking scheme and right attitude. It all has to work together. Everything is not going to be perfect."

On Matthew Stafford:
"He commands the line of scrimmage very well, and he seems like he is a confident kid. He shows you that he is going to be a really good quarterback. I think his release allows him to make a lot of different throws, I think he can do a lot of things he is supposed to do in the NFL. He can throw the deep ball, crank one 30 yards, throw a screen, throw high, and that's because he has a nice release. I imagine he is going to be a good quarterback."

Quarterback Jason Campbell

On if he has ever experienced a win creating so criticism before:
"Never. We'll take the win, no doubt. You move on to the next game. It's better to adjust things on the run when you're winning than to accept the loss because hopefully this win will mean a lot for us this year when it gets down to the end of the season. Maybe to win the division, or maybe to get into the playoffs, you never know. But, I haven't ever heard this much criticism about a win.

"It was a hard fought game. There were a lot of things that we wished we could do better, offensively, and in the red zone. There are a lot of things we can correct as a team. It's not about one individual, or one person. There are a lot of team things we need to improve on."

On the entire team being on the hot seat going into the game against the Detroit Lions:
"I've been on the hot seat since the Baltimore preseason game. What I want to see is us come and fight hard, play competitive, play with an attitude, and play like you really want it. Play like you want to get to the next step, not just go out there running plays, or just doing things just to be doing it and hope that someone makes a play. Everyone needs to have the mentality that anyone can make a play at any given time. How you do that is by being prepared and having the right attitude and setting your standards high."

On injuring his ankle during the St. Louis Rams game and how he's preparing for this week's game:
"I'll definitely be 100 percent by Sunday. I'll be ready to go. Right now I'm just taking precautionary measures and doing what I need to get through practice and get to the next phase."

On if the team has been playing complacent football:
"I just feel like people put too much pressure on themselves instead of just playing relaxed. Everyone wants to make a play, everyone wants to be involved. And it's tough. You look at a guy like Santana [Moss] for example, he's a guy that's a big part of our offense and a big part of our big-play ability, and when teams are taking him away by double covering him, it's tough. That means that other guys around him have to continue to work hard, continue to carry the load until the opportunity presents itself. He's definitely a guy that we have to get involved because he's such a dynamic player, such an explosive player. You never know which player is going to be the one to take up the load, and take up the slack if someone else gets taken from the game or taken out of the game."

On what the team needs to display on Sunday:
"A little bit more urgency as a team. Not just offensively, but as a team. And when we do make some plays, be excited about it. It seemed like we find ourselves playing to impress people on the outside, not trying to do what we need to do as a team to get to the next level. We need to have fun doing it because being on the inside we know what's going on, we know what we need to improve on, we know how we can get to the next step, and how to get better. We can't start focusing on things that are being said about us as a team or said about us as individuals because then you'll start to believe it, and that's something that you don't need to do. We need to keep everything in house and keep everything positive and have the right attitude."

On scoring in the red zone:
"There are a lot of things we can do inside the 10-yard line. A lot of it is just attitude; a lot of it is just execution. There are things that we all can do as coaches and players. So it's not like one individual or anything. We get those two touchdowns early in the game, and we're up 14 early. Who knows what happens after that. There are definitely some positives that are going on right now. A lot of things have been said about us and a lot of it has been the focus of the negative things. When you watch the film there are a tremendous amount of positive things going on. And we all know what the things are that we have to improve on. We only punted twice. To us, that's taking a step up and moving the ball. Now, the next phase is we want to score points. And how you score points is when you get down to the five [yard line], when we get down to the 10 [yard line] we got to finish the drive."

On his reaction to the red zone play that called for Clinton Portis to pass the ball:
"When a play comes in of that magnitude, as a player, you can't get frustrated or get distraught about it. Whether you agree with the call, or whether you don't, you still got to execute the play. It's not the time to be out there worrying about being frustrated or anything. It's a play that if we hit it, everyone calls him a hero. If you don't hit it, you're the goat. That's pretty much how it goes on a lot of plays. A lot of plays are hit or miss. When you run gadget plays, if you hit them everyone's saying that's a gutsy call, but when you don't everyone's going to be on you. That's pretty much how this business works. We understand that. We talked to Coach Zorn, and he's talked about it, and said, ‘there are things that we all wish we could have back in some games.' It's just one that we can move on from and learn from."

On how dangerous it is to play a team looking for its first win in more than a year:
"It's very dangerous. This is an important week for us. It's just like preparing for any game, any given Sunday because when you watch the film, they're not the same team as they were last year. Even though they lost their first two games, they're a totally different team. They play with a lot more urgency and they play with a lot more confidence. If you look at the way they were playing the Vikings, they were up 10-0 early in that game. They ended up losing, but at the same time it was a hard fought game. Not by any means are we taking this and not looking at it as an important game because it's definitely an important game for us, and it's an important game for them too. They have a lot of guys they brought over in free agency this offseason that are paying dividends for their team. It hasn't shown up in the win column yet, but they're definitely a different team than they were last season."

On if it will be strange to see former Redskin Jon Jansen in a different uniform:
"Yeah, it'll be strange to see him. I'll walk over and see him, speak to him and say hello and everything, just wish him well and success in Detroit. He's a guy that was a long-time Redskin."

On if Coach Zorn is letting him play "his game":
"He's pretty much just letting me play the game a little bit. When I'm out there – I'm talking about not trying to be mechanical – that was my big improvement from the [New York] Giants game to this game. The ball that got knocked out my hand in the Giants game, because I'm trying to hang in there, and hang in there and wait for somebody to come open. The last game I just had to approach it, ‘Ok, if it's not open I'm not just going to sit here and hang and wait for somebody to be open.' It's either, be there at the right time or not, then I move on and try to make something happen."

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