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Quotes: Redskins HC Mike Shanahan

Posted Sep 9, 2013

Opening statement: “We couldn’t get a lot going offensively. Anytime you have three first downs in the half, you are putting your defense out there quite a bit. I thought defensively we put them in a heck of a jam. We did have a couple of missed assignments and missed tackles. But at the end of the day, it’s over and we have to get ready [for Green Bay] in a short week.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance in the first half: “It’s everybody. It’s not just one guy. I’ll look at the film. We just couldn’t get any momentum. We turned the ball over early and put our defense in some tough situations during the game. We had a late opportunity to get back in the ballgame and we jumped offsides on that fourth down. We had the right protection and the right play, but we fell a little bit short.”

On Griffin III’s overall performance: “If your offense doesn’t go, you’re always going to try and put it on your quarterback. It’s kind of the nature of the business. It wasn’t the quarterback, it was the combination of a lot of people not working together. One guy is a little off here and there. We need to play much better than we did.”

On having three turnovers in the first six offensive plays: “You can’t make those kinds of mistakes.”

On if the Redskins did not execute on defense: “[Philadelphia Eagles running back] LeSean McCoy is a heck of a back. He did a great job of making people miss. We had a couple of missed assignments from the young guys that cost us. We did have too many missed tackles and too many mistakes in the first half. We can’t go against a team with a high-tempo offense and have three first downs and expect the defense to play well in the first half.”

On Griffin III’s timing and reaction: “On offense, you can’t just talk about one guy. It’s a combination of everybody. For an offense to click, you can’t have any missed assignments and we had a few busted assignments and a couple of missed balls.”

On if Griffin III reacted slowly: “I thought he did a great job for not playing [in the preseason], especially in that second half during the third quarter. He made some big-time plays and a lot of guys were banged up and hurt out there and they kept on trying to play.”

On the decision not to play Brandon Meriweather: “The decision to not play Meriweather is because he could not play. His groin was too sore.”

On how the Eagles’ offense differed from expectations: “[It was] kind of what we thought. It was what they’ve done before in the past. One thing you have to be able to do is tackle [running back LeSean] McCoy. You have to tackle [quarterback Michael] Vick. I thought [wide receiver DeSean] Jackson made a couple of plays in there. They out-executed us.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and running back Chris Thompson: “He’s being evaluated for a concussion – Ryan is. Chris is OK, I believe. We had a couple of guys that have some cramps. [Wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon] and a couple of our lineman that were out there, they cramped up. I think they will be OK.”

On if the cramping issue was due to the speed and tempo of the game: “That’s why you get cramps. When the team has the ball as many plays as they do and guys are playing very hard, and with the heat out there and as much running as their doing, they do have cramps and that’s why we had a couple of guys with cramps. Pierre, as well, was running a lot of routes there in that two-minute offense, and he was going as hard as he could. He wanted to go back out there, but I took him out because I thought he was going to pull something.”

On team expectations and if the team was overeager tonight: “You can’t change those expectations. They found a way to win the football game, and we didn’t. It’s a 16-round fight, and we lost the first round, and you just take them one at a time. I was pleased with the way they fought back. We did some things well in the second half. We just have to keep rolling.”

On positive takeaways from tonight’s game: “You take a look at the things you did well. There’s not a whole lot to look at offensively, and we’ve talked about it, or at least I’ve mentioned it a bunch of times. You have three first downs. That is not indicative to the way we play. We run the ball pretty good, and we throw the ball pretty good. I’ve got to take my hat off to Philly, they did an excellent job defensively in the first half, and we had to open things up a little more. I was pleased with our guys; they fought back and executed, and made a game of it. We had a chance in the fourth quarter and had that fourth down, but just couldn’t do anything with it.”

On running back Chris Thompson’s decision-making: “Yeah, that one where we caught the ball on the five-yard line, especially with a fair catch, that was a rookie mistake. The more experience he gets, the better he is going to be. They have some great coverage, and there were not a lot of holes there. I was pleased with his effort, but those decisions are going to have to improve.”

On if there were any penalties that stood out: “Well, you could see there was a little hesitation there. You are going to keep working on those little things, but anytime you get penalties, you try to eliminate them. There were a couple of them in there today that cost us, especially that fourth down penalty.”

On if he said anything to running back Alfred Morris about his turnovers: “No, I just told him to wipe it out. You are going to have mistakes like that. You have to wipe it out of your mind – just like the defensive back getting beat on a go-run or post-run. You feel bad about what you did, but you can’t dwell on it or you are going to make other mistakes. Alfred is an excellent player and those things are going to happen [in] those type of games. You just have to be able to wipe it out.”

On if game conditions kept him from using designed runs: “It all depends on what a defense is doing. Sometimes they are designed runs, but you are not sure who is going to get the ball. Other times, they take the ball up your way. You are just not sure what a defense is going to do – if they are going to let a running back run or a quarterback. We try to mix it up to keep people mixed up as much as we can.”

On if Griffin III should have played in the preseason: “The one thing I look at is that I’m hoping he’s going to be with us for a while. Our priority was getting him ready for the season, and not putting him in there too quick. We would be quite disappointed if he got hurt the second week of our camp, and then we’d be talking about, ‘Why did you practice Robert when he might not have been ready to play?’ I think he was ready to play, and [he] looked like he was in good shape. Hopefully, we can keep getting better as an offense.”

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