Dec 19, 2013, 6:47 PM EDT
Transcript of Mike Shanahan’s news conference Thursday 12.19.13 (from Redskins PR)
On the injury report:
“The first thing that we were talking about is [tight end] Jordan Reed will be out for the remainder of the season. He did see a specialist today in Pittsburgh and they recommended for him to stay away, or at least not practice for the next three weeks, so he’ll go on IR. [Fullback] Darrel Young was limited today in practice. [Cornerback] E.J. Biggers was full-go and [offensive tackle] Trent Williams was full-go.”
On if it is difficult to balance being firm with players and avoiding alienating them:
“I don’t think so. I just think that relationship grows in time and the more time you spend together, I think the better the relationship gets. You’re going through some tough times. You’re going through some great times. But all relationships develop and a lot of times when it’s stressful, sometimes it’s a little bit tougher than when things are all going great. But you’re always hoping to pull in the same direction and everybody’s got the respect for one another, knowing how tough their jobs are, and just try to improve to get better.”
On if he has a corresponding move after the decision to move Reed to IR:
“No, we haven’t decided. I just found out within 20 minutes ago. That’s one of the reasons I was late. I was talking to Dr. [Anthony] Casolaro and [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess] about the specialist and his recommendation up in Pittsburgh.”
On if he has decided on who will fill Reed’s roster spot:
“No, I just found out that he wouldn’t be able to go.”
On center J.D. Walton:
“We liked him out of college. We liked the way he played in Denver for the first couple of years. That’s one of the reasons why we claimed him.”
On if quarterback Robert Griffin III being Walton’s teammate at Baylor factored into the decision to sign him:
“Well, the first thing is, is a person a football player? That’s a bonus because Robert knew him. He knows what type of character he has and what type of guy he is. You always look into somebody’s background and Robert gave him the highest recommendation as a person. But we’ll go back and take a look at the film and we liked what he saw, not only in college but at Denver as well.”
On if Walton would be eligible to play on Sunday:
“No, I think this is for the future. He would not play this week or next week. It would be him coming back to the squad next year and competing with the rest of the offensive line.”
On Walton’s medical status:
“You never know, but we just know what we thought of him coming out of college. We evaluated at Denver – two years, started all 16 games [in 2010 and 2011] and four games [in 2012]. You can see he’s a football player. You’ve always got the question mark with the medical, but we’ll see that in time.”
On quarterback Kirk Cousins’ development over his first two seasons:
“Well, one thing I think that he was able to do is with all the OTA reps, with the summer camp reps, he got a full share, which was big in his development going into this year. Then all of a sudden, you don’t get any reps until last week, so I know that he’s enjoying the repetition that he’s gotten and he gets to work with the first unit again. So that’s a big plus for him. You can see he’s more comfortable this week than he was last week.”
On Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s season and his thoughts on Baltimore having a coach who specializes in kicking:
“Well, if we can get 35-for-37, then you can guarantee me that we will get a kicking coach, I promise you. Yeah, maybe it’s due to his coach. If it is, he should ask for a raise, because that’s pretty impressive.”
On if he has ever had a kicking coach on his staff:
“We’ve had people come in that have worked with kickers, not necessarily full-time. But we’ve had guys that have worked throughout the offseason with a kicking coach and sometimes we’ll bring a guy in for a few days if they get a little off-kilter. But a lot of these kickers and snappers will work with somebody in the offseason to try and tone in their expertise.”
On balancing production on the field and wanting to see more of safety Bacarri Rambo:
“What happens – it’s not only the position, but it’s special teams as well. So he may play free safety, strong safety… Who is the best guy for that 45th, 46th spot to help you in that area? So part of it is based on special teams and part of it is based on position. That’s why going into each game, you’re never really sure who that 44th, 45th, or 46th guy is. It depends on how they practice and what you think gives you the best chance to win.”
On if he makes changes to practice to keep players from “checking out”:
“Well, first of all, regardless what type of practice that you have, you’re hoping guys don’t check out. But it is a little bit different toward the end of the season on any football team than it is through the first half of the season with your walkthroughs, with your live reps. Again, you’re trying to do everything to give them the best chance to be ready for the game and still be prepared.”
On if it is tougher to get full effort out of players at the end of the season:
“No, it’s not really, not if you’ve got the right guys, you’ve got the right character. You’re getting full-speed effort. They understand that this is their profession and if they don’t handle it that way, then the chances of them being around for any length of time is not very good.”
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