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Mike Shanahan news conference transcript 12.19.13

Mike Shanahan news conference transcript 12.19.13

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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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

roullier-ap.png
Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200

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New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

New free agent Doug Martin unlikely fix to Redskins' woeful run game

News broke Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Bucaneers released former Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, and while the name certainly triggers value, his play of the last two seasons should calm the excitement. 

Since a 2015 season where Martin rushed for 1,400 yards and averaged nearly 5 yards-per-carry in 16 games, Martin has been suspended, undergone substance abuse rehab and missed games due to injury.

In the last two seasons, Martin has played in 16 of 32 games, rushed for 827 yards and averaged less than 3 yards-per-carry.

Over his six year NFL career with the Bucs, Martin has only played two full seasons. Those two seasons were great, in 2012 and 2015, but the other four have been largely disappointing. 

RELATED: WHAT SHOULD THE REDSKINS DO AT RUNNING BACK?

The Redskins averaged just 3.6 yards-per-carry last season, and could definitely use a boost in the run game. It's entirely possible Washington might look to upgrade their offensive backfield this offseason, either in free agency or in the 2018 NFL Draft, but Martin does not look like the player to help. 

Early in the 2017 season, it appeared the Redskins run game might be a strength for the offense. After a disappointing effort on the ground to open the year in a loss to the Eagles, the Redskins rushed for at least 111 yards in their next three contests, including nearly 230 yards on the ground in a Week 2 win over the Rams. 

Injuries undid the run game, however, as Rob Kelley got hurt and the offensive line lost players, too. Over the course of the season, rookie Samaje Perine sustained minor injuries and Chris Thompson was lost for the year with a broken leg. 

Going into 2018, Kelley, Perine, Thompson and Kapri Bibbs are all on the roster and expected for now to stay with the team. That's yet another reason why the Redskins are likely to stay away from Doug Martin.

RELATED: 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

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