A: He’s getting better. Unfortunately, it’s a lengthy process getting back to where he was. He is definitely better this week than he was the week before. You’re encouraged by seeing him do some things maybe he couldn’t have done last week. It’s a matter of just continuing to see that growth and return to where he was before he was injured.
Q: How do other guys feed off of him on the offense?
A: I think there’s a respect that defenses have for him so there has to be a focus on him to a point where he’ll help open up some opportunities for some other people. I think he makes plays as he did down the sideline, he made a terrific catch and we missed him on the third play of the game, which would’ve been a touchdown where he had a great release. He still gives you some things that are very special. The more of those types of things that he can do, defenses have to start gearing their plans and gearing where they lean with their safeties towards him and that opens up opportunities for other guys.
Q: Can you trick London Fletcher?
A: Everybody, no matter how long you’ve played, if you get certain things geared up, and going well, then an opponent has no choice but to lean into stopping that. Whatever that is, run, pass, what have you. If you can do that, even though it’s difficult, you can get them to commit to certain things and try to take advantage of it. Certainly, he’s no different than anyone else, he’s a good football player, he has seen these things. If you’re careless with anything or you’re sloppy with the expression of what it is…For example, you’re running a play action pass and your backs and your quarterback look different than they do on a run, then he’s going to smell it out and he’ll diagnose it and stop it. If it looks the same, he’s like everybody else.
Q: When Wilson got some carries last Sunday, he seemed to be clinching the ball extra tight:
A: I think he’s trying to do the right thing. I think he knows that’s an area he’s had problems with in the past. It’s an area that is exploited more cleverly and with more efficiency at this level. It happened to him early in his career so he’s highly sensitized to it. If it becomes a continual problem, it’ll diminish his opportunities, so he’s certainly conscious about it. He’s trying to do the right thing and the more he continues to do the right thing, the more opportunities he’ll get to play.
A: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Q: Do you try to lessen his workload in any way?
A: If the game would allow it, that’d be different, but I don’t think…We haven’t been in those situations that often where you can take that factor into consideration. You’re just trying to do whatever you can to hold on to the ball and keep it away from them and not let them recover. On SportsCenter you see too many teams do, you just keep it out of their hands as long as you can.
Q: Has Ahmad Bradshaw always been this tough?
A: Yeah he was. He was always tough. I think we had to see how it would translate at this level and would it be a one time, one game, one year deal, or would it be something that is characteristic of him, and I think it is. I think it’s a saline feature that is obvious when you’re around the guy. I think he’s different in that aspect. I don’t think you can play the position unless you’re physically tough. I don’t think there’s a running back that can play it well if you’re not physically tough, but I still think he has raised the level of the bar, so to speak. You have to appreciate what he brings to the table. Not only do we as coaches, I think his teammates appreciate it as well.
Q: How close is Diehl to where he was before the injury?
A: Like when I was asked about Hakeem, he’s getting better, there’s no question. It’s encouraging, thank goodness. It gives us tremendous depth and little by little we’ll play it out where we can lean on him full time.
Q: Did his play this Sunday as the extra linemen give you more confidence in his return?
A: It’s the first step. It’s the first few steps that you’re back. We’re not asking him to play 75 plays, we’re asking him to play a limited number and do just a limited number of things, not everything that would be required of a tackle. He passed the first test.
Q: Does Diehl slide back into the line when he’s healthy?
A: Right now, I like the way we’re playing. We’ll cross that hurdle when we have to. It just gives us some additional flexibility both: a) with depth and b) what we call, “big tight end” or “big regular personnel group.” A personnel grouping that we didn’t have, and I think it was obvious the benefit or advantage it gave us in the game.
Q: What are some of the unique things that the Redskins do in their secondary?
A: It’s funny, they seem to be opponent specific, which not all defenses are. Some of the best defenses are that way and some of the best are, “hey, this is what we do, and we do it so well that our subtlety and our adjustments are what we do defensively.” Some people, it’s a totally different defensive approach week-to-week. This guy, their defense has played…He’s always been a blitzing, part of the Pittsburgh Steeler zone-blitz family, and that’s always been an integral part of his makeup and what they do. Also, now he’s going into this three-man rush, prevent-33 double-cloud matchup underneath which is a little bit unique. It’s something you face from people, but not usually until it’s third and 10 or deeper. He’s showing it on third and two and three all the way up. It’s a little bit different. Certainly, a radical departure from what he’s done in the past. What it does, it makes you…you have a certain set of plays that would be good against that and a certain set of plays that are good against blitz, now all of a sudden, he’s exchanging where you would normally be exposed to those things. It makes it a little bit more challenging schematically or to your guys, you have to call routes that have the opportunity to be good against both.