Good morning. It is an exciting week for us – in the division, Washington is playing very well with really five straight games – playing very, very well. Jason Campbell is playing extremely well. Their defense is ranked seventh in the league. Their offensive line has performed way beyond what anyone would think. They have developed their receiver corps to the point where there are a lot of legitimate weapons. The run game is still very, very solid; powerful run game. So it is in the division, Monday night, exciting time.
Q: You said the Redskins are playing a lot better. You haven't played them, it seems like, since decades ago. How relevant is that first game?
A: Well, it is always relevant but there are a lot of players that have changed. And that is really where you have to go. A lot of time has passed; a lot of games have been played. So you really have to do your research right now.
Q: Is it mostly defense that has sparked their recent play?
A: No. I think they have just played solid. They have done an outstanding job with their return game. They have played outstanding defense. They have obviously moved the ball and scored a lot of points – 30 points on New Orleans, 24 points on Philadelphia. So they have played good, solid football all of the way around; very physical.
Q: Anything new from Monday that would lead you to believe that Kareem McKenzie won't be a couple of weeks?
A: Nothing. As I said, just encouraging him and listening to everything we get from the training room.
Q: I assume that Will Beatty would be the guy to replace McKenzie. It appears that he has done a very good job of that – at least from the outside – do you agree with that?
A: Well, he is a good, young football player. We have asked him to play a number of spots. He has played left tackle, he has played tight end, right tackle and has done a good job. He is going to have to do another good job.
Q: The perception before the draft – maybe by a lot of people – I won't use the word 'project' - but he seemed like he needed to fine-tune a lot of stuff and maybe wouldn't be ready immediately. But he seems like he has been ready immediately. What do you attribute that to?
A: He has worked hard; he has studied. He is a good athlete. We knew that – that is why he is here. He is a very good athlete. There is just an awful lot to learn at this level and that normally is the barrier that guys have to overcome. And he is still working at that. Let's face it – by no means is that accomplished.
Q: Did you talk with his college coach (former Coughlin assistant Randy Edsall) before you drafted him?
A: We talked some. He highly endorsed him.
Q: Will Corey Webster practice today?
A: No. Two guys won't practice – McKenzie and Webster.
Q: Is it still day to day for Corey?
A: I'm hoping.
Q: You have been working Aaron Ross to safety. Can he come back to cornerback?
Q: Given what the Redskins have done in the past few weeks, is it a pretty easy sell to your guys to not overlook this opponent?
A: Put the tape on. There is no question, put the tape on. Plus, it is in the division. It is always a tough, physical game. It is always a - - at full strength -- it was a very close game the first game of the year.
Q: You play on Monday obviously. Cowboys play on Saturday. Do you think that game will have bearing on – a little mental positioning of your team – going into that game?
A: I think we have kind of put this into the position, as you say, of it is ours to do with. It has been that way. We just feel like we have to play - we have to take care of our own business. I don't know how else to say it.
Q: Technically it does not…..
* *A: But that doesn't --- all we can take care of is our business.
Q: So much over the last couple of weeks, you talked about the big play that other teams are getting. Besides talking about it, is there anything else you can do to make a more conscious effort to be aware of who is out there?
A: I think the awareness thing is important. I think being alert to that. I think there is some recognition things that we haven't a great job of – anticipation; some of those kinds of things. Sometimes you get so wired into what your exact assignment is you don't recognize the big picture. So I think there is some of that, yeah, definitely.
Q: Do you go into these games not feeling you can rely on your defense and worry?
* *A: No, I don't go into any game like that. After the week of preparation and practice I think we do a very good with our meeting time. Our Saturday night meetings are very well conducted. The majority of the time I feel very good coming out of those meetings. We all know how each phase has to play in order for us to win. That is very well presented. And if we don't accomplish that, then it is again – someone asked me what do you say to the team after a game; what do you say to them on Monday? Well, we have already categorized what it is going to take for us to win. If we follow that formula, we win and if we don't follow that formula, we lose. And that is how we present it.
Q: Meetings – I guess it would almost be easier in some way if you …..
A: It is has to transfer out to the field – there is no question.
Q: If it was a lousy week for some reason and it showed, you said you like what you see going into Sunday –
A: The majority of the time.
Q: So it is more troubling, I would guess, that the results aren't there on the field?
A: Well, it is troubling, for sure. But you march on. You do the best you can and you march on. You solve some issues and you hope that those issues, having been solved, will be keys to putting us in a position to win. And when you are in a position to win, win it.
Q: As far as the defense, you have made about all of the moves you probably can make. Is this pretty much what you are going to ---?
A: Well, we will always think we can do more. That is all. You may not see it. It may be done from the inside out, for example. But still, we can always do more.
Q: The last couple of years their pass rush has been solid. This year it seems they have really been effective. Why is that?
A: They have always been a very aggressive defensive front. They play extremely hard. They do a good job of attacking. Their rookie, (Brian) Orakpo, has played very well. (Andre) Carter has played well. (Albert) Haynesworth has played well; (Kedric) Golston has played well; (Cornelius) Griffin. They are a solid front, now. They pressure. They use Orakpo as a backer and that brings five in normal situations when he is on. The secondary is aggressive; the safeties are very aggressive. London Fletcher has done an outstanding job all year long.
Q: Particularly Orakpo, what do you see out of him?
A: He is a physical, fast player that has the ability to get on the edge but also has a power rush.
Q: Do they keep him on one side or move him around?
A: He plays the SAM backer position which also moves him around. He lines up at the right end.
Q: You mentioned that Ross could go back to cornerback. Would you put him back there or would you wait until you found out what Corey's status is?
A: We'll see.
Q: We are so used to Clinton Portis being such a huge part of their power running game. Obviously he is not there any more. How much are they relying on a power running game?
A: They are relying on it; they are. They have tried to continue to rush the football. Their schemes are a little bit different; not a whole lot different. But they are continuing to try to rush the ball.
Q: Is Ahmad Bradshaw going to try two days of practice this week?
A: He is not going to go today.