September 7, 2011
A: Good morning. We are excited. It is game week and we are playing against a very good and very improved Washington Redskin team. We are excited about that. They have done a good job in preseason and you can see the areas that they have improved. They played some very tough opponents in the preseason and played them very well. We look forward to that part of it and getting started today with our game plan day and practicing this afternoon. We are all greatly shocked and disappointed about the loss of Jon Goff. Jon has worked his tail off and put himself in position to be our starting middle backer. He has been an outstanding learner and individual and he has done a great job with all the calls and checks and all those things throughout the preseason. We saw the knees bang together and for intents and purposes, the first initial report was that is was a stable knee and it wasn't that way. We re-group and accept the challenge. We look at it as another form of adversity and on we go. You are going to ask me who it is and we will be looking at a couple things today.
Q: Will you be looking at Greg Jones?
A: Absolutely. He has been here all preseason and he is a good football player. If not, he wouldn't be here. He has had a good preseason himself. Sometimes it is just time to step it up.
Q: How are you still remaining calm with all these injuries? Do you ask youself, "Why us?"
A: I wouldn't say it that way but you do have your moments. We are human, but it was the lateness of the hour. We didn't find this out until late in the afternoon and we had to move fast and think fast and make some decisions there. Not under the best of circumstances but nevertheless, that is what we are charged with, so here we are.
Q: If you have your moments, then the players must, too, right?
A: I'm sure they are but the way the team presented themselves this morning in the defensive meeting room was outstanding and the guys press on. It is not an excuse. You have a job to do and you have to go do it.
Q: Who will make the calls on defense if you have to play a rookie in there?
A: We can do a combination of things there.
Q: Are you worried about his size?
A: No, I think that he has a force and he has always been an outstanding tackler and physical player. I think you can see that.
Q: Will Mark Herzlich play in the middle?
A: He can play in there, yes. Sure.
Q: If you do sign somebody, how long will it take to get him ready?
A: It depends on the individual and their recall. We can play the game the way we are, they way our breakdown is but it would take naturally a little while.
Q: Are you worried about lack of experience?
A: You have to get it on the fly. Obviously there will be a lot of mistakes but they will be aggressive ones. That is the thing that you look forward to plus the improvement. You expect a young guy put in that situation to learn from errors and improve.
Q: Is this the most injuries you have dealt with this early?
A: I don't keep track of those things.
Q: How do you compare a freshman coming into college and playing versus a rookie in the NFL?
A: Well a rookie playing in the NFL has had success in college and sometimes against the best opposition in the country therefore he has a certain amount of confidence that comes along with that. Sometimes a freshman coming into college is not really sure. There are exceptions and there are a lot of guys that play four years in college but usually there is a little bit of a growth period and that is the same here. The collegiate experience has given them a little confidence.
Q: Do you think Greg Jones will be overwhelmed?
A: We will see. Obviously you have to force feed it but we will make some decisions with what we can play without and what possible errors can be made in some situations that we don't want to have to put ourselves through. We will make those decisions.
Q: How is Tuck?
A: He is getting better and feeling better. He is not going to go today.
Q: Is Ballard the starting tight end?
A: We play them all in different situations but we just listed it that way. You can take away from it what you want. They play in different situations and different circumstances.
Q: Are you down about the injuries?
A: I'm not going to allow myself to have that sense. It is unfortunate but it is our game. It is unfortunate that these guys have gone down. There is no question that there are a number of defensive players that have gone down. There are a number of defensive players that we were counting on that are not going to be with us and you can't hide that fact. We have what we have and we are going forward with it.
Q: Do you think the lockout had a factor in the injuries?
A: I am not going to have any projection on that. That is for you people. Let's just say it is not soft tissue.
Q: What are you expecting to see from the Redskins?
A: I am expecting to see what I saw in preseason.
Q: Can you talk about Eli Manning's consecutive game streak?
A: It means that he has been able to display the kind of toughness and competiveness. One week he was out with a shoulder and he played. He has that desire and he has that toughness, both physical and mental. He said the first time he walked into my office that he wanted to be the quarterback and leader of this team and he has demonstrated that consistently.
Q: Can you talk about those kinds of players? A: There is a lot of that. If you look at middle linebacker, the Redskins have had an awful lot of years with that kind of play. I guess you do recognize that but that wouldn't be on my mind today.