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Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan


Q: How much different are the Giants from the team you saw last year?

A: That is what I do, I look at what they do and what they did against us over last season. Preseason is always the preseason and you get ready for the regular season. Everybody gets game plans and you start playing your best players and it is a totally different atmosphere. We know the New York Giants and how well they played last year. They took top five in almost every category.

Q: Do you expect a different look without the key players they lost?

A: No, I don't expect anything differently. You are always one play away from being a starter and when you lose a starter then you have a guy like Ross who steps up. Just like when we lost Jarvis Jenkins, the guy behind him has to step up and that's the nature of this game.

Q: Is it difficult for a team to re-group after losing its middle linebacker?

A: I think you are always disappointed when you lose a great player and a great leader. I think it is always tough but as a head coach, you talk about that and that these things are going to happen in the season and it is going to happen to everybody but how do you respond when that adversity strikes. I am sure the Giants will react accordingly.

Q: How is the Redskins team chemistry?

A: I think anytime you go out for the regular season you have to prove yourself and what kind of football team you are. Regardless if you are young or old or inexperienced, it is people working together and going out on game day and showing what your team is like. Some teams are a little bit younger and some organizations get new head coaches trying to put a new direction to where their team is going. I think it is just apart of new coaching staffs coming together.

Q: Does the team feel different to you this year?

A:I think so from your first year and second year, there is usually a big change. You know what people fit your system. You know what people you want to bring back here so usually the feel for your football team the first year is much different from your second year because you were trying to feel people out.

Q: What stuck out about Barry Coefield?

A: Barry is a football player and a character person who is going to fit in any system. I thought he played very well for the Giants and I was impressed by the way they play defense since I have been with the Skins. Barry was a big part of that defense and that was one of the reasons why they were very successful and one of the reasons why we went after him.

Q: Why didn't it work out with Devin Thomas?

A: I got to know Devin pretty good and he is a great person. He has a lot of ability and I am going to wish him well because I am fond of the guy and the way he handled himself and the way he worked. You always have to make decisions that are very tough within your organization about who is going to make your football team but I don't wish him luck this weekend.

Q: Do you remember the conversation you had with him when you told him he wasn't working hard?

A: I just told Devin that if he wants to stay in this league, he is going to have to be a pro. It is going to be a full time job for you, it can't be a part time job. I talked about his ability and what he had to do to stay in this league and obviously he is doing it.

Q: What does it do for you to know that he is a driven player?

A: It makes me feel good because I liked Devin as a person. I thought if he ever wanted to be a true pro, he had all the athletic ability in the world and just for him to make the Giants team shows you he is doing things the right way.

Q: Do you think of Eli Manning as a 25-interception quarterback?

A: Eli is an excellent quarterback and one of the things about being a quarterback in this league, if you don't take your team to the playoffs or don't make the Pro Bowl, there will always be some question marks and questions like 'what can he do for this team in the future?' The organizations that I have been with, every year is the same. When you don't make the playoffs, people are going to look at the quarterback and that is just the nature of this business. I think Eli showed everybody with what he did in the Super Bowl and I am sure he will get back to that type of play.

Q: Why did you choose Grossman over Beck? A: It was just basically an open competition. We have two guys that I believe in and two guys I feel can play in this league. It was very close. I thought Re

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