Coach Shanahan Critiques Redskins Practices, So Far

The Redskins got the final day of mini camp off today with no practice.  

The team, described by coach Shanahan as "a little banged up" used today to instead workout, do some running and lifting, and have team meetings.

We're not talkin' Ferris Beuller's day off  here. We're talkin' a Redskins' mini camp day off.
"We’ve done a heck of a job throughout the offseason, all these OTA’s", said Shanahan. "[Thursday] will be more of a workout, running and lifting, more of a meeting, but we won’t go through what we did [Wednesday].”
The coach spent some time with the reporters on Wednesday giving his critique of the practice sessions and on his team's progress.
On assessing the team’s performance during the minicamp:
“I think this has really worked out well with the first two weeks in phase one and the conditioning, and getting some great meeting time. [Coaches] spent some time with the players to get them, at least a lot of the new players, accustomed to what we’re doing on offense, defense and special teams. In the [past] three weeks, we had a chance to work with each other, and again, watch film with each other for a couple of hours. We haven’t had a chance to do that through the last few offseasons. To be able to spend that time, again, getting to learn the system, feeling comfortable with each other over the last four weeks with two weeks of three days with the OTA’s and this week with the minicamps and the week before with four days, it’s been a big plus for us. We got a lot done. Hopefully, with a five-week vacation, they’ll come back ready to go.”
Shanahan also talked about the status of a few of his players.  A few of his comments, we found very interesting.

On tight end Chris Cooley’s injury status:
“He had a slight hamstring. One day, he had a little bit of a tight groin. The other time, it was a hamstring. They’re just minor. If we practiced tomorrow, he could go. But again, you just don’t want to over-push him and set him back, but it should be no problem at all. The great part about it is the knee is responding 100 percent. He’s had no swelling. The knee has not been drained. The knee has no side effects, no treatment, so that’s a big plus. Anytime you go full speed, especially running routes, it’s not unusual for guys to have a little setback here and there, but his is very minor.”

On if he expects wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and the rest of the team to enter training camp at full health next month:
“He’ll be able to go Day One of camp. Right now, I don’t think [anybody would need to be held out]. I think everybody should be able to go. Hankerson, we could push him in this minicamp. He was doing drill work. The last couple of days you could see the routes that he ran were full-speed. I’m glad we didn’t try to push him or overwork him because I thought we could set him back. Hopefully, over the next five-six weeks, he’ll just be getting better and better.
On Brandon Banks:
“We’ve got a good look at Brandon. He’s done a very good job at coming in in-shape. He gained about 10 pounds. You could tell that he’s been working out extremely hard in the offseason. And I think he understands how competitive our situation is right now on the football team. Not only does he have to do a great job as the return man, but he’s got to help us at the wide receiver position as well if he wants to make our football team.”
On whether or not the requirements are higher this year for Brandon Banks:
“Yeah, I called him in early and I told him that he was going to have to help us at the wide receiver position as well if he wanted to make this football team. And he accepted a challenge and came in in excellent shape, and it’s really positive what he’s done. Hopefully he can continue to do it.”
What's interesting about this: Shanahan's response here is a bit misleading because Brandon's work ethic has never been called in to question.  Shanahan's "if he wants to make our football team" comment is a bit misleading here. We all know Banks is, and wants to remain, a part of this franchise.  Perhaps Shanahan's comments should best be reserved for the oft injured, not staying healthy enough to play an entire season, but still remains on the roster, Christopher Cooley.

Spare me the double standard.

On Santana Moss’ fitness during the offseason:
“We talked about him. You know the thing about Santana is he’s a man. He’s a man’s man. We talked to him very frankly and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to come in in the best shape as you get older. Sometimes your skills will go down a little bit unless you’re in great shape.’ And he lost 10-15 pounds, probably closer to 15, and to me, he looks like what he looked like three years ago. And that’s what you’ve got to do. I mean, as you get older, you’ve got to make sure you’re in better shape, and if not, then usually you’re not working for a long time. And he took the challenge, came in probably as good of shape as he’s been in the last three years. And he’s been impressive. Hopefully he’ll continue to stay in shape and do the things he’s been doing over the last five or six weeks, or nine weeks I should say.”

What's interesting about this: I'll ask you. Santana Moss has been one of the more consistent performers for the Washington Redskins since the inception of his seven year career as a Redskin.  Whether Moss has bulked up, as he did two seasons ago, or slimmed down, Moss is a true performer.  Moss had four TDs last season. Six in 2010  Sure, his stats may be on a decline, but Moss is a player's player. He'll always give you, on the field, everything he's got. 
What's interesting is that the player who had the most yards receiving for the team last year, was cut from the team.   If Shanahan had any qualms about Moss' productivity, wouldn't we be talking about a 'Mossless Redskins' team right now?
On Robert Griffin III’s Olympic trials four years ago:
“All I can say, he won’t be in the Olympic trials. That’s really the only thing I’m concerned about. Obviously what he did a number of years ago was pretty impressive. He has that type of speed, and he can compete at that level. It gives you an idea of the ability he does have. To even think of a guy, a football player, having that type of speed, especially at the quarterback position, is very unusual. But it gives you an idea of what type of athlete he is.”
On the pressure of having one shot like the Olympic trials:
“The thing about the NFL is you get more than one shot, so you’re going to get a number of shots as time goes on. But you’ve got to think that anyone that’s an Olympian, maybe they want to take advantage of the opportunity that they don’t get a lot of shots, and hopefully we do well as a country.”
On Raheem Morris’ energy:
“What I like to do is have people being themselves. You can’t fake it. You’ve got to be what you are. And Raheem is a lot of fun. He’s an excellent football coach; he brings a lot energy. Coaches have a lot of fun. Some days the offense will have a great day, and the next day the defense will have a great day. And there’s a lot of trash talking right now with some of these young guys on the staff, but it’s fun to see. And players buy into it, and it’s a good camaraderie.”
On his assessment of the offense:
“Well we’ve thrown a lot out at them in a short amount of time. Like we talked about before, we’ve got a number of new people here. [We’re] young. We’ve got some free agents. We’ve got some additional talent. And that’s what you’ve got to do. In order to play together, you’ve got to have a lot of people going in the same direction, and to be together for nine weeks is a big plus for us, at least from the start. Obviously, all the rookies didn’t have that much time. But over the next five weeks, they get a chance to go over it again, and once we start training camp, everybody is on the same page. And hopefully we’re going the same direction.”
What's interesting about this:   Whether the team is an old team, or a young team, I'll agree with coach on this one:  "In order to play together, you’ve got to have a lot of people going in the same direction." And I'll throw in this one.  A personal favorite:  "We've got to play all four quarters of football." 

So, boys and girls, I think we finally have the Redskin formula for a winning season. Having a super talented QB on the roster can't hurt.

On Robert Griffin III meeting with the other players during the break:“I just read about it in the newspaper to be honest with you. We’ve been going pretty hard here over the past five weeks, and these guys are going to work out over the next five weeks. We want these guys to come back in better shape than they’re in right now so they can last for the season. If you do have an injury, recovery time is so much quicker if you’re in great shape. We’ve got a dedicated football team; I’ll be disappointed if they’re not in great shape. A lot of these quarterbacks and receivers will get together on their own, but you know the key is if they don’t have the ability to get together, they’re working out and keeping on top of their business.”

On what the rookies will be doing when they come back on July 16:“It’s just more a review of film, just going over the installation schedule, getting in a good lift, a good run, maybe a couple hours, not to overdo it, but to get some added time in meetings, a chance to ask any questions over the next month or five weeks. With them, looking at film, kind of going over any questions they might have with their position or maybe another position. It’s a constant learning experience for these young guys. They come back with a lot of questions and you get a chance to spend seven or eight days with them before the veterans come, and it always helps them.”