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Redskins OC Shanahan on RGIII and more

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

Highlights from offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s presser Tuesday. Shanahan on:

WR Pierre Garçon: “Pierre is a hell of a player and I’m very excited that we have him. I feel fortunate that we have him. I’m really excited about him in every aspect of the game.  Everyone knows he can run, he has good hands, he has good routes, he’s physical, he’s tough, he does not mind blocking, he works, he’s not a guy if he’s not getting the ball he just stops playing. He helps us in the run game, he helps us clearing stuff out with his speed. He’s a professional. He does everything we ask. I’m really pumped to have him.”

Running back: “I think with Tim [Hightower], he’s one of the most impressive football players I’ve been around as a man and how he goes about his business, how professional he is, how hard he works and he will do anything for the team. The guy is as physical as anybody I’ve ever been around. He is coming off an ACL and it takes time. We’ve been very slow with him we’re not asking him to do too much. We’ll take time with him to get him back, but when you’ve got a guy who does work like he does and is furious like he is, and it’s as important to him as it is, I do think it’s a matter of time. I hope it’s sooner than later, but you never know when it’s coming with the ACL. The other two guys they had a lot of experience last year. They didn’t go in as the starters because of injuries. Both of them basically were starters at times. When they were in, they both did good. We’re just hoping that they do it week in and week out, no ups and down, being ready all to handle the load, whoever it is.”

Whether or not Hightower could sit out the preseason and play week 1: “I personally don’t think that much in advance, it’s more day to day. He’s not on PUP [physically unable to perform] or anything. He comes out there and does individual and stuff, so that’s really the only time I see him. But as far as right now compared to 10 days ago it’s night and day how much better he looks in individual. He is more confident, and I think he’s healthy from a training standpoint. It’s getting that confidence to really put that leg in the ground and drive off of it. I’ve seen a lot of improvement.”

Evan Royster’s evolution as a runner: “I think Evan [Royster] can be as good as he wants. He was a sixth-round draft pick. I don’t think many people expect a sixth-round draft pick to really come in and help a team right away. He was on the practice squad at the beginning. I think Evan eventually got thrown into a role and I think he saw in those games I can be pretty good in the NFL. I don’t know if he always totally knew that. With Evan, it’s about him realizing he can be as good as he wants. He can be a top back in this league. He’s got a attack every play and every fight for every yard, just really get the mentality that he wants to be that guy, to be our lead carrier and not just one of the guys. If you have that mentally and you have that desire you capable of being that good.”

Running back Roy Helu:  “Roy’s [Helu] best thing is his speed. Helu can really run. He is our fastest guy. When you have something blocked and we’re going on the outside track and its open, Helu can just hit it to the sideline and outrun everybody for ten yards. When he can get you to start running sideways, it makes it a little easier for Helu to cut back. Royster is a very nature zone runner. He wants to be inside. He wants to press everything one gap at a time. He wants to suck people up and get back door cuts a lot faster than Helu does. There is a reason he is the all-time leading rusher at Penn State. If you turned on the tape he doesn’t jump out the screen because he doesn’t have that blazing speed that just jumps off. But, he is a very natural runner. He’s always getting good yards per carry – it happened in college. In the three or four games he played for us he was close to six yards per carry, so it’s continued. Hopefully it shows next year.”

The other running backs: “I have been really excited about Tristan [Davis]. That was really like the second day practice, because he had some injuries. He is a little behind the eight-ball in that he missed the first week of camp. But, like Helu, Tristan is fast. You saw that at the fan day. We got him in a coverage there bluffing a blitz and he just ran. The guy kind of came out and got to him and it was a house call [touchdown]. When you have a guy with that type of speed, when the right play is on, it’s a touchdown instead of just a ten yard gain. So, you always want those guys out there. Tristan is just more getting experience with carries and stuff, so when he doesn’t have those looks he’s still getting those four yards, five yards not just zero yards.”

Robert Griffin III’s decision-making: “He’s learning each day to where I’m real excited about it and happy with him because he works at it. It’s just a matter of time. Some days are better than others and that’s how it is for everybody, especially rookies. But the good thing about Robert is you know he’s capable to do it all and he enjoys the challenge. He enjoys football and enjoys working at it so even when he has a bad day there is no panic because he’s going to work at it. He just needs more opportunities and and it’s a matter of time with him.”

If a QB’s decision-making abilities and ability to get the ball out quick are the last skills to develop: “I think that happens with everybody. You need to in the NFL or you get hit too much and the pass rushers are too good, no matter what type of line you have. I think that’s a learning curve for everybody because in college no matter what you do, guys can hold on to it a little bit longer than you can in the NFL. That’s a progression that comes. No matter what you learn in practice, you have to get rid of it quicker and quicker but they really don’t hit you in practice. He’ll learn that in each game too. We hope to get him some experience in the preseason so he can get a feel for what the speed of the game is, knowing in Week 1 it’s going to be faster than the preseason. So we just hope he continues to build and give him those looks.”

 

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