Some highlights from the media’s conference call with Mike Shanahan Friday:
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon made it through the game OK with the plantar’s plate in his right foot. He caught five passes for 93 yards and a 59-yard touchdown. Of that touchdown, Shanahan said, “Not many have the speed and agility to catch that and keep on going and find a way to get to the end zone. That was impressive.”
After Thursday’s game, Shanahan referred to Robert Griffin III as Cool Hand Luke. When asked about that, Griffin had no idea who that was but said, “He must be pretty cool.” Now to follow up: Shanahan said he texted Griffin and said, “You’re right, Cool Hand Luke was Cool.” Shanahan then said, “I was 15 when the movie came out so I could see how he couldn’t relate to it but I did let him know it was a good compliment… I’m sending him a DVD to watch as well.”
Brandon Banks made a critical mistake when he returned a punt from two yards deep in his own end zone and was tackled at the 7-yard line. He later caught a pass for a first down (after lining up in the backfield). “There’s a common sense that prevails and then there’s a mindset of you have to fair catch it or keep it in the end zone. It’s tough with a guy that believes he can make plays. We’ll take a hard look at it and make sure he makes the best decisions in the best interests of our team. … The reason we have him on offense is we know the potential he has to make plays and he made big plays for us. He’s a guy that has all the energy. He can make plays.”
Shanahan has favored deferring if he wins the opening coin flip. But he didn’t do that Thursday. He’s adopted a different approach with the Redskins in win-or-else mode. “What I do in playoff time, I take the ball,” Shanahan said. “I’ve always done that. We’ll do that when we go down to the wire in games that you feel like you have to win and you treat each game like your final game.”
Whether or not there’s a change in attitude is debatable – the Redskins were fine in that department even at 3-6. But a different feeling at Redskins Park? Perhaps. “There’s a sense of urgency when you know you can’t stumble. You’ve got to go out and win each week and it starts with the present game,” Shanahan said. “The mindset has been there and it’s been a good sense of urgency. Everyone has to play their best game and everyone has to do what they’re capable of doing.”
- Keenan Robinson could be done for the season.
- Linebacker London Fletcher did not finish Thursday’s game, so obviously his sprained left ankle was bothering him. Coach Mike Shanahan said he “didn’t think there was a chance for him to play” against the Cowboys, coming off a short week. “I’m never counting him out again,” he said. If Fletcher can’t play (I’d be surprised by that) and Robinson is done, then the full-time duty falls on Lorenzo Alexander, who has played quite a bit for Fletcher as of late.
- Linebacker Perry Riley did not have any injuries, but Shanahan said he was “quite sore” during the week and not moving as well.