ASSISTANT HEAD COACH – DEFENSE
On the St. Louis Rams' offense:
"I have pretty good experience against them – [though] maybe not good experiences. I've played them several times since [current head coach] Mike Martz and [former head coach] Dick Vermeil have been there. We played them in the Super Bowl. The team is built for playing indoors with speed. They have a tremendous way of going about moving the ball offensively. A lot of teams in the league study them in the off-season and try to emulate them and a lot of the different concepts that they use. They have a talented wide receiver corps. I've been one of the biggest fans of [RB, #28] Marshall Faulk for his whole career. Now they have another big, young [running] back, [#39] Steven Jackson, that is just doing a tremendous job taking over the reigns. We're going to have our work cut out for us. [They also] have maybe one of the best left tackles in football in [#76] Orlando Pace."
On the match-up between Rams wide receivers and Redskins defensive backs:
"We have our work cut out for us. They like moving the ball via the pass game. They're very explosive in the pass game. We're going to have to do everything we can to minimize the gains and slow them down a little bit. Hopefully, we can get our offense back out there. Sometimes, the best defense when you're playing a team like that is not having your defense on the field very often. They have the ability to get big chunks of yardage very, very fast. It's going to be a big day for us. Our guys are looking forward to getting back out there and playing again."
On the Rams offense's unique characteristics:
"They do a good job with tempo and what we call ‘window dressing' of their formations – they give us a lot of formations and shifts. All they try to do is get the ball in their playmakers' hands. They paid a lot of money to some of those guys in the receiving corps to make those plays. They do a lot of good things design-wise to get it in their hands out in open space."
On whether he was familiar with QB, #12 Ryan Fitzpatrick before the Rams' game against the Texans last week:
"No, not until I had a chance to watch and study him on film. He had a big day last week. He played very well. They do a good job of coaching the quarterback down in that system. They've found a lot of those kinds of guys before. He stepped in and did a very good job managing their offense. [Rams offensive coordinator] Steve Fairchild, who is running their offense right now, had done a very good job. He was with me in Buffalo. I know him very well first-hand. He's a very bright, young offensive football coach. It's nice to see him be able to get an opportunity to run the [offensive] show down there right now while [head coach] Mike [Martz] is sick. He's done a very good job in the time he has stepped in there and done that."
On whether he can tell a difference between the play-calling styles of Rams head coach Mike Martz and Rams offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild:
"Not really. Steve has been with Mike now for quite a while. Also, Steve was the first quarterback Mike ever coached. When Mike was coaching junior college in California, Steve was his first quarterback. They go way back."
On how the Redskins' defense can preserve fourth-quarter leads:
"The big thing is getting the offense back out there and stopping a drive that [may] have points in it. Last week [against San Diego], we did not tackle at the end of the football game. When you don't tackle on defense, not many very good things are going to happen. At the end of the game, we played an awful lot of snaps. What we ended up doing was not tackling on a couple of crucial ones that were the difference in the ballgame."
On Redskins CB, #22 Carlos Rogers' development this season:
"He's done very well. It's nice to finally see him healthy. He probably would have been moving along faster earlier in the year, but he had that ankle injury. He's done a very good job with understanding what it is to be a pro [as far as] taking care of your body, how extensive rehab has to be to get healthy, and [what] right things off the field will keep him healthy so that he can play every single Sunday. He came in and made some nice plays [against the Chargers]. We're going to need that type of athleticism this week against a very athletic wide receiver corps."
On what the Redskins miss with DL, #95 Joe Salave'a out of the lineup:
"He's a very strong point-of-attack person right there at the point of attack. More importantly, his emotional leadership is strong. There is a tremendous confidence in the guys who play around him when he is in the ballgame. Everyone knows that you can trust Joe. No matter what it is, you can trust him with maximum effort on every snap."
On the moment when CB, #22 Carlos Rogers turned the corner developmentally:
"Basically, when he became healthy. It hasn't really been until the last couple of weeks that we increased his snaps [because] he was totally healthy – [even though] there is no such thing at this time of the year. Everyone has some type of bump or bruise. But his burst and quickness came back when his ankle started feeling better."
On Redskins LB, #98 Lemar Marshall's development this season:
"Every single week he continues to get better. His production has been outstanding. He has a very good confidence about what we want on defense and what I'm thinking. He has taken over that thought process out [on the field] during the middle of the ballgame. He's able to make adjustments now on his own before coaches have to step in and do that. That's nice to see. [Linebackers coach] Dale Lindsey does a great job coaching linebackers. He's done another remarkable job with that whole core. He has a lot of guys ready to play each and every week. Those guys are interchangeable. Lemar stepped up and is doing his part. He's doing a very good job."
On why the Redskins' defense recently has allowed more points in the second half than the first half:
"We've played more snaps in the second half. [Opponents] have been able to execute and make some plays."
On Redskins DL, #96 Cornelius Griffin's return from injury:
"I'm a better coach when ‘Griff' is out there. There are so many things that he does that you can't coach. It was funny to see some of the Chargers offensive linemen's eyes when he trotted out there the first time. [Defensive coordinator – defensive line coach] Greg Blache did a very good job, which has kind of gone unnoticed, with how he played him last week. When you've been off for that long, just from fatigue injuries and an endurance standpoint, you have to watch for getting re-injured [that way]. [Blache] monitored his snaps very well. We tried to put him in on as many passing downs [as possible] early to get him back in the flow of things. After that week, he has bounced back. He's having a good week of practice here this week, too. He's a difference-maker when he's in there, regardless of whatever you're doing with schemes. He can just overpower people with his athleticism and sheer, raw power."
On Redskins WR, #84 Taylor Jacobs:
"Defensive guys have a respect for the kid. He's just another kid that needs to stay healthy long enough for everyone else to see it. In practice, our secondary knows where he is at all the time because he has the ability to run by them. He has good, legitimate deep speed in this league. For whatever reason, he has been unlucky with injuries here and there. It's nice to see him getting his legs back underneath him. Hopefully, on the fast track down there inside [the Edward Jones Dome], he can put some points on the board for us, too. Believe me, our defense knows enough about him that he puts a lot of pressure on us in practice."
On the problems posed by Rams RB, #39 Steven Jackson:
"He's one of those rare guys in this league that has enough power to run over your face. Once he makes you miss a tackle or maybe run over you in the open field, you're going to have a hard time catching up with him. He has a great mentor there in [RB, #28] Marshall Faulk that he is learning from. With some of things [Jackson] tries to do with style in the open field to make people miss, you can see that he tries to emulate Marshall. What Marshall probably would have liked to have had is the power that this kid has. When he puts his head down and wants to truck you, he can."