John Keim updates Redskins fans on Marcus Mason, Colt Brennan, the decisions on the roster as well…
Coach Zorn's and Players' Quotes: Sept 7, '09
On signing quarterback Andre' Woodson in order to gain insight into the Giants offense:
"Initially, that was not the reason to bring Andre' Woodson here. We looked at him a year ago. With him getting released, we had the chance to take a look at him. We have a chance for Andre' to develop."
On if Woodson being a bigger quarterback caused the team to reevaluate its position on Chase Daniel:
"That was definitely a majority of the reason we signed Andre'. We had no idea he would be available. When it happened, it gave us something to consider. We followed it through and now we are going to work with him."
On if Woodson can help the Redskins prepare for the Giants offense:
"He was on the offensive side. He may be able to help us a little bit. He knows their stuff and he certainly knew their snap count. We are not going to put him under the microscope. He has got a lot to learn to get up to speed and we feel like we are on the right track with what we are already doing."
On what he likes about Woodson:
"We like his size and I think he has a good presence. He has escape ability, which I saw as I watched him. It is necessary for this offense. I was impressed with his deep ball. We just have to work on some intermediate things and we will be alright."
On being pleased with full participation in practice, particularly cornerback Carlos Rogers:
"He went the full practice. He even ran afterwards. I wanted to pull some of those guys out who have been working their way back. He wanted to run them all and he just cruised. Everybody ran and participated."
On running back Marcus Mason's role:
"If he becomes a core special team player, he could make a case for being active. Other than that, I don't know how I can activate four running backs. He will be on that bubble trying to get active. Part of that will be up to him and how he works into special teams. We can't just have him as the fourth guy or even the third guy."
On linebacker Robert Henson's performance in the last preseason game against Jacksonville:
"The obvious thing for me was that he played with excitement. He looked like he enjoyed playing and he was concentrating. He didn't always do the right thing, but he did the wrong thing hard. We felt that if we put him out there and exposed him we wouldn't have gotten him back. We kept him on and he's going to be on the fast track to learn. We're trying to get him, as well as Marcus Mason, up to speed so they can be active."
On whom the starting wide receivers will be for Sunday's game against the Giants:
"I don't even want to say who the starters are going to be because we have a good group. I'm not sure who that is going to be yet."
On rooting for the undrafted free agents to make the team:
"It means a lot to me that these guys gave the kind of performance and effort they did. They have to be football smart to be able to come into this veteran club and make the team. We had six rookies make this football club. If you look around at who they are, not everyone is ready to go out there and start. I think Brian Orakpo is ready for that. The other guys that are sitting there are going to be contributors as they come along, but right now they are just excited working in and being a part of the team. They're good enough to be on the team."
On fullback Mike Sellers being named a team captain:
"I think it's outstanding. Mike Sellers was a little foreign to leading the stretching, but other than that I think he will be okay. I think he earned a lot of respect this past year with his performance. He wasn't around because he had his deal in the offseason, but during training camp he worked hard. He was really vocal and showed his leadership. I think our players took that to heart and elected him captain."
On whether or not he is relieved to work on a game plan for a regular season game
"I think we needed everything we had with those four preseason games. We owed it to the young players, the guys trying to make the team, and even the veterans trying to get themselves up to speed. I think all the games count, but I think this game is very important. It is certainly going to be an exciting week."
On the troubles the defense had getting off the field on 3rd down during the preseason:
"I think we are always concerned about trying to go three and out, we love to go three and out. We are working on those issues. We also played a lot of players who are learning what we are trying to do on defense. It really is a mixed bag. There were a couple plays where we felt like we should have gotten out of it. A lot of it was looking at it as there was a young guy on the field, he wasn't in the right place, he didn't push, or he didn't do the right thing."
Cornerback Kevin Barnes
On his performance during the preseason and making the team:
"I was disappointed in myself at some times during the preseason I feel like I could have played better. I came in and talked to coach yesterday and they said they know that I am capable of playing here so I just have to start grinding today."
On his family's reaction to him making the team:
"I guess everybody pretty much assumed I was going to make it. I knew that there was a chance with the numbers that we had and deep secondary there was the possibility that I wouldn't make the team, but I pretty much knew Friday when Coach Greg [Blache] called me to talk to me for a little bit."
On if he celebrated making the team:
"No, there's no reason to celebrate, you're supposed to be here. Celebrating would be setting myself back for the game this weekend."
On his role for this team:
"I talked to Coach [Jim] Zorn yesterday one-on-one for about 30 minutes and he said that your job has to be special teams this year. So that's going to be my main focus. I'm definitely going to focus on defense still, but special teams is where I'm going to get on the field first."
Tight End Chris Cooley
On if he is excited to gameplan for the New York Giants:
"Yes, we're really excited to look at the Giants. It's hard in the preseason because every gameplan is minimal. You want to watch film and you want to spend all the time, but really, you know you're going to play six or seven plays. So, it's like, ‘hey, let's get through this week and continue to get in better shape.' This is where any kind of strategy and, what I think is the fun part of football happens, and that's the gameplan and that's the excitement of what we're going to do offensively against them. I'm really looking forward to this. I'm looking forward to the rest of the week and it'll be a lot of fun for me."
On if there is any benefit in playing a team you're so familiar with in Week 1:
"I guess you can say there is a benefit in facing a team you know well, but on the other hand, we're going to New York to play an outstanding football team. I think there's a lot of other Week 1 games that we would've rather had, but this is a big test for us and if we're going to be a good football team, we might as well find out right now and win a game on the road."
On how the attitude changes now that the roster is set and preseason is over:
"I mean, I think it's a completely different attitude. Again, you've cut down almost 30 guys. Your tempo changes as far as practice because all the veterans are now taking all the plays. It's a much more serious attitude. You try to make it as mistake-free as possible. It's like a ‘let's win a football game attitude' instead of a ‘let's go and play as well as we can and see what we can take out of it.' Other than a win, it's really nothing."
Linebacker Robert Henson
On how his Saturday went:
"Saturday was very stressful, but my wife did a good job of getting me out of the house and saying, ‘you played a good game, don't worry about it.' So I just spent a lot of family time with the baby."
On how he found out he made the team:
"Nobody called me actually. I talked to some of the older guys and they said you don't want a phone call. That means you made it."
Wide Receiver Malcolm Kelly
On preparing for Week 1 this season as compared to last season:
"Last year, getting ready to go into Week 1, I knew I was not going to play so my mind was not really in it. I was just looking at film from the second meeting with the Giants last year; I did not even look like myself because I was worried about my knee."
On when he thought he was knowledgeable enough to be a productive wide receiver:
"It was probably week two or three of training camp. When you start to play against other teams and teams start to throw different defenses at you, you have to adjust. I am still getting there. I am nowhere near where I want to be as a football player. When I look at film, there are still small things that are missing. I work on them after practice to get them down."
Running Back Marcus Mason
On how much he has spoken to Running Backs Coach Stump Mitchell about how he will be used this season:
"I have not spoken to him a lot. Right now, I am just so excited to be here for the first game."
On improving in pass protection because he is more experienced:
"Being my second year in the offense you understand what is going on. I am just blessed to have the opportunity right now."
On making an NFL roster after being released after preseason last year:
"It was tough but at the same time it is the NFL, it is a business and it comes down to a numbers game. I got to make my mark on special teams to stay around."
Wide Receiver Marko Mitchell
On the emotion he went through this weekend:
"My weekend was basically planned off of going to watch my old college team play Notre Dame. My whole weekend was just laid back. I didn't sit around and think about it a whole lot. I was just there at the game focusing and enjoying the game. If I got the call, I got the call. If I didn't, I was happy at the same time."
On how he found out about making the team:
"Actually, I got a call, but I ended up getting a call from my receivers coach [Stan Hixon]. He was inviting me to come to church with him on Sunday. I've got him programmed in my phone, so I already knew it wasn't anybody I didn't know. I didn't answer the phone because I couldn't get any service on the sideline. He left me a message. When I went and checked the message, that's what he said. After that, that was it; I didn't get a call."
On what it feels like to go from a 7th-round pick to making the team:
"Of course it's a good feeling; even if you were a 7th-rounder or a free agent, just being in this opportunity right now and playing in the NFL – that's just a good situation overall."
Center Casey Rabach
On facing the Giants on Sunday:
"You've got to play them twice anyways, so why not start off the year with them. I don't think there are any benefits or negatives to it, but we're definitely familiar with them and it's a team that hopefully we've figured out this offseason."
On what makes the Giants' defensive line so difficult to face:
"I think just the athletes that they have. Their defensive tackle rotation is really deep. They made some great additions this offseason. Osi [Umenyiora] is healthy again, [Mathias] Kiwanuka got a year of starting experience once Osi went down, and Justin Tuck obviously everybody knows what he's capable of. I think it's the talent, and their coordinator really puts them in some great one-on-one matchups, and they're very exotic with some of their blitzes."
Tackle Chris Samuels
On the importance of the offense scoring 20 or more points per game:
"Last year, our defense pretty much carried us the whole season. Our offense was a little bit behind, but this year we've got to go out there and put up some more points and help them."
On rookie offensive lineman Edwin Williams:
"He's a talented rookie. He's a tough guy. Coach [Bugel] rides the young guys every day, and is kind of hard on them, but it never really seemed to faze him. He just kept working hard. He's really strong and he's smart."
On offensive lineman Mike Williams:
"I'm proud of Mike Williams. He's been through a lot. Coming back to the NFL, he had a lot of weight to lose. He dedicated his whole offseason to losing the weight. And, he came in here and he earned a job and I'm proud of him."
Cornerback Byron Westbrook
On facing his brother, Brian Westbrook, when Philadelphia travels to Washington:
"I was actually with him on Saturday and we talked about it. Our family talked about it and the dual jerseys and things like that. If I have the opportunity to tackle him, I definitely will."
On how he found out he made the team:
"My agent actually called me and I did talk to Coach Blache. He told me my play in the preseason and my work in the offseason definitely helped me grow."
On what it means to play in a regular season game for the Redskins:
"It is a big thing because I am a local kid. I grew up on the Redskins. I had Redskins colors my whole life from boys and girls club, to Salisbury and now here. Going out there wearing my jersey, the socks and everything, I am going to enjoy it."
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