The Rams coach spoke with the Washington media today.
Zorn and Player Quotes: September 16, '09
On playing music during the early stages of practice:
"Chris [Cooley] asked me about a year ago if we can have music out here. It took me a long time to decide. I thought it would just loosen up everybody, and it did. I thought our guys enjoyed it. We'll keep it up for a while and see how it goes. We just had it on for a while at the start of practice. It's also what we do during pregame. [Director of Team Administration] Derrick Crawford was our DJ. We had a little Jay-Z and Metallica out there."
On how the team is looking for the upcoming game against St. Louis:
"We think we've got a real chance. We're trying to build solid play. I think one of the things after looking at video is we know why we lost. We know what we left on the field. We're going to be better, I can tell you that for sure. We've got another tough opponent. I think that's the greatest thing about the NFL. That game is gone. We learned from it and we're going to improve because of our mistakes so will the Rams. The Rams didn't score anything so they're looking to get on the board and looking to stop us. Both teams realize what's going on here. And yet they're coming into our place and we hope to improve."
On Clinton Portis:
"Last year, at the last games he wasn't able to practice because he was so seriously sore. He sucked it up and played hard in those last six games. We did get him some yardage in the San Francisco game. I think he had 29 carries in that last game. This has been the first game and there were 49 plays. There were 20, maybe 30 plays that we didn't get to run in that game because we only had 49 and that's part of his package as well. That's why I tried to stay with that run as long as I did because I didn't feel like I had to throw caution to the wind."
On Mike Sellers' new contract and role on this team:
"Mike Sellers is one of our captains, he's very vocal and he is really a team guy. He has been really vocal about pulling guys together and holding guys accountable. He has been very reliable, those are a couple of things that you really want from your better players and he's certainly one of them. He earned the right to go to his first Pro Bowl, but more than that, he's representing our team very well."
On if Mike Sellers is better this year than last year:
"He's better. Here's how he's better - he knows the offense like he's read the book five times and understands all of the chapters in the book. He knows what to do, and he knows what happens on plays, whereas last year a lot of guys were still learning the terminology, ‘what does this really mean?' All of those things are much better this year than they were last year."
On Antwaan Randle El's success in the first game against the New York Giants:
"Here's what happens to receivers – they kind of get cycled around. If Antwaan [Randle El] has another big game, great. When the play is called he's going to have a chance to catch the ball. We're not going to just drop him because he caught all those balls last week. The way this offense works, everybody can get the ball, and I tried to get Santana [Moss] the ball last game. He caught two for six yards. That shouldn't happen, but it did. The other guy, Antwaan [Randle El] was the recipient of it this week. He picked it up and caught some key third-down passes and really broke a couple open that put us in great field position."
On if last year's loss to the St. Louis Rams will provide extra motivation for this year's game:
"No, they have a different team. They've got a whole different set-up, they've got a different staff and they don't care what happened last year and they're out here to win. That was one of the games last year that we should've won and we didn't, and it hurt us all year long. It kind of came back and haunted me, ending up 8-8, because one more win or three more wins – we'll talk about the other two – and we could've had a really, really good season and been very proud of what we accomplished. To answer your question, I'm looking forward to it but it's not a revenge thing."
On if he is surprised by the reaction to the first loss:
"No, I'm not surprised. I think Jason [Campbell] wants to be surprised, but we live in an area where everybody loves the Redskins, and everybody creates an importance for the Redskins to win. So, I'm not surprised. I think there is a high expectation and the bar is set very high in this community, so he's messing with you if he says he was surprised because that's no surprise to me."
Quarterback Jason Campbell
On last year's game with the Rams:
"I think we didn't have any turnovers leading into that game. I think that's the game where we had our first turnovers and that's what hurt us at the end. They picked up a ball and ran it back for a touchdown. I think they picked up two balls. That's the game that they came in, caused some turnovers, and ended up scoring with them. That hurt us. Later in the game they had a big catch. They fought. The next week they ended up beating Dallas. All it takes is one game to give a team a little momentum. We're a team that needs that right now as well."
On moving on from last week's loss:
"You have to learn from it. You learn from it and move on. You can't live in the past. We have to continue to push each other in practice, continue to encourage each other, and get ready for this week. We played a good football team last week. Take nothing away from it; the Giants have been the defending NFC East champs the last couple years. We are a better football team than what we showed. At the same time, we can't worry about that game we can only push forward."
On Clinton Portis:
"Clinton Portis is a big part of what we do offensively; maneuvering him around and trying to put him in position to make plays. It's important to get all of your guys going, not just Clinton. It's important to get your receivers going, it's important to get myself going. That's what we all have to concentrate on. The way you get going is by coming out, practicing hard, and when the games come you can just pick the tempo up just a little bit more."
On Antwaan Randle El in the slot position:
"I think he did an absolutely great job. We knew that was going to be a matchup that we were going to have to win because of what they do to outside receivers. The field that they vacated for Antwaan to have to work, I think he did a great job of maneuvering, catching balls, and getting yards after catch. That's the biggest thing we wanted to improve on this season, yards after catch."
On the turnovers the Rams defense forced in last Sunday's game against Seattle:
"They go after the ball, that's one thing they do well. They run to the ball and you expect that, you expect a team to run to the ball, and that's how they get turnovers. That's what happened to us last season – we had a turnover and the ball was on the ground and they were running to the ball and they beat us to it, and they ended up turning it into a big play."
Wide Receiver Santana Moss
On how important it is to forget losses and move ahead to the next week's game:
"It's very important. On this level we know that we are going to experience some of those things. That's why they call it amnesia. You have to forget it and pretend like it never happened. We all know that it is going to show up on our record, but at the same time, it's next week, you have to move on. That's the best thing about this game because you get the chance to prove yourself again every week."
On last year's game with the Rams:
"They played great football. You could say that we let one slip away, but you can't take the credit away from them playing great football. We know that they will play even better this year dealing with their head coach. He's an excellent defensive coordinator and now a head coach. It's something that we look forward to knowing that he knows us well. It's not going to be anything where we can go out there, do alright, and still win it. You have to go out there and play every week."
On the Washington area media concerning last week's loss:
"It's more of a panic to the outside world. That's to be expected. What do you want to see out of the Redskins every year? You want to see domination all across the board with what we bring in and what we have on our staff, who we have as far as our players. You want to see us dominate. You get tired of hearing about what we are bringing in and then not being able to be at that type of level on the playing field. That's to be expected that people want to see us be successful. As players, you want to do the same thing. When we do lose, its not like we are losing and just say, ‘oh well.' It hurts everybody. It hurts the people that are backing us, it hurts our fans, and it hurts us. Like I said, that's the love you have to have because it's not going to be the way you want it. That's why you look forward to next week."
Running Back Clinton Portis
On if his success dictates the team's success both in the past, and presently:
"Right now we're 0-1. You can't look back to last year, and we can't go back to change anything about last year. I think right now we have a much better team than we did last year. So far this season I haven't had a monstrous game, period. We've got game two coming up this week and hopefully it's my breakout week."
On running for 34 yards on the first play of the game, and only 28 yards the rest of the game:
"I wouldn't have figured that because after that run I was like, ‘Oh, 150 baby, at least!' We really didn't get the opportunities down the field, and as I said after the game, we've got to get more plays. I think we had 45 plays on offense, four plays in the first quarter. That's not going to help us do anything. We've got to stay on the field, we've got to sustain drives and just keep attacking. I think that will provide much more stats for everybody, but what we need most is a ‘W.'"
On if the team has moved on from New York Giants loss:
"We've moved on. Our season didn't end last week. We lost the game to the Giants. Not the first time we've lost to the Giants. We're going to play them again. It's not the first time that we've lost the opening game of the season; we're going to have another one next year. I mean we start off 0-1. The only thing that stops us from is having the perfect season. I think right now all our goals are still attainable, and everything is still in front of us."
On if the yardage loss by Antwaan Randle El on the second play of the game cost the Redskins any momentum:
"That was the second play of the game, man. We went through the Giants recovering their own fumble. We went through losing a fumble. We went through throwing an interception. We went through them returning a fumble for a touchdown, and everything else, and the fight was still there. It came down to the last two minutes of the game again, as they usually do. I can't tell you that we lost momentum, or we felt like we lost the game because we lost 11 yards on the second play of the game. I think we kept playing, I think we kept fighting and we just needed to find a way to win."
On what he expects from this offense against the Rams:
"We just need to put up points. Not just against the Rams, but against everyone that we play. I think we're capable of being really explosive, but for that to happen we need to start scoring. We don't score quick. When we score it's a grind. We grind you, grind you, grind you. We never have the plays like Denver just had. We never get those kinds of bounces, and when things like that start happening for us I think we've got the capability of doing something special."
Fullback Mike Sellers
On being 0-1 and having extra pressure added because this week's game is at home:
"Playing in the NFL is always pressure; it just depends on how you deal with it. We're all professionals when it comes to it, and we know what we need to do, especially guys want to keep their jobs. We have to win plan and simple. We have to win."
On if he is surprised about the fans panicking after the first game:
"I've been here when they wore brown bags over their heads, so I have been through the worst. They are great fans, ether way it goes they want us to win. It's almost you have to win, but when you start losing games it can get pretty hectic."
On what improvements he would like to see from the offense:
"We just need to score plain and simple. We just need to score. We need to execute the little things, whether it's the short pass or the deep ball. When we take those shots we have to come through and do what we have to do, and that's score."
On the offense grinding to score points rather than using big plays:
"You want to stay on the field as much as possible and like Clinton Portis said, it is a grind. You're not going to score every time you get the ball, but you have to produce every time you get the ball. No three and outs. You need to keep marching down the field, keep the opponent from having the ball, and keep our defense fresh. For us, we have to convert on third downs and we will be alright."
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