Conference Call: Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan




(on what he told his team and how he expects to bounce back from a tough division loss on Monday night)

Yesterday they were off with the Monday Night game, so this morning we did have a meeting.  I just think it's like any game that you get beat, you have to go over things you did right, things you did poorly and kind of address it and go on to the next week.

(on if it's a benefit to have a short week after having a difficult loss)

Yeah, you surely don't want a game like that and then have a bye.  There is no question about that.

(on what jumps out at him on tape when he looks at the Titans)

Like all of Jeff's (Fisher) teams, they're playing extremely hard, playing together and they're very impressive.

(on if he saw enough in last week's game against Miami to have an idea of how they are going to use Randy Moss)

I'm sure each week they'll expand the role for Randy as he gets used to the system and the terminology and they become more comfortable with each other.

(on if Chris Johnson is still the primary focus for opposing defenses)

Yeah, you better keep an eye on Chris, everybody tries to.  He's done a great job since he's been there.  He's got the big-play potential every time he touches the ball.  They do a great job with their offensive line, their tight ends coordinating a great package for them as well.

(on how long he thinks it usually takes a quarterback and wide receiver to develop chemistry)

It's really hard to tell.  A lot has to do with coverages.  Sometimes people will roll up to a wide receiver and take him out of a game plan and all of a sudden a guy won't have the stats that he normally has because he's being double-teamed.  You have to have a balanced attack, because anybody can take one or two guys away, but it opens up something for somebody else when it does.  Either the running game or throwing the ball to different wide receivers, so like all offenses you have to have a plan and you have to be able to adjust during the game.

(on if he saw evidence of Randy Moss impacting the defensive game plan in his first game with the Titans)

Well I'm not going to go into particulars there, for obvious reasons, but there is no question when someone gets respect, rotation usually go there way or double-teams usually go their way.

(on if he thinks Chris Cooley can take advantage of the Titans defense like other recent tight ends have)

When you take a look at Tennessee's defense, they can take anybody away.  It all depends on who they want to matchup.  Their defense is very flexible that they have adjustments in their scheme where if they want to take the tight ends away, they can take the tight ends away.  It's kind of like a chess game going on, you have to guess and adjust during the game in the National Football League and decide which direction they're going to go.

(on how Albert Haynesworth has played this year after a rough start in the offseason)

Albert's played very good for us ever since he came back, came into the Philadelphia game.  Since that game he's played well.

(on if Albert Haynesworth can do some spectacular things in a 3-4 defense like he did in the 4-3 defense.)

Yeah, he can adjust both in the four-man front and in a three-man front and he's done a good job ever since the fourth game of the season.  He's in good football shape, he's playing very hard and I expect him to play well.

(on why Albert Haynesworth hasn't had the same statistical success in Washington as he had in Tennessee)

Sometimes numbers don't exactly indicate how a guy is playing.  I'm just very happy with him, how he's played, as I mentioned, since the Philly game he's been the difference in us winning games in a few of those games.  That's what you're looking for are guys who are being selfless, playing hard and making some plays, and he's been able to do that.

(on if it would be more special to beat the Titans because of their current 12-game winning streak against the NFC)

That's quite a run.  It just shows you how good a football team they are, that doesn't happen very often.  Jeff (Fisher) always has his guys ready to play, they've a very well coached team, they play extremely hard so it will be a good challenge for us.

(on how tough it is to get ready for a team in the other conference in just one week)

Usually everybody is familiar with their division because you play them a couple times a year and you get used to the personnel and the schemes and things along those lines.  But really, within the AFC and the NFC we are all used to playing different divisions each week so if it's within the NFC or the AFC, I think we're both used to playing different teams that you play once every few years.

(on how he and Jeff Fisher have managed to stay friends through the rigors of the coaching profession)

In coaching it's kind of different.  We were together in San Francisco, we developed a great relationship there, and then we've done some things with family, friends and we have mutual friends as well.  When you have these meetings going on in Indy or Mobile (Alabama) and some of these owners meetings you get a chance to spend some time together.  It starts out with actually coaching together and developing a friendship there, and just carrying that over to different events each year over the last 15 years or so.

(on how often he and Jeff Fisher talk during the season and if they put that on hold when they play each other)

I don't talk to very many people during the season because you're so busy getting ready, but every once in a while I will get a chance to talk to Jeff or a couple other people.  As you mentioned, you are so busy and usually most conversations wait until the end of the season unless it's something urgent.

(on when he hired Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger back at the University of Florida)

Mike's a very good friend of mine.  We were roommates in college, we go way back.  He was wanting to get into Division-I Football; he was coaching high school at that time.  When I was at Florida, Mike made the decision that he wanted to get into college coaching, so I invited him to stay in my house for a couple of weeks and kind of get adjusted and he left 11 months later, so I couldn't get rid of him (laughs).  I couldn't get rid of him, I invited him to stay for two weeks and he stayed for 11 months, but on a serious side, he's a great coach, a great friend and we've spent a lot of time together through the years.

(on if Mike Heimerdinger ever helped out with rent or groceries while staying with him at Florida)

No, he'd babysit every once in a while and I think that was better than rent.

(on if indoor or outdoor stadiums are louder and what is the loudest stadium he's ever experienced)

Outdoor stadium was a playoff game back in 97-98, we were playing Kansas City and obviously within the division, a playoff game—you couldn't even talk to someone on the sideline it was so loud.  I mean you could be right next to someone in an outdoor stadium, that was as loud as I've heard it from an outdoor stadium.  Indoor facilities a lot of time you can't hear just because of the acoustics, but outdoor that was one of the tops.

(on if he thinks there is any reason for the inter-conference streak the Titans have put together)

It's kind of unusual.  There are a lot of excellent teams in the National Football League, and the NFC has been very strong.  It just shows you what type of group of guys they've got.  That doesn't happen with a lot of guys going in the same direction and what they're capable of doing.  Especially playing at home, we have to have our A-Game together to go in there and we understand that because Tennessee is a heck of a football team.

(on how close the Titans came to reacquiring Albert Haynesworth earlier this season)

Even if there was, obviously I wouldn't tell you for obvious reasons.  Jeff (Fisher) and I have been friends for a long time, and a lot of times all that trade rumors get really blown out of proportion.  I told people a long time ago that there wasn't going to be a trade.  Obviously it went that way.  Once rumors start going you don't want to have facts get in the way of a good story.

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