The Redskins have announced the signing of linebacker Jonathan Goff via their official Twitter feed.
The also announced the signing of kicker Neil Rackers, which was reported last week.
Goff has been with the Giants his entire career since they drafted him in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL draft. He started all 16 games a middle linebacker for the Giants in 2010 but he missed all of last year with a torn ACL.
The 26-year-old Vanderbilt alum will compete for a backup spot at inside linebacker behind London Fletcher and Perry Riley. He will be going up against Lorenzo Alexander, former Giants teammate Bryan Kehl, and the just-drafted Keenan Robinson.
There were reports that the Redskins had tried out Goff before re-signing London Fletcher earlier this month.
Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins talked with the Washington press soon after the Redskins drafted him in the fourth round on Saturday:
On if he’s surprised that the Redskins chose him, considering the team already drafted Robert Griffin III:
“I think it is a little surprising. I was trying to forecast which teams would be looking at a quarterback, and didn’t see the Redskins thinking along those lines, but Coach [Mike] Shanahan’s words to me were that he couldn’t pass me up. That he was excited to have me.”
On how much contact Kirk Cousins had with the Redskins throughout this process:
“Very little, but at the Senior Bowl I was down there all week with them. They were coaching the South team and I was on the North team. Certainly, they were around and I was able to speak with their offensive coordinator, head coach and quarterbacks coach quite a bit throughout the week. I assumed that it was during that time where they got familiar with me and liked what they saw.”
On the feeling of being drafted behind Robert Griffin III, who is projected to be the starter:
“Well, I think I’m going to take one step at a time and right now my job will be to go into rookie minicamp and pick up on the playbook and work as hard as I can going forward to make the team, and then have an impact on that team. But certainly with Robert Griffin, there’s a lot of hope in him being the future. I’m just excited to be a part of the organization and do whatever I need to do to help that team win football games.”
On how familiar Cousins is with the Redskins drafting Heath Shuler and Gus Frerotte in the same draft year:
“Yes, I’m familiar with that story. I’ve heard Mark Schlereth talk about that story on multiple occasions. Certainly different stories are different stories, and I’m going to take it one step at a time. My job is to go in now, like I said, at rookie minicamp, pick up the playbook and learn first things first. Again, in my career I’m going to work as hard as I can. It’s a lot of things that I can’t control like where I get drafted. I’m just excited to be a part of the NFL, and at the end of the day I believe that God is in control of my future and this is where he wants me at this time.”
On organizing his own Pro Day by himself:
“Yes, I felt like a lot of these teams are looking for leadership and organization and attention to detail. I felt like it’s hard to just explain to them that you have that, you have to demonstrate that. I felt like the opportunity to lead and organize my own Pro Day would be a great way to demonstrate that. I think it was received very well, and with the way it was received I think it may be a common place thing to do going forward.”
On running a pro style offense at the Senior Bowl:
“Well, being at Michigan State, we ran a very much pro style offense and some of the footwork and the handoffs and on the drops were things I had been doing for five years at Michigan State, and I was very familiar with it. I think that having to learn the new terminology was the challenge because you have a different word for the same exact play at Michigan State so you have to learn a new language and certainly with the Redskins the biggest challenge going forward will be mastering the playbook as fast as possible. Both Robert and I will be going through that so I’m sure we can help one another and quiz one another as we try to master that playbook so we can help the Redskins be as good a football team as possible.”
On what he thinks his strengths are:
“I think my strengths are certainly my accuracy, and I think my attention to detail and my leadership, I believe. There are a lot of things that are hard to measure at a Combine, and are hard to measure in the Draft process because you have to get around me for a while to see my value. I think what I bring to the table as a player is the arm talent and the accuracy, but also a strong decision maker and a strong leader.”
On if he got to know Griffin III over the Draft process:
“The first time I met him was at the Combine. That was the last time I saw him, I talked to him briefly. He was in my group of quarterbacks who worked out together and toured around together during the weekend. That was the extent of our interaction.”
Rich Tandler’s five things that may or may not be related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.
5. To give you a sneak preview our Draft Talk Live review show on CSNwashington.com today, I really like the pick of linebacker Keenan Robinson. For the next two years he’ll be a special teams contributor who will come up with a big hit on a regular basis. After that, he’ll be all over the field as London Fletcher’s replacement at Mike linebacker. The Redskins were caught without a succession plan for Fletcher and were over a barrel during their recent contract negotiations with their defensive captain. They checked that item off of their to-do list on Saturday.
4. One thing we will be breaking down here during the upcoming OTA’s is how the offensive line is going to shake out after the Redskins drafted three O-linemen to add to nine who had game experience for the Redskins in 2011. Third-round pick Josh LeRibeus could get a look at first-team guard during OTA’s while Kory Lichtensteiger continues to rehab his knee. That is, if he can stay ahead of fifth-round guard Adam Gettis and Maurice Hurt, the 2011 seventh-round choice who started half of the season at left guard. Sixth-round pick Tom Compton will battle with Willie Smith to be the heir apparent to Jammal Brown at right tackle. The end result here will be some interesting competition in training camp and some players with some significant game experience might not make the roster.
3. It was somewhat surprising that the Redskins didn’t take a wide receiver at some point during the draft if only because it was one of the stronger positions available. But, then again, there already is an overload of bodies at the position. Most of the year the Redskins carries six or, if you count returner Brandon Banks as a receiver, seven wide receiver on the 53-man roster. They were able to do that in part because they carried only two quarterbacks. The addition of QB Kirk Cousins in the fourth round makes it very likely that there will be three quarterbacks on the roster in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and Rex Grossman joining Cousins. That could well squeeze a receiver roster spot out and we could see an interesting scramble for the last two jobs behind Pierre Garçon, Joshua Morgan, and Leonard Hankerson.
2. The Redskins will have 13 players who were rookies last year (12 draft picks plus the undrafted Willie Smith) joining the nine 2012 draft picks on the offseason roster. Let’s say that 10 of last year’s rookies and seven of this year’s selections make the 53-man roster. If that happens, nearly one third of the roster would be first- and second-year players. That would be a remarkable transformation as the Redskins were the oldest team in the league just two years ago. Of course, youth doesn’t do you any good if the kids can’t play and with the exception of Ryan Kerrigan we don’t know if any of them can. And the unknowns include Griffin, who is over four months away from taking his first NFL snap. But the transformation to youth was a stated goal of Mike Shanahan and we will see what they can do.
1. Griffin was impressive as he met with a media throng at Radio City Music Hall after he was drafted on Thursday. There aren’t many press conferences that I’ve been to that I’ll remember for a long time but this one of them. It will rank right up there with the return of Joe Gibbs to Redskins Park in January of 2004 in my book. The most impressive part Thursday was when he went to a smaller room behind the main interview area and dealt with numerous one-on-one sessions as well as some small groups. He answered every question sincerely whether it was the first time he has been asked it or the sixth time. If he can play at even a competent level he will become one of the most popular sports figures in the country.
Days until: Rookie minicamp 4; OTA’s start 21; Preseason opener 101; Redskins at Saints 132
On the decision to take a quarterback in the fourth round, after taking Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick in the draft:
“Everybody knows that any time you get a quarterback like Robert with the second pick in the draft, and give up two No. 1’s and a No. 2, that he’s your franchise quarterback. He’s going to be your quarterback for the next decade. He has everything I look for in a quarterback and in a person. I’ve always enjoyed an offense when you can move a quarterback around. With the exceptional speed that he has, to be able to drop back as well as throw on the move, that just doesn’t happen very often. That’s why we did what we did. In that, in the fourth round today, your third day, you’re trying to find people that can make your football team. We have a little bit more depth than we did in the past, and you got to do what you can do to give your team the best chance to have players and depth at each position. I got a chance to be around Kirk, and I got a chance to know him at the Senior Bowl. He’s a quality young man and he’ll come in here and have a chance to show us what we can do.”
On quarterback Kirk Cousins’ backup role with the Redskins:
“You’re right, but there are injuries. I’ve lost five tailbacks in three games. I’ve lost two tight ends as we did this year. I’ve lost three or four offensive linemen, and you’re two plays away from being the starter. We have to have depth on a football team to win and you want quality. So if you see a guy, a quality player that you can get in the fourth round like we did, that is one or two plays away from being the starter, hopefully it doesn’t happen, but you ought to be prepared if it does. Getting a chance to know [Cousins], to know what type of guy he is, to know what he brings to the table, I thought it was a steal for us at that position. With as many draft choices that we were able to get throughout the draft, I was pleased at the end result.
On the luxury of drafting with some depth already on the team:
“Well, we made a lot of progress. Any time you have 12 draft picks actually make your team and everybody at least dress for a game, you’re feeling pretty lucky. Especially with a guy like [Jarvis] Jenkins that goes down, he’s able to come back and help us this year. We didn’t have the depth we wanted to last year. Fortunately we had a good draft. Obviously, we helped ourselves. Now, when you take a look at free agency, we helped ourselves in a lot of areas there. We addressed some needs and we feel very good about where we are at.”
On what he told Cousins before he drafted him:
“I told him, ‘I know you know that we obtained Robert,’ and that he was going to be our quarterback. He’s our franchise quarterback. He’s our quarterback of the future. Kirk Cousins is a very smart guy. I told him that I couldn’t pass him up. You’re in the fourth round and it’s the third day, I said, ‘you want to put your best football team together.’ The question was asked, ‘well does he know he’s going to be a backup?’ Sure he knows he’s going to be a backup, but you’re one play away or two plays away from being the starter. You never know what’s going to happen in the National Football League. I’m hoping Robert, for the next 10 years, never misses a game, and we keep our fingers crossed that that happens. I know what Robert has the capabilities of doing, and we’re going to give him the supporting cast where he can go in and get it done. That’s my job, to give him the best players to go out there and obviously execute our game plan, and hopefully he will be able to do that.”
On the decision to release quarterback John Beck:
“I thought I owed it to John. Before the draft was over, we did make the decision to go this way to let John know that you can talk to these teams or his agent know he’s able to talk to anybody as quickly as he can. So if somebody wants John instead of drafting somebody, they’d have the ability to do so without drafting one obviously beforehand.”
On Cousins organizing his own Pro Day routine and being detail-oriented:
“I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t see the Pro Day. I wasn’t at the Pro Day. I had a chance to be around Kirk at the Senior Bowl and get a chance to spend a little time around him, but you know, he’s the type of guy that I was impressed with. I liked the way he handled himself, and that’s why you make a decision on the third day when a guy’s available. You make the best decision for your football team.”
On when it became a possibility that the Redskins would draft two quarterbacks even after Beck was close to being the starter last season:
“It’s disappointing. I talked to John as he came back for our workouts. I talked to him about a number of possibilities. [I told John],‘I’ll be very upfront and very honest with you. I can’t tell you exactly what we’re going to do, but if I do make a decision to go a different direction, I’ll call you as soon as I make that decision. Your agent will know, so you can do the best thing for you.’”
On when the decision to move on from Beck began to form and if drafting Cousins was a reflection of drafting the best player available or filling a need:
“I’ll be honest with you. I did talk to Robert [Griffin III] this morning when he was here. I said, ‘Hey, there’s a possibility of going in that direction.’ And I said, ‘We do need some depth. I’m going to do the best thing for the organization. You know it has no reflection on you,’ because I talked to him in detail about what I thought about him. He knows he’s our franchise guy. He knows he’s our future. I talked to him about me being upfront with him, letting him know what we’re going to do and get it done. He’s pretty good about it. He understood. He does have a lot of confidence. He’s not afraid. I can guarantee that.”
On what he saw in guard Josh LeRibeus:
“We did [like LeRibeus], obviously, or we wouldn’t have drafted him. Here’s a guy that has pretty good size, does have quickness, plays the center or guard position, has the ability to play both, [and is] extremely bright. We’re very happy to get him.”
On how he views safety Jordan Bernstine and cornerback Richard Crawford:
“Crawford is a corner. Bernstine is a safety.”
On Crawford’s ability to play different positions:
“He has the possibility of playing inside in the nickel as well as the outside. Also, punt return. Yeah, we think he has some value. Had the chance to talk to [SMU head coach] June Jones in detail about him. I really liked what I saw and was glad he was available in the seventh round.”
On where he thinks linebacker Keenan Robinson will play for the Redskins:
“He did play inside [in college]. He was an inside linebacker. He [also] has played outside. He is a guy who could play both. We liked his speed. One of the reasons why we drafted him is we had him also at the Senior Bowl. Just a quality young man and we just liked the way he practices and how he handled himself. We think he can fit in well.”
On his analysis of guard Adam Gettis:
“Yeah, he’s got the quickness we look for, kind of like Kory Lichtensteiger. You know, he can play center or the guard position. He’s got speed. You can never have enough depth in that offensive line. That’s why I think it was big for us to get three offensive linemen that we were hoping we were going to get before the draft started. And we weren’t really sure when they were going to go, but we were counting on signing three if we could to add some depth to our offensive line after the injuries last year. And all three guys we got, we targeted, and that doesn’t happen very often. So we are very happy with the depth on the offensive line.”
On tackle Thomas Compton:
“Talking about Compton, the offensive tackle – got great speed, quickness, what we look for in our tackle. [He] did a great job in all his agility drills as well as his 40-yard dash. We think he gives us some flexibility to play both sides.”
On running back Alfred Morris:
“Relative to Morris, just liked his running style. He has the ability to make people miss, has great lateral quickness, can cut on a dime, and now we get a chance to see how he’ll come in and compete with the other backs. As we have proven through the years, a lot of times you’re going to need four or five guys to go through the season. He is a tailback.”
On how the process works of signing additional undrafted free agents:
“Yeah, we’ll have our draft choices, obviously, who will be there, a few guys that we do sign in free agency with the draft choices and a number of tryout guys that we’ll evaluate through the weekend.”
On if coaching the Senior Bowl helped in the evaluation process:
“Yeah, it really helped us a lot. Anytime you’ve got a football team, you get a chance to be around your squad and these players a whole week. That’s a big advantage and also being with the other squad for a day. Getting a chance to sit down and talk, even though you don’t practice or go out and practice with them, you really get a chance to sit with them in a different type of environment and that was special for us.”
The Washington Redskins finalized its 2012 NFL Draft class on Saturday, selecting nine players, highlighted by No. 2 overall pick quarterback Robert Griffin III. The team’s 2012 draft class is as follows:
ROUND (PICK) PLAYER SCHOOL
NOTES ON REDSKINS OVERALL DRAFT
Kiper gets the Cousins pick but he says that “the Redskins got their guy in RG3, they just gave up an extraordinary amount to do so. Only fair to factor that in.”
Called the Cousins pick “questionable”, says this as his summary analysis: “Getting Griffin was the right thing to do. They have their franchise passer. But they didn't do much after that. They didn't have a second-round pick, but I also don't like what they did with the rest of their picks.”
Said that Cousins “projects as a long-term quality backup”, has no problem with the pick. Says that “this draft was obviously all about Griffin, and will be judged in the future based almost entirely on how he performs on the field. We think he'll be pretty good.”
He thinks that Cousins is a “luxury pick” and that he will put unnecessary pressure on Robert Griffin III. He likes the picks of G Josh LeRibeus and RB Alfred Morris.
Some other miscellaneous comments . . . Tony Pauline of SI.com has the LeRibeus pick listed as one of his reaches, thinks he’s one-dimensional . . . Clark Judge of CBSSports.com echoed the thought that Cousins was a “luxury” pick . . . Dan Pompei said that a fourth round pick was a “cheap price” to pay for Keenan Robinson, says he’ll be a starter at some point . . . Todd McShay of ESPN also liked the Robinson selection, calling him the Redskins’ “impact pick.”
We will bring another batch of grades as they come out.
Before the draft, the Redskins had 68 players under contract. During the three days of the draft, they selected nine players and released quarterback John Beck. Since unsigned draftees now count towards the expanded roster limit of 90, they had 76 players when the draft ended.
According to various media reports and other sources, the Redskins have signed 12 undrafted players. That will give them a total of 88 meaning that they can add two more players.
The Redskins will hold a rookie minicamp next weekend. The draft picks and undrafted rookies will participate as well as others who will try out for remaining roster spots.
Here are the 12 undrafted free agents the Redskins have signed via various media reports and other sources:
Kelvin Bolden, WR, Southern Miss: 6-0, 160 lbs. Bolden was on the preseason Biletnikoff Award watch list, caught 58 passes for 671 yards and seven TD’s
Lennon Creer, RB, Louisiana Tech: 5-10, 215 lbs. Averaged 1,000 yards and 9.5 touchdowns his last two seasons.
Grant Garne, C, Oklahoma State: 6-3, 304 lbs. Garne was the big 12 offensive lineman of the year.
Darius Hanks, WR, Alabama: 6-0, 180 lbs. Just 26 receptions in 2011 in the Crimson Tides’ run-oriented offense.
D.J. Holt, ILB, Cal: 6-1, 250 lbs. Last year posted 82 tackles and six sacks at Cal.
Marcus Hyde, DE, William & Mary: 6-2, 250 lbs. At his size it appears that he will convert to an outside linebacker. Hyde is a tryout player and has not signed a contract per his agent.
Lance Lewis, WR, East Carolina: 6-3, 209 lbs. One scouting report compared his skills to those of Brandon Lloyd.
Vaughn Metaoga, DL, Hawaii: 6-2, 294 lbs. Will move to defensive end.
Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia: 5-10, 183 lbs. Many analysts had him as a mid-round pick but injury concerns (knee) likely cost him.
Brian McNalley, DE, New Hampshire: 6-3, 265 lbs. Had 28.5 sacks, probably will move to outside linebacker.
Michael Shaw, RB, Michigan: 6-1, 187 lb. Gained 1001 yards on 190 attempts in four seasons with the Wolverines.
Eain Smith, S, West Virginia: 5-11, 205 lbs. Mostly a part-time player for the Mountaineers, had 60 tackles and two interceptions in four years.
There are a few cringe-worth moments here as Robert Griffin III was formally introduced to the Washington media shortly before going onto the field to greet the fans at FedEx Field.
“I just want to say it feels good to be a part of the Redskins. I take pride in the fact that I’ll be able to have the chance to wear burgundy and gold. Hail to the Redskins. Hail victory. I would sing it for you, but I think I’ll save that for the fans. I’m proud to be here. It’s not a lot of times you get a chance to have this opportunity, so I’ll make the most of it.”
On the pressure and hype surrounding him:
“Yeah, I’ve gotten an impression of that. I went to a signing in Chantilly and saw seven different variations of my name on a shirt so I kind of understand the anticipation, the excitement. And you’re just got to realize it’s about more than just one person. Quarterback always gets all the attention. He also gets all the criticism so it’s not necessarily how you can take the praise and the attention. It’s how you can deal with the type of criticism that you’re going to have to get, so I know this is a business. I have to be a professional, and I plan on doing my job at a high level.”
On what the last few days have been like, especially with the traveling involved:
“Yeah, it’s definitely been crazy. Some call it a whirlwind. A lot of cameras, a lot of people that want to talk to me and ask me questions. Thank you for that. You just got to take it and go with the flow. A lot of people could look at this as a bad side, but it’s all a part of the gig. You don’t dream of these types of situations when you’re a kid. You just think you can play professional sports and be done. There’s a lot more that goes into it. You have to wrap your mind around it, and I think I’m trying to do a good job of that.”
On when he became at ease with his celebrity status:
“Thanks to my parents getting me involved in sports at an early age, I dealt with attention pretty quickly, but it can be difficult. The one thing that people have said is it’s only going to get worse, but if it gets worse, it means I’m doing my job. When you’re successful, people are going to want a part of you. They’re going to want to talk to you and see what’s going through your mind. I plan on being successful. I hope the Redskins, the teammates that I now have, will join me in that battle, and hopefully the spotlight, all the cameras and all the flashes, will get worse for everybody because that means we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, and that’s win football games.”
On how much he knew about the Redskins growing up and how much he knows about the team now:
“Everyone thinks I was a Cowboys fan growing up. I actually wasn’t. I won’t name the team I was a fan of, but you definitely hear about the Redskins, Philadelphia, [and] the Giants all in that same division. I don’t know the history like the back of my hand, but I’ve definitely seen the struggles the team has gone through, especially when it comes to quarterbacks. They drafted me to try to be the solution to that problem, and I plan on being the solution.”
On the fans’ high expectations:
“I think a lot of times the media can take what the fans and the expectations are and just maybe misplace it a little bit. The fans aren’t excited just because I’m coming into town. They’re excited because of the pieces that are already in place with the Washington Redskins, so that’s what I try to tell people. You have a great defense, they’ve added weapons on offense, and they brought me in to be the quarterback, so that’s what all the excitement’s about. It’s not just about me being here. It’s about the team that’s already here with the addition of myself.”
On if he expects to start Week 1 and the difference between play calls in college and in the NFL:
“You try not to expect anything in life or assume anything, so I’ll work toward being the starting quarterback on day one. And then, when it comes to the verbiage, I could give you a long-verbiage play from my college playbook and a long-verbiage play from the Redskins’ playbook, so it’s not necessarily that. It’s just on a consistent basis the verbiage will be long at the next level. I look forward to it. It’s all a learning curve. What you do in the past helps you for the future, so the offense at Baylor prepared me for the offense that I’ll have to go through here with the Redskins, but it’s a totally different offense.”
On if coaches gave him a playbook and what they have told him since he was drafted:
“Yeah, I think it’s pretty legal now to have the playbook so I do have the playbook. I’ll be studying it [and] going out working toward mastering it before the season even though I know that’s probably not possible. I’ll try to get the best hold of it as I can to go out and try to be able to perform. I didn’t hear anything much different, other than [the selection] is official. I’m a Washington Redskin. They’re excited about that, they’re happy to have me as part of the organization, and they’re relying on me. That’s what [Redskins Owner] Dan Snyder told me. They’re relying on me, and I like to be relied on because I feel like I can help in any way possible.”
On how his draft weekend experience compares to meeting President [Barack] Obama:
“Meeting the President was an honor so it’s hard to compare everything from the Heisman to the draft to meeting President Obama, but he’s as advertised - a really cool, down-to-earth person. He talked to me, [and] we’re going to try to set up a basketball game after the season. He told me he wouldn’t play against me, but he would definitely play on my team, so we’ll do that. But every experience is its own, so you have to try to live each moment to the fullest.”
On what he would say to his former Spanish teacher who would told the local media in an interview that he has always been a confident person:
“Yeah, she was my Spanish teacher, but I can’t say what I would want to say to her in Spanish so I’m just going to say it in English. I was a confident kid. By no means was I ever cocky, but I did believe in myself, believed that my parents had a plan for me, and I was going to try to follow through with it. I hope that she’s proud of me. She was my seventh and eighth grade Spanish teacher, and I’m definitely better at football than I am at Spanish.
On his ability to slide and what he thinks about running the stretch play:
“When it comes to sliding, I’m not the best slider. Not that I don’t want to slide, in baseball I never slid because I felt like I could get to the base fast enough that I didn’t have to. I have been working on that over the past couple of years and have gotten better. I do know when to slide and when to keep running, just in case people were wondering. And then with the keeps – that’s what they call it, they call it the ‘keep game’ – I have been in it that both in high school and in college. It’s something that I’m familiar with. I know it’s something everyone’s emphasized that they can really use me in. The coaches told me they’re going to give me a lot of input on what we’ll do on offense. Not that I’ll come in on day one and say, ‘Hey, we’re doing this,’ but if I like something then they’ll continue to coach it. If I don’t, they’ll take it out because the job is for all of us to be as successful as we can. I am familiar with the keep game. I do like the keep game, and we’re going to use the keep game.”
On if he has any prior friendships with current Redskins players:
“I’m familiar with players on the roster [but have] no friendships. I do know [Brian] Orakpo. He played at Texas so no friendships there, but we’re cool now because we’re all part of Redskins Nation, so that matters. I am familiar with a lot of the guys. Santana Moss was a guy I watched. I’m not going to mention his age, but he was a guy I watched growing up. I wanted to go to ‘The U.’ It will be a pleasure playing with him. Of course, there’s Pierre Garçon and Josh Morgan who just came in, Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin, [and] Leonard Hankerson. I could go on there for days with the receivers because those are my guys. That’s who I’ve got to throw the ball to. [I know] Roy Helu, the running back, Evan Royster, [and] Tim Hightower if he comes back. I’m familiar with the guys on the team. I want them to know that I am looking them up and thinking about meeting them. Hopefully I can form good relationships with them. I’ve been doing my homework. I know a little bit about just about everybody because those are my teammates now.”
On embracing a leadership role with the Redskins:
“Leadership is something that’s thrown upon you as a quarterback. But as a team, you can be a quarterback and not be the leader of a team, so I want to come in [and] show the team that I’m ready to work and lead by example rather than coming out and being the most vocal guy ever. You do have to take control of the team and let them know that you’re their leader. But at the same time, being a rookie, you can’t come in and just say it. You have to show it, and I plan on doing that.”
On what he must do to bring stability to the quarterback position:
“I try not to take the weight of the past 20 years on my own shoulders. I realize there are other guys on this team that can help us be successful. I don’t have to do everything. All of these guys are very talented – many all-Americans, many all-conference players. Everybody’s on this team for a reason. They want to win, and they’re good at what they do, so I don’t have to do everything by myself. [I need to] just be myself, go out and work hard, learn the offense, continue to do the things that help me be successful as an individual and help build that through the team with the qualities I can help add to a team.”
On the comparison between him and Michael Vick:
“If anyone says you’re comparable to Michael Vick, that’s an honor first of all. But talking to Coach [Mike] Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan, his son, today, they say I’m a throwing quarterback who just happens to be really fast. So that’s what I think is a great comparison. Guys that my dad made me watch growing up, you know even if I didn’t get to see them play were Roger Staubach, I know that’s a bad name around here, but Fran Tarkenton, Kenny Stabler, Randall Cunningham, all those guys and Steve Young. Guys that can move the pocket a little bit, but also took care of what they were supposed to. You don’t want to be one dimensional, and I definitely focused on that in college, and hopefully I can continue to do that in the pros.”
On other role models in his life besides his parents and getting introduced to all-time great Redskins quarterbacks:
“Growing up, I was a ‘like Mike’ kid, so I wanted to be like Mike. I wanted to be like Michael Jordan. Basketball was my love. My dad got me involved in basketball at an extremely early age. So that is why if you see me throw the ball and my tongue is out, that’s what Mike did. So I really did buy into that. I wanted to be successful. I took that from the field, from the court, from the track and tried to apply that in the classroom and just be like Mike everywhere. Michael Jordan had a huge influence on me, but no one was bigger than my parents and of course God. They introduced me to Jesus at a young age, and I accepted it, and that’s how I live my life. But definitely outside of my parents and God, it was Michael Jordan. Definitely I haven’t met Doug [Williams], but I talked to him a couple of times [and] talked to Joe Theismann. Would love to meet those guys in person and hear what they have to say about being the quarterback of the Washington Redskins because obviously it’s a unique situation. It’s unlike any other team in the NFL to be the quarterback here. They can give me some pointers, and hopefully we can win some Super Bowls.”
On being able to deal with the pressure of saying ‘No’ to certain people:
“I mean, it’s tough to disappoint people. Most times people surround themselves with ‘yes men,’ but I’ve surrounded myself with a couple ‘no men.’ We are going to have a couple ‘no men’ on my side to try and help me out, but I try and do what I can to help people. Everybody is fighting for the same thing. They want to be happy, they want to be successful, but time in life is precious and sometimes people don’t realize that you can’t get it back. Time is money, but we’re not going to mention money. Like I said, time is precious. And I like my time, but I also like to help others.”
On his relationship with fourth-round pick Kirk Cousins:
“I mean, me and Kirk had a long-distance relationship in college because you know I watched him on TV. Besides from that, we were in the same group at the Combine so I got to know him a little bit. He’s a good guy and I look forward to going out there and growing with him. It’ll be fun. He got drafted a little bit later than he would have liked, but I’m just glad to have him on the team with the Washington Redskins.”
On the expectations he has for his teammates:
“I just hope that they know that I’m here to work. It’s not all about show. You can never walk up to a 30-year-old man when you’re 22 and tell him what to do. You have to earn his respect, so I just want them to know that I’m here to work and I’m ready to help this team win. Especially in the NFL, the difference between winning and losing is so small. It’s all about your mindset and how you approach the game, so I try to approach the game with a positive mindset. Knowing that if you trust your preparation, no one can beat you. So we’re going to prepare, whether it’s in the weight room, on the field, in the film room, all those types of things. I’m going to prepare myself to the point that I feel like I can’t be beat, and I expect the same thing out of my teammates.”
The Redskins finished the NFL draft on Saturday by making seven picks in the final four rounds. Mike Shanahan said that he was pleased with the draft, which yielded the team a total of six offensive players and four on the defensive side of the ball.
The pick that raised the most eyebrows on Saturday was that of Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was taken in the fourth round with the Redskins’ first pick of the day. With Griffin already on board, the selection of another quarterback was seen as odd, especially for a team with many areas in need of shoring up.
Cousins was viewed by many as someone who could eventually compete for a starting job if he was drafted into the right situation. That clearly is not the case in Washington after the team drafted Griffin, who Shanahan has repeatedly referred to as the team’s franchise quarterback.
Shanahan said that he told Cousins, “I couldn’t pass you up.”
“Sure he knows he’s going to be a backup,” Shanahan said. “But he’s only one play away or two plays away from being the starter.”
Soon after the selection of Cousins, the Redskins released John Beck, who started three games at quarterback last year. Shanahan explained that the wanted to give Beck as much time as possible to find a new team.
With the selections of Griffin and Cousins, the Redskins became the first team since 1988 to draft two quarterbacks in the first four rounds of the draft. Quarterback has been a problem area for the team for years and it is not surprising that multiple players would be picked there.
While the quarterbacks got most of the attention, the Redskins also invested heavily in the offensive line in the draft. After taking SMU guard Josh LeRibeus in the third round on Friday night, they followed up with Iowa guard Adam Gettis in the fifth round and South Dakota tackle Tom Compton in the sixth. This is the second time since the draft went to seven rounds that the Redskins have taken three offensive linemen. Shanahan and the Redskins took three two years ago.
The rash of injuries in the offensive line last year made adding depth to the unit a priority, said Shanahan. It also appeared that flexibility was important at the position. Shanahan said that both Gettis and LeRibeus could play either guard or center and that Compton could play either tackle spot
The Redskins brought in several veteran defensive backs in free agency to try to shore up that area and now two rookies will be in the mix. Their two seventh-round picks were defensive backs as they selected Richard Crawford of SMU 213th overall and then tabbed Jordan Bernstine of Iowa with their last pick, 219th overall.
Shanahan said that Crawford will play cornerback and Bernstine will play safety.
Besides the quarterbacks, the only offensive skill player taken was running back Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic.
“He can cut on a dime and he has the ability to make people miss,” said Shanahan.
The coach said that Morris will play tailback, although he has the size to be able to play fullback as well.
Linebacker Keenan Robinson played on the outside at Texas but he said that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett gold him that he will play inside backer for the Redskins.
“We liked his speed,” said Shanahan.