Transcripts: Smith, Ryan Press Interviews

Head coach Mike SmithOn whether or not the League should consider expanding the game day rosters:

"That's the first time that I've been involved in a game where our offense was put in that situation. I can't recall if I was on the other side of the field where it happened, but it maybe is something that needs to get looked at. I know it's something that the competition committee is always looking at. It was tough, but I thought our coaches did a very good job. I thought Levine did a very good job, in terms of getting out there and performing well in a difficult situation."

On how the revamped line looked today:

"We had two players that didn't participate in practice today, and Justin Blalock was one of them with his back. We've got lots of options in terms of our offensive line. You guys know our philosophy that we want to cross-train our players, especially in the offensive line, so we've got two players that play three or four positions in the game last week. We have lots of flexibility in terms of who's going to be out there on Sunday in New York."

On whether Harland Gunn is game ready:

"I think Harland's game ready. I think all the guys are game ready. They've trained all off-season to prepare in playing games. In terms of Harland, he's probably taken more snaps because he's on the scout team and working a few snaps with the offense at times based on injuries that have taken place in the first four weeks of the season. Harland's probably had more snaps on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday than our normal guys because he'll also step in there and play some defense, so I don't think it'll be a problem."

On the new offensive lineman getting first team snaps:

"They're going to get a lot of snaps together. They've had limited snaps because we've always worked all of our roster guys in different positions. Now we've got a plan of who we're going to play and we'll put that to action, and I think we're going to be just fine. I have all the confidence in the world in the seven guys that'll be up this week, that we'll be able to move the ball efficiently and protect our quarterback."

On whether the team is handling news of injuries better than last year:

"You always feel bad for the guys that were injured, but this is a don't blink mentality that you have to have, and you have to move on. I don't think it's an issue. We know that when someone goes down the next guy has to step up. We're not going to cancel the game because we lost a couple of lineman. We're going to have to play the next week."

On Jon Asamoah's leadership on the offensive line:

"Jon has been a great addition to our offensive line. He's very intelligent. He communicates extremely well, and I think he's a very good player, and when you have that combination you're going to play efficiently, and I think he's played as efficient as any offensive linemen that we had this season. He's a tough guy; he's played through injuries. He was injured and missed a couple of snaps in the game the other day, and was able to get right back in there."

On what they have to do to stop the run:

"Guys, as I've said we've not played the type of defense that we need to play in the first quarter of the season. I think I've addressed that over the last couple of days. I'd like to move forward. We do have to play better run defense, and I said it, and I say it one last time, it's not just one thing. It's happening at all three levels. When you have a 55-yard run, yes, it got to the second level, but when it gets past the second level we have to cap that off and not have it be a 50-yard run, it's need to be a 20-yard run. At tops you can cap it at 10-yards. Everybody's contributing; we've got to coach it better, we've got to execute better on all three levels: DB's, linebackers and defensive lineman are all involved in stopping the run."

Quarterback Matt RyanOn what the team has to do to get a win on the road:

"Got to play better. First and foremost, we have to play better across the board in order to get the job done on the road. I think we just need to be consistent across the board we have to play the way that we are capable of. We're four games into it. We're right in the mix. We've got a long way to go, but we've got to get it corrected. I think that's what the focus is this week."

On his message to the offensive lineman:

"I think it's to play with confidence. These guys have worked really hard. Mike Tice does a great job at keeping all of those guys prepared every week. Certain guys are getting their opportunity; it's a great chance for them to showcase what they can do and how good they can be. My thing is to cut loose, enjoy it and play with a lot of confidence."

On whether or not he gives them an encouraging word:

"I think that's every week. Part of playing this position, part of being a leader on this team is encouraging your guys and making sure they're confident going into games on Sunday. That doesn't change, regardless of who the guys are up front are on the outside. I'm going to continue to do that. I think those guys will be ready to go. I think they're all excited. I think they're all ready for their opportunity, and now they just got to go out and play the way that they are capable of playing."

On the New York Giants secondary:

"They're leading the League in turnovers and being opportunistic when they get the chance to take it away. It's going to be important for us. The turnover battle is huge every week. Specifically going against a defense that's been as opportunistic as they have been we've got to focus on protecting the ball, and we've got to do a better job than we have done up until this point."

On Peter Konz:

"I think Pete will do a great job. He's obviously a guy that's played a lot of football for us and we have a lot of trust in him when he's out there. I think Mike Tice has him in a good place and he's ready to roll."

On why they've struggled on the road:

"I wish I knew. It's one of those things when you watch the film we haven't played as well as we have at home for whatever reason. I think the biggest thing is we can't worry about the last 14 times or 10 times, whatever we've done on the road. We got to worry about this week and find a way to get it done. We know this is going to be a tough environment to go into; it always is, but we got to concentrate on playing our brand of football, and playing the way we're capable of. I think if we focus on that that's going to help us get over the edge."

On their reaction of losing three guys on the offensive line against Minnesota:

"It's tough. Anytime you have guys go down it makes it difficult. You hate seeing it. I feel bad for those guys because they put so much effort into getting themselves ready, and they were playing well. It's part of the deal. Part of this League is you're going to have to overcome injuries; you're going to have to have guys step up and roles are constantly changing. You have to be able to adapt. I think we have the guys to be able to adapt to it. You have to have the mentality that you can't blink. You can't think twice about it. You have to go out there and you have to trust the guys that are coming in. I think Mike Tice is going to do a great job of having those guys prepared and ready to play."

On the injuries from last year, and how the response to the injuries this year will be different:

"I think Mike Tice has done a really good job with those guys this entire year, and I think we've got guys that have more experience playing. Last year it was a lot of people's first opportunity when they were thrown into the fire, and one of the things that's going to help us is last year, guys having the opportunity to go out there and play and having that experience under their belts. I think that's huge for us."

On whether the play of the team is a reflection of the team or their opponents:

"I'm not worry about what everybody else is doing or how they're playing. We know week-to-week it's going to be tough, physical games. There's great parity in the NFL right now, and you have to have the mindset that it's going to be a 60-minute game every week. As for us, I think that's where we need to be concerned with. We've got to play more consistently. Cut and dry. We need to play the way that we're capable of week in and week out. I feel like we're capable doing that, but we have to find ways to get that done, and we have to have better attention to detail during the week. I think if we do that we're going to be fine."

On whether scoring 28 points on the road last week was an encouraging sign:

"What we did last week has no bearing on what's going to happen this week. That's good or bad, that's the way the NFL is. Again, I think the biggest thing for us is to focus on consistency drive-to-drive. Even though we scored 28 last week we had a bunch of three-and-outs as well. In order for us to be the kind of offense that we want to be we've got to be better drive-to-drive."

On integrating Devin Hester into the offense:

"I think it's been great for us. Devin has a unique skill-set. Obviously he's shown early in the season how explosive he can be and what he's capable of doing. I think it's been fun. It's been a lot of fun to work with him, and I'm excited every time he's in the game because he's got a chance to take it to the house. We feel like we have a bunch of guys on the offense that have that kind of ability, but he's certainly a huge addition for us."

On having another explosive guy in Antone Smith:

"When you see his speed and the vision that he's had, no. He's proven that he can do that week in and week out, and that's big for us. Creating explosive plays is one of the things that we talk about all the time. Offensively, that's huge for us in terms of scoring points and again we have a lot of individuals that are capable of creating those explosive plays. Antone, he's proven through four weeks this season that he can do it every week."

On Peter Konz changing his routine and using last year as a learning experience:

"Absolutely. In all honesty, I don't think there was anybody that was in here more this offseason than Pete. He's worked extremely hard. He's taking it really personal, and he's improved a lot. I think he has. I think he's improved as a player a bunch, but that's part of everybody's career. You find areas where you feel like you need to improve. You find things you need to change and you adjust and you try and become better, and I think that's a good sign. That's a sign of being a professional."

On motivating the team to fight through rough injury stretch:

"That's part of leadership is understanding throughout the course of a season different things are going come up and you have to be able to overcome them in order to be the football team that we want to be. I think it's not only myself, but it's across the board. We'll talk to some of the young guys that have to go out there and play for us, and just tell them, to do what they're capable of doing. Don't do any more, don't do any less."

On being patient with the new offensive line:

"Yes, there are certain things you have to adjust to, but I also think part of being a professional – and one of the hardest jobs in the League is being a backup because when somebody goes down you're asked to do all of the things that the guy in front of you was doing without many of the reps. I'm confident in those guys because I think we have real professionals. We have guys that have been doing their jobs, have been studying their plans up until this point. Now that they've got their opportunity I think they're all ready to go."

On Antone's explosive play ability:

"I think our coaches do a great job of – all four of those guys are explosive, and all four of them have the ability to do it, but I think our coaches do a great job of keeping them all in the mix and using each guy to their specific skill-set. It's been really good for us so far."

On Antone finally getting carries after playing special teams for a number of years:

"It's just part of his maturity as a professional. He's been one of the most consistent workers that we've had for the five years that he's been here, showing up every day. He's been a huge part of our special teams since day one. Some guys' careers work that way, they prove what they can do on special teams, and then all of a sudden it gives them an opportunity on offense or defense. I think Antone has taken full advantage of that opportunity of showcasing what he's capable of doing."

On what he saw on the Redskins turnovers against the Giants:

"They've got playmakers. They've got guys on the backend that are good at reading eyes and good at breaking on the ball, their athletic. I think they've got a good secondary and push up front helps create turnovers. They do a great job of creating pass rush with their guys."

On the two passes he wanted back:

"Two plays. We had an opportunity on a deep out route to Julio (Jones), I think in the beginning of the fourth that I felt like it was a play that I needed to make. That's one of those things that come up, didn't hit. Felt like it was at a time when you would want to get it done. That was specifically one, the other one not quite as much, but just a play…

On the other play he wanted back being the interception:

"No, there are chances you have to take kind of at the end of the game, specifically the first one. It's an opportunity that if you're trying to push it down the field and score 10 points in less than three minutes you got to go in. You can't be scared to drive it in there and make some plays. That's part of playing this position."

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