Press Conference: Washington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy

redskins_scriptrWashington Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy talks with reporters on Wednesday. The Redskins (3-9) host the St. Louis Rams (5-7) on Sunday.

 

On the challenges of converting on third-and-long:

“That’s a good first question. Third-and-long is a hard down to convert on, no matter what offense you’re playing in. The statistics – to be a good offense, I think you want to convert around 25-30 percent of those, right? So, we’re obviously below that and we’ve got to get better. I think the thing you can help yourself with is not staying in third-and-longs all the time. I felt like in the first half last week, we just stayed in third-and-long, third-and-long, third-and-long. It was hard to find a way to convert, and the first time we did convert on third-and-10, we went down and scored a touchdown. So, when you can convert, it gives you some momentum. It’s certainly something we’ll be aware of at practice this week and continue to work on that.”

 

On how to use wide receiver Pierre Garçon more on offense:

“I just think we have to communicate as best as we can. I’m certainly with Jay [Gruden] and in agreement with Jay that we need to get Pierre the ball as much as we can. I remember the first completion I had on this team was to Pierre for a touchdown – it was pretty much all him. He made a tremendous play. So, I believe in Pierre. I think he’s great receiver. I think he’s an asset for us on our football team and we can continue to find ways to get him involved.”

 

On what defenses are doing to limit Garçon:

“It’s easy for defenses to game plan one way or the other – who they’re going to take away. Maybe they roll-over DeSean [Jackson] and man the X backside. A lot of our concepts and plays, we just have got to be more aware of where Pierre is, how we can be creative in getting him the football. He’s always involved in the game plan. It’s just a matter of staying protected and finding him throughout the progressions.”

 

On why he has struggled in first halves compared to his performance in second halves:

“Maybe a little rust. I can’t put my finger on it, but I certainly would like to start a little faster – not just me but everybody. I feel like we were kind of flat I guess, coming out in the beginning of the game. When you get a turnover, it’s nice to get a touchdown instead of a field goal. Maybe our approach this week is we do a little bit more things that we feel like we’ll do earlier in the game. I’m not sure. I’m not going to get too worried about it, but I am in agreement with you that we need to try to start a little bit faster.”

 

On what he can do to increase the offense’s tempo:

“I just think maybe we can work on that in practice this week, getting guys in and out of the huddle, getting lined-up. I felt like last week early in the game, I wasn’t getting the call in until 20-25 seconds, then getting everybody to the line, trying to see the defense and make my adjustments on the line of scrimmage on the road. That’s just tough to do. I felt like in the second half we got better and better at it and we were able to operate and do some things at the line of scrimmage that helped us get more of a flow as far as the game went. So, whether we kind of speed it up in practice this week, I’m not sure. Playing at home may help a little bit, but yeah, it certainly needs to get out of the huddle a little bit quicker so we can see the looks that the defense is going to give us. That’s key for us this week. St. Louis has a great defense. They always have the last several years. I played in their division last year, and it was always a headache. Those guys come at you from all different directions, and they have got a great front four who can get pressure on the passer, and their blitz packages on third down are probably the best in the league. We definitely have our hands full with them this week.”

 

On tight end Jordan Reed:

Jordan is a tremendous athlete. He has got great hands and good ball skills. I like throwing to him, for sure. I think with him in the lineup and on the field, we can see coverages a little better, ‘Who’s guarding Jordan? Is it a safety? A linebacker? Are they keeping a corner on him?’ He’s a great player to have, a good asset to have, and he continuing to get better every time he steps on the field.”

 

On if his preparation has changed knowing he will continue to have a chance to start:

“Again, I don’t want to look too far ahead. I’m just focused on this week. But with each start I think naturally you gain a little more confidence, you gain a little bit more of a leadership role on the team and you just have to continue to focus that way. I feel like that’s the only way to go for me. You know, I’m in the lineup, I’m starting, and it’s my job to go out and lead our football team on Sunday. So a little bit more vocal at practice and just continuing to play the best football I can play. You know, there are some things I can clean up. I think there are some things that as an offense we can certainly clean up in a lot of different areas. Hopefully we can make some adjustments this week and come up with a good game plan for the Rams.”

 

On what lessons he learned from being around losing teams early in his career:

“Yeah, it’s not a fun place to be sometimes, unfortunately. But that’s the cards we are dealt right now and that’s the cards I was dealt stepping into this position playing quarterback. But, you know, my dreams and goals don’t change. I want to be a starter in this league and I have that opportunity right now. So I think the biggest thing for us is to come together as a unit and make these last four games the best games we can possibly play. Let’s go out there and compete, let’s play hard and we have a great football teams in the Rams coming here on Sunday and if we are not ready, they are going to get after us. I think everyone knows what’s at stake and we just have to continue to find a way to get a win. That’s our only goal right now.”

 

On if the Rams’ pass rush is his biggest concern:

“Yeah, I think their ability to rush the passer with their front four is obviously tops in the league. You turn on the tape and the Broncos is one of the best offenses and they put up seven points against them. So, for me as a quarterback watching Peyton [Manning] or watching all the other guys play against them, that certainly opens your eyes. They’ll get heat on the passer but their blitz packages are unique. They come at you from all different directions. They will bring safeties, they’ll bring corners, they’ll bring guys out of the secondary all the time. You look at their defense, they have got a lot of first and second rounders. I mean, their defense is playing at a high level. They’ve got good players, they’ve got great talent. So we understand how good they are and it’s going to take a good week of preparation for us to ready for them.”

 

On how hard it is to keep players focused when the team is playing poorly:

“Yeah it’s tough, it’s tough, but I think this locker room is full of guys with a lot of pride, and like I mentioned earlier, the most important thing for us is these next four games. I know Jay is evaluating all of us. I know our organization is evaluating all of us and I think we all know that. So for us, we just have to approach it one week at a time and do everything we can in our ability to finish this season as best we can, finish it the right way and I know the guys in that locker room will come together that way and finish strong.”

 

On if receiving instruction in the headset has contributed to delays with the play call:

“No, I don’t necessarily think that’s the problem. I feel like Jay and Sean [McVay] do a pretty good job of getting me the play.  I just think we need to get back to the huddle a little quicker, line up a little quicker and against a team like St. Louis or a team like Indy last week, who made some adjustments – they stem, they rotate the safeties. If we can get up to the line of scrimmage and let me see the big picture and let me audible and change the protections and do the things that I need to do with a little bit extra time, I think that makes my life a lot easier and the offensive line’s job a lot easier, too. So I think that is probably more so kind of the urgency we are trying to have this week.”

 

On why he thinks he is the best choice to start at quarterback:

“That decision is not my decision, first of all. I don’t get paid enough money for that. But I just want to compete. I want to play hard. I want to play fast. I want to distribute the football. I want to make good decisions. I want to be a good leader. I want to be a good communicator. I think all those things is what Jay is looking for and I just go out there and each day at practice, each day in meetings, in the locker room, just be the best I can be – be the best quarterback I can be – and overall I guess that is what Jay decided to go with. But Robert [Griffin III] has been great, Kirk [Cousins] has been outstanding. I think there’s three really good quarterbacks in our room and I am proud to be playing right now.”

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