Mike Shanahan gave another typically tight-lipped post-game press conference today, one day after his Redskins blew a 27-10 lead in a 30-27 loss to the Houston Texans. Shanahan confirmed that a MRI on Trent Williams' injured knee turned up negative, and added that he'll know more about his status on Wednesday after he gets a chance to rest it.
"When I looked at film, I didn't think it would be too serious," Shanahan said.
If Williams can't go, Stephon Heyer would start, though it's unclear whether he'll replace Williams at left tackle or start at right tackle, with Jammal Brown sliding over to the left side.
Shanahan sounded like he had lots of confidence in Heyer's abilities. He said it's nice to have a backup like Heyer with experience playing both tackle positions, and he expects Heyer to get the job done if called upon.
- Shanahan mostly sidestepped DeAngelo Hall's recent comments criticizing defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's gameplan on the game-tying touchdown by Andre Johnson. Shanahan said he wants all of his defensive backs to want to cover the best players, Hall included. He admitted he hadn't heard the context of Hall's comments. Maybe he would have answered differently if he did.
- Shanahan also was asked about what it would mean to adopt Hall's ... erm ... suggestion and move him around the field instead of having him covering a side. He said there are negatives because many defensive backs are only good at playing one side, and it requires different technique to play both sides adeptly. The positives are that it offers a ton of flexibility, but it has to be the right player.
- Shanahan was also asked about the big plays the defense gave up yesterday. "You're going to give up big plays in any defense when you get started. That's just the learning curve," he said.
- Shanahan joked that he can't get mad at Gary Kubiak for calling the timeout to ice Graham Gano because it was a practice Shanahan himself started.
- Shanahan was asked about the running game's struggles, and managed to respond in a typically confusing manner. He seemed concerned, but not overly so because the team is still moving the football. He would like the run game to improve, to be clear, but he's happy in general that the team was able to pass so successfully. He also thinks the running game isn't that far away. "You got to be hitting on all cylinders. Just a little bit off here or there, and all of a sudden, a 10-yard gain is a 2-3 yard game. That's what happened throughout the game." He added that "I like the direction we're headed. The running game wasn't there, but it didn't have to be."
- Shanahan said he doesn't know about Albert Haynesworth's availability for next week.
- Shanahan said Larry Johnson is still getting used to being a backup running back, especially because he used to be the kind of guy who got stronger as the game went on.
- On the blocked field goal that ended up being costly late in the game, Shanahan said "we had a bust. We had someone not use the proper technique." That player was Fred Davis, though Shanahan didn't call him out by name.
- Shanahan said the team will have a walk through this afternoon to go over yesterday's game one more time before moving on to the Rams.