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Cardinals Vs. Redskins: Mike Shanahan Explains Fourth-Down Decision

Mike Shanahan just gave his customary Monday press conference following the Washington Redskins' 22-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. The first topic he discussed was his decision to go for it down eight points on fourth and 3 midway through the fourth quarter. The play resulted in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to Santana Moss that cut Arizona's lead to 21-19.

"Normally just a gut feel," Shanahan said. "Some people kick a field goal, other people go for it. Either way, you have to do what gives you the best chance to win. I just felt that at that time of the game, we needed to score a TD. The percentages are with us at that down and distance."

Here is a summary of some other key remarks from his press conference.

On injuries to Josh Wilson and Kevin Barnes: "I won't give you an update until Thursday. No reason to give you an update on injuries until we get a feel for how they're feeling when we practice. We'll let them go through treatment."

On Wilson specifically: "Little bit more sore today than after the game, so we'll see."

On Grossman's performance: "I don't critique our quarterback through the media. We'll sit down and go every play, go into it in detail. Sometimes, it'll be on a receiver. Sometimes, it'll be on an offensive lineman in protection. But at the end of the day, you got to find a way to make some plays. I thought he handled himself well in the fourth quarter."

On Chris Cooley having no catches: "Chris is a very unselfish guy. In the middle of the second quarter, he said, 'Hey, I think we need to get Fred [Davis] the ball. I think he's a little frustrated.' We had a couple plays in the gameplan designated for Fred, and Chris alerted me of them. It shows you the type of mindset that Chris has. He understands his teammates and he understands coverage. That's what you've got to have."

On Roy Helu's performance: "It's going to be an ongoing evaluation of him. Can he pick up blitzes? Can he hold onto the football? But I was pleased with what he's done through preseason and our second regular season game."

On the running game in general: "We're going to emphasize the running game, and hopefully we can be really good at it and be consistent. The only time we haven't been really consistent is our first preseason game against a pretty darn good defensive team. We're just a hair away on a few plays. We're going to continue that. We really believe we can run the football and it's going to be an emphasis with our football team."

On the team's mindset at 2-0: "I don't think our players get overly excited that we're 2-0."

On Ryan Kerrigan: "I like what I see."

On the team's red-zone struggles: "It's nice that we got to the red zone as many times as we did, but like I said after the game, we got to finish ... not good enough ... that'll be an area of emphasis this week."

Listen to Mike Shanahan's Monday press conference on 106.7 The Fan.