Sports & Culture Media

Washington Quotes

Media Release

On if he went back and watched the altercation between DT Jonathan Allen and DT Daron Payne:


On why he hasn’t watched it:

“I just haven’t gotten it, so I haven’t looked at it. I’ve been busy watching the game tape to be honest with you. I really haven’t looked at it. From what the players have said, they’re good with it. It was like two brothers fighting and they’ve moved on.”

On if he could sense players were off or a bit unfocused coming into the game given all the things that happened in recent weeks:

“It was one of those things— Friday was a very difficult day because of everything that had transpired, and that was kind of one of those things that you just kind of had your ears up after that.”

On moving on after last night’s loss:
“The message is we’ve got two games left to play. Let’s go out and play it. You lose a game, okay. Whether you lose it by one or you lose it by what we lost it by – 42, it’s a loss. Sure, it was a big score. But at the end of the day, it happened. It’s gonna happen. You play this game long enough, you’re gonna have these kind of defeats. How you handle them, now that’s important. How you come back, that’s important. That will talk about what our character is, that will talk about where we are more so than anything else. That to me is what’s really important. I get it. We lost, okay. Hey, I’m gonna take responsibility. We gotta play better, I know that. We gotta coach better, I know that. We’ll go back to work and we’ll work hard. As Nicki – and I appreciate her bringing it up – alluded to is we’ve been dealing with a lot of s**t. It’s something that we’ve gotta learn to deal with and handle. At the same time, be able to go forward and play to our abilities, play to what we’re capable of. Yesterday was not an indication in my opinion of what we’re capable of.”

On an update on S Deshazor Everett:  

“For the most part, I know he’s been discharged. He did sustain some injuries and we’ll go from there. That’s pretty much the most I know.”

On if he was concerned this game was inevitable with all the injuries and covid-related issues: 

“Probably not to this degree. I was concerned about a letdown. I thought the big letdown really would’ve been that first half of the first Dallas game. In light of the things that happened and transpired last week, that kind of doesn’t surprise me unfortunately. It’s tough because we had so many guys that went on the list and it was crazy because I talked to so many of them when they first went on the list. All they wanted to do was get back. ‘I felt bad yesterday, but I’m feeling great now. I’m not coughing, I don’t have a runny nose or sore throat. I don’t have a fever anymore. How come I can’t…’ Well, we’ve gotta follow the rules. I could say 12 guys said that to me when they went on the list and a day or two later they were aching to get back. They couldn’t wait to get back. They wanted to play. I think part of it was because we know we were still in position. We still had an opportunity going into Philadelphia. That was the hard part that was probably the hardest one because it happened and when it happened. I think that was one of the struggles we had was guys just wanted to get back. Not being able to get them all back, that was tough.”

On not using covid and injuries as an excuse:  
“Well, you’re gonna sound like that no matter how I try not to. It’s like when you hear somebody rant about the way they played. ‘They quit, they didn’t wanna play.’ No, that’s bulls**t. Those guys wanted to play. Those guys did everything they could to get back. They got up at five in the morning and came here and tested before six o’clock so that their specimens can get sent up to the lab and checked. That tells me those guys wanna play. That tells me those guys want to be there. Guys wanted to come in and do extra and they weren’t able to. We told them, ‘Hey, we gotta do this virtually as soon as you get a chance to get in here.’ And then guys were coming as soon as they could. They were doing their workouts. They were getting in some extra time with their coaches. Whatever they could do, they were trying to give themselves a chance. Like last week is a great example. We played on Tuesday. We get back at two in the morning and there’s really not much you could do with the guys because the coaches had a game plan on Wednesday. So we practiced Thursday and Friday, and then we had Christmas on Saturday and then traveled to play. I mean, those were the circumstances and we tried to do the best we can. I thought the guys really tried, and I have no issue with what happened other than we got beat the way we did. I thought the guys showed up. I thought the guys tried. Unfortunately, didn’t work our way.”

On QB Taylor Heinicke after watching the tape:
“I thought Taylor missed some opportunities. I do think he got a little bit rattled and started throwing off his back leg a couple times. He had a couple opportunities that I know that if he could have really stood tall in there, he’d have completed those. The very first throw was unfortunate because he had Terry [McLaurin]. If he could have put that out to the sideline, I think Terry makes that play. I think that’s a big play. Unfortunately, he hung it out and it stayed more to the middle. If that ball gets to the sideline, it’s either a big catch for Terry or an incomplete.”

On if he will make a change at quarterback:
“No. I think, again, will we play Kyle [Allen]? Probably. But we’re gonna stick with Taylor right now. Will we play Kyle? Probably and not as an indictment of Taylor or anything like that, but just that we also wanna make sure we get a really good look at Kyle.”

On if QB Kyle Allen would come in as a relief role:
“We’ll see, we’ll see. But right now, we’re gonna start Taylor against Philadelphia and we’ll see.”

On if Everett will be able to rejoin the team for practice and meetings:  

“No. Without getting into detail, but the injuries that he has would not allow for it.”

On his philosophy on the altercation with DT Jonathan Allen and DT Daron Payne:
“Well, I mean, it’s part of it. I don’t know if you heard what I said yesterday, but I talked to both of them afterwards and had an individual conversation and I’ll talk with them again. But for the most part, these guys have known each other for eight years. They played together collegiately. They played together professionally. And there’s a lot of pride. There was a lot of frustration yesterday and things do tend to boil over. I’ve been part of this before as a player. I’ve seen it happen on the sidelines as a coach. As a position coach, I saw it happen in Philadelphia. I saw it happen in Chicago as a coordinator, saw it happen in San Diego as a coordinator. And then I had it happen to me a couple of times in Carolina. I had it happen between two of our defensive linemen, Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy. I saw it happen between Cam Newton and Josh Norman. It’s something that guys tend to work out amongst themselves without having to be told. One of the things that I really appreciated when I was in Carolina, I had players come to me and tell me we got this. You don’t need to address it. So I didn’t. In this case, I went to the two guys just because who they are and it happened so early to be honest. Usually something like this happens in a few more years, but this happened early. I went and talked to them both just so they both understand where they are, who they are and what they mean to us as football players.”

On why he thinks the altercation occurred early:
“Because when you’re here together, you compete, you compete, you compete, and you build that up and then it continues. And after a while, the competing really just brings out the real true competitiveness of who they are. And maybe I should have expected it because they’ve been playing together for as long as they have, you know? But my point just being is that when guys are around each other for a long time, they expect certain things from each other, and they challenge each other a little bit and sometimes it gets a little bit out of hand.”

On if it’s harder to navigate a team that dealt with off the field issues:
“No, the biggest thing more than anything else is the guys have to understand that this has to be something that you have to set aside sure. It happened, during a game, but it happened because of the passion of the game. It happened because of the frustrations that come out. I’d rather see them frustrated. I’d rather see them passionate about playing the game than say okay, whatever, and then move on. I think that’s probably to a degree a good thing. But you really don’t want it to be like that.”

On if he has to worry about what losing does long term to the team:
“Well, that’s probably the big part of it. I mean and again, that comes all the way back to what I said to you guys earlier about maturity is learning how to deal and cope with it. And as I said, the biggest thing from one of the questions I got asked earlier is are you worried about losing the way we did. I am, but to me, the more important thing is how we respond, you know what I’m saying. I mean, if we don’t learn from it, if we don’t understand exactly what it means and all that stuff, then it’s a waste of time. It’s like winning hides a lot of things. Winning masks a lot of things, and you have to really pay attention then to figure it out. But losing it’s right in your face. So if you don’t learn from it, if it doesn’t stand out to you, then you’ve really wasted that opportunity. And so me, there’s a lot of things that are evident when I put the tape on. You watch it and you look at it, granted we got some new guys out there, some guys in different positions. But you know, some of the things that were really good, you sit there and go, man, you know, God, we just put that together. And then things that were really bad, oh, we can’t do that, we got to be better at that, we got to be more disciplined in that, or, you know what I should have called that, that’s what we should have done in that instance. So it’s a chance to learn and grow. These are the hard knocks you know. I’m going to steal a line from [American Sports Comedy-Drama Film] The League of their Own, “It’s hard, but that’s what makes it great is that it’s hard”. And I think that’s the thing that we all have to understand. The hardest is the development, the growth, taking your lumps. You’re going to get dragged through the gravel once in a while if you fight, but again, you dust yourself off, and you get up and then you go after them, that’s what our mentality has to be. And that’s why to me and to your point on Wednesday, that’s exactly what’s coming up. It is going to be a challenge and it’s going to be a challenge to them, It’s going to be a challenge to us and how we handle ourself. And quite honestly, it’ll also be great opportunity to evaluate our mental toughness individually and collectively as a team, just to see how we respond. There’s a glimpse, a sliver of hope, and we’ll see if that’s enough to get everybody motivated to play and it’s going to tell me a lot about who we are and who we have.”

On how important it is to change the narrative going into the offseason:
“You can set the tone for the off season too though. So we have to look at it as that, yeah, are we playing for the future? Absolutely. What’s that future? I don’t know what that future is, but we’re playing for the future and you have to play one at a time first and foremost. You have to focus in on Philadelphia, see what happens and then worry about the next game. But until we finish this week, until we finish on Sunday, we have no idea what’s in store, but we do know that we have a game on Sunday.”

On if he worries that this wasn’t just a bad game but rather the direction the team is headed:
“No, this is a bad game. This ain’t a direction. I’ll tell you that right now. You look at the way we played the previous two games and in our circumstances and you would say, ‘Yeah, that’s a hell of an effort.’ Or at least I would like to believe somebody would look at it and say, that was a hell of an effort. What happened last night was disappointing. Could we have played better? I think so. Could we have done things better? Yeah, I think so. But it didn’t happen that way, so we live with it.”

On if he thinks the circumstances of missing so many players to COVID and injuries is a unique circumstance or if he wants to see more out of the depth players:
“No, I think that has a little bit to do with the certain situation and circumstances we’ve had. I mean, we didn’t have [RB] J.D. [McKissic]. We don’t have [TE] Logan [Thomas]. We don’t have [LB] Jon Bostic. We’re playing our fourth center. Nothing disparaging to those guys that are playing, but J.D. is an impact player. Logan’s an impact player. Jon Bostic is a calming presence on that defense. I mean, you look for those things. We didn’t have [LB] Cole Holcomb either, although I thought [LB] David Mayo played pretty doggone well. So, there’s a lot of good things that I take from the guys that played. But I think to myself, ‘Wow it would’ve been cool to be able to have this guy, that guy, that guy, especially in this game.’ I thought the same thing the first time we played them. You know, we played our fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth defensive ends. But, that is the nature of the game.”

On how he evaluates the offense with so many players missing:
“Well, I think when you look at it to me, you look at it from a global perspective. What does this mean for us going forward as well? You know, one of the things that we talk about is positional flex and depth. That I think is what’s real important. You want to build your offensive and defensive lines, in my opinion. You want to be able to have quality depth so that if you ever do get into a situation like we’ve gotten into, you can feel as if you have pieces still there, that allow you to continue to function and compete. Big players, physical players, athletic players all rolled into one on your offensive and defensive line give you a chance to be competitive.”

On what he leans in on after performances like last night to keep the confidence of his team:
“Well, I think it gives me a little clarity for both. How is our approach? What’s our approach gotta be. You look at them and you say, ‘We gotta be able to match this, this and this of who they are.’ Not having specific people on the field really amplified it because we couldn’t match certain things. That helps us in terms of giving us some clarity going forward saying that, ‘Hey, we’re eventually gonna start preparing for next year.’ We’re gonna be able to say now, and we did this in Carolina, is that if we’re gonna compete in this division, we have to have this kind of player to compete. We went out and we drafted a cornerback. I mentioned it last week, [former Carolina CB] James Bradbury for the specific reason because of [former Atlanta WR] Julio Jones, and [Tampa Bay WR] Mike Evans and [New Orleans WR] Michael Thomas. That’s why you have to go out and have guys like that. With Terry, you sit there and say, ‘Man, we gotta make sure that complement is developing.’ Do we have that complement? What’s it gonna be like when we can get [WR] Curtis [Samuel] back on the field or [WR] Dyami [Brown] does what he did on a consistent basis like he did last night going vertical and stretching the middle and making the catch. That’s the type of thing that’s gonna help us against a team like this because of who they have, you know? I thought some of our corner play yesterday was good. I know [CB] Kendall [Fuller] was just coming back and he was still working himself back in. But when Kendall was fresh and what we saw from [CB] Darryl Roberts, you sat there and felt that’s not bad. We kept certain things in front of us, now where did they hurt us? Well, they hurt us over the middle a couple times in that middle area behind the linebackers. So, sitting there thinking, ‘Okay, these are the things that we have to do.’ So to your point, there are somethings that give me that ‘ah ha’ moment and then there’s some things that I’m sitting there thinking to myself, ‘Well, we got a few excuses as to what happened.’ Now I don’t wanna lean on those, but that’s the truth too. So, was it as bad? It was bad. But honestly, I think if certain things were there, it wouldn’t have been what it was last night.”

On if the changes he made to the front office in the offseason were geared towards finding their quarterback of the future:
“I think it is part of it. It’s a big part of it, to be honest because the biggest thing, and it was one of the first questions that I was able to get answered when I got the job in Carolina. One thing that [Executive Vice President of Football/Player Personnel] Marty [Hurney] and I did together was we sat there and we said, ‘We have to be able to identify who our franchise quarterback is.’ We were fortunate that we had the number one pick. You wanna point to it, sit there and say, ‘Well, look what’s happened in Cincinnati when they had the number one pick.’ You’re able to answer that question right away. So, is that something that we wanna do now? Yeah, most certainly. You wanna be able to say that when we get into next season that we feel we have who that guy is gonna be. That gives you a chance. That really does. You look at the teams that are all right there in the race and you sit there and you can say, ‘Look at who they have.’ Right now the most obvious one you point at is Green Bay, you point at Tampa Bay, and you look at who those guys are. I mean, those guys are future Hall of Famers. Those guys are Super Bowl winning quarterbacks. You look at [Kansas City Chiefs QB] Patrick Mahomes, and you could say that’s what you want to be able to be in that situation and set of circumstances because that helps a lot, that really puts you into a great position. Now you can continue to build and implement and put players around it and go from there. So to your point, yeah a lot of that is with that in mind. We’ll see what happens this offseason because again, there’s a lot of questions obviously at that position, and there’s a lot of things that are gonna be happening this offseason whether it’s on our roster, whether it’s through free agency or through the draft.”

Tyler Butler