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Postgame Quotes From the Redskins

Compiled by Gene Wang
Washingtonpost.com Correspondent
Web Posted: Sunday, November 7, 1999; 6:56 p.m. EST

Norv Turner | Darrell Green | Derek Smith 
 Tre Johnson | Michael Westbrook  | Brad Johnson

Coach Norv Turner
Opening statement:

When we started talking about Buffalo early in the week, I told our team and said publicly that this was the most complete team we had gotten ready to play. They were balanced in all three phases, good on offense, defense, special teams. Some people may have doubted that because of the struggles they've had offensively in the last couple of games. Having played them in the preseason and looked hard at them in the offseason we knew they were a talented group. I thought we would have to play our best football to have an opportunity to win the football game, and it was obvious we were far from that. When you play a good football team, you have to play well in all three phases. We did not play well in any of the three phases. You kid yourself sometimes I think when you start fast and put a drive together, held them to a field goal, and you may think it's going to be easy. It's not easy to win in this league. It's a fight every time you go out.

Q: Was it disappointing not being able to contain Doug Flutie?
A: It was disappointing to me because we worked hard on it, we did a number of things preparing for him in terms of film study. We had guys in position I thought a number of times. We just weren't able to tackle him, to get on him. At times I think I looked out there and said, 'Shoot, maybe we coached it too hard,' because we looked like we were frozen at times. We were in position, but we just didn't cut it loose. If you miss him, miss him at 100 miles per hour. Don't be tentative. We looked like we were waiting for him to make a decision, and then it was too late.

Q: What was the reason the Bills were able to run on you as well as they did?
A: Again, when you convert third down and third down and third down, they get more chances. They get that many chances, they're going to run the ball. We can play better run defense than that, but most of our problems came from third downs, getting them off the field, and then you've got to keep the ball also.

Q: What happened to the offense after the first drive?
A: The second time we had the ball when we missed the field goal we had a holding penalty. We had the ball deep down in their territory, it was going to be second and three, we had a holding penalty, we missed the long field goal. The next drive we went and got a field goal. Those were the three drives in the first half. We did not have the football. After that, we made a decision on the first clear down to run a reverse. It probably wasn't the best decision. It never is when it doesn't work. Again, we tried to get something started. I think you get in that situation where we tried to make something happen, and we couldn't.

Q: With all the things you've tried to do to help the defense, are you surprised they gave up as many points as they did at home?
A: It's disappointing, and again as I said in this game, I thought we had guys in position to make plays a number of times on Flutie. I think if we had done that we would have played better defense.

Q: How disappointing is it not to be able to be able to maintain momentum as the year goes on?
A: It's extremely disappointing. In order for us to be a successful football team especially at home we've got to find a way to do that. The only way to do that is to get ready for the next football game.

Q: If you had players in position to make plays, how come they didn't?
A: We'll look at that and see. As I said, sometimes it was a case where we put such an emphasis on Flutie, containing him, making sure he didn't get outside, making sure he didn't cut back that we had some guys look tentative. You've got Shawn Barber, who's a hell of an athlete, I'd like to go see him attack and tackle the guy. I'm not picking him out. There were a number of times I felt we had chances. Now the guy has made a lot of good players miss, and he's hard to tackle.

Q: What did you think of Matt Turk's performance?
A: It was disappointing the way he punted. We've got to get Matt punting the way he's capable of punting. When he's going good, he's a heck of a punter.

Q: Is there an explanation why this team doesn't play well against the better teams?
A: That's the step this football team has to take. We have to get to that point where when it's a fight and it's a good football team that we go out and not only play well, but we go out and win.

Darrell Green
Q: Why is it that this team can't get over the hump from week to week?
A: The discouragement that I have only pertains to this game. I'm not discouraged, I don't put it all in one bucket and go I'm discouraged at this point in the season, because in reality we still are doing pretty good. We still are in the chase, so when something goes bad, I only can put it in this context, meaning today against the Buffalo Bills. Other than that, it seems an injustice to put it in some kind of broad perspective.

Q: What are your thoughts on Doug Flutie?
A: I think when you look at it in my era, obviously I didn't play against Fran Tarkenton, but when you look at Randall Cunningham and Steve Young, I think Steve Young was the most complete package. Randall Cunningham had a long arm and the ability to run. Flutie is a combination of both of those guys. In terms of scrambling quarterbacks, he might take it a whole other level in his own way.

Q: Where does the defense go from here?
A: I don't that we took a step backwards because we're still in the hunt for the NFC East, and that's the key. You've got to win the division. I don't think we took a step backwards. As for where we go, we go to Philadelphia next week.

Q: Was the defense flat early in the game?
A: We just weren't able to stop them, especially on third downs, early in the game. Third down wasn't tight for us early. Later on it was a combination of the run and Doug Flutie doing some very good things. He was tough to grab hold of.

Derek Smith
Q: Did you feel the defense was on the field for too long during the game?
A: It was a fight today. They came out and fought. We fought for the first part of it, but after a while it just wasn't our defense that was out there.

Q: Where does the defense go from here?
A: Back to basics, I guess. Back to fundamentals. Just work on playing the gaps. We're just looking for wins, and we didn't get on today.

Tre Johnson
Q: Did you think the offense was a bit overconfident after the showboating last week from Brad Johnson and Larry Centers?
A: We had a decent week of practice. Nobody made a mental error. We just didn't get it done. When you score, you be happy you scored. If you're a person that showboats, showboat. If you're a person who hands the ball to the ref and do your thing, then do your thing. Don't let anyone put the reins on your emotional standpoint of the game because that's a lot of it. You can't think whatever we beat Chicago by that we're going to romp over everyone else. We can't get like that.

Q: What was wrong with the offense today?
A: I wish we had more opportunities, but we couldn't get into a groove. I would change anything about the offense at all at this point. We had plenty of plays there, but we didn't make them. We needed to make the most of the opportunities we had, but we didn't.

Q: Was Buffalo's defense that good today?
A: Well, for one thing, we were on the bench most of the game. When we got in the game we couldn't get our rhythm going. Buffalo had the ball for long periods of time, so whatever rhythm we had was ruined while sitting on the bench.

Q: What was the key for the Bills' defense?
A: They played the game we wanted to. They kept our defense on the field and tired and kept our offense out of the picture. The offense couldn't convert on third downs or hold the ball long enough to make any big plays. Next week we need to go into Philly and show what this team is capable of doing.

Michael Westbrook
Q: How did you feel the offense played today?
A: We have a great offense. Every game we want to go out and score as many points as we can. That is our job. Obviously our defense was out there playing too much.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Eagles?
A: I am looking forward for our team to practice and play a lot harder than we did this week. We cannot play that way to get where we need to go. We couldn't convert enough third down opportunities. We left the defense on the field too much.

Q: Did you feel you should have had more success passing?
A: We had the coverage that we wanted to have, but we didn't execute. I don't think that they could stop us in our regular form. We just didn't show up to play our football today.

Brad Johnson
Q: What are your general thoughts on the loss?
A: The first one or two possessions we didn't convert on third down, and then the game got out of hand. They scored on every drive, and they had a big lead. The game just got out of hand, and we didn't make things happen. The game got real sloppy in the fourth quarter. We just didn't get first downs, and they controlled the clock, and the game was out of our hands from that point on.

Q: Do you still think you're in the driver's seat in the division?
A: Right now we're 5-3, still tied for first place in the division with eight games to go. So we're still in good position from that standpoint. We felt like this was a big game coming into it, and I talked about it beforehand. I felt like this was the best team we played in preseason. We just didn't pick up our game today.

Q: How did you feel the offense played?
A: Any time you throw the ball over 30 times in a game you're going to get yourself in a bind; that means you're behind. It's not Norv. That's just the way the game goes when you get behind like we did in the second half. There were a lot of good plays for us today. There are some things that kind of got away from us. We had tipped balls at the line of scrimmage, and we had some good plays by the defense, but today was just not our day. The Bills played some good football today.

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