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Aaron Kromer Discusses Preparations For Contest Against The Redskins

Offensive Line/Running Game Coach Aaron Kromer met with media following practice on Friday.


Opening Statement:"Today, we have game status (reports). Marcel Jones is out. He did not practice with a left knee (injury). Adrian Arrington, right knee, did not practice. He is questionable. Jabari Greer, right groin, was limited today. He is questionable. Marques Colston, left foot, was limited. He is questionable. David Hawthorne, left knee, full go today. He is questionable. Curtis Lofton, right ankle, full go. He is questionable. Today, we worked on red zone, short yardage (and) goal line. (It was a) typical day on Friday that we would use. Everything went well and tomorrow we will have a walkthrough before he head to the dome."

Are there any setbacks with the injured players?

"I think it is still a case where we have to check them out, give them the 48 hours before the game or whatever it is and get them ready."

What are your expectations with Robert Griffin III? What have you looked at to prepare for him?

"We are preparing for the Heisman Trophy winner. You don't win that by accident. He is an excellent athlete as far as he can throw football, he is smart, and he can run the football. When you have that combination of those three things, it is tough to defense him. We have to just hit the field and, like I said earlier in the week, we need to follow the rules on defense. That is what it comes down to, what Coach Spagnuolo calls. If everybody does their job then hopefully we can contain him."

Are you looking at mainly preseason film? Are you looking at Baylor's film?

"You definitely have to look at the preseason and then you do want to investigate back. We did so much scouting. We do scouting as a group, offensively and defensively, as a whole building and so we see these players, not only the offensive coaches to see if we want to draft a quarterback of that nature, but the defensive coaches are sitting in there as well so we get a broad spectrum of what these guys can do. We have studied him before, we have seen him coming in to the draft. (Steve) Spagnuolo has seen him coming in to the draft. We have a good handle on what he can do (with) what we have seen at Baylor and in the preseason. Then, you just have to guess. There are some things. What is wildcat offense? What does that mean? They could read the back side end and hand the ball off or not hand it off and run a quick option off the back. Those things you just have to account for and be ready for in case they do it."

How much do you expect him to run on Sunday?

"I wouldn't expect it to be the main part of their offense. Obviously, they could do it at any point. (Mike) Shanahan has had his offense that he runs for years and this quarterback fits into his offense. Let's be honest. They run the stretch play in the running game and they boot their quarterback off in the naked away from the run and he throws the ball deep well which is what they do in that offense as well. He really fits Shanahan's offense. I wouldn't be surprised to go into this game and realize when it was over that all he ran was what you know of Shanahan's offense. We will see at the field."

How much of the game plan is installed as of Friday afternoon?

"We do all of our installation situationally. At this point, it is 100% in. As of tomorrow, then we walk through, polish, and meet on and review those things that we put in daily. It is all in as of this point."

Is it reasonable for Will Smith to expect to play on Sunday if he is reinstated as he has said?

"Will Smith knows our defense and I am sure there is nothing radical in our defense different from normal. I know it is importance to practice but someone of Will Smith's status and experience, I think he could handle coming in, realizing what the plan was and be able to play well."

It is fourth and one on the Redskins' 40-yard line, who makes the decision to go for it? Pete Carmichael, Drew Brees or yourself?

"I would say it is all three of us. That is a good triangle of trust right there that you just said. I think, as a group, we will come up with the feel of the game. Drew is in the huddle and Drew realizes how the guys feel and how the flow of the game is going. Pete Carmichael is calling all of the plays and, obviously, we have a plan for fourth and one in that situation as well as myself. We will work together. We'll all agree on that at the time."

What do you see when you look at the Redskins' front seven?

"I see physical, powerful inside players. Then, I see two guys playing outside linebacker or defensive end in the nickel that can pass rush and their pass rush comes from power, speed to power, and power. Then, you add London Fletcher to that who continues to make tackle after tackle. They are a very strong front seven. We have our hands full with this group."

What does a veteran presence like Ben Grubbs do for your offensive line?

"Well, Ben Grubbs is the same age as the guy that we let go to Tampa (Carl Nicks). He has fit in well. Our biggest thing was to get him gelling with (Brian) de la Puente, the center, and Jermon Bushrod, the left tackle. When you are playing next to guy like that in such tight confines, it is important that they know each other, that they know what the guy is going to do before he does it, how he is going to respond and how it's going to feel when they play next to each other. We've had the opportunity all training camp and in OTAs and offseason to get that done. Obviously, this is going to be the first regular season game. He fits in our offense very well and then fit in with those two guys extremely well throughout this time. He is a very mature player, a mature person, so he takes coaching well and he works together well because he is not resistant to anything. He was a Pro Bowler when we got him and I see him continuing to be one."

Do you have any jitters or nerves?

"The first game, you always have jitters because you don't know your team. Whether you are the head coach, the line coach, the water boy, you feel a bit of nerves just because it is the first game. What is our team going to look like this year? How are we going to function? What is our personality? Is our defensive personality going to be the same, are we going to be flying around, physical, blitzing, hitting guys? How are they going to react to certain situations? How is Drew Brees, this year, going to react to certain situations? Is Darren Sproles going to be the same? Is Zach Strief going to be the same? Is (Brian) de la Puente going to play the same? Is (Marques) Colston going to be the same? Are we going to gel early? Is it going to take us time? I know this, we go in to practice and we start from day one and we try to improve every day. I know that's a cliché but we really put a lot of emphasis on 'what did we get better at today?' I think if you continue to do that and follow the process when you get to the game, you'll be nervous before it starts but once it starts you are playing football and doing those things that you do."

How does your preparation change?

"As a group, we put it all together and get ready for the game as we always do. I coach offense, coach (Sean) Payton coached offense. You don't want to overstep your bounds as a head coach. There's coaches all over this league, as a head coach, that one guy is an offensive coach and he spends all of his time there and he lets the coordinator handle it, and vice-versa. Then, there are other guys that want to dip into both sides and not coach anything, which is a rarity to be honest. I think you prepare the same way. What can I do to help? I coach offense so I am going to spend a lot of time thinking about the offense during the game. And, obviously, as the defense is playing, manage the game a little but defense is defense and let coach (Steve) Spagnuolo handle it and special teams with coach (Greg) McMahon, he will handle it. They have been doing it that way for years?"

Will Darren Sproles still be you primary punt and kickoff returner?

"We have the ability, now, to have Darren or (Travaris) Cadet do it. If Darren is a little tired, we could put Cadet in there and also Lance Moore can return punts. We feel a luxury, right now, in that position, that if it is a long drive or a guy gets tired or a little bit dinged and he needs a break, we can put somebody else in. We feel good about that?"

Will it start out that way?

"We will decide that on Sunday."

Will Cadet be active on Sunday?

"We will decide that too."

How much will going to his first Pro Bowl motivate Jermon Bushrod this season and for the next couple of years?

"You are not going to believe me when I say this but our team is so humble that you can't tell the Pro Bowl guys from the guy that just got here a day ago. Drew Brees is the same way. They're assertive but they are so humble. Jermon Bushrod feels like he did the first day. He has confidence in his play but he is not arrogant in any way over that. It might make him more confident as he enters this game but it is still him against (Brian) Orakpo all day and that is a tough duty. It is still him against the best pass rusher every week. He keeps his head on straight and keeps working and knows 'I have some limitations, what am I doing to get better at them?'"

Are you curious to see how defenses defend Jimmy Graham?

"Hopefully they will double team him and we will throw it to (Darren) Sproles. Then, when they double team Sproles, we will throw it to Jimmy Graham. As the offense fits together, those things all work themselves out. If I was coaching defense, I would try to take those two guys away. Now, you still have (Marques) Colston and a lot of other weapons you can go to."

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