SMITH: “I think first you turn on the tape and those two guys on the edge jump out. They’re good football players, elite players. And then, across the board, they’re good up-front. They play a three-four defensive front, which will be a new test for us. Then, they have a lot of experience on the back end, a lot of guys who have seen a lot of football and are capable of making some big plays. Then they, scheme-wise, throw a lot at you; they can be very aggressive at times.”
Q: These last few games, you guys have been explosive offensively, what has been different for you guys?
SMITH: “I think it just comes back to consistency. I think we have finally been able to put together multiple quarters, multiple drives, two halves of football together, offensively. We weren’t able to do that earlier in the year. We kind of had them here or there, little glimpses, but were never able to put a complete game together. Just executing, I think it comes down to that, executing better. I think we have been spreading the ball around really well, these last few weeks, everybody involved. It makes it tough to defend.”
Q: Is it just time in the system too that has something to do with that or no?
SMITH: “I mean, I’m sure, no question. I think the more time you’re in it, the better you’re going to get, the more comfortable you’re going to get; that definitely has something to do with it. I don’t think that’s everything. You could definitely point to a lack of production earlier or execution. I think we’re just playing better. We’re stretching the field very well and then, we’re doing it consistently.”
Q: Would you say you’re in need of a stabilizing victory this week to get you back on track?
SMITH: “Yeah, I mean, for me, I don’t necessarily view it that way in the sense that yeah we have lost three in a row, but you kind of flush that stuff behind you. We’re 9-3 and we have a chance, a potential chance to clinch a playoff spot this week. To me, how exciting that is, we have a chance here to go on the road and win a game and punch our ticket to the dance. That’s a huge opportunity, not many teams get to do that and that’s what you’re playing for all year. That’s what you work for in the offseason is to be able to get to the post season, because once you get there, it doesn’t matter what your record is, you’re in the tournament. For me, that’s the way I’m looking at it right now. That’s my view of things.”
Q: After losing three and having three out of four, from here on out on the road, is this team kind of at a crossroads, right now?
SMITH: “I still don’t view it like that. I think it was a unique three weeks. We played Denver twice and they’re a good football team. It didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. I think early on in the year we had been in some close games and that’s going to happen in the NFL, the vast majority of games are going to come down to one possession. Early on in the year, we were the team making the plays. We made the plays late in games that put us on the other side and these last three weeks, we weren’t able to get it done. I certainly view it, like I said, we have a chance to get a ‘W’ this week and get into the postseason, potentially. I think everybody is looking just to get a little better, everybody. Let’s just turn it up just a little bit. I don’t think anyone needs to do anything crazy at all, just kind of continue to do what we have been doing.”
Q: Can you talk a little about
SMITH: “Yeah, I think from the start, coming in so late, having to play right away and stepping in with Anthony (Fasano) being injured, I think he did a great job. I think he has just done a great job of coming in and being able to make plays when he is asked to. It seems like he catches everything. I think he has been a great addition.”
Q: You are first in starting field position and the Redskins are last; can that be overstated?
SMITH: “Yeah, I think it can definitely be underappreciated. I think it is a huge part of football, field position. So much of it goes into special teams and what those guys do. It’s so often that it does go unnoticed; I don’t think here though, how valuable that is. You can look at it over the course of the history of football; starting field position and your chances of scoring points increase dramatically based on your starting field position. It’s a huge factor in games.”
Q: Does the trust factor drop when players drop balls?
SMITH: “Absolutely not. Those are things that are going to happen in the passing game. I miss passes out there. You’re never going to be perfect. You just keep shooting and keep throwing them and nothing is going to change. We just go out there, and like I said, we just have to be a little better.”
Q: The last couple of games,
SMITH: “I mean at times; he still gets so much focus, because he can do so much, but yeah I think distributing the football to a lot of different guys and stretching the field certainly helps the running game. It’s certainly going to help get him in more space, not only in the running game, but the passing game as well. Absolutely.”
Q: What have you seen from AJ Jenkins and
SMITH: “Two guys that just stayed ready. They don’t know when their number is going to get called and that’s a tough position. They do special teams and you have to stay ready for both. You don’t know what’s going to happen, when it is going to come, what it is going to look like. You just have to be ready for it and those guys have done a great job of being prepared week in and week out, these last couple of weeks especially, coming in and making plays.”