Coach Mike Tomlin looks at this week's opponent – the Washington Redskins:
Q. Do you see any of Michael Vick in Robert Griffin III?
A. Having had an opportunity to compete against both at the beginning of their careers, you could say that RGIII is more pro ready in terms of distributing the ball from the pocket. His play-action pass game is exceptional. He's completing over 70 percent of his passes, and that's ridiculous. He is a mature and complete football player, and that's not something you can often say about rookie quarterbacks.
Q. What are the keys to slowing down and containing Robert Griffin III?
A. Obviously, not a lot of people have been successful thus far. His quarterback rating is over 100. He's the sixth-rated rusher in the NFC. So, we've got our work cut out for us. We acknowledge that he's a top quality player. His unique skills probably reduce you some in what you're capable of doing comfortably defensively. But at the same time, we can't sit back and be passive. We've got to attack and play to our personality and hopefully, reduce what he's capable of doing, or at least minimize it. He's a quality, talented player, one who generates a lot of what they do offensively and as a football team. I think our preparation starts there in regards to preparing for the Redskins.
Q. Are the designed running plays the Redskins use the same as the ones RGIII ran in college?
A. No, it's really not. I think he was more of a pocket guy and passer in college and really created what he did in the running game through broken plays. This is somewhat different. This is a pistol attack, an option attack, a designed running attack with quarterback leads and draws and so forth. I didn't necessarily remember that about his Baylor tape. It was more run game as a function of opportunity.
Q. Does Griffin III take a lot of hits and put himself at risk?
A. He's a very elusive and fast guy. I'm sure there are some people who would like to hit him. I don't know how successful they've been.
Q. Are you surprised that Griffin III has been so successful right away?
A. I'm not. I think that more than anything, the organizations that are playing these young guys are doing a nice job of playing to their strengths. They're doing that in Washington. Obviously, they've got continuity in Miami with their young quarterback with their offensive coordinator being his college head coach. I think more than anything, they've been conscious of surrounding them with familiarity from a schematic standpoint and leaning on their athletic strengths, which is smart.
Q. Is the Redskins offense similar to the other offenses Mike Shanahan has implemented?
A. It's kind of looks like Kyle (Shanahan), who I'm familiar with of course. I worked with Kyle Shanahan years ago down in Tampa, and he's the Redskins offensive coordinator and he's an outside the box thinker. He's a guy who likes to mix the rush and pass, a guy who likes play-action pass, a guy who's not afraid to explore the possibilities – pistol being one of them – to maximize and utilize the talents of the men he has. It's not something that's outside of the line of the thinking of the play-caller so I'm not surprised by it at all.
Q. Is the Redskins zone blocking scheme similar to the one Mike Shanahan had in Denver?
A. There are elements of that, but this is a diverse attack. They attack you in a lot of ways and give you a lot of things to be prepared for. They challenge you in that way.
Q. Is rookie Alfred Morris one of those later-round draft picks at the running back position who historically have had success in Mike Shanahan's offense?
A. When you look around the NFL, it's obvious that quality backs come to you in a variety of forms. We have talked about Jonathan Dwyer, and Jonathan is not a high-round draft pick. The guy who is arguably the best in the world right now is Arian Foster down in Houston, and he wasn't drafted at all. I just think that's the nature of today's NFL. Backs come from all over and they have a variety of skill-sets, and you just have to decide what it is that you need and what works for you. Obviously, Morris is a good fit for the Redskins.
Q. The Redskins like to go to WR Santana Moss in the red zone. Who gets that assignment?
A. It will be Cortez Allen primarily, because Santana works exclusively in the slot. That's a role that is developing for Santana, and Cortez will play in the slot for us. We think Cortez is up to the challenge, but obviously he has to prove it with his play.
Q. No team in the league has allowed more passing yards than the Redskins. What have you seen on tape?
A. Usually when that statement is made about you, it's about physical and mental breakdowns. That has been the case. They have been rolodexing defensive backs in that group. At safety Brandon Meriweather has played, Tanard Jackson has played, and they've rolled through a number of guys at cornerback – Cedric Griffin and Crezdon Butler and others. Cedric Griffin is back and healthy now, and I think that's the one-two-three punch they're looking for at the position, with Cedric Griffin, DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson. They got them back together last week, and I thought they were much improved.
Q. With all the upheaval in the secondary, how have they managed to get 10 interceptions?
A. They're getting contributions from all over. Five of those interceptions have come from the linebacking corps, and when you're getting that kind of contribution from your linebackers you have an opportunity to put up big numbers in that regard. A guy like Ryan Kerrigan has contributed greatly to this point in the season.