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Alex Smith Redskins Presser: "Every game is huge, division games are even bigger"

Alex Smith answers questions before practice

Carolina Panthers v Washington Redskins Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

Alex Smith spoke to the media before today's Redskins practice. He opened by mentioning the passing of Redskins beat reporter Rich Tandler yesterday. He discussed last week's win, the Cowboys, and what he, and the Redskins, need to improve on going forward.

RIP Rich Tandler

Cowboys defense:

"Yeah, I think similarities to kind of what they’ve been the last few years. On film as far as, they don’t do a ton. They don’t make you prepare. They’re not one of these defenses that play eight different coverages or exotic pressures. They’re not reinventing anything. But obviously, I think you look at them statistically over the last few years and certainly this year, what they do, they do really well, and they play fast. They’re good across the board from a personnel standpoint up front, second level, [and] on the back end. They play together. They play fast and physical, so I think all those things. Sometimes you can watch the film and when you look at some of the numbers, like I said, they don’t [play] all these coverages and things, but the subtleties of what they do really jump out on tape and [they] have had a lot of success doing it.”

Chemistry with Maurice Harris/Michael Floyd:

"It’s the name of the game. At this level, guys have to be ready to roll and have to step up. I think we have that kind of group. Obviously, you named a couple of those guys that have stepped in and haven’t missed a beat helping us, and that’s what you have to do. Good teams do that. Guys have to be able to [be the] next man up and you have to roll.”

Adrian Peterson:

"I haven’t asked him. I don’t want to put words in his mouth, so it would be hard for me to say. I think he enjoys not being pigeon holed in a role. I think that can happen to old guys (laugh). You get told what you can and can’t do. I think this year thus far has been a great example. I think he can do about everything. Coach has done a good job not limiting him and he’s gone out there and made a ton of plays for us.”

Getting the ball out faster:

"There’s a lot of things in there, that’d be part of it. I think all those little situations, you know, where you’re holding on just a fraction too long or you don’t cut it loose. That’s the name of the game in the NFL too. That’s playing quarterback. I mean there’s always going to be pressure, every front, every week’s usually pretty good. Timing and anticipation are critical. Yeah, it also has to do with concepts and the defense we’re going against, all those things, in-game adjustments. There’s a lot that goes into that and cutting that ball loose that fraction earlier. I mean conceptually some things we do that I have a long history with that obviously come very easy and others that [I’m] still new at, still getting the feel for.”

Learning a new offense:

“I think you hope it’s always trending, but there’s certainly going to be depending on week to week, yeah there are going to be dips. Some weeks it’s going to feel great, you know, I think just depending. A ton goes into that, timing and all these things, when you’re getting plays called, what you’re getting them against. But I think generally speaking, you hope that you’re just consistently trending and getting better. That’s the biggest thing. But certainly, week in and week out those challenges change.”

2nd half struggles:

"I think every single one of those is its own unique situation. It kind of goes back to every week is a different challenge, so to lump them all together is unfair. I think they all happen for different reasons. It’s not the same thing going on. Certainly something we want to get remedied though. But, like I said, I think there are a ton of different reasons that change from week to week and each week presents a completely different challenge for us to figure out.”

Dallas Cowboys rivalry:

"You said it, every game is huge, division games are even bigger – they almost count for double. But, anytime you have a storied rivalry like this that goes back that long, there is obviously a lot on the line. A lot of history there on both sides, for us, we’ve got them at home, we’ve got them here, a chance to get them in our place and take advantage. Certainly, thinking back to this last Sunday and what that looked like in the fourth quarter, FedExField was pretty sweet. It was rocking and we certainly hope to carry that over to this next week. But, we’ve got to go out and prove it. There is nothing we can really say or talk about, we’ve just got to go out and do it.”

Jordan Reed:

Josh Doctson:

"I mean, yeah, they [wide receivers] are all different and that’s something that you’ve been recognizing and you work on going back to April. Josh is a guy I appreciate, obviously, crazy talented, a ton of physical ability, but continues to work, every single day, comes out here and works, works hard. Anytime you check us out on special teams or down time, he’s over with us, getting some catches, talking through stuff and as a young receiver, I really appreciate that. Obviously, I think he’s got a bright future and kind of continue to work on those little details of the position and our communication.”