Sunday, August 2, 2015

Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan comments from Day 4 Redskins Training Camp by Redskins PR

Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center – Richmond, Va.
August 2, 2015
General Manager Scot McCloughan

GM Scot McCloughan     Courtesy of Washington Redskins
On signing linebacker Junior Galette:
“The thing about it is, we have a process with the Redskins that on every team we have reports on every player and we rank them from 1-53 and the practice squad guys. It’s our job, especially my job, that the 90 [-man roster] is strong as it can possibly be, and the 53 is as strong as it can possibly be. We did thorough, thorough research. We brought him in, met with him for hours interview-wise, and you know, I’ve been lucky enough to be in this league a long time and to be able to talk to the right people on other teams, our own players and other players and coaches. And the decision was made because we really believe he’s a Redskin, and that’s why we signed him.”

On how Galette tried to convince him about his character:

“The thing about it, it wasn’t ‘convincing,’ it was just him being himself. I told him, ‘I want you to be you. The reason I’m here is to sit down with you face to face, one on one – hour, two hours, three hours, it doesn’t matter, I want to get to know you as a person, that’s what matters to me. I know your football ability, but I want to know you as a person.’  And he is so sincere and so excited about the opportunity to prove that he’s a good guy, prove that he’s a good football player, prove that he’s got a great career ahead of him. It was plain and simple.”

On who is involved in the decision making process for signing players like Galette:

“On this process it was myself, it was Bruce Allen and it was Jay Gruden. We all three met with him, I met with him a lot longer than the both of them. It’s us three, but when it’s all said and done, final say, it’s my call. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter because when it’s all said and done, it’s on my shoulders. I felt really, really strong about it.”

On signing players like Galette:

“It’s not that [he’s] a bad guy. All players have issues. We all have some kind of issue. We’ve all made mistakes or something. I don’t want repeat offenders. I don’t want the guy that’s not going to be the good guy and bring him in our locker room. I think we have a very good defensive staff. We have a very good defensive meeting room, where you can bring a guy in and say, ‘Understand this, OK, boom, you do it again, you’re going to be gone. If you don’t do it again, we’re rocking and rolling.’”

On the reason for signing players that might create “a cloud” that hovers over the organization: 

“Because what you always read in the media and hear from the media is not always accurate, as you’re well aware. We did our investigation. We were thorough, thorough, thorough with the League office and two other coaches in the League. This guy, we feel very comfortable bringing him on board – very comfortable.”

On running back Alfred Morris:

“I think we are very lucky to have a guy like Alfred Morris, not just a player on the field, but the person he is in the building. He’s one of those guys that every day has got a smile on his face, goes out there and works his tail off and no matter what produces. We’re talking, you know. We’d love to have him be a Redskin for the rest of his life, his career. But, you know, things go on, and it takes some time. The whole organization respects Alfred very much.”

On his meeting with Galette and having 24-48 hours to do research on his background: 

“No, we started before 48 hours. We started awhile back. We heard the word on the street. We started a week before doing our research. We evaluate everybody on every team every year, but as a player, we knew him as a player but word got out he might be released, so boom, we’re on. Now we can’t contact the League office until he’s officially waived or anything like that, so we had to sit back, so I did my research with people. Bruce did his, Jay did his. It’s a long process. I promise you guys this, being new here and knowing where we’re going and what we want to build, I’m not going to bring a bad guy in here. I know he’s a really good football player, which I really respect. I’m not going to bring a bad guy in here. I will not give on that, at all.  I sat with him for two hours. It was very intense, very intense to the point we were almost face to face, telling him what I expected. And if he can’t bring it, then we don’t want you. Someone else will sign him, that’s a given. I mean, he’s way too talented at 27 years old not to be signed. It was very intense.”

On how much the contract played into Galette’s signing:

“The thing about it, it’s a good contract for us, but it’s also giving him opportunity to play in the NFL again, you know, and get out here and want to go. That’s what our job is, to bring football players in, make our team stronger and give him opportunity to be a football player.”

On the alleged video:

“I did not like the video at all. As a matter of fact, when I saw the video, it was scary. That’s why I wanted to meet with him [Galette] face to face. That’s why I had to sit down with him and ask him what happened. I got the real story and I’m fine with that.”

On what Galette could say in response:

“Just the truth. Like I said, I am not trying to protect him at all. He is going to have to prove himself out for us, to be with us, but just to talk to him and hear the story... And I wanted to know it, too. It’s very important to me. I got the real story and I’m OK with it.”

On how many people he talked to about Galette:

“Over 20.”

On the story behind the video:

“I can’t [disclose] that.”

On if Galette could still face disciplinary action from the NFL:

“There is a chance. It is still in the process with the league. We’ve been in touch with the league the whole time. Especially once he was released, we could really get some more information. There is a chance something happens, but we’re definitely willing to take that chance with that knowing that he is going to be a Redskin and know that he is going to give us a lot of games.”

On if he is trying to surround Galette with veteran players:

“Well, I think we have been. I think we have that already with the guys we’ve signed in free agency this past offseason and the guys that are already here. Re-signing Ryan [Kerrigan], having Terrance [Knighton] in here, we’ve got guys in place, but still, it’s our job to make sure he is protected. But it’s also his job to make sure he understand what a Redskin is and take care of himself off the field, as he does on the field. I think he understands that.”

On who decided to pursue Galette:


On if he had to persuade President Bruce Allen:

“No, no. Bruce and I talk every day – doesn’t matter about if it’s football stuff, if it’s family stuff, whatever. You know, my job is to make the Redskins as strong as they can possibly be. You know, this kid’s a 27-year-old pass rusher that’s got a lot of production that’s had some issues in the past. So I sat down with Bruce, we talked through it and he says OK, let’s get involved in it and see what happens. He had other options and for some reason we talked him into us being the first visit. He came in and, I’m telling you, when he left my room, the guy was crying, he was sweating, he was so excited to be a Redskin. You know, that’s passion. That’s what I’m looking for is competitiveness and toughness. Now, he has to walk the line and he knows that. And he will. If he doesn’t, then he’s gone, plain and simple.”

 On revamping the safety position and the offensive line:

“The safety was very important because you know they had two veterans last year. They were let go, they’re not returning. I’m very lucky to have Dashon Goldson, who I drafted when I was San Francisco, knowing not just the kind of football player he is, but the leadership he brings, the intelligence he brings, for not just for the position but for the whole secondary. You know, a guy they can trust on. You know, Jeron Johnson, I was very lucky to be in Seattle with him knowing that he’s been a backup behind Kam [Chancellor] and Earl [Thomas], which is tough. A good special teams player, but also a smart guy, and a tough guy, a competitive guy. Both guys have been to Super Bowls, so they’re bringing ability to know, ‘Listen, this is what it’s supposed to look like, this is how you’re going to go to a Super Bowl, this is how a defense practices, this is how we take notes, this is how we watch tape.’ So I thought that was very important. On the right side of the line, it’s going to be young. You know, that’s alright. We’ve got to start somewhere. Let’s start building. Right now with Spencer [Long] and with Brandon [Scherff], we have two big body guys that are smart guys and tough guys. Are they the most talented guys in the world? Probably not. That doesn’t matter to me. I want five guys up front that are going to play together and all of a sudden you have that, then you have got a chance to run the ball. Instead of second-and-8, you’ve got second-and-4. Instead of third-and-6, it’s third-and-3, and all of a sudden, it helps the quarterback out from the standpoint of play-action.”

On the position battle between safeties Jeron Johnson and Duke Ihenacho:

“They’re battling, they’re competing… They’re very similar to tell you the truth. You know, I know Jeron better because I’ve been with him for four years but it’s competition, you know what? And all of the sudden, you’ve got one, two , three, four, whatever. Whoever two is doesn’t matter, whoever three is and four, if they’re not starting, they’re on special teams and both those cats are big time special-teams players. We have to improve our special teams, no matter what.”

On cornerback Bashaud Breeland’s suspension:

“I don’t want to touch base on when the incident happened. We were aware of it and knew there was a chance it might happen. But it's like injury stuff. I don’t touch base on that.”

On losing Breeland to injury and suspension:

“Yeah, he’s a really good football player. You think about for a young guy, you want him to be able to go through the process – you know, training camp, getting the reps, getting against some good players. But that’s part of the game. It’s awful. You can’t foresee it coming, but it happens. But he’s going to be a good player for us and I think he learned a lot from it which might be a blessing in disguise, but going forward he’s going to be a good Redskin for a while, a really good Redskin. I’ve been around some corners now and he’s got chance.”

On if he spoke to anyone on the Saints about Galette:
“I don’t want into get in that, but yes we talked to a lot of people. I don’t want to talk about teams or names or anything. But, yes, I spoke with many people that knew him very well… I’m not going to go into teams. I spoke to people that knew him very well that have been around him a while – not just coaches, but players, media, a lot of people. I did too much research to tell you the truth.”

On how much the roster has improved and what would constitute a successful season:

“From the standpoint of wins, doesn’t matter; I mean it matters, but I’m not going to put a number on it. I’ve been very lucky to be around good teams and bad teams. I’ve been here for six months… seven months, being able to be see this offseason and see the coaches excited,  see the players getting better every day, I’m not going to put a number on it, but I know this, when you play the Redskins this year, you’re going to know you played us. You’re going to feel us from the standpoint of being physical. The next morning, you’re going to be sore. We’re not going to win every game, but I tell you what, we’re going to compete no matter what. We’re going get after you and we’ll not back down from anything. I promise you, we will not back down from anything. If we do, changes will be made, but we’re not going to. We’re going to get after it. The NFL, there’s a lot of parity in it, but also it’s about staying healthy. It’s about just knowing that we’re playing a very tough schedule, everybody knows that – who we’re playing – but we’re going to be a competitive team every Sunday – or Monday or Saturday or whenever we’re playing – and you’re going to know you played us. That’s all I ask for right now.”

On his role in roster cuts:

“I have final say on the 53, but the coaches are going to be highly involved. My personnel department is going to be highly involved. It’s not about me, it’s about us. And it’s very, very important. It’s the whole building. I have to make the final decisions, but I trust the coaches because they have their hands on them at all the time in the meetings and all that. I have faith in my scouting staff that makes decisions about who can and can’t play, but I make the final call."

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