Alex Smith: "We're Not Very Far Away From Scoring A Lot More Points"

Redskins quarterback Alex Smith speaks to the media before Wednesday's practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center

On G Jonathan Cooper's performance last week:

"I think the task that was in front of him to come in on a short week, get up to speed and then go out there and execute, I thought was a tall task. It's a good D-line, definitely the strength of their defense. I though he played great. I know he had a couple flags on him. The one on the screen [play] I thought was borderline, very questionable, but I thought he played great. I thought he went out… I think it'd be easy in that situation to be tentative and hold back. I thought he didn’t blink in the huddle around him. I thought he almost relished the challenge of it and I thought that was really neat to be around."

On what needs to change on offense in order to score more points:

"I think looking at the film there's such small things that we talk about that we're so close to – all of a sudden – it being a 28-point game very easily. I think even if you count the drive before the half – the two-minute drive – I felt like on a third-and-four that we didn’t execute on easily, could have been converted into a touchdown potentially. Yeah, not very far away from scoring a lot more points. So, situational things we do talk about. But certainly, the turnover we had where we only walked away with three (field goal) – hit the ball to Vernon [Davis] – all of a sudden, I think you convert two or three of those and all of a sudden it is almost a 30-point game."

On if he feels the offense has been the same the last few weeks:

"I do feel like as a whole, the consistency of execution I think is improving despite point output. Certainly, there is a good chunk of that fourth quarter we did jump into some four-minute territory and I feel like we executed really well in converting some third downs and eating up a bunch of clock there at the end of that game. So yeah, I do feel like it has gotten better. But certainly like I said, those situations change weekly. You don’t know what they're going to be. You don’t know how they're going to come up. All of the sudden – sudden change – we get a turnover. All of a sudden, four-minute we're going to take a shot to Vernon [Davis], red zone, things like that. You have to prepare for all those and be able to execute them when they do come up. You don't know which ones are going to be the ones that make the difference though. I think that's why they require so much emphasis and detail."

On what challenges the Houston Texans present:

"Certainly, they are one of the most disruptive fronts in football. I think when you just talk about just creating problems, penetration. They're all over the place. They obviously are really, really talented. They get up the field. They're well-coached. I think together as a defense they've been together a long time. The bulk of that defense has been together, so they know what they're doing. They play fast, but certainly, I think it does start with how disruptive they are up front."

On potentially having WR Jamison Crowder back:

"Yeah I mean, not only some depth there at the receiver position but obviously a guy who is crazy talented in matchups, one-on-one, really good in space, has such a good feel for what we're doing on offense. And a guy that – when he is one-on-one – we feel really good about."

On using conservative play-calling at the beginning of the game to get comfortable:

"I think it's a blend of all those things and probably rightfully so. I mean on the road, noise, that front, I think it was important to try and get settled in. I thought the two-minute drive at the end of the half was really big for us getting into some rhythm. I think kind of what Jay [Head Coach Jay Gruden] is alluding to finally turn it loose, feeling good about what we were doing and the guys and how they were playing up front, being able to miss it up from there on out. Yeah, there always is and it's different every game, that whole beginning of the game process, as you feel those things out, as you try to get all your guys in a rhythm. Do you pound it early? Do you let those guys tee off? Do you spread them out? I mean there are so many little things you just try to take into account when you're playing that game."

On finding a rhythm with WR Josh Doctson:

"I do. I do. I think a ton of that comes from the communication that's put in, the work out on the practice field talking about all those different things, then going out there and doing it. He's a guy that obviously has incredible ball skills. I think he's a physical receiver and he's played that way for the last few weeks, really physical. He's a guy that often times when you do play X, you are getting pressed a lot and I think he's done a great job against that against different types of guys, playing physical, playing big and I think [he] made a bunch of big kind of traffic catches the last few weeks."

On his preferred way to approach a playoff chase:

"I think you only want the magnitude of the weeks to get bigger and bigger and that's why you're playing. You want it to get bigger, you want it to increase and that's a good thing if that's happening. I don’t know if we are there yet, we're in the bulk of our season. At this point, the games are big every single week. But obviously as the season goes on, they get more and more magnified and I think that’s a good thing. I think when you are still in the meat of the season though it's way too early to start getting into the math and things like that."

On what home field advantage means to him:

"For me it's cadence. The big thing offensively is communication that you can count on and obviously when we're on offense, the ability to use verbal communication and that's not a little thing. On the road, obviously noise and you've got signaling and going silent. To be at home and be able to communicate, I think you can do more in the huddle and do more at the line of scrimmage. So, all those things play into it. Then, obviously that is flipped though for our defense right? I mean those guys love the crowd noise to make it difficult on an opposing offense but certainly there is an emphasis for them with that noise to be able to communicate non-verbally at home."

On his chemistry with TE Jordan Reed:

"I think it's not so much like, 'Hey what has he done up to this point or how does it compare to years past?' For me, it's where are we going, is it heading in the right direction and are we continuing to get better. I think Jordan is a guy who can do so much. We put him all over the place and move him around and he's matched up against everybody on the defensive side. So yeah, all the reps that we've had, all the stuff we get in practice has kind of continued to lay a foundation for us to build on. I think we are headed there. He's a guy that certainly because of his skillset that we do a lot with and use a lot. I'm excited about it. I feel like obviously as you said, 'hit our potential there', he and I and this offense, but certainly I feel like it's out there for us."

On what defenses do against Reed:

"I think it's very apparent that defenses are aware of the matchup with him. Whether it be first or second down, whether it be third down, that they're careful with whom they put on him and who they matchup with him."