MOBILE, Ala. | Ike Hilliard joined the Redskins coaching staff Tuesday and got right to work coaching the receivers South roster. He met with reporters following Wednesday’s practice. Here’s our Q&A.
Q: What are your thoughts about starting this new job?
IH: “I just have to learn. I’m first and foremost flattered and honored to have this opportunity. It will be a pleasure to work for Coach Shanahan, both of them, learning from both guys. I just think at the end of the day, now being behind the 8-ball a little bit, just get there and work, learn as much as I can, detail it the way it’s necessary to be detailed in order to be able to communicate what needs to be done for our coaching staff and do the best job that I can there.”
Q: What has the transition from playing to coaching been like?
IH: “That’s a story. Playing is a different animal. I was fortunate enough to fool people for 12 years and play this game. I absolutely enjoyed every part of it, the high and lows – everything you learn from the game and take away from it.
“I’m excited. I’m on the coaching staff now, the management. It’s a different ballgame. The time that’s spent trying to detail what needs to be detailed in order to get these guys all the information they need in order to be successful, you appreciate – as a former player – the preparation that’s put in.
“I’m blessed, obviously. I was fortunate enough to transition right after I finished playing for Coach [Jim] Haslett in the UFL. Jay Gruden was our offensive coordinator and we had other great coaches. I’ve been around it in a very short amount of time, and I’ve learned so much. No, I don’t have it all figured out. Not even close. I’ve been blessed enough to be in a position where I can hopefully share my experience, both good and bad, with the guys going forward.”
Q: What coaches have influenced you?
IH: “You can take something from every coach you’ve been around. The animal that Sean Payton was to change our culture up there [with the New York Giants] offensively when I played and we made our Super Bowl (XXV) run. And then Jon Gruden, being down there with him detailing it. My position coach, Richard Mann, had such a big influence on me. Jimmy Robinson is a guy who coached me in New York. The detail I received from those guys just gravitated me toward the profession. I’m just flattered to be in it.”
Q: What about the Redskins made this job attractive?
IH: “At the end of the day it’s just an opportunity. Last year being an assistant and working with a group of receivers down there [in Miami] with [Brandon] Marshall, [Davone] Bess and [Brian] Hartline and those guys, I was fortunate enough to be around a few good ones that could process the game and just trying to take as much as I can learning from every coach at every level and try to transfer it to these guys.”
Q: What’s next for you after the Senior Bowl?
IH: “It’s a transitional process obviously. Get the family up there and start figuring it out.”
Q: What do you think about the Redskins’ receivers?
IH: “I’m hoping that my experience, obviously it’s not going to be what defines who I am as a coach. After learning from Kyle [Shanahan], he’s the guy driving the ship on offense, I’m looking forward to soaking up as much as I can and detail what needs to be detailed to transfer the information that we want to transfer.”
Q: How much do you know about Mike and his system?
IH: “Everybody knows about Mike Shanahan. I’m just flattered and honored to have the opportunity to work for him. Concepts are familiar. I’m a West coast guy. I played in it 11 of my 12 years, so I’m familiar with the concepts. Terminology is something I’m going to have to continue to grind on, just learning on the job. That’s something I’ll do from Day 1 when I get there.”