Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

jay grudenWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Saturday following the Redskins’ 27-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

 

On the injury report:

“Trent Murphy – right hand, his third metacarpal. Broken hand, yes. Trent Williams re-aggravated his shoulder. Kedric Golston has an AC sprain. He’ll be OK. [Center] Kory Lichtensteiger went out with a stinger. He came back and played. [Safety] Ryan Clark aggravated his ankle. He came back and played.”

 

On how good it feels to walk off the field with a win:

“Yeah, really good. I love the way our team battled and competed. There’s been a lot of talk about people quitting and you can see right there what type of guys we have. Trent Williams came out there and competed, had a lot of snaps with a bad shoulder, battled through it. The rest of the guys, Robert [Griffin III], hung in there. Defense hung in there against a very good Philadelphia football team. I’m very, very happy with the way everybody played and very proud of the way they competed.”

 

On if the Eagles put forth extra effort to cover wide receiver DeSean Jackson:

“No, that’s their style of play. They’ve had success with that all year and they expect their corners to come in and compete and they’ve done that all year and they’ve had a lot of success. DeSean… That’s not the first time DeSean has ever been singled, nor will it be the last – just good to see him run by the guys. Good to see Robert [Griffin III] put the ball out there so he could go get it.”

 

On if he pushed tackle Trent Williams to play after Williams re-aggravated his shoulder:

“No, he just went in there. If he’s good, he’s going to go and it shows what kind of competitor he is and what kind of guy he is. He came in there and competed and finished the game.”

 

On quarterback Robert Griffin III looking comfortable early in the game:

“Obviously, we only had the ball 23 snaps in the first half so we didn’t really get a chance to muster a lot of drives together, but I think Robert did a great job. I think No. 1, getting the ball out of his hands and [No. 2] making good decisions. He only got sacked twice. One [of the sacks] he had no chance on. The other one was a great rush by their guy against Trent. Overall, I thought he did an outstanding job of managing the football game, not only in the passing game but he did a lot at the line of scrimmage in the running game, which his very, very important. He did an excellent job. I think [we were] just trying to get him comfortable, trying to get him an opportunity to get the ball out of his hands and make good, sound decisions like he did.”

 

On Griffin III staying in the pocket longer than usual and if he made a concerted effort to do that:

“I think so. The line gave him some good protection, too. It works hand-in-hand. I thought there was a couple throws – especially the first drive, I think, where he hit Andre Roberts across the middle, he stood in there tall and made a great play. He made another great throw to Andre that Andre he couldn’t hold onto on the deep out route on third-and-long where he stood in the pocket. It was great to see Robert compete and play and he looked like he had a lot of fun out there and the players responded to him and [it’s] huge to get a win for him.”

 

On if Griffin III is keeping his eyes up more:

“I mean, that’s what he’s been doing, I think. You know, it’s just this week we had a little but more success so you look like you play better when you win the game. I think he did a great job today of handling, like I said, the running game. When he was asked to go back and pass and read through progressions, I think he did a good job.”

 

On cornerback Bashaud Breeland and if he has proven he is capable of playing at a very high level:

“No question, no question. This guy is a great competitor. He wants all the action. He doesn’t want to have any safety help. He wants to be manned up and that’s the type of guy he is – very tough, very physical. He obviously came up huge for us today. As a rookie, he’s one of the guys we’re already leaning on as a leader back there. He’s a great competitor and a great find for us. He’s just going to get better and better.”

 

On if he knew Breeland was this good going into the draft:

“No, we’re very smart. If we knew he was that good, we wouldn’t have drafted him in the fourth [round]. We would’ve drafted him in the second [laughter]. But no, he just came in… let’s talk about guys stepping up when D-Hall [cornerback DeAngelo Hall] got hurt. Somebody had to step up and take those reps and it was Bashaud.”

 

On the last kick was supposed to be an onside kick:

“That wasn’t supposed to be. That was supposed to be a squib. He [kicker Kai Forbath] accidentally hit the guy, so that was a heart attack waiting to happen right there. We wanted to squib it, let it bounce around there on the 30, 25-yard line. Hopefully, they pick it up, run off four or five seconds and the game is over, but he hit the guy in the front, which he couldn’t do [again] in a million years if he tried.”

 

On Jackson’s ability to stretch defenses week after week:

“Yeah, he’s obviously a great, talented guy. The last couple weeks he’s been a little bit out of it just because of the injury and it’s good to see him full strength, good to see him continue to compete in practice. A lot of these guys could have gone down but they all stayed up, stayed positive, all competed in practice, practiced hard and when their number was called today, we had a lot of guys make plays, which DeSean was one of them.”

 

On how pleased he is with running back Alfred Morris’ performance and what he has to look forward to from him:

“Alfred is ‘Steady Eddie’ with us. No. 1, he needs to continue with the ball protection and he did that today, of course. He went over 1,000 yards today. [I] credit him and the offensive line and the tight ends and the fullback D.Y. [Darrel Young]. I’m really happy for Alfred and there should be more stories like that. Outside of the football field and on, he is such a great guy – quality act.”

 

On what was said to the team when the score was tied 24-24 before wide receiver Pierre Garçon’s 23-yard play:

“We had the ball on the 40-yard line after Breeland’s interception. We took a shot after the quick game. We thought that we had a great chance with the one-on-one game with Pierre and he did. Great throw by Robert and the catch after was huge. Obviously, we had the late hit penalty, [which] was huge. It just enables us to get down the field a little bit more comfortably. The boys didn’t have to rush in the two minutes down the field. We were able to control the game and control the offense, run the ball and run the clock out. Kai of course was the final ingredient to win the game.”

 

On the importance of having two out of the team’s four wins be against division rivals:

“If you can only pick four, then you want it against these guys – Dallas and Philly. A win is a win for me, but to get it against a quality opponent like Philadelphia with [Head Coach] Chip Kelly who is a heck of a football coach and has a lot of great talent, I think it is a great credit to our players and coaching staff.”

 

On watching the young guys come out and play hard in the win:

“It feels great, not just the young guys now. Ryan Clark, he was all over the place. Not to mention Trent Williams, Chris Chester and Kory Lichtensteiger up front and competing. [Kedric] Golston [competed] out there with the bad shoulder, Chris Baker, [Jarvis] Jenkins and it goes on and on. These guys all competed. They have a lot of pride and no one is happy where we are record-wise. For them to come out there and show what character they have, to compete like this, it was very refreshing to see this.”

 

On Eagles tight end Zach Ertz:

“I didn’t know he had 15 catches. That is a lot. He is a great player and they have a lot of great weapons. It’s all about the quarterback scouring around and making the proper reads and going through his progressions. We didn’t get enough consistent pass rush. Obviously, with [Trent] Murphy going out early, we were trying to mix in our fourth guy. We didn’t blitz a lot. We really didn’t want to blitz a lot. I think it’s a credit to Mr. [Mark] Sanchez and Ertz for making those plays.”

 

On Griffin III’s performance in tonight’s win:

“I’ve been impressed with Robert. I’ve been impressed with him. He made some throws and stood in there and made a couple of runs and they were some big runs. I just thought that he managed the game extremely well and getting out of the huddle, no delay of game penalties. He competed and that is what you want to see a quarterback do. He competed and was being a leader. That is what I told him to do. I don’t care if you go 14-of-100 or 10-of-10 or 1-of-1. As long as you get the W, that is the most important thing, and this time we got a victory and the quarterback gets a major, major thumbs up. I’m happy for Robert.”

 

On sending the blitz at the end:

“We saved it just for the right time. Coach [Defensive Coordinator Jim] Haslett is sneaky man. We sent it a couple times and we were Cover 0. We weren’t going to die a slow death and we wanted to make sure we let our defense get after Sanchez, or make him get it out of his hands quick and make it a tough throw. The reason we didn’t do it earlier in the game was to make sure the secondary was sound. I think Coach Haslett did a great job saving it for the right time.”

 

On if Griffin III earned the starting job:

We won today, so heck yeah. He did a great job. Let’s finish this season out on a high note against Dallas when they come here. Then after the season we will make all the necessary adjustments. It’s a great opportunity for Robert to reestablish himself as the leader of this football team – hoping he does it.”

 

On how impressed he was with the performance of safety Ryan Clark:

“I can’t speak highly enough of Ryan. He is another one of those core guys that you want on your team, as long as you are here. Very tough, very competitive. He made a great play today. I love having him out there. You sleep good at night knowing Ryan is out there.”

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