Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

jay grudenWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Friday. The Redskins (4-11) host the Dallas Cowboys (11-4) on Sunday in NFL action.

 

On the injury report:

“[Jason] Hatcher, knee, did not participate – he’s going to be doubtful. Trent [Williams] was limited, he’ll be questionable. Chris Baker was limited, he’ll be questionable. Robert [Griffin III] was full today, he’ll be probable. Gabe Miller was limited, he’ll be questionable. Keenan Robinson was limited, he’ll be questionable. Stephen Bowen missed today because of an illness, he’s questionable. [Bashaud] Breeland was full and the rest of those guys will be probable with their injuries. So, yes, Robert did everything full today and we expect him to be OK.”

 

On why defensive end Jason Hatcher was not put on Injured Reserve:

“Well, it didn’t look like that. We thought there was a chance, that’s why. It just hasn’t progressed like we thought it would. It was the type of injury that didn’t really need surgery, we didn’t think. So we thought maybe the swelling or the soreness would be something he could play with but obviously it hasn’t as of yet.”

 

On his summary of Hatcher’s first season in Washington:

“Obviously at the end here with the injuries it’s been a little frustrating for him, I’m sure. Early on, I think when we had everybody healthy I think he was doing a good job obviously, but I think overall for anybody to say that we were completely pleased with coaching performances or player performances would be a little over-exaggerated. But I think Hatcher came in here, he’s a great guy who works hard and I really appreciate what he brought to this team not only from the football player standpoint but from a person standpoint. So moving forward I’m glad he’s on our team.”

 

On if he has been satisfied with the effort from his players:

“I have, I have. You know, the injuries, they’ve hurt us a little bit as far as that regard as far as participation in practice obviously, but for the most part guys have come in here and they’ve practiced hard and they’re paying attention in meetings and they’re working hard. They know this is a great opportunity, especially these young guys, man. They know what a great opportunity it is and then of course the veteran guys, they have a lot of pride and they know what this Cowboy rivalry means and they know what playing in front of our home crowd means so they are taking this very serious.”

 

On evaluating quarterback Robert Griffin III’s injury:

“Yeah, the big thing is we wanted to make sure he didn’t have a lot of pain when he threw and he didn’t today so that’s the big thing and he looked good today, made all the throws today. So I think everything is full systems go with him and we’ll get a gauge for him tomorrowmorning and see how he feels after throwing today and go from there, but we feel very confident he will be OK.”

 

On if he wants to limit Griffin III’s throws going into Sunday:

“Well, we didn’t really go crazy today throwing 400 balls. I think it was a good amount for him to throw and just see where he is at, make sure he got a couple deep balls thrown today, make sure he was able to get it out quick and throw some good velocity-type throws and he made all the types of throws that we need. We didn’t kill him and if he felt any soreness we were going to pull him, but he was able to go through the whole period today and do the two-minute drill at the end so he looked good.”

 

On his message to the team:

“Well, the message is simple right now. We want to build off a great victory against Philadelphia, you know what I mean? We want to put two games back-to-back together, which we haven’t done this year. So, very important for us to finish the season strong and finish it out the way we want to, not the way the Cowboys want. They have a lot to play for obviously after this week but we don’t. So it’s very important for us to finish this game and play like we think we can play. Let these young guys play and let the veteran guys finish strong and show what we are all about.”

 

On if there are any players that surprised him:

“Any players that have surprised me in that regard? You know, we’re continuing to evaluate these guys every day, every practice, every game and after the season we are going to evaluate everybody very closely and really sit down from an individual standpoint, really get a good evaluation on all these guys. And there have been some guys that have been stepped up and done extremely well obviously in some relief duties, like Bashaud Breeland – obviously we can’t say enough good things about him. And we’re excited about some of the prospects that we have here, but for me to just stand up here and single out a couple guys I don’t think would be right until I go through the film and really critique each individual on every play that they’ve played this year, which we will do as a staff and that takes time.”

 

On if he takes a certain pride in seeing “fringe” players like linebackers Jackson Jeffcoat and Trevardo Williams make plays:

“No question. I talk about opportunities and what a great opportunity it is for guys like this. I mean, seriously, they are going to come in here and play against the Dallas Cowboys at our home stadium and really try to put themselves on the NFL football map, and they’ve got a great opportunity to do that. So they are going to get plenty of reps. They are going to get a chance to rush the passer against two excellent tackles. Last week they both got a sack on one of the best tackles in the NFL and they’re going to go against a guy that is equally as good, if not better in Tyron [Smith] over there. So it’ll be a great opportunity for them to really play and show what they are made of and then like I said, the evaluation process that we go through during offseason, they will be part of our conversation, which, you know, if they didn’t get this opportunity they may not have been, so it’s a great chance for them.”