Home Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden


redskins_scriptrWashington coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Thusday. Washington (1-4) takes on Arizona (3-1) on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. Eastern.


Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

“Everything’s the same other than – let’s see – Trent Williams was limited today. Everybody else stayed the same. [Robert] Griffin was out, [Ryan] Clark was out, [Brian] Orakpo was out, [Tracy] Porter was out, [Perry] Riley was out. And then everybody else was full.”


On the Arizona Cardinals’ defense:

“They’re obviously a good defense They’ve won three games this year. They’re solid all across the board just like most teams are now in the NFL that we’re going to face, but the important thing is stay out of third-and-long against them because they are very extravagant with their looks on defense from a third down blitz perspective. They’re not afraid to come after you so we’ve got to do a good job of staying on balance with the run and the pass and try to stay out of third-and-long. And that’s no different every week, whether you’re playing a standard four-down front or somebody that’s exotic like Arizona. So we’ve got to do the best we can to stay out of those third-and-longs, and then if we do get them, do the best we can as far as identification and pass protection.”


On his desire for splash plays on special teams and turnovers on defense:

“Yeah, you can’t force the issue. That’s something you can’t do. All you can do is preach pursuit, hustle and effort and that’s what we’ve got to do. Just continue to fly to the ball and the turnovers will come. Getting hands in throwing lanes, like I said, but you’re right – if you start trying to force the issue and then guys aren’t wrapping up and they’re missing tackles or they’re breaking on balls and guys are double-moving them… So there’s a fine line there, but I think as long as we talk about pursuit and effort then the turnovers will come.”


On his first five weeks:

“Anytime you’re 1-4, it doesn’t sit well. You know, it’s frustrating. We had high hopes going into this season, but the good thing is we still have 11 games left and we still feel like we have a lot that we can accomplish. So we’ve just got to keep our heads held up and keep working hard and keep plugging and I think good things will eventually happen. The one thing we can’t do is feel sorry for ourselves, hang our heads, start blaming one another, finding out something wrong in the locker room or what have you. We’ve just got to keep working, keep plugging, keep pushing and we’ll get through this. I really have faith in our coaching staff. I have faith in our players that they’re going to come out and they’re going to play well on Sunday and give us something to look forward to the rest of the year.”


On if poor field position affects play calling:

“Sometimes it does. When you’re backed up the last thing you want to do is give the defense a chance to get a safety or something like that or get the ball right back and maybe you become a little more conservative than you would like… It also has to do with the pass rush of the team you’re playing. You don’t want to take a seven-step drop and throw 40-yard pass patterns when they have a very, very good pass rush. So you want to maybe get it out quick and just try to get some methodical first downs and then find a spot to take your shot.  Every game is different. Sometimes we’ll take a shot back there, sometimes we won’t, but we do have to probably do a better job of getting – when we’re backed up offensively – we have got to do a good job of getting two or three first downs at least so we can try to flip the field position.”


On wide receiver Andre Roberts:

“Yeah, he’s been what we expected. You know, we really liked Andre on tape, especially 2012 when he really had a good year before Michael Floyd emerged. Then as a three at Arizona, we thought he was pretty good, not to mention we kind of visualized him as being a returner also. So, he’s really been as expected and I think we can use him the more and more as the season goes on.”


On linebacker Jackson Jeffcoat and cornerback Greg Ducre:

“Jackson is another pass rusher that can come off the edge, and Ducre is a guy that we signed from the practice squad and he can run – very, very interesting guy. He’s not the biggest corner in the world but he has got 4.35-4.36 speed and that is what you are looking for. You are looking for guys that if they don’t have the great height, then you want to be able to run, and it really helps on special teams. So I think Ducre has got a chance to help us this week on special teams and then Jackson has got a chance to help us in pass rush situations.”


On how difficult is it to handle different defensive looks when playing on the road:

“Yeah, that is very difficult. They’ve got to do a good job of communicating and we’ve got to plan for it all and hopefully we can go through with it and if the quarterback has to make a change at the line then he has to be loud, he’s got to be vocal so everybody can hear it and then Kory [Lichtensteiger] has got to echo it. So, it is a challenge when you play on the road. We luckily have some experience playing at Houston, which was very loud. Haven’t been to Arizona so I don’t know how loud that will be, I imagine it is very, very loud. But we are getting practice at it and we have had some work at it. But communication, as it always is, is very important and that does become a problem on the road.”


On the role gamesmanship plays when facing a team with three options at quarterback:

“It really doesn’t matter. It is not like one of them is – you’re not comparing Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III to Aaron Rodgers. They are all similar-type quarterbacks and they are going to run a similar-type game plan. So I think we are preparing for the offense that we see on tape, whoever the quarterback is. Obviously Carson [Palmer] probably has the green light to do a little bit more things but for the most part they are going to very multiple in their personnel groupings, they are going to be multiple in their formations, no matter who the quarterback is and they are going to present a challenge with Michael Floyd and obviously Larry Fitzgerald and [John] Brown, who is playing very well, and obviously [Andre] Ellington out of the backfield. They’ve got plenty of weapons and they are going to use them no matter who the quarterback is.”


On if he is surprised by the progress Robert Griffin III has made in rehab:

“Not really. He is working hard. I think he has come a long obviously but he still has got a ways to go. I think from a straight-line standpoint, he still is a little bit a ways away, but no telling with these injuries, I have no idea. I think the big test will be once he starts practicing, once he starts getting into drills, see how he is with his footwork and how he steps into throws, how he handles the pocket and people around him. That is going to be – he has got to have at least a couple weeks of practice with the team before he can think about getting on the field and we’ve got to feel good about it, he’s got to feel good about it mentally. But from a progress standpoint, a speedy recovery the way he rehabbed from his knee, nothing surprises me.”


On the challenges of picking up blitzes against the Cardinals:

“It is a challenge the center and quarterback have to have. Luckily, Kory is very good at identification and making the calls and then Kirk has got to do a good job if he needs to override him and change it. They have a variety of different blitzes, a lot of different personnel groupings that they use, so identifying the people is going to be a challenge. We’ve got to know if they have three defensive linemen or four defensive linemen – whatever it is. It’s a challenge and they do a nice job with it and the come with a lot of different types of pressures. Internal pressure and they come with the outside pressure and they are very good at it. And they have given some people fits, but if we do pick them up, we feel like we’ve got some opportunities on the outside to make some big plays.”


On what benefits the Cardinals receive when a safety moves into a linebacker position before the snap:

“Well, he can blitz, he is a big strong safety. He can blitz obviously and be effective in blitz and he can also go out there and cover tight ends or whoever else he needs to cover or drop in a zone. So it is a tough look whether you account for him in protection or not. And if you don’t account for him and he comes and they bring another guy who the back is responsible for, then all of a sudden you’re short. So, they do a nice job with their package and they put a strain on your backs and your centers and quarterbacks, but it will be a good game and it will be good for us to see where we are as far as our protection schemes. Hopefully what we have worked on since training camp and all that – some of our protection rules – will be tested and we will see how they do.”


On how comfortable he would be with Will Compton and Adam Hayward playing in place of Perry Riley, Jr., particularly in pass coverage:

“They will be strained, they will be stressed a little bit, but we feel good about Will. Will did a pretty good job in training camp and then the preseason games. It was really pushing those guys and playing well, I thought. Adam, in pass coverage, it will be tough on him from time to time, but we also have Akeem [Jordan], so we have the linebacker spot covered whether it is zone or man-to-man. You know there are certain situations where they are put in a little bit more stressful situations than others, but we feel like we are going to take care of them and make sure they are in a position to succeed, not to be challenged on every snap. Hopefully they won’t be on [Larry] Fitzgerald or Michael Floyd, but I think they will hold their own and be able to compete. That is why we need have to great pass rush pressure so these guys don’t have all day to run these deep seven cuts and all these shallow crosses with the picks and all that. We need some pressure and it is going to be a great challenge. We’ve got to push our defensive lineman – [Jason] Hatcher, [Brian] Orakpo, [Ryan] Kerrigan, [Chris] Baker, [Jarvis] Jenkins. Those guys have got to come – [Trent] Murphy.”



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