Home Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden


redskins_scriptrWashington coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters after Washington’s 19-17 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in NFL action at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.


On the injury report:

“OK, I’ll do injuries first. Really the only one that’s significant is [linebacker Brian] Orakpo. It’s his right knec. He’s going to get an MRI tomorrow. Other than that, [running back] Alfred [Morris] hurt his ankle early in the game, but he came back to play. Everybody else will be OK.”


On when the decision was made to take out quarterback Kirk Cousins and put in Colt McCoy:

“Halftime. After the interception, we decided to go with Colt.”


On if he thought about playing McCoy during the first half:

“No, I thought Kirk did some decent things in the first half. The fumble was unfortunate, and then the interception was… I thought after the interception – turning the ball over – we talked accountability, ball security… That was a standard pass play that we’ve run for a long, long time and he threw it right to him, unfortunately, and I decided to go with Colt in the second half.”


On if Cousins’ mistakes are all mental:

“Well, I don’t know what the problems are right now – just a bad throw, a bad situation. I just through Colt has earned the right to get an opportunity if Kirk struggled in the first half [and] turned the ball over. That’s the basic reason. Had I not thought Colt would’ve been ready, I would’ve stuck with Kirk, but I just thought Colt was ready to go. I know he felt ready. He’s been chomping at the bit to play, but he’s always been a supportive backup. And this time, when his number was called, he produced.”


On if he has made a decision about which quarterback will start the next game:

“Not, not yet. No, but it’s a good sign the way that Colt finished the game, ran the offense – very smart and very efficient, did some good things.”


On quarterback Colt McCoy’s play:

“He hasn’t had that many reps. We talked about Kirk’s lack of reps in training camp and regular season, behind Robert [Griffin III]. When we were trying to get Kirk ready, we had to force feed Kirk, and Colt was behind doing mainly scout team. He’s had to learn like all back-up quarterbacks have had to do. But he’s very, very smart. He’s been in this system before – West Coast-type system – so he’s familiar with a lot of the pass concepts. We figured if his number was called, he’d be ready to go. He’s a quality pick-up for us in the offseason. Obviously, when you are standing up here at this time, you hope you don’t have to go to number three, but if you do, you want it to be somebody like Colt, who is a pro.”


On if there was discussion on the ‘what-ifs’ about Cousins:

“No, this wasn’t discussed, it wasn’t planned. We try not to think about ‘if he plays terrible…’ We try to get him to play well. That’s what our focus is. We don’t try to elaborate on what happens if things go poorly. We try to be positive thinkers around here, and it just didn’t work out. He threw a poor interception and I just thought Colt deserved an opportunity.”



On his outlook on how Cousins performed:

“He stepped into a situation and had to produce as a number two backup, as a No. 2 quarterback. He did some great things so far, and he’s going to do some great things in the NFL. There’s no question about it, his career is not over; his season is not over. He’s going to continue to prepare. He’s got a good arm, a good head on his shoulders. He’s got to do a better job seeing some of his throws and not forcing some interceptions. That will come with time. It takes some time for a quarterback to see all the looks he’s going to see, handle the pass rush. Some quarterbacks get it quicker than others. You don’t see a lot of quarterbacks in the history of this league get it as quickly as [their] eighth or ninth or 10th start in the NFL.”


On quarterbacks improving without seeing game reps:

“Ideally, you’d like to be on the field playing, but the more you see, the more you rep in practice and training camp and watch tape, you hope they don’t have to learn on the fly, by not getting the reps on game day. He’s the type of guy that, the older he gets, the wiser he’ll get and the more he’ll see and the more confident he’ll be. A lot of this has a lot to do with confidence and just standing back there and seeing your throws and delivering them with assurance that you are making the right decision. He’s been tentative a little bit here and there, a little more tentative than you’d like him to. Sometimes he takes poor plays a little bit too hard, but he’s going to be a good quarterback, I promise you that.”


On Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay’s role in calling plays:

“He’s been the lead communicator. I call them through him and he communicates the plays to the quarterback.”


On when he will make a decision on who will be the starting quarterback next week against Dallas:

“You would like to have your decision made as soon as possible to have them ready. Now, you throw Robert [Griffin III] into the mix. Robert has a chance to practice on Wednesday and we have to see where he is – see where he is health-wise, and from there I will make a decision from watching the tape of what I’m going to do.”


On making the game plan easier for McCoy to ease him into the game:

“Yeah, that was the game plan for kirk cousins as well. We just wanted to move the ball, get some completions and get into a rhythm out there, really try to focus on the running game today. We had some good runs and some not so good runs today. We have to improve our running game, obviously. It’s still not that up to par, in my opinion, for us to be successful. We want to get the ball out of our hands, for good reasons.”


On his thinking to throw the ball down the field on third–and-2:

“I knew they were going to come out with a ton of pressure. I knew if we handed it up the middle, we would be way short because they were bringing the house. We called a max protection play and we let [wide receiver] DeSean [Jackson] take it up the corner. If it’s incomplete, we could kick it field goal range, worst scenario. I thought DeSean would have won there. Unfortunately, but we got the PI [pass interference]. I knew a handoff up the middle would get stuffed, so it was take a shot with a deep ball with our best receiver or kick a field goal if it didn’t work.”


On what he called on the last drive and what McCoy was seeing:

“We lined up in a formation to give us an indicator on what they were doing. With [tight end] Jordan Reed out to one side and three receivers to the other side, I thought it was good indicator for us. Colt had some freedom to check out and we called something in the huddle for us. Obviously, [running back] Roy [Helu, Jr.] had a big hit to get the drive going on an inside run, which was excellent. Overall, we were trying to get some looks that Colt would understand, plays that we want to get to, being very specific with him and he did a very good job.”


On if he talks to wide receiver DeSean Jackson about his fiery spirit:

“Yeah, he is a fiery guy. That is something he has to control, be smarter than that. Lucky he didn’t get a penalty on that. He didn’t, right? Oh, then he is OK.”



On his thoughts on Pierre Garçon’s 70-yard touchdown:

“That was a great play by Pierre and I would love to get him some more touches. He is a good receiver, tough guy after the catch. Just hasn’t happened for some reason. We have to do a better job of game planning and getting him some balls where he can get more involved in the game because he is really good after the catch. He proved that today. At halftime, we were all kicking ourselves a little bit for giving them the lead after the interception. Had a really good talk and in the second half. Pierre really got us a jumpstart with the lead, which was a huge play for us.”


On ending the losing streak and seeing a flag go in his favor at the end:

“We still had some game left. We still needed – had – to make the field goal and had some pressure on the right side. Yeah, it is a relief. There’s a lot more to accomplish. We can play a lot better and I’m not happy by any stretch [in the way] that we played – with the turnovers and with the big play we gave on defense to them. It’s so much more we can do to get better with the sacks, couple of sacks we gave up, and the holding calls. We can play a lot better and we have to demand it. Coaches have to demand it, I have to demand it and we have to play better if we are to beat the likes of the Dallas Cowboys next week. We are fortunate this week to get it done but it won’t be easy to get it done in upcoming weeks. It wasn’t easy today.”


On switching between tackles Tyler Polumbus and Tom Compton:

“Tyler had a couple of plays he struggled on and Tom had put some good work in at practice. We thought that it was time to look at Tom at right tackle. He deserved an opportunity to play. We will see a little bit more of Tom, and Tyler has a little bit of a banged up knee coming into this game and it was important to get Tom out there.”



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