Home Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden


redskins_scriptrWashington coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Thursday. The team opens its 2014 NFL home schedule on Sunday vs. Jacksonville.


On tight end Jordan Reed and defensive lineman Kedric Golston:

“Both of them were out today for practice. Like I said, with Reed, he’s got the hamstring. He is where he is. He’s not practicing right now. He doesn’t feel great on it, so he’s in the doubtful range for this week. Same with Golston.”


On cornerback Tracy Porter:

“Yeah, Tracy Porter will be out for sure.”


On what stands out to him about the Jaguars’ defense:

“I think the way they play hard. They fly to the football, they play extremely fast, they get good upfield pass rush, and like I said, they’re very energetic. You can tell they’re young and really have fun playing, but really the middle linebacker stands out. He’s a heck of a player. Gus Bradley, I know from Seattle and he was in Tampa Bay, I know what kind of defensive coach he is, what kind of energy he beings to that defense and they play like his personality, very high energy defense.”


On if the crowd noise in a home opener can make a difference in a game:

“It can and that’s important for us. We need to strike fast and strike early. Try to get the home field in our corner and make it very difficult on Jacksonville’s offense. We learned that first hand last week, how hard it is as an offense when the crowd’s into the game on every snap. With the crowd noise, the snap count becomes more difficult. We had a fumbled snap, we were late on a snap and it creates chaos for your offense when the home field crowd is against you, so it’s very important for our fans to be loud and very important for us as a team to make them have something to cheer about. We have got to do something early in the game to get the people excited so we get rolling.”


On the game plan if Jacksonville’s cornerbacks play close to the line of scrimmage:

“Well, there might be some opportunities for some deep balls, no question about it. But they’ve changed up their coverage very well. They play their Cover 2 shells, they play their single-high and they play man-to-man with tight coverage, they play loose. So, it’s important for us to take advantage of whatever look they play. Whatever game plan they have for us, we have to be ready for and be able to adjust our scheme accordingly. But, every pass play we have, we have different types of patterns – some guys going deep, some guys going short and it’s important to hit the right one based on the coverage.”


On safety Duke Ihenacho:

“He’s coming along. He was full-go. He’s a little bit sore, you can tell. But I think he’s OK. He’ll be OK health-wise, ready to go. It’s just a matter of how Coach [Jim] Haslett and Raheem [Morris] feel about him mentally moving forward. I think right now they feel confident that he can step in there and play a lot of reps and not have any issues. Whether or not he’ll play in front of [Bacarri] Rambo and how many will be determined, probablytomorrow afternoon or Saturday.”


On wide receiver Andre Roberts:

“He’s great. He’s a great inside receiver. He’s got great instincts for a wide receiver. He knows how to run all the routes, knows how to set people up, got great hands, very strong after the catch, and he’s a great addition for us. We line up in our three-receiver sets, he’s the one on the inside most of the time… He does a lot of work in there. He does a lot of damage in there out here. It’s just a matter of us – we’ve got to do a better job getting him out there and letting him work on the inside if they want to play their two shells. There’s a lot of option routes he can win and be successful with. It’s a matter of getting it to him. He’s done well. I like him. He’s a good blocker. He’s a well-rounded receiver. He can play outside/inside, run the option routes, make the tough catches, block defensive ends when we ask him to do that, block nickels, block linebackers. Very good football player. Very impressed with him as a person and a player.”


On if Roberts is better than the team thought he was initially:

“Yeah, I liked him. We liked coming in, but we weren’t sure how he was going to be like as a full-time slot and also play outside as far as the multi-dimension task of being an X, a Z, a Zebra, and learning all three and being able to play all three. I think what surprised us was his ability to play outside as well as inside, and he showed that early on in training camp that he can play outside. I really am impressed with Andre. Like I said, his ability to pick up things from a mental standpoint is probably as good as anybody in the room as far as knowing all three positions, knowing all the blocking schemes, knowing all the routes, all of the route combinations from all three positions is impressive – not to mention, he’s playing special teams and he does a lot of the dirty work as far as blocking is concerned and doesn’t say a peep. Well, he says a peep, but he’s been good about it.”


On guard Josh LeRibeus and tackle Tom Compton being active last week:

“Our roster is never set in stone, and [Josh] LeRibeus has done a nice job, Spencer [Long] has done a nice job, so has Morgan [Moses]. They’ve all done a good job. We chose to dress seven linemen, and Tom [Compton] we use a little bit as the extra tight end from time to time last week so he was definitely going to be up, and then the back-up interior guy, we felt that LeRibeus was a little bit further along at this time than Spencer was. That could change next week, it could change the week after, it could change Week 8, so I think we have nine guys as offensive linemen that could be active, and I feel very comfortable with all nine of them out there, we just had to pick seven and LeRibeus was a little farther along than Spencer, and Compton was used as the extra tight end. That’s why he went ahead of Morgan.”


On if only having two tight ends for the majority of the game last week changed things:

“Yeah, a little bit. That could change your personnel groupings considerably, really. So we just have to adjust with who we have out there, and luckily for us we practiced in the offseason and training camp a lot of different personnel groupings just in case something like this happens so we’re not handcuffed and panicked – ‘Oh my god, we lost a player, what are we going to do?’ We’re prepared for it. We’re prepared to go no tight ends, we’re prepared to go two tight ends, three tight ends, four tight ends. We can put a big guy at tight end. So we’re well prepared. I think the receivers will be quite fond of it. They like to be out there on the field – three receivers, four-receiver set – so we’ve got enough groupings so we’ll be OK.”



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