Home Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden


redskins-helmetHead Coach Jay Gruden

On wide receiver Jerry Rice, Jr.:

“Hurt his shoulder. Yeah, he had a test done today. I’ll know more once I get the results back, but it’s pretty significant, I believe.”


On when tackle Tyler Polumbus might return:

“I’m not sure. He left for personal reasons and he’s going to keep in touch. I believe he’s coming back tonight was the last I heard.”


On tackle Trent Williams, safety Phillip Thomas and wide receiver Pierre Garçon:

“Trent just got kicked in the shin. He’s going to be OK. Phillip Thomas still has the pulled hammy. We’re watching that very closely, day-to-day… Pierre? Same, same.”


On if he is seeing what quarterback Robert Griffin III does best in an existing offense or if he is tailoring an offense to Griffin III:

“Well, it’s a combination. I think he’s got two years under his belt now, as far as playing in the National Football League, so we have a good skillset in mind for what he can do. Now we’re just trying to expand his skillset in the passing game and go from there and we’re throwing a lot of concepts at him and protections and things of that nature and he’s done a good job. We’re saving some of the other things for later on in camp, but right now we’re trying to throw some things at him from a conceptual passing-game standpoint, a little bit more than he was asked to do in the past and see how he reacts, see how he handles it, trying to get people involved and so far he has done a great job.”


On if he has hit a “camp wall” yet:

“I think today I cut down practice a little shorter just because I felt like guys were a little sore, a little banged up. A lot of our guys might have a sore back, back spasms or hammies are a little tight, got kicked in the shin. It just felt like they were a little wounded out there, so I cut practice short and we just did some striders there at the end of practice. But, I feel good where we are at. I think that for the most part everybody this time at camp in the NFL probably has a little soreness right now. Now, it is how you manage it, how you get the most out of them and how you are going to tailor practice.Tomorrow we’re going to do pads again in the morning, Saturday we will have our fan day, Sunday, they will be off and then New England will be here Monday. My goal is to get them to Monday, ready and healthy so they can compete against New England at their finest form.”


On where he stands in evaluating the kickers:

“Same. We’re still evaluating. It’s hard to evaluate a kicker out here. Coach [Ben] Kotwica is doing a good job when they’re out there charting every kick that they make, both kickoffs and field goals. They did some kicking yesterday afternoon, hopefully will do some more today, and then we’re just continue to evaluate and go from there. That decision, if we keep one or two, will be made at the very last minute.”

On if there has been a change in defensive philosophy from last season:

“Well, I don’t know what they were tailored to last year with Coach [Jim] Haslett. Every game plan will be different. We’re just working on different packages right now, our blitz packages. We’re not blitzing on every down, but we are trying to be more aggressive from time to time. Like I said, everything we do schematically is we’re trying to get our base fundamentals, our base teaching, our base concepts in right now. Each game we’ll have something different. You know, we might blitz somebody more often than another team, but that’s going to be game plan specific and we’ll move from there, but were trying to throw blitz packages at them, trying to throw four-man rushes at them, three-man rushes at them, all kinds of different things. That’s the whole thing about a game plan. You have to be diverse in what you do, both offensively and defensively and work on different aspects.”

On what he conclusions he came to when targeting areas for improvement defensively:

“There was a lot. You know, there was poor tackling. We need to be a better tackling team. I think that’s the No. 1 thing we had to address. We’re trying to get more speed out there. Obviously, we addressed that with the linebacker position. And then from there, I think rushing the quarterback, getting after the quarterback, was a necessity for us to let [Brian] Orakpo and [Ryan] Kerrigan have more freedom as far as the rushes are concerned, and I think Coach [Brian] Baker has done a good job of working with them in that regard.”


On if there are any topics he is looking forward to addressing while meeting with officials this evening:

“Probably illegal contact in the secondary. They threw a couple flags out there that were a little questionable in my opinion. I’m an offensive guy, but holy cow, we can’t have a flag on every play. So we’ve got to get a clarification on how they’re going to throw, when they’re going to throw it, what the exact rule is. We have police it as far as our DBs are concerned because there were a couple today that there were no way they should have been flags but they were. We have to make sure we communicate the exact rule when they have to let go. I know it’s within five yards but it’s going to be hairy early on and hopefully it’s not a flag fest. That’s my No. 1 concern, too many flags.”


On linebacker Keenan Robinson:

“He’s been good. He’s been running around, excellent in pass coverage. He’s been good on his run fits. Now the whole thing with Keenan is seeing him tackle. That’s only going to come in live action so I think that will be his biggest test. As far as knowledge of the game, speed, playing in pass coverage, all the things you want a middle linebacker to do, he can do, but the biggest thing you have to tackle. That’s something we have to make sure he can do. He’s coming off the two injuries that he’s had so that will be his No. 1 test. If he can do that, he’s got a chance to be an excellent linebacker in his league for many years to come.”


On teaching a quarterback to either run or scramble, reset and throw:

“That comes naturally a lot. That’s just part of the position. Sometimes plays break down, you’ve got to scramble and reset and find receivers downfield. Today he took off and ran for big gains in practice. Either way, I said it yesterday, I’ll say it over and over again, every play is its own entity. Sometimes, ‘Heck, should’ve taken off and run here. Heck, if you would have stepped up and slid over a little bit, Santana [Moss] is wide open.’ You know what I mean? It’s just a matter of seeing all these plays develop and then when you give them the ball on game day, letting him be himself and play. We just continue to coach them and work with them, work with his vision, what his progression is, who is he reading, two hands on the ball, ball security. All that stuff comes with the position. That takes time but I don’t want to handcuff him and say, ‘We need you to try and buy time and find a receiver or run it whenever you get pressure.’ That’s natural quarterback 101 that has to have a lot of feel. You have to have a lot of feel to do that.”


On how important it is for him to interact with fans:

“I think it’s important. They come out here, some of them drove three or four hours, they were telling me this morning, to come out there just to get a glimpse of the team out there and when they say hello, if I have time I’ll be sure to say hello and I think it’s a great interaction. These guys are very passionate out here. You can see it – they’re hollering and they’re trying to get an autograph if they can and we try to appease them. I think our players have done a nice job after practice, before practice of talking to the fans and mingling with them because they pay our salary. They’re very good to us and we want to be good to them back.”


On retaining Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett and if there is a “funky dynamic” after having worked under Haslett in the United Football League:

“No, there is no ‘funky dynamic.’ We get along very well and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done, not only working with him. I know his knowledge of football but also coaching against him when I was with Cincinnati and we played here. I think the big thing with him was just trying to get him a few more horses, trying to get him some better personnel. I’ve said a lot that it’s sometimes not so much about the plays but about the players and we’re trying to do a better job of getting better players in here to help fit his scheme and what he wants to do. I think we have addressed that with free agency and in the draft and I think we’ve given them better players that now he can go out and call a lot of different defenses and be effective as opposed to being handcuffed, so to speak, last year or whatever.”


On safety Ryan Clark commenting on the talent in the secondary:

“We’ve got high hopes obviously for our secondary. We resigned DeAngelo [Hall]. We’ve always had high hopes for David [Amerson] to come on strong in his second year to progress. We drafted Bashaud Breeland. We got Tracy Porter as a free agent. We’ve got [Richard] Crawford coming back. We’ve got [Chase] Minnifield. We have some guys back there that are pretty good – Phillip Thomas, [Brandon] Meriweather so now it’s just a matter of getting them taught, getting their fundamentals down, being in the right spot, flying to the football and being aggressive and so far I’ve been impressed with the whole secondary. You can’t single out one guy but still they have a long way to go as a unit as do the linebackers, the D-lineman, the offense. We all have a long way to go. We were not very good last year from a record standpoint and so it’s important for us to continue to build, continue to work and not get overly excited right now because we’re only in August. We’ve got to understand the talent’s there but now we have to maintain our level of intensity and continue to work every day. But I feel very good about where we are from a talent standpoint. Now it’s just a matter of playing together and playing consistent.”

On the NFL announcing player movement tracking and his thoughts on the new information:

“I’ve studied a little bit in the offseason and it was an option for us to get those devices and put on players. I still a little – I wasn’t a very good student in college – I don’t understand it all, so I need some more information first before we spend that kind of money on those devices and how it can really benefit us. But I think the main thing is maybe you can figure out how tired guys are, how much they’ve run so you can maybe taper off of them the next day. I think that’s the big thing, is how much they’re running throughout practice so you know exactly who’s getting the most work, taper off on those guys and get the guys who aren’t running as much more work so you can better utilize that. Other than that, that’s all I know.”



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