Home Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden


redskins-helmetHead Coach Jay Gruden

On wide receiver Pierre Garçon, safety Phillip Thomas, defensive end Doug Worthington and tackle Trent Williams:

“Yes ,they [Garçon, Thomas and Worthington] were back and we just held Trent out. He got kicked in the shin, just a precautionary deal, but he is fine.”


On wide receiver Jerry Rice, Jr.:

“I think he tore his labrum and he is going to have to have surgery.”


On if the team still plans to conduct walkthrough if it is raining:

“We are going to go outside. It looks OK right now. If it turns into a downpour, we might have to adjust. I think it’s going to be OK. We can get a little wet.”


On if a roster move has been made with Rice, Jr. yet:

“Not yet, no.”


On if he expects Rice, Jr. to go on Injured Reserve:

“Yes, we will see what happens with Bruce [Allen], how he handles that.”


On not practicing in pads this morning:

“We’re going to go full gear tomorrow. Like I said yesterday, my whole goal is to get everybody 100 percent forMonday so we can all be competing against New England. We had a couple bruises here and there, a couple little hamstring strains, kicked in the shin, all that stuff. So I wanted to just taper off a little bit today and then come tomorrowwe’ll be in full gear for the fan day, give them a day off and then they’ll be ready to go for Monday.”


On if he will have to stress the importance of avoiding illegal contact and defensive holding to his defensive backs after speaking with officials this week:

“We’re going to have to. If they’re going to call it like that, it’s going to be an issue across the league. It’s not just here, it’s going to be across the league. These defensive backs and linebackers have been taught a certain way for a long time and they’re just going to have to let go of the guys after five yards and make it a point of emphasis, otherwise it will be a flag-fest like I said yesterday. We had a couple more today that were questionable in my opinion, but that’s the way it’s going to be and that’s what we’re going to have to adjust to.”


On if the rain causes him to miss the team’s indoor training facility in Ashburn:

“Well, you miss it if you miss time, but fortunately, we’ve only missed the one walkthrough period, and we didn’t miss that – we went to the bubble. My biggest concern is Monday. If it pours down and there’s lightning, we have to cancel a heck of an opportunity to get better against New England. Hopefully that won’t be the case. I have no problem practicing in the rain as long as it’s not lightning, obviously, and it’s not a threat to injure the players. But a little rain here and there doesn’t hurt anybody. It gets us a little wet, but it’s not an issue. But like I said, Monday, I haven’t seen a weather report yet. That will be my major concern. If it does have hurricane-like effects or what have you and we have to miss a day, that’ll be bad.”


On how much no-huddle he would like to be part of the offense this season:

“No huddle is a way of life now in the NFL. You read  that a lot more teams are trying to go to it, the tempo. Really I want to make sure we get it in so our defense can practice against it but also as a tool for our offense to be used on a weekly basis. When? I don’t know. How much? We’re not sure yet. But to have that in our hip pocket and the ability to go it… Sometimes offensively when things get stale, you want to change the tempo, and it’s a great way to change the tempo. I know Robert [Griffin III] is used to it, being from Baylor. I know a lot of our players are used to it. I know our defense has to get used to it, obviously, playing against Philly and some of these other teams – they’re going up-tempo styles. It’s very important to get the communication process going with offense and defense with your line calls on offense, defense – your coverage, communicating to the secondary, linebackers. It’s great for our team to get used to seeing it, playing it and finding out who’s in shape and who’s not in shape. If you’re going to sub, do it fast. It’s a great avenue for us to work right now, so when it happens during the regular season it comes naturally to us.”


On quarterback Robert Griffin III saying he would like to talk to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and if he has any plans to talk with New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick:

“I’m sure we’re going to communicate. We’ll be out here together for those three days, so, yeah, it’s a great time. Like I said yesterday, the New England Patriots were a model franchise for a long time and they’ve been consistent in what they do and their approach and winning games. And any time you get a chance to practice against somebody like that, I think it’s a great benefit for a lot of people and hopefully Robert will see the way tom brady handles the huddle, handles his teammates and as a leader and as a person and as a player. Any time you get a chance to learn from somebody like that firsthand, you better use it to your benefit. I intend to use it with Coach Belichick and hopefully our whole team gets a chance to watch a team play like that and learn from them. And maybe they’ll learn something from us, too.”


On wide receiver Aldrick Robinson:

“He’s done well. There’s no substitute for speed and he definitely has it. His hands have got to become more consistent. He’s dropped a few here and there, but overall I think Aldrick has had an excellent camp. There’s been a lot of guys that have done well. The competition at receiver, offensive line, a lot of our positions is very tight. It’s going to come down to the games and it’s going to come down to the practice sessions the next couple of days against the New England Patriots and the consistency that you perform on a daily basis. Can you put one practice after another after another, or are you just going to have one good practice and have a terrible practice and then have a good one and a bad one? We’re looking for consistent players, guys who can put it together day in and day out, and then obviously performing when the lights cut on for real.”


On defensive end Jarvis Jenkins:

“I think he’s done a good job. I think really he’s improved his pass rush considerably, just that I’ve seen since I’ve been here. He’s done a really good job of understanding pass rush angles and getting push in the pocket and still playing the run, so Jarvis has been doing a very good job. [Defensive Line Coach] Jacob [Burney] and [Outside Linebackers] Coach  [Brian] Baker, you can see the effect that they’ve had on him as far as not just playing around but getting upfield and working his hands, getting back to the quarterback and the stunts and all that good stuff. Jarvis has done well.”


On if a player can play his way off the roster this early in camp:

“If they’re here, we’re going to still work with them and hope they get better. If they’ve struggled one practice, we’ve got to make sure we coach them up and see if he improves the next practice and continues to get better. We’re not making any final decision on anybody just this soon. We want to see them. If they’re here right now, they’re here for a reason and we’re going to give them an opportunity to perform against New England in the preseason. But if something happens where we feel like a guy is a fish out of water, then we’d like to get him out and put somebody else in, but so far that hasn’t been the case, luckily, and we feel good about the guys that are here. We’ve just got to do a good job of coaching them up, but giving them opportunity to play themselves into a job or out of a job is the important thing.”


On if he has had players surprise him in previous camps:

“That’s the beauty of it – of football. Guys you don’t expect to perform at a high level, when the lights cut on, they sometimes do. Guys you have high hopes for sometimes don’t. That’s why to judge a player or judge our 53-man roster right now at this point is asinine. We’ve got to let it play out, let it play out in the games, because when the lights cut on, some guys turn and don’t show up and some guys do that you don’t expect. So we’ll let the play take care of itself.”


On the return of tackle Tyler Polumbus:

“Yeah, Tyler did good. He gave up a sack one time, had a holding call, but Robert scrambled out of there. But Tyler is a good, solid football player.           He knows the system and he’s been here for a while obviously, but he did a good job today.”


On if the chemistry is coming along on the offensive line:

“I think the chemistry is there. I think they’re doing a good job, especially in the run game. They look very good – cohesive as one unit – getting up to the next level and giving the back an opportunity to make his cut and make a good decision and we’ve got some really good looks at some runs. Pass protection, we’ve given up a little bit of pressure here and there, but the amount of times that we’ve thrown it, some of the situations will cause some issues from a protection standpoint. We give them some third-and-long periods, very difficult conversion situations, but overall I feel pretty good about our protection and the way their run game is going. We’ve got to get better in all phases, no question. The challenge that our defense is giving our offense on a daily basis and the challenge that our offense is giving our defense on a daily basis will make us better in the long run. We don’t want it to be easy by any stretch either for our offense or for our defense. We want our defensive line to get off and put as much pressure as possible on our quarterbacks so we can work it. And vice versa, we want our offense to give our defense the best possible looks that we can give them – screens, a lot of different looks we’re giving them. I think it’s been good, a good learning deal for everybody.”


On how beneficial his joint practice sessions with the Atlanta Falcons were in Cincinnati:

“I thought it was great. Initially going in I wasn’t too fired up about it, but going into it and just giving them the chance to practice against different people, I think that’s the big thing. You get tired sometimes of seeing the same people over and over again as a player is concerned. Now you’re going against somebody else and somebody else that’s trying to make a team so the competition should be fierce, I would think. It’s a great opportunity for some of these young guys to really show what they have against another football team that’s been very good for a long time. I think it’s a great chance for everybody to learn and get better and also a great chance for us as coaches to evaluate our guy and evaluate what we’re doing schematically.”


On if the staff has decided how long starters will play in the first preseason game and if playing the opponent in the preseason will change how they practice:

“Yeah, we’ve kind of decided that, but as far as the game is concerned, I think we’re more interested in finding out who can play. We’re not trying to game plan as far as the scheme is concerned, we’re trying to line up and find out who can play – run some base, run some base pass concepts. They’re going to do the same thing. The ultimate goal is to A) get our starters in there series or two, get a good rhythm going for them, and then B) get the backups in there and find out who are best 53 are. We have four games to do that.”


On if there might be any 10-play live scrimmaging against the Patriots:

“Ten-play scrimmage live? Yeah, we can do that with some of our backup guys, yes.”

On if he is worried about showing too much schematically during joint practices:

“Not really, not really. That was my concern last year going against Atlanta. That is another opportunity for someone to get your tape and study your film and your tendencies. I think as long as we are aware of what we are doing. We line up in a certain formation, there is a lot of different things we can do. It is just a matter of us coming out and doing what we do well and playing at a high level and letting the guys perform. We will figure out the X’s and O’s, we will figure out our tendencies, we will make sure we are not doing the same thing over and over again that we give a defense a leg up on us or offense a leg up if we are on defense. Very important for us as coaches to study that and make sure we are policing that but I do not think it is an issue whatsoever. We have four games on tape before our regular season game, so the Texans will have plenty to study from us. We just have to do a good job as coaches to police it.”


On how much planning went into combining practices with the Patriots:

“Yeah, I talked to Coach Belichick two or three months ago and we planned this thing out – the way we’re going to set up practice, how we’re going to do individual, who’s on what field, what periods we’re going to do as far as team run, 7-on-7. And then the team drills, how we’re going to do it – one field, two fields. So it’s all planned out and ready to go. We feel good about it and then we can always adjust after the first day if something needs to be changed, but we both felt very good about it. It’s going to get a good look for everybody. We’re going to get everybody a lot of reps and it should be good.”


On how much time it took to plan the practices with the Patriots:

“Well, we originally put a schedule together, sent it to Coach Belichick. He recommended some other things, so we adjusted it to fit what he wanted to do, what we wanted to do and it really didn’t take long. We both have the same goal in mind and that’s to look at our guys and get a good feel for if our guys can play.”


On what coaches would lose if joint practices replaced preseason games:

“If you did it instead of a game, you’d do more live [practice]. When we’re going against New England, we’re going to have very few periods that are live, maybe one or two possibly. Obviously, the preseason games are live and there is tackling and all that, so I don’t envision that happening anytime soon. That’s far out of my decision-making capabilities, so we’re just using this as another opportunity to evaluate our guys down the road. Also, to invite New England down here, they’re gracious enough to come down here and hopefully we can all get something out of it in a positive way.”



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