newspress conference washington redskins coach jay gruden 15

Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden


redskins-helmetHead Coach Jay Gruden

On cornerback Richard Crawford:

“I did not hear on Crawford.”


On players who might have been limited in practice:

“A lot of these I haven’t had a chance to talk to [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess]. I just came right off right now. I know that Pierre [Garçon] was out with a slight hamstring. We’re just making sure he gets 100 percent… Ryan Clark had a little hammy. [Phillip Thomas], same.”


On if these three days of practice are more important for starters than Thursday’s preseason game:

“No question, and that was the purpose of it was to get these guys a lot of work because in the preseason games they’ll be limited, obviously. Every team in the NFL, the No. 1 unit is limited, so this was a great opportunity to come out and compete against another team and get a feel for what they’re doing, see how we react to different coverages and fronts on offense and defensively, a different scheme, different route concepts and runs and no-huddle. It was a great experience these two days.”


On what he saw from his team during the past two days:

“I think overall, defensively, I was happy with the way we competed. The red zone period, obviously we have a lot of work to do in the red zone. From a situational football standpoint out in the field, we competed a lot better. Some of the drives we got some stops, but the red zone it just looked like we’re a little off-kilter for whatever reason. We’ll get it fixed. Great experience, like I said, to figure out the holes in whatever defense you have and make sure you get those fixed before you start at Houston.”


On the offense:

“Offensively, the same. We had some ups and downs. There were some issues with some grabbing back there, but overall I think they competed well. The line gave us ample protection, which was encouraging. When we did run the ball, we ran the ball effectively. I think there’s a lot to be encouraged about, not only the fact that we did some good things but also we did some things that are correctable that we can fix before we get to Houston.”


On avoiding giving up big plays:

“It’s hard to say. There were a couple balls that got over our heads, which we have to correct. No matter whether we would have had the sack or not, there’s a couple of times our defensive linemen are waiting there by the quarterback and not hitting him and he’s standing back there all day but doesn’t discount the fact that we’ve got to cover longer downfield and we’ve got to make sure we eliminate those big plays. Again, it was a great two days of work in pads against these guys, seeing another team, fixing some kinks that you have to fix that we might not had been able to see had we been going against each other.”


On tomorrow’s session:

“We’re going to go against them, but it won’t be pads. It’ll just be the little shells.”


On the relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and how long it takes a relationship between a player and coach develop into a partnership:

“It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of trust, a lot of wins, a lot of ups and downs that you fight through together. You work out together, off the field, on the field. Like you said, 15 years, I think it is now? That’s something that you only hope to have, you only dream of having as a head coach. Not many coaches last 15 years in the same city, but obviously that’s our goal here is to get Robert [Griffin III] here for a long time, myself here for a long time. Hopefully we can build a relationship similar to that.”


On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance today:

“He did some good things. There’s some things he was shut out on. They had some good coverage down the field and he tucked it and ran it or tried to make a play. He just has a stubbornness to him sometimes in practice, he doesn’t like to throw the ball away. In a game, I think he’ll throw some of those away. But overall, I think he’s coming. He’s got a long way to go, obviously. I think the more opportunities he has to take a snap from center, drop back with people rushing him, seeing coverages, seeing routes develop, making his reads, making his progressions, making his throws with his footwork, the better he is going to be. There’s no substitute for these reps.”


On if Griffin III needs to throw the ball away in practice:

“He probably should. We’ll address that. I think he’s so athletic that he thinks he can keep a lot of plays alive and maybe he can. It’s hard to say, ‘Would he have got me?’ I don’t know. But I think there’s a point in time where he’s got to not make a bad play worse. That’s something we’re going to preach and eliminate the negative plays. I don’t think we had any interceptions today, which was good. I think we did have a couple negative plays, maybe would-have-been sacks, who knows. But definitely eliminate the negative plays.”


On Brady running the no-huddle offense:

“It was good. It was efficient. It was fun to watch. He does a good job. He’s very quick with his calls and their communication is on-point. Our defense did a great job today with their communication in the team drills. We did an excellent job. In the red zone was a different issue – we had our issues. But overall in a lot of the team drills, the one-on-one drills, I think you can see that personnel-wise, we’re right there. We just have to make sure we shore up our coaching and make sure we get our guys in the right spot.”


On if Brady looks good for being 37 years old:

“He does. He looks good, man. It’s fun to watch him. He’s poetry in motion and obviously a Hall of Famer and the best of all-time, so when you get a chance to watch him in a setting like this, it’s a great learning experience for everybody. But it’s really good for our defensive tempo just to see how he operates and how we compete out there with him and I don’t think anybody backed down. ‘It’s the New England Patriots.’ Whatever it is, our guys came out to play football. It’s all about playing football. It’s all about competing and finding out which guys are going to play best when the going gets tough. I think we saw some guys step up today.”


On how much film study is required to learn when to throw the ball away:

“A lot of that is feel, and a lot of that is just discipline by the quarterback and knowing the down and distance, knowing the situation in the game. There’s a lot of factors that come into ‘A good play is a throwaway.’ That’s something that he’s going to have to learn and we’re just going to have to fight through and probably have to suffer through some of the poor decisions if he has some. Sometimes you say he should have thrown it away, he scrambles around and finds a guy wide open for a 70-yard gain and you’re like high-fiving him. He’s just got to understand the game situation, where we are in the game, where we are field position-wise. It’s OK to punt every now and then.”


On how much he talks to Griffin III about throwing the ball away:

“A lot. Every snap we talk about everything – fundamentals, footwork, everything. Decisions when plays break down, our primary receivers are covered or he falls down, or he gets jammed and doesn’t get off the line, then what? Where is your secondary? Where is your third? Where is your fourth? Are you going to run? Can you find a lane? At what point do you tuck it and run or get out of the pocket and throw it away? Like I said, every play is its own entity. Until we get reps like this against the New England Patriots and see and feel the pocket collapse, what are you going to do as your ball security, discipline, where you are not going to turn the ball over, where your scrambling lanes are… It’s all different, but it’s all a good learning experience for him.”


On if these joint practices help with being able to work on situations:

“Absolutely awesome, it really is. You can’t underestimate the reps that we got today and yesterday — situational. Third down and short, third down and medium, third down and long, red zone opportunities, we had some ‘move the ball’ opportunities, we had two-minute today three or four times, we had to use a timeout, all that stuff, man. That’s something that’s not only good for our players but good for us to watch the situations and make good decisions with the clock – spiking it, when to call timeout, are we in field goal range? That was great work for everybody involved. The offensive line got some good work on stunts against another defense and one-on-ones and receivers did some one-on-ones against a physical group. We did, like I said, red zone, short yardage, all that, it was great.”


On wide receiver Ryan Grant:

“I’m not going to go crazy right now but I’ve been very encouraged with his progress. He runs his routes at the right depth all the time. He’s got good strong hands. Obviously he’s got a lot to work on with his releases but overall his knowledge of the game, his knowledge of the position, understanding of route concepts and route discipline is not like a rookie –any rookie that I’ve been around anyway. I haven’t been around that long, but very seasoned for a young kid, very seasoned. Very impressed with Ryan.”


On if he has seen anything in players during the joint practices that he had not seen before:

“Not yet. I haven’t watched this film today. Today is a different practice and I like to see how guys played yesterday – whether they played poorly, whether they played great – and see the ones that played good, if they could maintain that level, see that ones that played poorly, if could raise their level. Today is going to be a very important measuring tool for me as far as how they’re competing. Yesterday I was impressed with a lot of guys and I want to see if they carried over to today. The guys who struggled, I want to see if they were able to dig down and compete today and do a better job. We’ll see how it went.”



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