Home Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden


redskins-helmetWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

On cornerback Bashaud Breeland’s citation:

“I addressed it with him. We’ll keep the conversation between us, but he’s well aware of what he has to do to get it fixed and we’ve got to just move forward and hopefully he learns from a terrible mistake.”


On how disappointed he is with Breeland:

“It’s disappointing. He’s a young kid and he’s had a great camp and it’s a little hiccup, bump in the road for him that he’s got to learn from that a lot of kids go through at his age. So he’ll learn from it and we’ll all move forward from this, hopefully.”

On if the competition level has picked up since returning to Ashburn:

“Yeah. The most exciting thing was before we left Richmond, the offense really took it to the defense the last day and I think they remembered that – I know the coaches remembered that – so today they geared it up a notch.  Offensively, we didn’t quite match the intensity level so it was great to see our defense come out with a chip on their shoulder, rush the quarterback, communicate very well in two-minute, and they had a great day today. But there’s some great execution going on both sides of the ball, special teams guys were flying around. It’s a great day out here today, the weather was – I don’t know what it was, 75 degrees? – it was beautiful. I needed a golf club. It was a great day and a great intensity. We got a lot done today so it was fun to see.”


On Breeland practicing:

“I let him practice because he’s on the team and he was allowed to practice.”


On possible discipline for Breeland:

“Yeah, we’ve talked about it. We’re going to talk about it, how we’re going to discipline him, what we’ll do in house and we’ve got it all taken care of. Bashaud understands the severity of what he did and he’s going to have to face the consequences with the citation that he got and move forward.”


On if the preseason schedule is affecting game planning for the third preseason game:

“Yeah, that’s a great question. It’s something we’ve talked about a lot a far as should we play everybody in the second preseason game and the rest of people for the third because it’s a short week?  But, we decided to treat the second game like a second preseason game and the third preseason game, the one that we’re going to really prepare for and treat it like a game week and have the meetings in the morning and then practice and get them acclimated to what it’s going to be like during the season. Unfortunately it just kind of fit MondaySaturday but at least we still have a couple good days we can prepare for Baltimore. But moving forward for preseason game two, we’ll treat it like second preseason game – get the starters just a few more reps than they did last week and then get ready for Baltimore for preseason [game] three.”


On if there is game planning involved for the second preseason game:

“There’s a little bit, not as much there would be for three.”


On how much he’s looking forward to having wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon  available for the second preseason game:

“Yeah, we’re excited to see them run out and compete, get them in a game situation and see how they do. Just get the rust off of them and it’s important for them to try to get some type of continuity with the quarterback and the offense in general, just the speed of breaking the huddle on game day and how many plays in a row can you go without getting tired. If I sent them deep, can they come back and dig out a first forced block or can they run deep again, two or three times in a row? So, we’ll see what kind of stamina they have, they look like they’re doing well out here at practice but game-day speed is a little bit different and hopefully they can handle it.”

On safety Brandon Meriweather:

“He hurt his toe. Got a little blood underneath his toenail, limping around a little bit, but he should be OK.”

On if wide receiver Ryan Grant could be counted on to play key snaps:

“No question. He’s already proven that he’s capable of moving into that role. It’s just that we have three pretty good players in front of him right now and Aldrick [Robinson] actually having a really good camp also. Between Aldrick and Ryan Grant, those two guys are probably performing the best out of the receiving corps because of Pierre’s injury and DeSean’s injury. So it’s great to have depth at that position. Like I said, when DeSean runs deep, to be able to put in Ryan Grant or Aldrick Robinson and be fresh and have that type of depth at the receiver position is really, really exciting.”


On what has stood out about running back Alfred Morris:

“Alfred is Steady Eddie. He just comes to work every day. He makes his reads, he makes his cuts, does what he’s supposed to do. He’s just an impressive kid… Just everything about him is impressive to me – the way he prepares, the way he works, the way he practices. You never hear a peep from him. If I throw the ball 10 times in a row in practice and he’s in there, he doesn’t say a word. A lot of guys would be ripping their chinstrap off, ‘Give me the ball!’ But Alfred is a total team player and a total class act and he’ll get his touches, no worries about that.”


On linebacker Adam Hayward’s contribution on special teams:

“Yeah, he was with Tampa when I was there and of course Raheem [Morris] coached him at Tampa and we knew all about his background as far as being a linebacker but also his strength of special teams. He was special teams captain for the past three years. When you needed to upgrade special teams, as far as looking at free agency, he didn’t have the big name in free agency, but he had the big splash for us. We needed somebody to come in here and be a leader, take that group by the throat, not just Coach [Ben] Kotwica but a player. I know what type of accountability he holds for the players on that group. He was a very important signing for us.”


On what he noticed from safety Phillip Thomas today:

“I noticed he was on the field, which was good. I saw him on the field. He made some plays. He looked like he was moving fine. I don’t think he had any recurring injury from it. That’s the first step is to make sure you go out there, practice and then if there’s no soreness, then we know we’re on the right track to getting him 100 percent. He’s got to continue getting treatment, make sure it’s getting stronger, but he did go out there today and looked like he was fine. I have to watch the tape, though.”


On the running backs’ abilities to pass protect:

“That pass protection, they’re practicing that. Anytime we have got pads on, we’re going to work on that. It’s good for them. They all need to improve obviously. It’s a tough drill. They’re put on an island. All we’re doing is trying to teach fundamentals – their base, their footwork, all that good stuff – and as long as they got that down on game day… I think Roy Helu is doing a much better job. I feel most confident probably with him on third down other than Alfred [Morris]. Chris Thompson obviously has been out. [Lache] Seastrunk has got a little way to go and Silas Redd’s doing a much better job coming in here. And then [Evan] Royster’s done some good things. All of them are competing OK. It’s just a matter of getting them out there and picking up some blitzes and seeing how they do – if they stick their face in there and protect. We’ll go from there and make the decision.”


On if he has not seen enough game-like settings to gauge where the backs are in protection:

“Yeah, we’ve got to see some more game situations. So, that’ll come. I know that Cleveland has a tendency to blitz a little bit. If I remember from Buffalo, he was the coach at Buffalo last year, so they’ll get their share of pick-ups this week.”


On his experience during the first game and if there are elements he’d like to change personally:

“Yes. There’s a lot, really. Simple things, pregame warm-up I need to fix a little bit. I need to fix my game day awareness. Just having a headset on, sometimes I get so focused in on offense and what’s going on, I’m reading the iPad thing and looking at the plays and there’s a game going on out there that I’ve got to watch. So, there’s things like that I need to focus in on a little bit more and the preseason games are equally as important for the coaches as they are for players. So, it’s a great experience for me and I know I’ve got a long way to go to improve myself, but just little things – simple awareness things – and being able to communicate and see what’s going on.”


On defensive end Jarvis Jenkins:

“Jarvis has done well. He’s had his days where he’s really done well, he’s excited us and he’s had his days where he looked like he was a little lethargic or maybe out of shape like I mentioned when New England came into town. I challenged him a little bit on that and he’s really taken it personally and in the last four or five practices he’s done extremely well. He had a little bit of a shoulder but he’s OK and he’s battling through that. He’s one of those guys that we have to get a lot of production from – not only stopping the run but also in the pass rush part of it. He’s got the ability to do it, we just have got to try to consistently get him rolling and so far he’s on the right track, I think. We’re excited about what he can do as far as rushing the passer.”


On the consistency of the offense:

“We’ve had some good days, and we have got a good defense out there. Every play is not going to work to perfection. They’re competing also for their lives and their jobs, so Coach [Jim] Haslett has got a great scheme back there and certain concepts aren’t very good for certain coverages, but I think Robert [Griffin III] is doing a good job. I think overall he’s seeing some things, and the last two or three days I’ve been very, very impressed with his progression. That’s what quarterbacks have to do – they have to continue to progress and not take that step backwards and have a bad play, maybe, but then eliminate it from your mind and move forward and focus in on the next one. We’re just going to continue to monitor and continue to coach them and hopefully get them ready for Houston at a high level.”


On the possibility of keeping wide receiver Leonard Hankerson on the PUP list:

“That’s a thought. We just have to see if he is healthy or not. If he’s not healthy then that obviously will be an option so we have to wait and see when he gets cleared from the doctors and I’m not sure when that is going to be yet. He’s doing very well, he’s making progress – I see him doing more and more every day, but that will be up to Dr. [James] Andrews, Larry [Hess] and Leonard.”


On what pregame changes he wants to make:

“Just little things like how long we’re out there for stretching and one-on-ones and all that stuff – just a couple things that I didn’t feel comfortable about. [There’s] certain things you just don’t really think about and pregame warm-up is one of them. ‘Oh, pregame warm-up?’”


On if he is harder than himself than on his players:

“Yeah, I am. I don’t think anyone really noticed anything, I just felt like it was a little weird. I’ve got to get it fixed.”


On “little things” he is seeing from Roebrt Griffin III:

“I think just the entire scope of the position. He’s calling plays faster in the huddle; he’s got a better command of the game, the snap count. All those little things that go into playing a position are very, very important. How he handles dummy counts, snap counts, quick counts, hard counts, and then his progression from being able to change the protection from one side to the other – whatever he has to do – just a total understanding of the game other than you see passes flying in the air and they’re complete or incomplete. Great, but playing quarterback is a lot more than throwing a football. It’s getting us into the right run, it’s handling formation, handling the clock in two-minute, all of these things that he’s starting to understand – the total big picture of the game – and I’m excited about his progress already.”



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