Home Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden


redskins-helmetWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters. The Redskins open the 2014 NFL season on Sunday at Houston.


On preparing to face new coaches and if Sunday’s game will involve constant adjustments:

“I think, like I said, you have a basic fundamental knowledge of their system. I think every week it’s the same – even though you get a chance to watch teams on tape, you don’t know exactly what they’re going to do. You might have a basic fundamental scheme of how they line up on defense, but from a coverage standpoint, a blitz standpoint, from an offensive standpoint, formation to a play concept standpoint, you never know what’s coming so you have to be able to adjust on the fly all the time, every week whether you’re playing a new coach or not. This is no different than any other week. We know that the defense is a base 3-4, we know that Coach [Bill] O’Brien comes from a New England Patriots style offense, and then from there it gets a little tricky because there are a lot of things he has done and been successful with – two tight ends, three tight ends, one tight end – very diverse in what he does, very good at what he does, and same with the defensive coordinator over there – very diverse and very good at what they do. We do have a fundamental understanding of what they are and what they like to be, but stopping it is a different story and attacking it could change throughout the course of the game.”


On if overanalyzing film is dangerous:

“It could be, but you’re trying to just find some tendencies of the coaching staff and trying to do the best you can, but overall I think it’s still about the players and who the players are on the houston texans and trying to attack them and the schemes of the defensive coordinators. We know that they’re very talented on defense, there’s no question about it from a personnel standpoint. Defense wasn’t their issue last year. They’re very good, very sound in what they do, very competitive. From an offensive standpoint, it’s going to be a great challenge for us. Defensively, with the new coach, I think it will be a little bit more difficult on them because of the unknown with Coach O’Brien and what they’re doing with Ryan Fitzpatrick, but we’ve just got to go out and play. We have a good system in place, like I said, both offense and defense and special teams, and now we just have got to go out and execute and do the best we can.”


On retaining Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett this past offseason:

“I think number one, he’s a good football coach. I think he’s a good man. Number two, I think the players respect him and play hard for him. From a schematic standpoint, his 3-4 defense has been very effective and has been proven over the course of his career at different places. I’ve known him for a while and I know what kind of person he is – what kind of coach he is, what kind of leader he is – so it was a no-brainer for me. It’s just a matter of getting him some better players over there that he can feel good about competing and trying to put the defense in better situations and not let them get on the field when they’re backed up at their 20-yard line three or four times a game and turn the ball over and make the other team have first-and-goal at the five a couple times a game. It’s very important for us to play good team football, do the best we can and make it field-position friendly for our defense and let them go out there and play.”


On if he believes last year’s criticism of Haslett was unfair:

“Yeah, I do. Well, when you go 3-13, you’re going to get criticized if you’re on the team, on the staff, in the equipment room, if you’re the owner – everybody is going to get criticized. So that is natural, but I think that it doesn’t take away the fact that I think that he is a good football coach. There were just some few instances and circumstances that were unfortunate. They could’ve done better, he could’ve coached better, they could’ve played better, but I still think he’s a darn good football coach and offers a lot to this team.”


On how involved he plans to be with the defense and special teams this Sunday:

“I listen to what’s going on and if I have any input or what have you, then I’ll have my input, but I don’t anticipate having a lot of input on special teams or on defense. I will know what’s going on and be very involved in seeing and taking place in the game plan, seeing what’s going on in the gameplan, but overall, I’m going to let these guys coach. Coach Haslett has been a defensive coordinator for a lot of years. I’ve never been a defensive coordinator. Coach Kotwica has been a special teams coordinator for a lot of years and that’s not my forte, but I will offer my advice if I have any. But for the most part, I’m going to let them do their thing and call their game the way they see fit because they’ve been studying their butt off for the last month and a half on the houston texans and I have trust and faith in what they’re doing.”


On cornerback Tracy Porter, linebacker Akeem Jordan and linebacker Brian Orakpo:

“Porter did not practice today.  Orakpo was limted today, and Akeem Jordan did not practice today.”


On who will play nickel if Porter does not play:

“We have [Bashaud] Breeland and [E.J.] Biggers. Both of them can play nickel.”


On running back Silas Reed and what he needs to focus on to contribute:

“Well, as a running back, as a third sting running back, you’ve got to play some special teams, number one. Number two, when your number is called, you never know. You’ve got to be totally involved in the game plan and know your assignments both in the protection and the running game and in the passing game and in his routes. We feel good about him from a mental standpoint that he’s picked up everything pretty well. He had some blown protections against Cleveland that were a little concerning but the following week against Baltimore he did a good job and of course the last game against Tampa Bay he did a good job. We feel like his learning curve is pretty good. He’s learned it, he’s picked it up, probably faster than all the backs we’ve had in here as a rookie so we anticipate him knowing what to do and knowing how to do it.”


On if wide receiver Andre Roberts will be the kick and punt returner on Sunday:

“We have a couple we can go to, but I would say Andre would be the No. 1 option.”



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