Home Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden


redskins_scriptrWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Monday. The Redskins (3-6) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) on Sunday.


On returning from the bye week:

“[I’m] glad to get back. It was good for everybody to get away, see their families and get some quality time away from this building. But now that everybody’s back, we’re focusing on doing what we’re doing what we’re doing and getting ready for Tampa.”


On the injury report:

“We don’t have one today. Everybody’s fine.”


On defensive end Jarvis Jenkins:

“He just had a touch of the flu bug today.”


On the timetable for the decision on nose tackle Barry Cofield, Jr.:

“It’s this week. We have to make a decision I believe by Wednesday. We’re going to talk about that when we get done here.”


On Cofield’s impact on the team:

“He just adds more depth. He’s obviously a good player. We think a lot of him, and in his absence guys have stepped up and done some good things. But it to add another big body to the mix, as far as rotations are concerned, it can’t hurt, especially one with his ability. When he was playing for us earlier this year, I don’t think he was quite 100 percent. You could see that. Now, we feel like he’s back to close to 100 percent. He’s looking good out there. So, he’ll add to the depth.”


On wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s comments on Sunday:

“I think it stemmed from somebody asking him about the leadership in the locker room and he was kind of surprised by it. I think a lot of guys are just a little frustrated about the reports of the lack of leadership because as a football player, it’s a little disheartening when you hear there’s no leadership. This is what you do for a living. They all come out here, compete and practice hard. So, he just stood up and just wanted to make sure everybody is supporting the decisions that we make and staying together in the building, which is good to hear.”


On if he was surprised it was the normally quiet Jackson who spoke:

“A little bit, yeah. DeSean doesn’t say a whole lot. He usually sits there with his hood on. It’s good. He’s starting to open up a little bit, and people have a lot of respect for him as a football player obviously for what he does when the lights are on. But, now that he’s starting to be a little more vocal behind the scenes, it’s good to see.”


On if there are changes he wants to make right away following the bye week:

“You know what, when you go back and just look at what’s going on, being 3-6, you look at the six losses and there’s a play here and a play there that we’re just so close to being 7-2 as opposed to 3-6. That’s the way the NFL is right now. I think the big thing is we’ve got to continue focusing on situational football, whether it’s third downs, whether it’s two-minute drills, whether it’s we got the ball at the plus-40 and all we need is 10 yards to get a field goal for overtime or a touchdown. We’ve had situations like that throughout the course of this season that we have not converted, other than Tennessee. So, it’s very important for us to continue – in Dallas we did a good job obviously getting off the field and making plays – but, those other games we lost, man, it’s just about that. We’ve just got to focus in on crunch-time plays, let the big-time players make big plays in crunch time and then obviously the rest of them creating turnovers, not turning the ball over and third downs.”


On if he found things schematically to address:

“Yeah, you beat yourself up anytime you lose. [Being] 3-6, you go back and wish you would have done more of this or less of that, or what have you. But, as a football coach, you’ve just got to do what you believe in, and what you’ve had success with, what you think your team is going to have success with, and continue to coach them up. Hopefully, the players can make the plays that are there. Sometimes, they do, and sometimes they’re not good plays that are called or what have you. Ultimately, it’s about us as a staff coming together with a game plan we feel good about, coaching what we know, and then players going out and making things happen. Unfortunately, in those six losses, it was a combination whether it’s not great scheme or guys not making plays, turning the ball over, what have you. There’s a lot of reasons that go into losing. The big thing moving forward is learn from our mistakes, move forward to Tampa Bay and control what we control, and that’s how we play, how we compete every down.”


On if there are positives he observed:

“Yeah, absolutely. You know we beat Tennessee, we come from behind with Colt [McCoy], our third quarterback, coming in. Then we go to Dallas and beat a team that was playing as good a football as anybody in the NFL at their place on Monday Night Football, so it was two great games. Then obviously the Minnesota game, we are still sickened by that one, frustrated, obviously. But there are some things the last three weeks that we have accomplished that are pretty darn good, both sides of the ball and special teams. I think moving forward, I think people can see that we have the makings of a good football team, we’ve just got to put it all together and stay consistent in our approach and how we play. The lack of consistency is the most frustrating, whether it’s the pass rush, sometimes it’s dropping a man in coverage on defense. Offensively, maybe it’s a throw on third down or a guy missing a hole or protection or what have you, it’s a combination of things. We’ve just got to seek better consistency and play better.”


On managing the wide receivers now that Leonard Hankerson has been activated:

“Yeah, you know it’s a tough deal. The wide receiving room is very full and they are all very good, actually, I think. Guys that aren’t playing or aren’t really producing are still excellent wideouts. I think Santana [Moss] can be very productive in a lot of offenses, same with Aldrick [Robinson] and now you throw Leonard [Hankerson] into the mix and he is another one that is a big receiver that has great hands and runs good routes. So, how we are going to use him I don’t know yet. You know, it’s better to have too many than not enough, I guess. But I am sure it is frustrating for those guys who aren’t getting the touches and sometimes it is frustrating for guys who are playing that aren’t getting enough touches. But we’ve just got to continuing going about our business and focus on winning games and not so much worrying about the touches. Touches will come for everybody but we’ve just got to manage it the best way we can and we don’t know how that is going to be yet.”


On where the team is depth-wise compared to when he arrived:

“We are a little worse obviously with the injuries that all teams are going through right now. Usually about Week 9, Week 10, you know, teams’ depth become jeopardized with the injuries and that is what’s happened to us. When you lose DeAngelo Hall, [Brian] Orakpo, key guys like that, you know it hurts you a little bit. But I think from an offensive standpoint, we just talked about the receivers – certain positions we are really good at depth-wise. Other ones we are a little shaky, a little shaky. Losing Orakpo kind of hurt the outside linebacker position a little bit – pass rush. Obviously DeAngelo hurt the corner spot a little bit. But overall I think our depth is pretty good where we can go out on Sunday and compete against anybody.”


On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s mindset after the bye:

“We just had a brief meeting today about 45 minutes and then we had practice. So today was about getting back into the flow and doing what we do what we do offensively and defensively. Tomorrow they will have another day off – mandatory day off – and then we will get back to work on Wednesday. But I think all the players are ready to get back on the field. You know, you lay an egg in Minnesota, you have to have a bye week, unfortunately. But I think guys are excited to start the last seven games and hopefully rally.”


On if it affected Griffin’s progression having a bye week directly following his first game back:

“I don’t know, a bye week is a bye week, everybody has one. It affects people different ways. I don’t think it hurts him or helps him, either one. Just a bye week. He had four or five days off, was able to get away with his wife and chill out somewhere and he is ready to go. I think the majority guys probably enjoyed the bye week but they probably didn’t want one the way we left off against Minnesota. I hope they didn’t anyway, I know I didn’t. But everybody is ready to get back to work, including Robert.”


On how the team can fix mistakes in crucial moments:

“Yeah, I don’t know if they are mistakes or guys just not making plays or what have you. Sometimes they are bad calls by coaches, who knows. It’s a combination of things. When you lose, we all have to take responsibility. But it’s different every time. Sometimes it’s a questionable call that is very costly that doesn’t help any. Those things get magnified when you lose and they get swept under the rug when you win. Unfortunately we’ve lost more than we’ve won and there’s – you go through each game, the Arizona game, the Philadelphia game, the Minnesota game, the Houston game – you can go through that film and one play here or there is the difference in the football game. A play we didn’t make or maybe we blew a coverage, something that has great consequences over the outcome of the game and those are things we just have to continue to coach and magnify and make sure we get them corrected.”


On if anything can be taken from the preseason game against the Buccaneers:

“Not really. Schematically, from a front and coverage standpoint they are kind of the same, they have changed a little bit. But for the most part the last preseason game is about making sure you know who is going to make your football team and getting your backups secured and the 53-man roster the way you want it. So, that was what that was for. So we don’t really – we won’t even watch that game on tape. But for the most part, Tampa has changed a lot and they have a very good defense. You know, personnel-wise on defense, they were a little bit banged up last week but they are very competitive on defense and offensively they’ve got some weapons now. They are 1-8. They are in a similar situation as we are. They are scratching their heads, they’ve lost some close games, games they thought they should have won but ultimately it comes down to – like I said the difference in 1-8 and 6-2 or 6-3 in this league is very, very minimal, and the teams that are playing with good records are the teams that are making those plays, those clutch plays at the end of games and not turning the ball over and doing what’s necessary.”



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