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 lost on Sunday, 24-0, to the St. Louis Rams.


On quarterback Colt McCoy and the plans at quarterback for this week:

“Colt has a neck sprain and he’s getting tests done right now. We are going to have some specialists look at it and find out the exact severity of it and then once I get all that information then we will make a decision at the quarterback position, not until I get all the info though.”


On if McCoy had additional tests:

“He had some tests and then we are having a specialist look at those tests.”


On if Robert Griffin III or Kirk Cousins would start if McCoy is unavailable:

“It would be Robert right now.”


On if McCoy will start if he is healthy:

“Well, that’s hard to say right now. I don’t know how healthy he is. So I am just going to wait before I even make any assumptions or conclusions until I get all the tests back from the doctor.”


On what he saw from McCoy and what he needs to improve:

“Well, he was put in some tough situations. We continue to punish ourselves with holding calls, false starts, mis-targeting a run, poor technique from time to time and we leave ourselves in third down and too long, and we are not very good on third down obviously. And then in the second half when it became a one-dimensional game, we’re not good enough to overcome those right now at this time. So, unfortunate, it wasn’t all on Colt. Obviously he had some issues with protection. Our backs missed a few, our line missed one or two and it was a tough day for the quarterback.”


On why the offense got away from the running game when the game was close in the second half:

“Well, we had the ball in the second half three plays [down one possession]. You know, the first drive the Rams had it for eight minutes. We got the ball, we punted after three plays and tried to run it on that drive and then they got the ball and scored to make it 17-0. So really in the second half when it was 6-0, we had three plays. Next time we got the ball back it was 17-0, so there was really no chance to get the run game going.”


On if he could envision starting Griffin III even if McCoy is healthy:

“I want to see how he [McCoy] is doing first. Like I said, I don’t want to really rush into any decision at this time anyway. Nobody else has to announce any starters on a Monday press conference so I don’t think I should be any different. So I am going to wait and see until I get all the information on the quarterback.”


On London Fletcher’s comments and why he opted to keep Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett:

“I took him [Haslett] on for a couple different reasons. I took him on because I think he is a good football coach and a good person and he has had success as a football coach in the NFL. He has been in it for a long time. He knew these players that we had coming back and was confident in what he could do moving forward. But as far as what London [Fletcher] said, it’s unfortunate. I’d like to think that Redskins should be good to Redskins, no matter the situation, and that’s just unfortunate. But moving forward – we haven’t been playing very good anyway, so shots, like I said yesterday, will be fired at a lot of people. I’m included obviously and then that’s just the nature of the business when you’re 3-10. D-coordinators, quarterbacks, offensive coordinators, GMs, coaches, we get the criticism and we deserve it. We are 3-10.”


On saying the players need to play the best games of their lives down the stretch and if he feels the same way about the coaching staff:

“Yeah, we try that every week. We try that every week, man. We try to motivate these guys to make this game important. Like I said yesterday, we think it is important. I think we’ve got players in here that are going to come to work and compete. Anytime you’ve got a team across the field from you that came into your house and beat you pretty handily like the Giants did, that should be motivation enough – as a man and as a football player and as a coach – to go out there and try to get some payback if we can. The way we coach should not change based on our record. We always coach, we are very committed to what we do, very passionate for what we do and that will never change.”


On if he can identify common themes with the number of sacks over the past few weeks:

“Yeah, usually the good thing is – if it is a good thing – it’s usually not structural, where you’ve got a hat on a hat. It’s just those hats are getting beat by the other hats, unfortunately. So, we’ve just go to do a better job with our technique, our fundamentals. You know, Roy [Helu, Jr.] missed a safety on a blitz, he just lunged. You can’t just lunge on a little guy, he just avoided him and made a heck of a rush. It was a good play by him and just poor technique by Roy. We had another one where we slid the protection and our back missed on the outside edge rusher, and you know, the ball should have been possibly thrown. So, there’s a lot of different issues, like I said. Sometimes the quarterbacks hold onto the ball too long, sometimes it’s a fundamental issue, every now and then it’s a hell of rush by the defensive player, which has happened also.”


On if he is able to identify why the team’s execution has not been better:

“No, we are doing the best we can to get these guys prepared mentally. Come game day, we are just getting out-executed, in all three phases yesterday. Special teams, offense and defense, they took it to us. It was good coaching by them and a well-played game by their players. They’re playing with a lot of confidence and obviously they just played better than us unfortunately. I don’t have an answer for why we are not executing as good as we think they should, but you know some of that has to do with the team we are playing, who’s executing at a high level. We’ve just got to figure out a way to get our guys in better positions so they can execute better and try to just keep coaching them and hopefully when something good happens we can build off of it. Right now, we had nothing good happen in that game. You know offensively, third down and long punt, 6-0 at halftime before you know it, then they had a nine-minute drive and it’s 9-0 and then we have to punt again and it’s 17-0. We had nothing – no big plays, no sparks, no energy really, unfortunately – that really got us going. So, we’ve got to get something going in a positive way to get our fans into it and get the players a little more bounce in their step and we just haven’t had that.”


On if it is a matter of the players not understanding:

“We just got beat, just got beat.”


On how to be positive despite recent results:

“Well, I think you still have to come out with a great passion and a will to win and I think our guys understand that. There’s a lot of teams out there right not that aren’t playing for playoffs or the Super Bowl right now. That doesn’t mean that they are not going to come to work. They are still going to come to work and our players are going to still come to work. They are very committed, they are good guys and they want to see this season end on a positive note. I mean, we are all embarrassed right now. We are not happy with the way the season has gone, but we still do have three division games left and there is still a lot to play for in my mind. Coaches’ jobs, players’ jobs, all our jobs are always on the line every time we step on the field and that’s the way you have to approach it to keep yourself motivated and hungry.”


On his confidence in Griffin III if McCoy is unavailable Sunday:

“Hopefully he’ll play well. Hopefully he’s taken a step back, and taken everything in and just continued to learn the position, and learn about concepts we’re trying to run. Hopefully, he’ll have a little bit more of a confident air about him when he jumps in there and there’s less indecision – is what we’re hoping for – so he’s more decisive if he is playing and pulls the trigger and just plays. We’ve just got to get him to relax, play and have some fun and lead the team if he’s the guy to do it.”


On if he has seen those traits in practice:

“A little bit, but he’s mainly doing cards – scout team cards – at practice. So, we’re not doing a lot of him getting a whole lot of work with the ones. He will get some on Wednesday, obviously, and Thursday. So we’ll see how he’s doing from there.”


On if he has seen enough of Cousins to rule out Cousins playing again this season:

“That’s not true at all. I could see myself playing with Kirk, no doubt about it. I like Kirk. I think he did some good things when he was in there. Obviously, the turnovers and third downs have really plagued us, plagued them pretty hard. Like I said, I just took him out in the second half against Tennessee just to try to see what Colt could do and he did well. Unfortunately, he hadn’t got another opportunity but it doesn’t mean he’s not going to get another one this year. It does not mean that at all.”


On what he sees to believe a turnaround is possible:

“Well, you’d like to see better play obviously than what we’re playing. I do think that defensively, we did some good things. They ran around to the ball obviously, did some good things with some young guys in there. There’s some positives, but not a whole lot to take out of yesterday’s game unfortunately. But, just from being around these guys, I feel like we have the type of kids in here, type of guys that have strong character, strong will and want to get this thing turned around. We just have got to do a better job of putting them in better positions to make plays and when plays are out there to be had, we’ve just got to make some plays somewhere, somehow, some way to try to right the ship and get some energy and some confidence going with this group. Right now we’re lacking, in my opinion, we’re lacking in fundamental confidence. We’ve just got to get some pep in our step and play – have some fun. It starts with making plays.”


On defensive lineman Chris Baker celebrating while a ball was live:

“Yeah, we’re disappointed in that. It was addressed today, yes. Obviously, he didn’t see the ball out, but that’s no excuse. We should act like we’ve been there before. But, that’s an unfortunate circumstance. It’s happened before. Guys get excited when they get sacks, but we’ve got to make sure we’re aware of the game situation and where the ball is.”


On what he will change in the next three weeks:

“All we can concentrate on now is getting our guys ready to play the Giants. That’s all we do on a week-by-week basis, man. We study our opponent, and then we try to figure out ways to get our players in the best situations possible to succeed. That’s all we do. We’re going to work on the Giants very diligently, take a lot of pride in our effort, working to get these players prepared, and hopefully they’ll take pride in preparing for the Giants, because we obviously know what happened to us last time they came here, and we’ve got to play well.”


On if some of the distractions around this team are more than he expected when he took the job:

“It’s a little bit more than I expected, yes, if that’s the question. I understand that there are stories to be had and if you look around every corner, you can find a story about somebody negatively if you want to. We try to stay positive and upbeat, and I try not to let the stories get to me or this team. We try to nip them in the bud and address them in our meetings and move forward and try to stay together as a locker room. But, that’s just the way it is, man, I’ve learned here. It’s just a lot of possibilities for guys to try to get their name in a headline with a story controversy. So, we’ve just got to continue coaching these guys, and hopefully they just worry about their job – coming to work and playing the game and not worrying about Twitter and the newspaper or radio shows.”


On if wide receiver DeSean Jackson could return this season:

“I hope so. Hopefully he’ll play this week. We miss all our guys that are out. It’s very difficult. You go out and get a high-market free agent like that who can really stretch the field vertically, it hurts when he’s not there. Hopefully he’ll get back to full strength by Thursday or Friday so he can run and we’ll see him Sunday. We’ll wait and see on that.”


On why President/General Manager Bruce Allen and Owner Dan Snyder haven’t spoken publicly:

“I think during a season you like to have one voice and that’s the head coach. In the offseason I’m sure we’ll hear a lot from Bruce – when we’re talking about the draft and all that stuff. Then, he can critique the performance of all the players and all the coaches. You’ll hear about it when the season’s over. But during the season, I think as an organization, you’d like to have one voice and that would be unfortunately the head coach right now.”


On if he told players to stay off of social media:

“No, I’d like to think that I could carry that much weight but some guys I think get paid on Twitter nowadays so it’s hard to tell them not to make money. But we just try to be careful with what they type on there. I’ve read a couple of the Twitter things that they write in some team meetings from time to time just to let them know that I’m reading those suckers, but so far I think they have been pretty good with a few exceptions.”


On running back Roy Helu, Jr.’s toe and Gruden’s level of optimism for players who missed time last week:

“We have to wait and see on all those guys. Roy’s toe, he has had some history with that toe in the past and it’s the big toe, so it’s probably going to keep him out at least a week, I would think. He went to go see a specialist, a foot specialist, and we will get a better opinion and knowledge of where he is, but those things are tough on backs. All players really, those turf toes injury type things, those are hard to recover from in a short period of time. And then [Brandon] Meriweather, same issue really, turf toe also. Not quite a major turf toe but when you are a defensive back, you do a lot of back pedaling and changing direction and if your big toe is not working it’s going to be very difficult but we will see. And then Keenan [Robinson] like I said, it’s a pain tolerance thing and he’s just got to get his flexibility back and if he doesn’t have it then he obviously will be out too.”



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