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 (3-11) lost to the New York Giants, 24-13, on Sunday.


On the injury report:

Jason Hatcher still had some inflammation there, so we’re going to continue to monitor him. Colt McCoy, he reinjured the nerve in his neck. Then, Gabe Miller hurt his left ankle – sprain. Brandon Meriweather we’ll get a look at this week with his turf toe. Keenan [Robinson], same thing with his knee. Then, Trent Williams had a right shoulder strain, but we’ll see how he does later in the week. Roy Helu has got a chance to come back with his toe and Kory Lichtensteiger got hurt – MCL sprain – but we’re hoping he comes back.”


On which knee is bothering defensive end Jason Hatcher:

“It’s his right knee.”


On quarterback Colt McCoy:

“Colt’s going to go back and go through all the same routine with the doctors and the trainers [He’ll] go through the rehab progression. That’s all he can do.”


On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance:

“Robert competed in the first half., did some good things. Obviously, we didn’t do so well in the second half as a group offensively, but I was pleased the way Robert competed. Hopefully we can build on that going into next week.”


On what more he would have liked to have seen from Griffin III:

“Well, I thought he played with good energy. I thought he took the ball down and ran it when he had to a few times. [He] was pretty efficient with the passing game. For whatever reason, in the second half we couldn’t get it going. We got in some third downs, and we weren’t able to convert again. That was unfortunate. He’s just got to continue to go through the same progressions and see the concepts, but it’s something to build off of from last week, hopefully.”


On if he’s planning to start Griffin III this week:

“Yeah, that’s the plan right now.”


On if moving the pocket for a quarterback is sustainable over a long period of time:

“You can build around his strengths, and if our running game is effective then yes, we can move the pocket and help him out in that regard. Obviously, the third downs have been an issue all year for all three quarterbacks, and that’s something we have got to correct as a group. The quarterbacks have got to continue to see the progressions, go through their reads and try to get the ball out of their hands. We have got to do a better job in the pass pro. It’s a combination of things, but overall, it’s very important for us to try to take as much pressure off of Robert as we can with a good balanced attack.”


On the Giants adjusting to the Redskins moving the pocket and running bootlegs:

“We had a couple opportunities for some hits on them. We didn’t hit them. They covered a couple of them, like you said. I don’t think you stop running them because they worked in the first half. I thought it was important to continue to run them. Our outside zone running game was working fairly decent there in the first half, and like I said, when first down, we don’t get the first down, second down we try a naked or something like that, and then we’re in third down and five or six – we just have failed to convert, for whatever reason. It’s something we have got to focus on still.”


On if Griffin III has reached his ceiling:

“No, he is 24 years old and he is still learning. I don’t think we can really judge his future right now based on what he has done. I think it’s a continuing process and we just all want to see him try to get better every week. And, you know, hopefully he will do that this week and we will see some progress from last week from the three quarters that he played to this week, moving forward. It’s important for our offense to rally around him and play well around him also. So the big thing we want, consistency out of the position and then some improvement.”


On if he has to play Griffin III for the rest of the season to see what Griffin III has:

“Well, I’d like to see him improve, yes, and he has got every chance this week against the Philadelphia Eagles to take this position and run with it. I’d like to see him have some urgency about him and play well and hopefully there won’t be much of a debate if he does well. So moving forward this is Robert’s team right now against the Philadelphia Eagles and how the team plays around him hopefully will be very well and how we coach and how we prepare him to get ready. Hopefully we will have a good game plan for him to give him a chance to succeed and to win. And then from there, we’ll just take it one game at a time and make our judgments and our conclusions after that.”


On his decision to let the clock run and punt late in the game:

“At the end of the game, we called a timeout to try to get the ball back with two minutes to go, tried to get a two minute drill going and tried to get some points, maybe get an onside kick or something like that. But on the play that Robert scrambled on, I think it was second down and long, second down and 10, he scrambled and fell awkwardly and he laid there for about six seconds and we thought he was injured. I didn’t have another quarterback to go to so I just let the clock run out and call it a day. But he got up and he seemed to be OK and we still had to run a play, so we called a draw and then had to punt.”


On if he had any concerns about wide receiver DeSean Jackson:

“If anything, I think he was a little frustrated he wasn’t getting the ball, but we can’t let those frustrations affect the way he plays. I think he could have been a little bit more crisp on some routes, obviously, but maybe it was because he sat out a whole week and a half, he was a little winded or something like that. I’ve got to find out and talk to him. But I don’t think it was his best game, no, but I don’t think he was loafing or tanked it or anything like that. I think he just might have been a little winded and a little frustrated.”


On if he is considering any changes along the offensive line:

“We’ve only got seven, and I went through and broke down all the sacks today and it’s a combination of a lot of things. A lot of people want to point at the offensive line, a lot of people want to point at the quarterbacks and the running backs, but when it’s all said and done we have given up a lot of sacks, no question about it. We have a lot of improvement to do on the offensive line and the running game as far as our backs’ protections and out tight ends and our quarterbacks’ decision making of when to get it out and avoid those sacks. I think they work hand in hand – good protection and quarterbacks’ trust and the linemen’s trust that the quarterback’s going to get rid of the ball – all work together and that is something that we just have to continue to acknowledge as a group. We call three-step drop, the linemen are expecting the ball to be gone and they are aggressive and sometimes the ball is not gone, or same thing in a lot of different cases. I don’t want to pin the blame on the offensive line. I don’t pin the blame on the quarterbacks or the running backs. I think it is a combination that we all have to improve upon, especially staying out of third and long.”


On if the plan to start Griffin III is predicated upon McCoy’s health:

“Yeah, I don’t think we will have Colt available this week. So we are going to go with Robert and like I said, give him every opportunity to succeed.”

On how disruptive it is not having a consistent starter at quarterback:

“It’s not what you want. You want somebody to take the position and play and have success, obviously. Unfortunately, Robert got hurt early. Kirk had the turnover issues, and Colt took an opportunity, ran with it well and then Colt got the injury. So, now we’re back to Robert. I have nothing against all three. I think all three quarterbacks have a good future. I just want somebody to take the position and run with it, and hopefully we’ll see something like that this week with Robert. “


On running back Chris Thompson’s pass protection and the overall performance of Thompson and Silas Redd, Jr.:

“Chris didn’t have a lot of opportunities in pass protection. He had one and he did a nice job. He faced up a linebacker and did good. Silas did OK. He caught the pass out of the backfield and ran for a good gain. So, that was good to see. I think there’s something to build off there. I was impressed with Chris. I think Chris has earned the right to get more chances as a third down back.”


On if he has been told “definitively” that he will return next season:

“No. ‘Definitively?’ No, I don’t know that you get ‘definitively’ any time in this profession.”


On if there has been any conversation with the front office about returning next season:

“No, none of that stuff will take place until the season is over.”


On why he didn’t have three quarterbacks active yesterday:

“We actually talked about that. There was a very good chance we were going to dress all three quarterbacks, but after talking to [Colt] and talking to the doctors and the trainers, they felt pretty good that he was going to stay healthy and play. Colt felt pretty good. It was just an awkward hit – fluky-type thing – unfortunately. Hindsight is 20/20. We probably should have dressed three, but luckily we didn’t need it.”


On quarterback Kirk Cousins’ progression during the last several weeks:

“I think all these guys are just trying to take these reps and learn and play. All three of the guys are very willing to learn and [are] trying to do the best they can to try to grasp this offense and master it in a short period of time. Kirk is a heck of a guy and he’s worked extremely hard and he’s dying for another chance. Whether he gets it or not this year is to be determined, but I know he’ll get a chance another time somewhere soon. So, I love the way he works, I love the way he prepares and I think he’s got a bright future. But he has done a good job.”


On which penalties are most frustrating:

“I think the false starts, the offsides – those are the ones that are easily controlled. Some of the PIs, some of the late hits, some of those happen. I thought we played a very good, aggressive style of defense. I was impressed with [Bashaud] Breeland. He had a personal foul or whatever – a taunting – and a pass interference, but Breeland was competing his butt off. I want to see that from every defender. [Nick] Sundberg even got a personal foul on a punt. That was pretty impressive to see him running down there. We don’t like personal fouls, but I love the aggressive style and nature that these guys are playing with and I’m all for it. But we do have to control the self-inflicted penalties – the false starts, some of the lack-of-fundamental issues, the holding calls, what have you – but some of those are questionable calls, too.”


On if he thinks penalties don’t matter:

“I think they do matter. I think they’re very important to try to avoid them at all costs, but some of them are unavoidable. Some of them are just guys playing hard, capping off piles or the location of the helmet or whatever they call. This is football, and I like the fact that we’re playing aggressive and playing hard and physical… yesterday. Hopefully we keep it up and it carries over to Philly because it’ll be another physical football game.”


On cornerback Bashaud Breeland coming off the field on occasion:

“Bashaud was taken off the field four or five times in the game. He had some bronchitis issues and asthma-type attacks. He was having trouble breathing, so he had to come in there and get his little [inhaler] going or whatever it is – get his breath. I said, ‘Bashaud, you can’t come out on third down.’ He said, ‘I can’t breathe.’ ‘OK, stay out.’ But he’s a great competitor, man. He left it all on the table, and he’s a guy the defense is starting to look up to even though he’s a rookie.”



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