Press Conference: Redskins coach Jay Gruden

redskins-helmetOn his level of concern about defensive end Jason Hatcher:

“You know we’ll see with Dr. Andrews and [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess] after the surgery, but we don’t feel like it’s a long-term thing. But any time you have a surgery, there is a little bit of concern but I think that from what I have been told the severity of it is not that great.”

 

On if he knows Hatcher’s specific injury:

“No, I don’t know. It’s just a minor – it’s just a ‘clean ‘em up’ type thing. There’s no major damage in there whatsoever.”

 

On when Hatcher will have the procedure:

“Not sure yet. I’m going to get with Larry here soon as we’re done here and find out exactly when it’s going to be but the sooner the better.”

 

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:

“He just was a little bit sore today. We just chose to keep him out. You know Ryan is the type of guy that will go until he can’t go any longer. We just want to make sure from a preventative standpoint this time a year. He’s been busting his butt in the weight room and out there on the field. We thought it was better for him in the long run to give him the day off to get well-rested and healthy.”

 

On what coaches do over the break before training camp:

“This is a break time for the coaches. The assistant coaches will probably go on vacation and spend time with family because once they get back to Richmond, it’s not a lot of time to see their wife and kids. So it’s time for them to get away from football a little bit. The players’ standpoint, they have to continue to train and work on their own hopefully. Most of them are professionals and they’ll do that. We’ll see when they come to camp. They should be in good shape but we’re still going to keep in touch, close contact with our strength coaches. They’ll have programs for them and hopefully they will do their work. And that’s what being a pro is all about. It’s about working not so much in front of your coaches but on your own and hopefully we have the type of guys in this locker room that are going to work hard on their own and hopefully it’ll pay dividends once we come to camp.”

 

On position coaches helping with special teams:

“Well, there’s different aspects to special teams – blocking, tackling, there’s flyers. There’s all sorts of individual types of drills that you can do that are special teams related. Why not have [Defensive Backs Coach] Raheem Morris help with some of the flyers and [Wide Receivers Coach] Ike Hilliard with some of the flyers and getting off the jam and [Outside Linebackers Coach] Brian Baker helping with the tackling drills and all that. It’s very important for our assistant coaches to get involved to break up the periods so we can be more of an individual-type teaching process and better utilize our time instead of having 22 guys out there standing around teaching one specific drill. We’re able to break up and [Special Teams Coordinator] Ben [Kotwica] does an outstanding job of utilizing everybody and getting the most out of his 10-15 minute allotments. You see guys running around, all types of different areas, working tackling drills, cover drills, punting, kicking, protection, all that. You get all that taken care of and in order to do that, assistant coaches have to be part of it.”

 

On if that helps players buy into special teams:

“I think so. It has so far, in my opinion. The special team periods have been very beneficial. I think you can see people working and buying in and really excited to go to the drills, actually. They’re really doing a good job. And Ben and [Assistant Special Teams] Coach [Bradford] Banta are doing an excellent job of organizing the drills and of course the other assistant coaches are doing a nice job of taking it very seriously because we know how much of an impact special teams has on a football game. It is something that has to be taken as seriously as offense and defense.”

 

On the different drills being used by this coaching staff:

“I think early on in any type of OTA session, you have specific position related drills and then as you grow and you see your players’ needs and what they need to work on from a focal standpoint, you can change a drill up accordingly to who needs what. And I think all our guys are pretty aware of what we need work on. Whether it’s receiver drills working on two-man route combinations or coming out of breaks or adjusting to the deep ball or whatever it may be, you can adjust your drill to what people need to work on. We have very experienced coaches who know the game and know their position guys, and those things can adjust as the season goes on.”

 

On the average number of plays run during a practice:

“Yesterday we did a lot. We probably ran through at least 80 plays, I would say, yesterday. Today we probably only ran through about 65-70, counting the two-minute. We have ones, twos – we have three groups going. We have the full 90 guys here. We have a couple guys missing with injuries, but for the most part I think our guys are getting a lot of good work, not only the starters, but the twos and the threes. We’re able to look at some rookies, some undrafted guys, so we feel good about our evaluation process right now moving forward to training camp. Once we hit training camp we’ll see who can progress and hopefully make it easy come cut-down day.”

 

On if today’s practice was typical:

“It’s pretty typical, and the number of plays will probably start to go down once they start making cuts. But when you have 90 bodies out here practicing, you can get a lot more reps – the ones, twos and threes. But we’ll see how it goes, but I feel like we’ve got a lot of our offense put in. I feel like Robert’s [quarterback Robert Griffin III] and the quarterbacks [are] very in control of what’s in so far. We’ve had breakdowns here and there over the course of the last couple weeks, but overall I feel good where we’re at. I think the receivers are doing a good job. The running backs are doing an excellent job from a protection standpoint. Offensive linemen and defensively there’s been a breakdown here or there, but overall I feel good with where we are. There’s a long way to go as everybody does this time of year but we’re making just progress slowly but surely and we’ll get there.”

 

On linebacker Keenan Robinson:

“I didn’t know much about Keenan because he didn’t have a lot of tape last year in the games so it was new to me. I just heard a lot about him and he’s done a great job like I said, many a times. He’s continued to know his assignments obviously, and then athletically, sideline-to-sideline you’re not going to see a prettier athlete running from sideline-to-sideline. Great athlete, great speed, but there’s other linebackers who have done an excellent job too. That competition at that linebacker spot – Perry Riley’s had a good camp and you know the other guys have too – Akeem Jordan and Adam Hayward and [Will] Compton have done an excellent job, so the competition at linebacker in all positions is very good.”

 

On how he will spend the break before camp:

“We just moved into a house so we’re probably just going to hang out here and get that all situated and try to enjoy the house, but I’m going to try to stay here for the most part and try to make sure training camp is getting organized and ready to go. I’m a little paranoid from that regard, but I’ll try to get away, go see my new grandkid in Tampa and go from there.”

 

On the positive results of having the team together at minicamp and building toward something:

“It was. It was good to get everybody in the building and everybody working together, and I think the thing that I’ve been most impressed with is I think with the locker room in general – how they’re getting along and how they’re playing together, working together, you see them in the weight room working out together. We haven’t had any bickering or any arguing or any fighting so to speak, maybe a little one yesterday. But overall I feel like the team together is coming along great and the unity is where it needs to be at this point and then we when come back to training camp with the knowledge of the system and people knowing one another, hopefully we can take off from there.”



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