Press Conference: Washington coach Jay Gruden

redskins_scriptrWashington coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Thursday. Washington (1-3) hosts Seattle (2-1) on Monday Night Football.

 

On the injury report:

“Robert Griffin is out… [Tracy] Porter did not participate and Trenton Robinson did not participate. Porter just re-tweaked his hamstring a little bit in the game. We’ll check him out tomorrow. Robinson did not participate with his ankle. And limited were [Kedric] Golston, Akeem Jordan, [Shawn] Lauvao, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed and Trent [Williams]. Full participation were [Chris] Baker, [Jason] Hatcher, DeSean [Jackson], [Jarvis] Jenkins and [Brian] Orakpo.”

 

On if tight end Niles Paul has been cleared for contact:

“Not yet. He just was going through individual drills and stuff and they’ll monitor him again today after practice and tomorrow and they’re just taking slowly but surely steps to make sure he’s OK.”

 

On the team’s identity:

“I think we’re still learning, and guys are still learning how to play the game the right way. We have some youth. Defensively, guys getting a lot of reps for the first time and they’re learning as they go and they’re making some young mistakes. The good thing is they’re in the heat of the battle. They’re in the fire and they’re learning from what they’re doing. They’re going to get better because of it. Offensively, we just have to continue to grind out what we’re good at and try to obviously convert our third downs.”

 

On if he thought the team would be further along in its search for an identity:

“You hope so. Losing DeAngelo Hall and forcing [Bashaud] Breeland into some action early on and Keenan [Robinson] doing a great job at middle linebacker – he’s going through some things – Trent Murphy’s learning the defense and Hatcher’s learning a new group and Ryan Clark is learning how this system works and all that stuff. We have some guys that are kind of finding their way. Overall, as a group, they just have got to learn how to play together and that takes a little bit more time than I thought and I hoped, but they’ll get it. I know they’re practicing hard, and they’re going to come along quickly and I hope they come along a lot quicker.”

                                                                                           

On if he is confident the players limited in practice will be able to contribute on Monday:

“I am. They’re going through with Larry [Hess] and they’re doing their rehab the right way. We’ll see. You never can tell. Some guys when you’re limited you’re not getting the reps you need out there at practice. You’d like to get more. You still have to be cautious with them. These guys are tough guys. They want to be out there, but we also have to be smart. We have no way of knowing but I’m very hopeful at least.”

 

On guard Josh LeRibeus starting his first game:

“He did OK. There were some snaps I know he wish he had back. He got thrown around a little bit a few times. There were some plays he was very good. He was kind of one extreme or the other. He was either very good or not very good. We have got to make sure we eliminate the ‘not very good,’ get him a little bit more consistent. But in his first full-time action, there’s a lot to improve on, but he did some good things.”

 

On Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson:

“He’s a very good decision maker, you can see that. Even when plays breakdown and he’s out of the pocket, he’s very protective with the ball. He manages the game like a pro, like a veteran. He doesn’t make many mistakes, he’s accurate with the ball when he has to be and he plays their offense the way it’s supposed to be. He doesn’t turn the ball over and their defense gets turnovers, and that’s the big difference in their team. That’s why they’re 2-1, they’re Super Bowl champs. They create turnovers on defense and they don’t turn the ball over on offense. That starts with the quarterback making good, sound decisions, and he plays like a 10-year vet, that’s for sure.”

 

On if there’s one part of the Seahawks that worries him most:

“No – that’s what concerns you the most is that they’re very good everywhere. They’re averaging giving up 2.8 yards a carry, I think. You’d think with such a great pass defense, ‘Heck, let’s run the ball.’ But, teams are only averaging 2.8 yards a clip. We had a 500-play cutup on them on their run game, and 350 of them were two yards or less. So they do a great job in the run game. And then obviously when you have to throw it, their corners are excellent, their safeties are excellent and then their pass rush is outstanding. So, they don’t have a weak player, a weak link on their defense. We just have to go out and run our offense, try to be more physical and do what we do. Our guys are just going to have to play a little better and a lot better for us to have a chance.”

 

On quarterback Kirk Cousins’ ability to use his eyes to move coverages:

“He’s still progressing. He’s very young with limited starts. That’s going to come with experience. Staring down receivers is part of it that you have to learn from. If you stare down receivers against these guys, you’re going to throw more than four picks – you’re going to throw about 11. So we’ve got to make sure he does a great job with his eyes because that’s one thing Seattle does unbelievable is all eyes are on the quarterback and they drive and they do an excellent job of rallying to the ball, so he’s got to do a good job with his eyes and be decisive with his throws and accurate. But that just comes with time and comes with preparation and learning from your reps that you get at practice and in the games and moving forward when you do make a mistake. So I have confidence that Kirk is going to bounce back from his four-pick day and do a much better job moving forward.”

 

On balancing between not limiting his own offense and not throwing toward a talented cornerback:

“It’s a good point. It’s a heck of a deal. They’ve got two very good corners. I think [Byron] Maxwell is playing excellent, too. And then the safeties are doing a good job. They have good underneath help, sometimes, so [Richard] Sherman can slough back a little bit and play the deep ball. Sometimes when they want to play bump and run, man-to-man, he can get up and jam people and go a great job. He’s obviously a great corner, but we feel like we have good receivers and we have to go out and challenge whoever the corner is. That’s why we went out and got DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts. So hopefully those guys will be up to the challenge. They definitely have to step up their routes, their route discipline coming in and out of breaks, and the quarterback has to do a great job with the accuracy and anticipation for us to have a chance. We’re not going to shy away from anybody, but obviously we know both corners are very good.”

 

On how to slow down Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch:

“I don’t know. You have to go about it by bringing your whole body of work with you. Your pads – you’ve got to lower your pad level with him, you’ve got to bring your arms with you. If you try to tackle him on the side, he’ll run right through you. But he is an angry runner and he is a violent runner and he loves contact. On the Mondaynight stage, he’s got a lot of energy – he’s got a week off, so he’s going to be fresh-legged – so it’s going to be important for us to gang tackle, wrap up and get him on the ground. But he is a dynamic running back and he is an angry running back and a forced to be reckoned with, and to me, obviously Russell is very good with managing the game, but he [Lynch] is the heartbeat of that offense.”

 

On if there is an instance other than injury in which wide receiver Santana Moss would be activated:

“There is. He’s very close right now. We’re only dressing five wide receivers. He definitely has the talent to be one of the five. It’s just right now with Aldrick’s speed and DeSean’s kind of had the hurt shoulder – we wanted to have another speed threat out there. 4.25, 4.3 is tough to substitute for. And then of course Ryan Grant emerging as the young guy, we want to make sure he gets his rep from time to time. He’s just right now the odd man out. [It’s] nothing that he’s done wrong. It’s just we feel like we’ve got five receivers that are a little bit more useful, but we have a great deal of respect for Santana, what he brings to this team on and off the field. I would imagine that by season’s end, he’s going to get his reps and he’s going to get his looks. I don’t know when that will be though.”

 

On the feedback he has received about cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s surgery:

“That it went well. I think he’ll rehab fine. I was in Cincinnati with… Leon Hall and he had two of them done and he came back fine with it, so if he goes through the rehab process like I know DeAngelo will, he’ll be ready to roll.”

 

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