Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

redskins-helmetHead Coach Jay Gruden

On wearing out the defense with successful drives:

“It’s important. Our offensive line did a good job blocking, obviously. Both our fullbacks in the game did a nice job. Of course the receivers blocking downfield, getting those tough yards. Those yards after contact instead of those three-yard gains, you’re getting four or five yards. It was good to see some cutback runs. Some guys made some physical runs and all sorts of things. It opened up some play-action. Overall, it was a good performance by everybody. Now it’s just time to move on. Unfortunately, it doesn’t count, but I was impressed with the way they came out, offensively and defensively. We got a couple stops right away. We had some pressure on the quarterback, which is exciting. Special teams did a good job other than the couple penalties. Overall, all three phases [performed well] I think – something to build off of. That’s all we’re looking for.”

 

On which players stood out:

“Well on the sidelines…I have to watch the tape. It’s hard to tell with the interior guys and the linemen until you watch the tape. Obviously, [running back] Silas Redd had some physical runs, and was impressive, and then [running back] Lache Seastrunk came in there had a couple splash runs, which was good to see. From a receiver standpoint, [Rashad] Ross had another big catch. He’s made some big catches all along. [Wide receiver] Aldrick Robinson, he just continues to make play after play after play. Then defensively, it was good to see [linebacker Brian] Orakpo get a sack and some of the safeties fly around. Not only on defense, but on special teams, like [safety] Akeem Davis. I saw him make a big hit on special teams and do a good job. There’s a lot of guys from the naked eye that did a pretty good job. Now it’s time to watch the film, correct them and continue to build on what they’re doing.”

 

On what he thought about quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance:

“Not a lot. We had a whole plan for him the first five or 10 plays. We’re trying to get the running game going obviously with Alfred [Morris]. [We’re] trying to get some runs going, trying to get him outside of the pocket.  On third down, we had a couple third down plays scripted. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish that drive. Took a play action shot, it didn’t work. We came back on a third down in the red zone and he had to throw it away, had a little bit of pressure. Overall, he managed the game and got the guys out in the huddle. We got what we wanted to do. We got about an eight-play drive together, went off the field, and it’s something to build off of.”

 

On if he considered putting Griffin III back in the game:

“No, we got about eight to 10 plays with the ones [first team], and we got it on the first drive, so they were done. That’s what we wanted, just wanted to get them out there. This is the first preseason game for the ones. It’s about getting them out there with the pregame warmup, put their pads on, come out of the tunnel and understand what it takes to start the game. Give them a few plays, and get them out. Tomorrow and next week, they’ll have a few more plays and in the third preseason game they’ll have more plays, and then we’ve over there to Houston.”

 

On what he takes away from not playing against the Patriots starters:

“I don’t take anything from it. All I take from it is what our players did, and how we can improve on our performance moving forward and that’s it. That’s what the preseason’s about. We’re trying to evaluate players and build off what we’re doing – teach our concepts, teach our fundamentals and teach everything we’re teaching about football. As far as wins and losses, obviously we’re trying to win, but we’re trying to evaluate people more so than anything else.”

 

On how the defense responded to quarterback Ryan Mallett:

“The pass rush was live, No. 1. We were able to get some pressure and force them to throw the ball away and make some hurried throws and some decisions that he didn’t’ have to make, you know, a little bit quicker than he might have had to in practice. That’s the whole thing. If you give these quarterbacks in the NFL time to throw, they’re going to dice you. Fortunately, we got pressure at the right time. Hopefully, that’s a trend. That’s something that’s mandatory in the NFL with the teams and the quarterbacks that we play, so we have to continue fighting our guys every day to make sure we’re going to rush the quarterback with a relentless pursuit to the football, because like I said, there’s a lot of great quarterbacks out there. If you give them time to throw, we learned the hard way that they will dice you up.”

 

On improved tackling:

“I was happy with the tackling. I was impressed, because I’m telling you, New England has four backs that are very good, maybe five. You know they weren’t playing their starters, but those four or five backs, they’ve been starting for a lot of teams and they’re very good. I think their line was out there for a little while. It was good to see us wrap up. It was good to see us gang tackling and flying around to the football. I felt good watching these guys. I’ll watch the tape, too. I felt good about the pursuit angle. I felt good about the finishes on the tackles. I felt good about our secondary, but I’m sure there’s a lot of correctable things that we’ll notice on the tape, and that’s what it’s all about right now. The main thing we want to get out of there is we want to set our standards high as far as pursuit and tackling, and so far so good, but obviously we have a long way to go.”

 

On his initial impressions of running backs Lache Seastrunk and Silas Redd:
“Yeah, I was impressed with both of them. You know, Redd between the tackles, he’s a good power runner. He’s got great vision. He’s shown [that] in practice so far and we want to see him carry it over into the game and it did today. Lache is obviously known for his big play ability. He popped a couple again today. You know, I had to show him that much in practice, but you can’t really tell in practice because it’s just a thud. But it’s good to see him get out there. He’s just got to do a better job of lowering his pads, you know. He takes some of the more violent hits I’ve seen a running back take. He’s got to lower his pads when he gets near the sideline and in the hole, but very impressed with both of them.”

 

On if it is wide receiver Ryan Grant’s reputation to snatch the ball whenever it comes near him:

“Yeah, yeah it is. He’s taken advantage of every rep he’s gotten at training camp and again today he caught a quick out and obviously made a great catch in the bootleg that Colt [McCoy] threw him. He’s an impressive kid. He’s very mature and he doesn’t mess around. He’s a focused individual – one of the more focused players I’ve seen in a while. It’s great to have him. He’s continuing to get better.”

 

On keeping order on the sideline and the emotion upon walking out:
“Yeah, it was chaotic more so for me than everybody else. It was a little crazy with all the headsets and having defense on one line and offense on the other. I’m used to just coaching offense, but it was a little different today. Overall, I felt good about the order. I felt we were organized. From pregame warm-up, I was out there and everything was good, you know, but having 85 to 90 guys on the sideline, it’s rough. But overall, I felt that they were all into the game. But it was great. It was an exciting experience coming out of the tunnel, seeing all the fans here. It was something I will always remember. Too bad it was a preseason game, but I’m sure the first home, regular season game will be a little bit more intense.”

 

On his impressions of the kickers:

“Well, now we’ll look at the tape, but obviously we kicked off one time out of bounds and missed the field goal. We got a delay of game [penalty]. Zach [Hocker] had a great couple good kickoffs and a good tackle and made a field goal. Kai, you know, he had a kickoff out of bounds like I said, so that’s a decision that’s going to come after the fourth preseason game. I know it… I don’t know where it’s going to go, there’s really nobody leading right now, it’s going to be down to the wire I’m sure.”

 

On having a powerful running game and how he envisions it throughout the season:
“Yeah, we would like to have that. We’d like to have thunder and lightning, so to speak, or just have a couple thunders – it doesn’t matter. I think, [running back] Alfred [Morris] is going to get his bulk of carries and he’s going to need to have a rest every now and then, and whoever that guy is – whether it’s Roy [Helu, Jr.], whether it’s Silas, whether it’s Lache, whether it’s Chris Thompson – that is to be determined. I think Roy had some good runs today and a good catch, I know, and some runs after his catches. He’s done some good things. To find the second or third back is going to be important for us.”

 

On whether or not there were any significant injuries:

“I don’t think any of it was significant. I think Roy hurt his knee a little bit, and a couple other little minor tweaks. I’m trying to think who else… I’m not sure. Roy Helu, he’ll be OK. Chris Thompson hurt his ankle a little bit. [WR Aldrick] Robinson got the wind knocked out of him, but he came back in. I think that’s about it.”



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