Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

redskins_scriptrWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Wednesday. The Redskins (3-6) host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) on Sunday in NFL action.

 

On the injury report:

Logan Paulsen was the only one that was limited with his foot and hamstring. Everybody else was full. Ryan Clark, Robert [Griffin III], Silas Redd, [Ryan] Kerrigan and Keenan Robinson – all full participation.”

 

On the return of nose tackle Barry Cofield, Jr.:

“Barry looked good, man. It’s a good, strong rotation, man. Big, physical guys up front, which you want, and you want a lot of them. And we now have a lot of them, which is very good. They can rotate in and out and stay fresh. Barry looks good. He’s got a little bounce in his step and we’ve just got to make sure we don’t overdo his workload because it’s his first game back in a while, but he looked good.”

 

On where Cofield, Jr. will play and if he will displace Chris Baker at nose tackle:

“Like I said, he’ll just be in a rotation with Chris and Jarvis [Jenkins] and all those guys up front. So it’s just a matter of finding out his niche and getting him in there slowly but surely and making sure we don’t overdo it. Obviously he’s a very solid nose guard, but Chris has done a great job in his place. Both of them can be very beneficial to us.”

 

On if Cofield, Jr. looks fine after having surgery on his groin:

“Yeah, he looks fine, but we’ll see in game-type situations. But he looked good running out there today, but we kind of noticed it a little bit the last game that he played. He was running around, we saw him chase a quarterback, you could see he didn’t have that burst. You could see him limping around a little bit and it was related to his groin. Since he had to get the other procedure done, he wanted to make sure and go in there and fix that groin once and for all. So that’s what he did and he feels pretty good.”

 

On if Cofield, Jr. had surgery on his ankle as well:

“Just rehab.”

 

On if there are certain things he wants to see the offense improve the rest of the season:

“Yeah, you know, obviously third downs is the key and then obviously the turnovers. We have done a little bit better job with the turnovers but third downs and turnovers are what’s killing us. Right now you look at the stats and I think we are No. 1 in the league in yards per play and No. 1 in the league in yards per pass attempt. So there are some good things we are doing. Obviously the rushing game we need to improve upon and third downs and turnovers, man. That’s the Achilles heel for us.”

 

On if he gets the sense the players are champing at the bit to play again:

“I do, I do. I feel like they came in with good spirits. You know, it’s not easy being 3-6 by any stretch of the imagination but I feel like our guys are champing at the bit trying to get back on the field and they had a good tempo today, a good practice and that is good to see. Nobody is hanging their heads. Nobody is feeling sorry for themselves. We are all eager to go out there and prove what we are all about because we haven’t really done that yet but we have shown flashes. And now it is a matter of going out and doing it consistently. We still have seven games to do that.”

 

On if the team will be more aggressive defensively the rest of the season:

“Yeah, there is a fine line in doing both. We’ve got to pick our spots. You can’t be too predictable in anything you do. So the big emphasis really moving forward for us – we challenged them today are the turnovers. You know, right now we are minus-nine. We are not creating enough and we are giving too many away. You get what you deserve in football, and the reason you are 3-6 is partly because of that turnover ratio. So we challenged our team, we are going to try to get that down to even by the time the season is over. That takes a lot of accountability by the offensive players but it also takes some great effort from the defensive guys to force some takeaways.”

 

On if he sees players coming together:

“Well, I never really – double negative, but I have ‘not not’ seen it. I think since it became to light with y’all saying that we weren’t a unified locker room or we didn’t have leaders, I think it kind of made people think about it and realize that we are OK, maybe. So, I think that’s the case. I just think that there are some guys that are a little but more willing now to step out of their shadow and maybe speak up a little bit more than maybe they would’ve like a DeSean [Jackson] the other day. And that’s a good thing. It’s good to have people speak their mind and get us on the right track, but overall, I think everybody is fine in there. We don’t have any leadership problems in my book and the locker room has been united as far as I can tell.”

 

On matching up against Tampa Bay’s wide receivers:

“Yeah, it’s a great test for them. Luckily both our DBs are big and physical. You know that’s why we liked them both. We liked [Bashaud] Breeland coming out of Clemson because he is a bigger guy and played physical and the same with [David] Amerson at NC State, bigger type corners to go against the bigger type receivers. So it’s going to be a great matchup for them. You know, you’ve got to mix up your coverages. You’re not going to expect to play bump and run, man-to-man all day, you’re going to have to mix in some Cover 2, mix in some Cover 3 and some blitz pressures and all that good stuff, but we have to really be sound with our technique at corner because both those guys can hurt you real bad and both quarterbacks have shown the ability to get them the ball on the outside and make big plays.”

 

On the progress of safety Phillip Thomas:

“Very good. You know, I like the way he is running around out there and hopefully we will be able to get him in some action here as the season winds down. Dealing with his foot injury, he never really looked the same but the last four, five weeks, I really think he has shown on scout team that he is ready to go and get an opportunity. First he has to earn it on special teams and then he will get into some action on defense hopefully as the season goes on but he is doing a good job.”

 

On his thoughts about getting Morgan Moses some reps to help with tight end Logan Paulsen’s injury:

“Yeah, we are hoping that Logan will be good by game time but that is something we will have to address as an offensive staff, but we do have other personnel groups we can go to with the three wide receivers, one tight end and four wide receivers, no tight end so we have that covered, but that is an option we can get to with Morgan.”

 

On how important it is to establish a routine:

“It helps, it helps a lot. Sometimes you get out of whack with these night games and then short weeks and coaches staying up all night and everybody’s grouchy and tired and, you know, it’s difficult. But everybody has to go through it. When you have the same routine over and over again and guys know what to expect on a daily basis, they get their sleep habits – coaches and players alike – it’s important. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage. With the home games that we have coming up on our schedule, obviously, we want to use those to our major advantage, but also with the schedule being consistent, I think it is a good thing.”

 

On if he finds quarterback Robert Griffin III “mentally delicate”:

“No, no – you don’t want to have anybody mentally delicate, I just think people can chip away at you. If you continue to read everything written about you and listen to everything that is said about you on television then – he is a human being, it can wear on you. I think really for a young kid that has been through as much as he has – both good and bad – already at age 24 or however old he is, he has shown the fact that he is a thick-skinned guy and really in good spirits, both mentally and physically. So you’ve just got to continue to grow and learn from every experience both on and off the field and that’s what great quarterbacks have to do.”

 

On if he gives Griffin III advice about that:

“We talk about stuff all the time. We don’t just talk football in team meetings. Sometimes we talk about things like that. There are other things that come up that are important in a quarterback’s maturation process. You know, he is not perfect by any stretch, in any phase, off the field, on the field, but he is a guy that is willing to work at it and hopefully we can get him there.”

 

On Griffin III saying he doesn’t have to be liked, he just has to win:

“I don’t think anybody is liked by everybody. Heck, I’m not liked by everybody, I don’t think. Might be. It’s not about being liked. It’s about performing at a consistent high level at that position. I know there’s great quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. If you look at them, I don’t think everybody liked them in their locker room, but they all respected them and they knew that come game time, crunch time, he was going to make a play. And that’s what it boils down to. He has to get the most out of everybody around him. Offensive line, wide receivers, tight ends, running backs – they all have to want to play at their best for the quarterback.”

 

On how much the threat of Griffin III’s ability to run helped in Minnesota:

“It helps. It helped open up a couple holes for Alfred. You know, Alfred’s long touchdown run was a result of that, I think. It’s just another element to our running game that’s important. You know, you throw in a little bit of the zone read with our outside zone that has been pretty successful and the inside zone. We have some of the gap blocking power plays, so it puts a little bit of stress on the defense. But you still have to execute them properly and that’s something we’re continuing to work on.”

 

On if he believes he has a group of players that can make a run similar to the one made in 2012:

“That’s the intent. Your goal is to win every game – obviously – that you play. I feel like we’ve got the ability to do that. We’ve just got to go out and do it and perform at a level a lot higher than we’ve been performing in – at a consistent level that we have not really done from week to week to week, play to play to play, quarter to quarter. Not going to be easy by any stretch. Our schedule is very difficult. We play some great teams coming up. A lot has to go our way. Ball security wise, third down conversions – a lot of things have to change. But we are very optimistic in the fact that we can win all the games that we play but obviously we have a long way to go. It starts on Sunday against Tampa Bay and we can’t look past anybody and we’ve got to play our game.”

         
 

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