Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

redskins_scriptrWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters on Wednesday. The Redskins (3-10) play the New York Giants (4-9) on Sunday.

 

On the injury report:

“[Barry] Cofield did not participate. He had an illness – under the weather. [Jason] Hatcher, knee, did not participate. [Roy] Helu [Jr.], toe. [Brandon] Meriweather, toe. Keenan Robinson, knee. Limited were [Kedric] Golston, back and foot, DeSean [Jackson] with his shin, Colt McCoy with his neck and then Morgan Moses injured his ankle/foot area. He’s going to get an MRI this afternoon. Then full-go was [Will] Compton and [Chris] Baker.”

 

On how quarterback Colt McCoy looked today and if he could play Sunday:

“Yeah, I think he has got a chance. He sprained his neck. It’s just a matter of getting his full range of motion back. But, he did good today, and we’ll get a look at him tomorrow to see if he progresses.”

 

On if the decision about the starting quarterback could take until Sunday:

“Yeah, I’m not going to announce anything until I see the week of practice and see how it goes. We’ll make our decision then.”

 

On the scuffle between wide receiver Andre Roberts and cornerback Bashaud Breeland:

“You don’t want fights at practice, but guys are a little frustrated and things happen when football players are competing. I like the competitive nature of guys competing at practice, one-on-ones. We had some good, competitive team drills today, but that was a rarity. That doesn’t happen very often and we addressed it.”

 

On how he split the reps at quarterback today:

“Today, Robert [Griffin III] took a lot of reps and Kirk [Cousins] had some reps also. Both of them had some good plays and had some plays we’ve got to talk about. So, we’re just going to get these guys reps, and it’s up to them to take advantage of the reps they get. So, the decision will be made easy for us come tomorrow or Friday.”

 

On the most recent roster moves:

“Yeah, we picked up a kid from the practice squad at Kansas City [Ja’Gared Davis]. We’re just looking for… we’re trying to shuffle a few guys around and try and help us out on special teams a little bit – guys with some of that mentality… Moving forward we’re just going to continue to try to tinker with our roster. [Director of Player Personnel] Alex Santos felt strong about a couple of these guys. We worked one of them out. We’ll take a look at them and see how it goes. We’re just trying to add players to our roster here that can help us not only this year but in the future.”

 

On the biggest improvement for Robert Griffin III over the past two weeks:

“He hasn’t had many reps other than scout team, you know? It’s a matter of quarterbacks improve hopefully daily on things they’re working on – their footwork, your fundamentals, your accuracy and just their whole position over the game and knowledge of the system. We’ll see. He had some good plays today. He had some plays that I know he wish he could have back. That’s just the nature of the business. He’s got to continue to improve, see these route concepts, feel the pass rush, get to the protection plans we have and just continue to play.”

 

On if Griffin III is getting the ball out of his hands quickly:

“Yeah, that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a decisive player at the position that will pull the trigger and get the ball out of his hands. We just have got to eliminate the negative plays. We have far too many sacks whether they’re pinned on the offensive line or running backs or quarterbacks – it doesn’t matter. The fact is, we’ve had too many. We’ve got to eliminate the negative plays, and with that being said, we’ve got to have a great familiarity with our system and where people are on the field and some anticipation – get the ball out of our hands quicker. As coaches, we have got to do a better job at calling better plays to help that process.”

 

On if improvement is possible running the scout team or if the work has to be done separately:

“Every guy is going to work in their own way. When they’re out of this building, it’s up to them to do things on their own, to study the tape like I said a couple weeks ago. They have iPads at home, they could study their opponent. They could study the plays that we’ve installed this week. It’s up to them to get ready as much as it is up to the coaches to get them ready. It works hand-in-hand. I think all three quarterbacks are hard workers, are diligent and want to be good. It’s just a matter of getting the reps and continuing to prepare and get better. Hopefully, as you call the same type of concept over and over again from training camp, that we see some progression there, we see some development, we see some knowledge and some anticipation and go from there.”

 

On what he saw from wide receiver DeSean Jackson today:

“I think he can jog pretty good, we saw that today. It’s just a matter of him, he needs to air it out and hopefully tomorrow he will get some more plays in practice. Whether he is full speed or not, we just want to see him run. And then hopefully byFriday we can turn him up a little bit and see where he is, but he needs to be obviously full strength and I think – I’d say 50-50 right now. I know that is kind of a cop out but that’s kind of where he is.”

 

On if he is concerned about the Giants’ pass rush:

“I think everybody’s pass rush is a concern, especially when you have third down an 15 and you’re down 17-0 with three minutes to go in the third quarter. That’s when pass rushes become very good because you turn into a one-dimensional football team and we’re obviously not very good when we’re one-dimensional. The only strength we have is we have the running game and we have the play-actions off the running game and then obviously the quick passing game. We have all that available to us but when you’re up 17-0 or like the Giants were up 31-14, I believe it was late in the game, where we turned into a one-dimensional football team, we’re not very good. So it’s very important for us to keep this game within reach and we’ve got to do that. We’ve got to figure out a way to keep the game within reach for four quarters, so we have the whole playbook open to us offensively.”

 

On if he is concerned about the difference in Alfred Morris’ production with and without Griffin III:

“Yeah, it’s a concern. We couldn’t get anything going in the running game and that’s part of the reason we were in second and long and third and long. We ran the ball, we lost four yards on an outside zone, we lost seven yards on another one, we had a holding call on another one. We had a false start on another one, which left us in very difficult third down and long situations and then which also made us punt the ball which kept our defense on the field a lot longer than they had to be. So we weren’t able to maintain any drives because of the lack of production in the running game and that is a concern moving forward. We are working very diligently to make sure we do a better job in the running game. If we can eliminate the minus-yard gains and the false starts and the holding call,s we’ll have a much better – if we gain two yards, I will be happy on some of them. Second and eight is a heck of a lot easier than second and 16. So we’ve just got to try to make sure we eliminate the negative plays, keep the ball moving forward as opposed to going backwards.”

 

On if he is satisfied with the amount of studying the entire team does:

“Well, I think that as a group we can all work harder. That’s obviously the case when you’re 3-10. I don’t think we are satisfied in any part of our game right now. Our production, obviously, our preparation, we are not satisfied because we are not getting any results, so we have got to figure out a way to get the better results, obviously. I feel like our guys study hard, just sometimes on game day, certain players have a brain cramp every now and then, which are very magnified around here and it’s very unfortunate. But we’ve got to eliminate it, man. We’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to hold these guys to a high standard and make sure it doesn’t happen on a weekly basis. It seems like some of the same guys are making a mistake, might not be the same mistake but it might be a different mistake, but it’s a mistake. We just got to eliminate the self-inflicted wounds.”

 

On if the players who study more have fewer “brain cramps” during games:

“That’s usually the way it works. I’ve also been around some guys who don’t study at all and they are very – it just comes natural to them. Some guys, football doesn’t come that natural to them and they need to work harder. It works both ways, but we can all study harder.”

 

On the timetable for naming a starting quarterback:

“I will reach it when I gain all the information on Colt [McCoy] and get a couple days of practice and looking at the other guys, too.”

 

On if he will withhold that information until Sunday:

“I will let you know. I know you guys are eagerly awaiting. You guys are contacting all your sources available, but nobody is going to know this week [laughter].”

 

On analysts saying Griffin III would fit better in another offense and in which offense Griffin III would fit best:

“Well, we’re hoping it will be this one eventually. You know, we try to cater to our players’ strengths and I don’t know what offense they are talking about. As far as the offenses that I have studied in the National Football League, we all run similar dropback concepts. Not everybody runs the zone read, we run the zone read to try to help him out. We run a lot more play-actions and bootlegs than most teams, so I don’t know, I don’t know what offense they are talking about. But we are working towards that and maybe they are right. We are trying to find the perfect fit for all our quarterbacks that can put them in a position to succeed. But I think eventually if you play quarterback in the National Football League, you’re going to have to dropback and throw it. That’s where we are trying to get him better at.”

 

On the hit McCoy took from Robert Quinn:

“It was kind of a messed up play. Kory [Lichtensteiger] thought he heard the quarterback say ‘hut’ and he didn’t say it, so Kory snapped it. So Quinn had a free run at him, I don’t think he really knew what to do because I don’t know if he thought the whistle blew or what because he was so free. He just came across and hit him. I don’t think he had any intent to hurt him. It was just an unfortunate play, another bad luck play for us. You know, that doesn’t happen very often where the center snaps it and no one was ready. He just thought he heard ‘hike.’ But I’m not going to say it was dirty. He didn’t get a foul and I don’t think he got fined, so it was a legal hit.”

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