Press Conference: Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden

jay grudenWashington Redskins coach Jay Gruden talks with reporters after the Redskins’ 44-17 season-ending loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

 

On the injury report:

“[Left tackle] Trent Williams – high ankle sprain. [Right tackle] Tom Compton – MCL sprain. [Guard] Chris Chester – toe sprain.”

 

On what he will use from this game to evaluate the team moving forward:

“Everything. We have a lot of time now, which is good and bad – bad that we’re not playing anymore but good in the fact that we can evaluate a lot of players and we went through a lot of players this season [on] both sides of the ball. It’s going to be a process and it takes time and we don’t plan on doing this in a day or two days. We plan on taking this very seriously and taking a long time to do it. Everybody, top to bottom, in this organization is going to get evaluated and it’s going to be a thorough evaluation. Moving forward, hopefully we make good, sound choices on the team we’re going to bring back next year and the players, coaches, everything.”

 

On how far the Redskins are from playing the way the Cowboys played today:

“Today wasn’t very good, obviously, but we’re split with them in the regular season. They’re 12-4, we’re 4-12, so right now we’re far away. They’re going to the playoffs, we’re not. We’re not very close to them right now. They played a consistently good football season. They were very sound fundamentally in what they did. They ran the ball, they were able to throw the ball with efficiency and they played good, sound defense. That’s why they’re advancing as the No. 3 seed and that’s why we’re not advancing. We’ve got a lot of work to do –situational football, we’ve got to evaluate our players, our staff. We’ve got everything to do. We’re going to wrap our arms around this thing and take the challenge and move forward.”

 

On tackling today:

“It was bad. The first half was as bad as we’ve seen around here for a long time. They had 300 yards of offense, an 80-yarder called back, so it was bad. Second half we got after them a little bit in the locker room and they came out and played a very spirited second half. Very happy with the way they came out in the second half and competed, gave our offense – our team – a chance to win. You know, if I don’t go for it on fourth-and-two, we kick a field goal, the game could be different but at least they came out in the second half. With the exception of the last, long touchdown run, they competed.”

 

On if he saw the kind of effort for which he was hoping:

“I thought the first half… I was concerned. I really was. I was concerned with the missed tackles, the poor pursuit angles. I was concerned with a lot of the balls in the air when we’re not playing the way we should. The second half I was pleased with the way they competed. I think both sides of the ball competed their butts off. It’s just we didn’t make enough plays in crucial situations to win that game, especially on offense. We had fourth-and-two down there, third-and-two, [on] second-and-two we fall down. We had a lot of chances to make plays and change the outlook of the football game but we just didn’t do it, but I think they competed if that’s what you’re asking.”

 

On looking back at the season and evaluating where the team stands:

“Well…you’re judged on wins and losses. We’ve said that all along, every coach is and when you’re 4-12, obviously, it’s a poor grade. So… [we’re] not getting the most out of our players, we’re not getting enough victories and that’s the bottom line. It’s our job here as coaches and my job as head football coach to do a better job of motivating not just players, but the staff, everybody to get the most of players and figure out ways to win games on Sunday.”

 

On the decision not to match up cornerback Bashaud Breeland and Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant:

“The first one was a Cover Zero play and David [Amerson] was right there. He just missed the tackle. You know, it was unfortunate. It was a great run by Dez and we’ve just got to try to slow him up and wait for the cavalry to get there and get the pursuit there, but unfortunately it was a missed tackle by David and David is really a good tackler, usually. The second one was David was in a great opportunity. He was in great position to make a play. He was an unbelievable throw away from the corner and Dez made a great adjustment on it but I don’t think those two plays were really indicative of how David played. And last play of the fourth quarter, it was a deep scramble drill play that we let the quarterback out of the pocket and David looked like he was the one in that also but we didn’t feel like those were necessarily needing to switch. We were playing zone in some of the Cover 2’s and all that stuff. It really doesn’t matter.”

 

On the positive aspects that will be carried over next season:

“Well, I hope that our consistent approach to how we work and how we prepare and how we train will carry over and have some effect. We need to change a lot. I honestly think if you don’t change something, you’re probably going to get the same results, so there’s going to be some change going on and it’s something we have to look at. We’ve got to figure out a way to do better on third down, better on ball security, better run on the football, better job on defense, getting after the quarterback, third down, special teams… We’ve got a lot to do and a lot has to change and it starts in the weight room – how we train – and it goes all the way up to how we practice – practice habits. We’ve really go to take a long look at what we’re doing and make sure we change just enough to challenge these guys and motivate these guys to we get more out of them.”

 

On the possibility of rebuilding the roster:

“We do have to face a lot of things. Luckily, we have some picks in the draft this year that are pretty high and it starts there [with] free agency and evaluating our talent – figuring out who we want to move forward with next year and that starts very soon. I’m not going to throw anybody under the bus and say we need to upgrade this, this, this, right now.  It’s a matter of a whole team retool and just looking at everybody and everything and figuring out [what] we can do. The big thing is to try and get some healthy people around here and move forward and figure out who is going to be here and who’s not.”

 

On where the problems on defense stem from:

“It’s a problem. It’s a Redskins problem. It’s not any one person’s problem. It’s not any individual, linebacker, defensive line… It’s a Redskins problem. It’s an offensive, defensive, special teams problem. We’re going to approach together and fix it together.”

 

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s performance today:

“I’ve got to check out the film. I think he’s out there trying his best. It starts right there. We’ve got to get his best effort from him. Unfortunately, we got down 17 points again rather quickly and we weren’t able to have the balance that we would necessarily like. I probably got away from the run too quickly again. For the most part he made some decent throws. As usual when you’re watching him on the sidelines, it’s hard to tell. There are some plays I think he wish he had back, as do I wish I had back calling them.”

 

On the onside kick:

“That was a great kick by their kicker and then [Trenton] Robinson just took off and misjudged the roll and didn’t get it. It was a great call by their specials teams coach Rich Bisaccia. That’s something you know, just something thing we have to address. Every problem that we have will be addressed in-house. That’s what we’re going to do and we’re going to fix it as a group, as a staff, and move forward to next year.”

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