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    • Skins Quotes 8/1/17: Gruden, Swearinger

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      August 1, 2017


      Head Coach Jay Gruden


      On if there is a timeline for TE Jordan Reed to return:
      ?No, we?re just going to play it by ear, see how he does day to day. Day to day means the better he feels the more chance he has the following day, but we?re not going to rush it.?

      On Reed:
      ?He went down to see a specialist today, so hopefully we?ll have a better indication of where he is.?

      On WR Jamison Crowder:
      ?He has a hamstring [injury] and those things could be a week, could be three days, we?ll see. I think tomorrow we?re just going to do a special team day tomorrow, give him another day of rest and hopefully he?ll be back Thursday maybe, maybe Friday.?

      On WR Maurice Harris? status:
      ?Same, he?s got a sore knee, a little tendonitis. Hopefully he?ll be back Thursday or Friday.?

      On DL Joey Mbu:
      ?He?s going to practice today, I believe. I think. We?ll see how he feels. You never know.?

      On the growth between C Spencer Long and QB Kirk Cousins:
      ?I think just the offensive line in general, I think Kirk feels great behind those guys. You know, they?ve been together now for some time. Not a lot of turnover other than Spencer coming into center last year. So the guy has done a great job. And communication between center and quarterback is crucial and center and the rest of the offensive line is critical. Like I said yesterday, Spencer has done a much better job with the calls. He?s more comfortable and then Kirk always has the ability to trump him and the communication has been very, very good so far. So just have got to keep it going because on a week-to-week basis, fronts change, blitzes change and you?ve got to be on top of it.?

      On if these injuries would be handled differently in the regular season:
      ?I don?t know. I think you look across the league, you look at injuries, it?s a lot of soft tissue injuries, you know hamstrings, calves or what have you. So it?s just a matter of these guys getting hurt and, you know, when you train in the offseason, in the five weeks they?re off, they go home and they run and they work out, but there?s no substitute for what they do out here ? the full-speed bursts, and then they stop and they burst and run. You?re going to have some of those every year. Just hopefully you keep them down to a minimum, and when they do get them, we get them quick and get them rehabbed and get them back on the field as fast as they can. Some of them take more time than others, but I don?t think you?re ever going to totally prevent them any year. They?re going to happen.?

      On what S D.J. Swearinger and LB Zach Brown bring to the team:
      ?Well, we've added a few guys on defense, not only the free agents, but obviously the rookies have done a great job. I think you look at Zach Brown, middle linebacker, he's a good communicator, does a good job, brings a certain energy to the team. D.J. Swearinger brings a swagger that, you know, is very good for everybody. He's a great communicator, he's got great energy. That's what I like the most about him; he gets everybody fired up. He doesn't just get excited when he makes a play, he gets excited when somebody else makes a play. You know, you saw him the other day, yesterday, on the sideline, when the twos were up, somebody got a batted ball and he was running up, running off the field, patting him on the back and all that stuff. So, his energy is contagious, and it's needed. Especially on defense, you?ve got to have that type of energy. And it's not false. It's real. It's great to see.?

      On if the draft picks on defense are living up to expectations:
      ?Well, you see their potential, there's no doubt about it. And how they continue to stack day after day together will determine how they do and how they learn moving forward, then how they perform in a game, whether they stay healthy or not. But obviously Jonathan [Allen], we've talked about, Ryan [Anderson] we've talked about, Josh Harvey-Clemons has done a nice job at linebacker in the dime situations. [Joshua] Holsey has done an excellent job. He's played nickel, he's played corner. He's been fun to watch. There's been a lot of guys that have showed up that we're excited about. But it's about the grind, really. You know, everybody can flash in a practice or two, but now it's about being consistent ? doing the right thing over and over again. That's the challenge we have to find out if they can handle.?

      On CB Kendall Fuller:
      ?He just looks healthier. I wouldn't say he looks healthier, he was healthy last year. He was able to play, but I think he's more confident in the injury that he's coming off of. He looks stronger, he looks faster, so it's good to see. He's moving around also, he's playing some nickel, playing some corner, and he's doing a fine job.?

      On if the secondary has improved its communication or if Swearinger?s presence just makes it seem that way:
      ?A little bit of both. I think the emphasis always has to be there in the secondary without a doubt. That?s not really a change, but who?s communicating and are they communicating the right thing, and getting [the message] across to everybody else. D.J. has done a great job of being that leader and communicator. Su?a [Cravens] eventually, hopefully will get to that role. Will Blackmon is doing a good job. We have got to get Montae Nicholson up to speed. He?s just now starting in the walkthroughs, he?s starting to get more and more. [Deshazor] Everett is doing a better job. I think that?s a necessary part of playing a position with the change of strengths and the motions and all that. We just have got to keep them going.?

      On where S Su?a Cravens is in his development with recognition:
      ?He?s doing better. It?s been a short time so far, but since the OTAs he?s continued to progress and keep throwing more at him and challenging him, put more on his plate and see how he can handle it, but I think he feels comfortable back there. He?s a very smart kid. I think he can handle it mentally. Now it?s just a matter of when things are happening fast around him, different route combinations, how he reacts, that will be key. He?s definitely good in run support, good tackler. But getting the right angles in the right gaps, we?ll see if he can do it consistently.?

      On S Deshazor Everett:
      ?He?s another one that came here as a corner and we moved him to safety. We had to find a spot for him because he?s so valuable on special teams. You know, he?s one of our special teams? best players, most productive players, so we moved him to safety and he?s doing better, he really is. Towards the end of the year last year he got the big pick against Philadelphia and he stated to play a little bit more and more, got some more experience. With a new coordinator, some of the system carries over a little bit but you can see he?s getting more comfortable. We know he can hit, like you said. Now it?s a matter of him playing the half and the post and all that stuff. I like where Deshazor?s going, but I love him on special teams.?

      On his comfort level with the specialists:
      ?We tried [Bashaud] Breeland at kicker yesterday, I don?t know if you saw that or not [laughter]. I feel good about them, really. I think Tress [Way] is an excellent punter, and obviously Hop [Dustin Hopkins], I think he?s a young kid and I think he?s worth having here. I don?t think we really need to bring in a lot of competition, but we have a list of players to bring in if they struggle, just like everybody else at every other position. But I have total confidence that they won?t struggle and they?re going to be a great weapon for us. Hop can bang it, and obviously Tress can change field position for us and he?s very accurate when he?s pooching the punt inside the 10-yard line. Obviously Nick Sundberg is as good a long snapper as there is. He?s very consistent. Knock on wood, we?ve had no issues with this long snapper and I like where they are.?

      On which doctor Reed is seeing in Charlotte:
      ?Anderson.?

      On if there?s any particular question he?s tired of answering:
      ?You know what it is. Contract situations for certain people kind of gets annoying after a while, not saying any names [laughter].?


      S D.J. Swearinger

      On the defense:
      ?I feel like we?re making tremendous strides. Every day we?re competing. The defense is getting their hands on the ball, keeping the energy alive, and I like where we?re headed.?

      On his role as a tone-setter:
      ?I have to bring that because I?m a natural born leader. My mom always told me to lead, not to follow. That?s what I?m doing here. We?ve got an excellent opportunity every day, man, when we go out there on that field. It?s a blessing to be out there, so why not give your all, give it high energy and give the energy that feeds off others? That?s what I try to do, and I?ll keep continuing to do that.?

      On if he has to get to know the guys to be able to be a leader on a new team:
      ?For sure, especially the secondary guys. You do have to understand those guys, you have to get with those guys off the field and that?s something I try to do. I try to build that relationship off the field first and once you get out there on the field, it?s all second nature. As long as we?re gelling off the field, on the field it?s easy.?

      On wearing the number 36:
      ?It means a lot, first and foremost, because of my family?s numbers, my dad and two of my uncles? number. I?ve had the number since ninth grade. My favorite player Sean Taylor wore it here. I want to follow his footsteps. I want to make 36 my number, you know what I?m saying? He definitely wore it well but I definitely want to wear 36 and hold it high.?

      On the defense having a good day of practice:
      ?Anytime you?ve got a live practice, man, it makes both sides better. The defense is out there flying around. It makes the offense like, ?OK, we?ve got to do something to stop the defense. We?ve got to score on the defense.? And it makes both sides better. As long as we keep the competitive nature high, both sides will get better and as a team we get better.?

      On trash talking and if it serves as motivation:
      ?It gets us going a lot, man, because like I said, if the offense hears me yelling, once they make a play they want to yell too and it?s a competitive thing. Both sides want to compete better. If you out there dead, man, the intensity is not there. To have fun, you?ve got to have fun, you?ve got to talk trash. You want to see what limits you can push people [to]. When people get mad, they tend to play well. That?s the whole purpose behind that, and it?s all to get better, man.?

      On Su?a Cravens? transition to safety:
      ?He?s coming along well. He?s a natural athlete. He can do a lot of things well. He?s very athletic, and gets in and out of his breaks. Communication with me and him has been great. We sit next to each other in the meeting room so I try to coach him up on small things that he hasn?t seen in the NFL ? playing safety in the NFL. I try to pick his brain, we try to pick each other?s brain and stay communicating, keeping the communication level high.?

      On what he has taken from previous teams to prepare for his time with the Redskins:

      ?It?s been a long journey, these last four years from Houston, Tampa, Arizona to here. I feel like now I?ve finally got a home. I feel like this is home. When I?m out there practicing, it feels great. It feels like I?ve known these guys for the last five years. I definitely feel at home. The previous years have definitely taught me a lot on the field and off the field. I?m just looking forward to continuing this journey.?

      On what it means that LB Zach Brown said he was most excited to play with him:
      "It means a lot. You know, any time a Pro Bowler says he?s excited to play with you? Zach is a great linebacker. Can?t wait to get out there when everything is all live there against Philly. But Zach is a South Carolina grad as well, so can?t wait to get out there. He makes a lot of plays, he?s a fast guy to the ball, so me and him together, along with the rest of the defense, there?s no ceiling for our defense.?

      On if he views not playing safety early in his career as a positive experience:
      "I think it was great for me because I learned the linebacker position. I learned how the linebackers fit. I learned how to fit in a different mindset, so it helped me a lot and I wouldn?t take it back at all because playing that position is definitely different from playing safety."

      On being reunited with Greenwood High School teammate CB Josh Norman:
      ?It means a lot, man, it means a lot. We hold Greenwood high. You know, small country town. We?ve got a lot of talent in Greenwood and to have two guys on the same team from Greenwood is amazing, man. I can?t wait to get back out there with Josh and do what we used to do.?

      On if he could have imagined playing with Norman in the NFL:
      ?It?s kind of crazy because I got drafted with a high school teammate in Houston, Sam Montgomery. So, I don?t know how that can happen ? I got drafted with a high school teammate and end up coming to play with another high school teammate, which is very rare. But, it happened and it?s a blessing that it happened this way.?

      On if his high school team was undefeated:
      "We weren't undefeated but our defense was definitely No. 1 every year. We won a state championship in 2006."

      On if he likes his role in this defense:
      "Yes, for sure. I love this defense, I love where we?re headed with Coach Manusky. We?ve just got to keep taking it one day at a time, get better day-by-day, play-by-play. And the sky is the limit. I?ll definitely be able to make a lot of plays in this defense."

      On the number of players drafted from his high school:
      "Well, in a five-, six-year span, I think it was six of us that got drafted. Armanti Edwards, Sam Montgomery, me, Josh Norman, Kelcy Quarles and there was one other one that just got drafted too. So we have a lot of talent in the Greenwood area."
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 8/1/17: Gruden, Swearinger started by Boone View original post
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