A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

    • Skins Quotes 9/22/17: Gruden, Cavanaugh

      September 22, 2017

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On injuries:
      “We’ve got five guys questionable. Jordan Reed will be questionable. Rob Kelley, Mason Foster, Montae Nicholson and Josh Norman all are questionable. We’ll probably wait until Sunday to make the decisions on all five.”

      On if there’s a chance of dressing four running backs on Sunday:
      “Yeah, there is a chance. Mack [Brown] is ready to go. [Jeremy] Sprinkle is ready to go if Jordan can’t go. Josh Harvey [Clemons] is ready to go if Mason can’t go, and the rest of them we have backup plans.”

      On TE Jordan Reed working with the receivers during individual drills:
      “Yeah, we just wanted to make sure we keep working those legs and his stamina, which he’s obviously in great shape but we wanted to get some running in and catching the ball.”

      On if he has to balance Reed trying to push through injury with his performance while injured:
      “Yeah, no question. You know, like I said, ultimately with all five of these guys it’s the trainer’s call and the player’s call, so we’ll make that determination. I mentioned the other day, if we feel like Sprinkle’s the better option at 100 percent than Reed at 70 percent, we’ll also take that into consideration. A lot of things to think about for us but luckily we have a couple more days to make our decision.”

      On if TE Jeremy Sprinkle is ready to go if needed:
      “[He] better be. He’s been here, so he better be ready [laughter].”

      On if having a night game makes a difference for players listed as questionable:
      “Not really, a couple hours.”

      On the Raiders’ safety blitzes and how they help Raiders DE Khalil Mack:
      “Yeah, I think that’s part of the reason they do it – for run blitzes and to try to get [Khalil] Mack one-on-one a little bit more, so it’ll be a good challenge for us. They bring them any time – third down, first down, second down. Reggie [Nelson] comes, sometimes [Karl] Joseph comes. They do a nice job. It’s a good package for them. It helps them in the run game and in the pass game.”

      Offensive Coordinator Matt Cavanaugh

      On if QB Kirk Cousins is getting into a rhythm:
      “I think he is, yeah. I think he’s getting close. We all are. I’m never going to stand here and that it’s one guy that’s got to get better. We as a group have to get better. We made great progress in the run game last week, which, from a quarterback standpoint, you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, that’s pretty good. Second-and-four, first-and-10, second-and-three, first-and-10.’ So we really didn’t put a lot on his plate last week and it wasn’t by design, we just came out and ran the ball really effectively. But from his standpoint, I know he’s excited about getting a chance to play again. And that’s what you want – you want a guy who… we’re 1-1, wish we were 2-0, we’ve got a long season ahead of us, he wants to get better every week no matter how he played the week before, so we’re excited about it.”

      On the improvement in chemistry between Cousins and WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.:
      “As you can imagine, the more time you spend with a guy, the better you should be getting. And I think their rhythm is coming around. I think the ball placement, I think Terrelle is starting to understand ball placement, his relationship to a defender, where he should expect the ball based on the route he’s running, whether it’s a deep ball or an intermediate route, a short-game throw. He’s starting to get a feel for what Kirk’s seeing. That’s huge… And by the game token, Kirk has to see what the receiver’s seeing too, when he’s running his route, what kind of leverage that he has, how he anticipates the break that he’s coming out of. So that just takes time. You can sit here and say, ‘Well, they’ve been together since OTAs,’ but sometimes it takes a while. I think each day they’re working. They’re aware of it, they want to be better at it, and they’re working real hard to get on the same page all the time.”

      On how long it takes for free agent signings to make major contributions:
      “Well, I hope about another two days that it all kicks in [laughter]. We’re going to be patient. We like these players that we’ve got. They’re all working hard and it’ll come. Believe me, it’ll come.”

      On what RB Mack Brown offers that other running backs don’t:
      “I wouldn’t say that ‘the other guys don’t,’ but he has great passion for what he does. He loves the game. He works really hard. For two years now, I have been watching him work real hard for the scout team and he treats it like it is a game. He takes the ball and runs hard and finishes. He understands run concepts. He hasn’t had a lot of work in protection, full-tempo protection, but he’s very capable of doing that. I just think he has got some explosiveness to him, strong runner. He can break tackles. So there is some real upside there, it’s just he has to get his opportunity. We will see if it is this week or down the road.”

      On the running backs’ role in accounting for the Raiders’ safety blitzes:
      “Well, by design, our protections, we have guys assigned to certain people. There’s clearly protections where the back is responsible for a safety. But I have no doubt, if recognized, he knows what his responsibility is and he’ll step up there and make every effort to block the safety. I’ve got confidence that they all can do that. A lot of that is just being aware and anticipating it. Sometimes the looks, it’s hard to disguise secondary blitzes because they’ve got to get rolling, they’ve got to start coming toward the line of scrimmage. If you’ve got your eyes up and you know what your first responsibility is, you see the next one start to show up and you’re ready for it, it makes it a lot easier. And that’s just experience too. I think he’s gotten some of that in training camp, he’s gotten some here in the last few weeks. It’ll be a challenge for any back. But all our guys can feel that coming and get fitted up on a safety.”

      On sticking with the run last week:
      “I think with any time you’re trying to execute a game plan, when something’s working, you’re silly not to stick with it. We obviously had success running the ball early. The first drive was an example – just getting good chunks. At that point, you’re nuts to say, ‘Now we’re going to just start throwing the ball every down.’ Vice versa, sometimes you come out throwing the ball a lot and have success, and we keep throwing it. I always say you want to have balance at the end of the game. Sometimes you don’t get it, because you’re so successful doing one thing. We’ll do what we’ve got to do to win – whether it’s run or throw.”

      On how RB Chris Thompson has improved in the past few years:
      “I think the temptation early on was, ‘Man, he’s a little small-ish. Can he hold up? How much can you give him the ball, how much can you play him?’ He was a big part of special teams. But then when he’s on the field, he’s so productive in every phase of the game. He’s a good runner, very good runner. He’s got great explosion. He’s excellent in running routes and catching the ball, and he’s a very good pass protector. So when you’ve got a guy that can do it all, it’s tempting to have him in there a lot. But we’ve also got other backs that give it different dimensions. They’re a little bigger built, can take a pounding on some of the inside runs. So we’re selective with how to use him but we don’t hesitate to put him on the field if we think it’s something he can do.”

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 9/22/17: Gruden, Cavanaugh started by Boone View original post
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