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    • Skins Quotes 11/29/18: Gruden, Manusky, Pederson


      November 29, 2018

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On injuries:
      "Did not participate were [Quinton] Dunbar, shin; [Morgan] Moses, ankle; [Adrian] Peterson, shoulder, [Matt] Ioannidis, shin; Zach Brown, knee. Limited were [Jamison] Crowder, ankle; [Tony] Bergstrom, knee; [Jordan] Reed, back; [Trey] Quinn, ankle. Everybody else was full."

      On LB Zach Brown:
      "Yeah, it's a knee-shin area. He did a lot with the trainers today and looked pretty good, so I think it’s just going to be a day-to-day basis. Hopefully we'll see him more tomorrow. A lot of these guys… we’ve got to see some progression obviously in the next coming days, so hopefully we'll see that with Moses and Matt and Zach Brown."

      On if he is optimistic about WR Jamison Crowder and RB Chris Thompson playing:
      "I'm optimistic. I try to be optimistic about everybody but time will tell. Jamison did a lot more today, which was positive. He's still got some soreness a little bit but he's been working through it. Then Chris Thompson, I think when you watch him run, there is no issue. There is no issue. He looks fast. He looks quick, so I think he's going to be fine but we've got to make sure we protect him."

      On how QB Alex Smith is doing:
      "Yeah, I went and saw him and he's going through the rehab or the process of trying to get better. It’s a tough road and anytime you have surgery on your leg, it's not easy, but he's got a great support system, great doctors, and hopefully he'll recover fast."

      On how DL Tim Settle is coming along:
      "You know Settle has been one of our most exciting prospects. Obviously, [Daron] Payne and the young guys, but Settle has come the furthest in my opinion. I think he's gotten better, gotten stronger, played at a better pad level. He's staying on his feet. When we first got him, he was falling down all the time and leaning on people, but now he's showing some explosion and keeping his balance, which is pretty good. I'm excited about him as a prospect for this football team for many, many years and he's going to get more and more reps, especially like you said; if Matt [Ioannidis] is struggling."

      On how Settle fits into the rotation:
      "Oh, without a doubt, without a doubt, Stacy McGee is starting to get his feet under him. He's starting to do a little bit better job but I do see that rotation being pretty darn good."

      On how to judge CB Quinton Dunbar's injury after last week:
      "Yeah, I don’t know. This is a unique deal. When you're talking about the nerve and you're talking about that area for a guy who utilizes his speed, it's tough. It's only something that Quinton can help us along with. We're trying to do everything we can as far as rehab is concerned, seeing the doctors and specialists for the nerve, but at the end of the day it's all about what he feels comfortable with. Last week, he felt comfortable enough to play but, you could see he was struggling with it as the game went on. Maybe tomorrow we'll see him out there running around out there a little bit but we'll see."

      On LB Shaun Dion Hamilton:
      "Same thing, I think he's another guy that, he just had his major surgery about a year and month ago at Alabama. He's starting to get his legs underneath him. He's starting to get his confidence. He's always been and always will be an instinctive player but now he's starting to be more comfortable with calls, where he's supposed to be and I think he feels quicker also. He's coming along at a great pace and I think he's ready to step in when he's needed."

      On what doctors have said about Dunbar's recovery and timetable:
      "Yeah, I don’t know. They kind of have it narrowed down to what it is and where it is. It’s just a matter of when he feels comfortable, where he can actually push off and run fast. I think he can run a little bit but when he tries to put a lot weight on it and push and extend his speed, that's where I think he has trouble. He loses function as far as power in his leg. It feels weak."

      On if he will get the power back in his leg:
      "Yeah, he'll get it back eventually. I just don’t know when. I don’t think anybody can really tell when. He has just got to continue to do what he's got to do in there and see as many people he can and stay off of it I guess. Kind of like a pulled muscle I guess."

      On if Smith's recovery timetable:
      "Yeah, not that I've been told. No."

      On if Crowder and WR Trey Quinn could both be active:
      "Oh there will be a chance for sure. We'll just have to Gerry-rig how we are going to do that. Right now with Trey being limited and Crowder being semi-limited, we'll see, probably this week play the healthiest one. If we can play both, we'll figure out a way to do that. The good thing about Jamison, he can play all three positions. Quinn can probably play all three also. He's a very smart guy but we'll just have to figure out where we want to put them as far as matchups are concerned. We could play both, to answer your question."

      On if there is more pressure to win in Philadelphia:
      "Yeah a little bit, I think there should be a sense of urgency without a doubt – where we are in the season, what our record is, we're tied for first, Dallas is right there, Philly is right there. Anytime you can go on the road and get a key victory is very, very critical. It is also important for our confidence and our psyche down the stretch. I don’t think anybody has the lost any confidence despite the injuries that we've had, especially to our quarterback. I think we all have faith in Colt [McCoy] but to go out there and to get a big win against the defending Super Bowl champs would do a lot of good for a lot of people."

      On the "Code Red' games of the past and if there is any code word for this week:
      "No, I think everybody knows the importance of this game. I think where we are right now as a football team, losing two in a row like you said, there's still a lot of ball left, regardless of what happens in this game Monday night. We do understand that when you play a division rival like Philadelphia to try and get one on the road there would be very helpful."

      On any takeaways from Philadelphia's success last year with a backup quarterback:
      "Yeah, I think you can learn a lot from that. One, nobody gave them a chance last year and they went out and lost their starting quarterback and ended up winning a Super Bowl. You can learn a lot from that. It’s about how the team rallies around certain people and it's not about one guy. That defense stepped it up, that offensive line stepped it up, the running game stepped it up and of course Nick Foles did a great job in critical moments. That's what we're trying to do. Our defense has got to step up without a doubt. We've got to be a better tackling team, play more physical. Our offensive line has got to step it up for sure. Our running game better step it up and then Colt [McCoy] has got to make the plays necessary in critical situations."

      On what they can do to make McCoy more comfortable:
      "Yeah, I think you try to get with Colt. Now you have time to really put a game plan together. Then you go out and practice and look at it and sometimes the most important part of practicing is eliminating plays that he's not comfortable with instead of just putting them because they look good on a chalkboard. If he doesn’t like them at the end of the day – we eliminate some – then focus in on ones he's very comfortable with. I've never, ever, put a play in that a quarterback is uncomfortable with. You can believe that if you want but it's true [Laughter]. We talk about every play and somebody might say something different but I try to do that and try to make him as comfortable as possible."

      On building trust with receivers on things like back-shoulder throws:
      "I think we haven’t given a lot those guys a lot of opportunities, so it does take a little bit of time. It's a natural thing. Unless you call a back shoulder, say this is going to be a back shoulder or you call a go ball or fade ball and a guys is playing over the top and the quarterback gives you a back shoulder opportunity, that takes precision, that takes work, that takes confidence in the quarterback, the receiver coming back to the ball and making those plays. So, you see it all the time on Sundays. We haven’t seen a lot of them. We saw one with Josh [Doctson] last week which was huge. If we can incorporate that as part of our game, those are big chunk plays we need to have."

      On if receivers have been surprised with McCoy going deep:
      "Yeah, I think there was. I think that Vernon [Davis] was a little bit surprised on his down the right sideline. He wasn’t quite ready for it, he saw it late and then kind of juggled it and dropped it, but I think that's important. When you're working a guy and you don’t have a lot of time and you think he's running down the sideline and you see the defensive back over the top, the natural instinct for a quarterback would be to back shoulder it. Now our receivers have got to make sure they get their heads around and then adjust to the ball."

      On S D.J. Swearinger Sr. and his comments:
      "The comments were the comments. He has his unique way of motivating the guys. I wasn’t as upset about the comments as I was with how he did it with the radio. I think I just made a point to him that anytime you have an issue with anybody or anything we're doing in house, we keep it in house and we don’t need to go on airwaves and we'll talk about it as a team. The point got across to him. His message was heard but we just moved forward."

      On the balance of coach leadership versus player leadership:
      "You have to have limits as far as I'm concerned. You have to have rules and make sure that everybody understands that what we do in here stays in here and that’s the most important thing. There's so many different ways with social media and radio and newspapers and Twitter and all that stuff that, you've just got to be careful sometimes and that’s the most important thing. As far as leadership goes, you can't coach leadership. You either have it or you don’t. You can't force it. Luckily for us, we have some pretty good leaders in here, some are more vocal than others, but we do have a good group of veteran guys and some young guys that are emerging."


      Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky

      On Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz's ability to extend plays:
      "Well, I think the biggest thing is you have players upfront that can get after him and get him down. He's a big frame guy, very similar to quarterbacks that… Andrew Luck is very similar. Ben [Roethlisberger] same thing. Just guys that like that, you know, that they can actually get them down physically. But overall on the back end, you have to be able to plaster. The first game we didn’t plaster. I think on the first possession then they got a score. But overall on the back end, we have to make sure to plaster because he can extend plays, get out of the pocket and break some tackles that you see that he does a lot. We have to make sure we plaster on the backside.

      On Wentz's progression after his injury:
      "I think it's just confidence in his knee and confidence in his ability to play. Overall, he has good targets to throw the ball too. They have a good running game. They have a good offensive line. He's just taking it in stride and kind of knows the system a little bit better of course after his second year. But, he's having a lot of success and he's playing good."

      On learning from big missed plays:
      "Yeah, there's always lessons like sometimes the post safety and the angles they come out of the post safety or guys that missed tackles but we have to get them on the ground. That’s the biggest thing is all the great defenses that I've been around, it's usually they could get them down right now. The yack yardage is not as much and that’s what we didn’t do. That's very important when you play a game of football is tackling. We have to do a better job tackling. We're practicing it on the field and we have to do a better job on Monday night."

      On how the Eagles have changed the way the use Wentz:
      "Yeah, you know, I guess, it's just the offense that they have. Overall, I think he can run and he does scramble out of the pocket. He does a great job of keeping his eyes up the field and he makes them a lot of positive plays out of those plays that he has because guys on the backend don't plaster. We have to make sure we do that."

      On the defense giving up run plays:
      "A couple times there were a couple missed fits that we had and it's very important to have the post safety making those plays. One time we didn’t have that support system in there and they ended up scoring – which we don’t like – but we have to fix that."

      On the run defense falling off in the last few weeks:
      "We have to buckle down up front, get on the outside, set a good edge across the board and have those inside linebackers filling those gaps the way they're supposed to. We'll be back on track."

      On S D.J. Swearinger Sr.'s comments:
      "I think playing 12 years in the National Football League, you have to have some humor you know what I'm saying. We had the walkthroughs last week. It was a short week having about an hour of a walkthrough or 50 minutes, it take a little bit of a toll. Their concentration level is not going to be focused for 50 minutes. But overall, we try to have a little bit of fun doing it. We go through our situational football and try to talk through it and work the plays that we think we're going to get. With his comment, you know, that's his comment he makes. What I'm trying to do is focus on everybody across the board from the D-line to the linebackers to the DBs. Overall, it is what it is."

      On keeping players locked in during a playoff push:
      "I think you have to pick up the meetings a little bit. From an attention span, I think it is like 20 or 30 minutes from a player's perspective being in the meeting. After that, it kind of just overwhelms you a little bit and you're mind starts to drift. But overall, I think that attention-to-detail, giving them a little bit of a break here and there, even during practice. That’s why we go back and forth to get them a little bit of a break so they can focus on what they're supposed to focus on. Overall, in my 12 years, it's a grind, from the first couple of weeks, especially for young players. I mean, this is the time where we start the season really. Pretty much, now, we have to start rolling. For those young players, they've already played their 12 games and they're done, with four preseason games and the games that we've already played. This is when we have to pick it up."


      Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Doug Pederson

      On the things he did that put QB Nick Foles in a position to succeed after QB Carson Wentz got hurt:
      "Well, I think what helped Nick down the stretch was that we had to go back and sort of find kind of his rhythm. What does Nick like that is still within the offense? Then, just keep repping that over and over and over again and I think that’s very similar with Colt McCoy right now with Alex [Smith]'s injury. It's unfortunate. I hate that for Alex having worked with him in the past but I think that’s the same thing that Washington is going through. Find that rhythm, find the things that Colt is good at and just keep exploiting that, keep using it to their advantage, and that was one of the things that helped us with Nick last season."

      On how hard it is to get a quarterback in rhythm mid-season:
      "It is a tough thing because you also have to worry about the other members of your offense and you can't necessarily change your offense midstream. But, I think you can find things that would be very beneficial, whether that's more shotgun or under center or whatever it is. I remember last year in Nick's case, we incorporated a little more of the RPO game which he was very good at under Chip Kelly here. So, we were able to incorporate some of that a little more and it just helped Nick and then two, it’s something that our offensive guys were familiar with. So, I think there is a little bit of a fine line but you don’t want to wholesale change your offense – but at the same time – you've got to do what it takes to win a game."

      On why it's important for the quarterback to feel comfortable:
      "Well you know it's funny because I look to it as you're sure the quarterback has to be comfortable. I mean, he's reading it. He's got the ball in his hands. He's got to make good decisions. He's got to make decisions quickly. But at the same time, I think when we say a fine line or make wholesale changes; I think you've got to be mindful of your skill guys too. I mean, they've got to learn the plays as well, so if you can just do some things that your quarterback is comfortable with, but at the same time, you’re still as coaches, you can still teach and make corrections as you go, because yeah you do have to worry about the other 10 guys that are out there with your quarterback."

      On if McCoy is a good fit in the West Coast offense:
      "I think he and Alex [Smith] are very similar in the standpoint of the progression guys. I mean, that’s the traditional West Coast, that's what I grew up in. Even Alex and his career and history kind of grew up in that same kind of West Coast type of offense when he was out in San Francisco and then obviously with us in Kansas City and things of that nature. I think that’s one of the strengths that Colt has and he's been around Jay [Gruden] now for a while and he understands that system. I think progression offense is where he can get through first reads, second reads, based on what the defense is presenting. I think that fits his strength and is something he's been good at and successful in his career."

      On if there is a feel to the offense that takes time for a new quarterback:
      "It does. I don’t think you're going to get that natural feel, natural rhythm of plays, until you've been in it a while. That's the part that takes time. It's just not something that you can develop overnight because there is chemistry involved with your tight ends, receivers and running backs. Then it's just your rhythm and flow of why is the coordinator, why is the coach calling this particular play and those are things that take time. You can get through your progression and you can understand the play and where guys are but more so it's about the rhythm of that play and why is the coordinator or coach calling that particular play."

      On the locker room rallying behind Foles when Wentz went down:
      "I think guys… because Nick had been here before with a lot of the guys he was here with Chip Kelly before he left and went to KC (Kansas City Chiefs) and came back, but Nick was here before and a lot of the guys had a really good comfort level with him, especially offensively, they've been in the huddle with him. So, it was just a matter of integrating what Nick liked in our offense that made him successful without really disrupting guys like Alshon Jeffery and at the time Torrey Smith, Zach Ertz, guys like that on the perimeter. There was a comfort level I think even with Nick in the huddle."

      On if the Eagles are playing better football than they were a month ago:
      "I do. Our season has been a little crazy because we've had so many injuries. Our quarterback to start the season wasn’t the guy; of course we had Nick starting. I think we've kind of gone through a couple of tough stretches there where we've come out of it kind of… I feel like we are getting into a bit of a rhythm offensively and as a team. I think it’s just taken time, which obviously during the regular season you don’t have. You'd wish this took place in the offseason, or during training camp, but it was unfortunate for us, but it is what it is and we're continuing to battle through it. I do feel like last week we got into a little bit more of a rhythm against the Giants and that’s something that we're going to try to build on this week."

      On how close the team came to considering LB Reuben Foster:
      "Yeah you know, listen I'm going to balk at the question because I just don’t want to get into that right now, so I just decline to answer. Sorry about that."
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 11/29/18: Gruden, Manusky, Pederson started by Boone View original post
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