A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

    • Skins Quotes 10/4/19: Gruden, O’Connell


      October 4, 2019

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      Opening statement:
      “Out will be: [TE] Vernon Davis, concussion; [LB] Josh Harvey-Clemons, hamstring; [TE Jordan] Reed, concussion;[G Brandon] Scherff, ankle. Questionable will be: [QB Case] Keenum, foot; [WR Terry] McLaurin, hamstring; [CB Josh] Norman, knee; and [C Chase] Roullier, knee.”

      On whether he’s made a decision at quarterback:
      “Yeah, I decided a long time ago. We’re going to start with [QB] Colt [McCoy] and go from there.”

      On whether there’s a plan for the backup:
      “I’ve got a plan. I’m going to wait until tomorrow to see how [QB] Case [Keenum] is doing and make a decision tomorrow on that one.”

      On whether QB Case Keenum will be the backup if healthy:
      “I don’t know yet, we’ll see. I do know, but I’ll let you know tomorrow.”

      On what he has seen from QB Colt McCoy:
      “I think he’s done well. I think last week was a good coming out party for him. You know, we made a big deal about, I don’t want him on the field until he feels like he’s 100 percent. He got some good throws in last week to get his feet wet and then this week he’s had a good week.”

      On whether QB Colt McCoy would have won the job in training camp if he were healthy:
      “Well, it’s his job to lose, that’s for sure. You could see he wasn’t quite healthy in training camp and that’s why we kind of sat him, made him get well, get that strength back and that confidence back in his leg so he could be out here now.”

      On what it means to have a quarterback who knows the system so well:
      “It means a lot, I think any coach would tell you that. It’s very, very important for your quarterback to know your system, otherwise you have to change your system and make the quarterbacks know it. There’s no excuse for any quarterback – I think all three know the system, but [QB] Colt [McCoy] has the most experience in it. He’s very comfortable with it, but we’ll see. I think this will be a great test for him, he hasn’t faced a live rush since Philadelphia last year. I think that will be the biggest test for him.”

      On how important it is for the quarterback to feel comfortable in the system:
      “It takes time. It’s his sixth year in the system, these other guys just got here in the offseason. It means a lot, really – confidence in the protections, I think a lot of it has to do with being able to protect yourself with the protections. Obviously, knowing the route concepts that we’ve been running for a long time, he’s got experience with them. Even [QB] Colt [McCoy] though, he was behind obviously [QB] Kirk [Cousins] and [QB] Robert [Griffin III] and then obviously [QB] Alex [Smith], so he hasn’t really had a whole ton of reps himself. And then he finally got the job last year, it was on a Thursday and he didn’t get reps live there, and then he got hurt in the first quarter of the Eagles game. So, the number one reps for Colt have been sparse throughout his career, but still he’s been in all of the meetings, he’s confident in the system and now it’s just a matter of going out and doing it.”

      On WR Terry McLaurin’s health status:
      “I think ‘questionable’ is a great word for him right now. I think he did a little bit today, which was good to see, but I think that could be a gameday-type thing. I didn’t want him to really go full-speed today, I wanted to give him another day. Then, tomorrow is obviously a walk-through and then Sunday we’ll see where he’s at, but it is probably 50-50 with him.”

      On cutting WR Robert Davis and bringing up WR Cam Sims:
      “I think, just overall, the full body of work, really I think [WR] Cam [Sims] has put in some good work out here at practice. He’s made some splash plays running scout team and I thought it was time for him to get an opportunity. Plus, he has great knowledge of knowing both positions – really all three – so he’s a little bit more versatile. That’s the main reason for it.”

      On how he let the team know QB Colt McCoy would be the starting quarterback:
      “I think the guys taking all the reps usually know who’s going to be the quarterback. So just getting him out there with the first team again, getting him all the reps, seeing all the looks was beneficial to him. With the team, I really don’t know if they really care who the quarterback is, they like all three of them and they think all three of them will give them a good chance. They’re all great competitors, all great people, they have a lot of respect for all three. It’s unfortunate that we’ve had this dilemma, but hopefully [QB] Colt [McCoy] plays well and puts an end to it.”


      Offensive Coordinator Kevin O’Connell

      On how the decision to start McCoy came about:
      “Well I think going back to when we reported to Richmond [Va.], the plan all along was to make sure [QB] Colt [McCoy] got 100 percent healthy and when that happened – and he really took his time, did a great job post camp with his rehab and continuing to gain strength, but also making himself available from a meeting standpoint, really digesting what we were doing offensively the first few weeks. He’s now healthy, had a good week of practice and just provides a stable guy in the huddle that knows our system and really has been chomping at the bit to get an opportunity. So, guys are going to rally around him. I know it’s been a good week in the quarterback room with all three of those guys, so we feel good about that whole group right now continuing to prepare like they are going to play.”

      On if he is sensing the locker room rallying around McCoy:
      “I just think since he’s been here, he’s always been one snap away and always been ready to go. So, unfortunately when that happened to [QB] Alex [Smith] last year, we picked ourselves off the mat a little bit. Then you realize, ‘Well shoot, we’ve got a guy that’s prepared, that works incredibly hard on a daily basis.’ It’s not a cliché of ‘being one snap away and always being prepared.’ It’s hard for a guy to do that over the course of a period of time like he did, obviously through when Kirk [Cousins] was here as the starter then we go out and get Alex. So, he’s been doing that for a long time so when the opportunity came up last year, that was the most disappointing thing for me when he got hurt [be]cause he was so ready and we talked about that moment a lot during the previous time when I was here with him as his position coach. So, nothing really changes, it was just a matter of a health thing and kind of when he was ready to go and rejoin the mix with our other two guys. He was ready to go and it was really positive to see him be back on the field, healthy and in the huddle again.”

      On if it has been hard missing his experience in the offense:
      “Yeah I think so just because Coach [Jay] Gruden and his familiarity with Colt and obviously myself and the way we talk about the plays we talk about in our offense, there’s somethings that for [QB] Case [Keenum], as well as he did digesting it from day one getting here, it was still new to him and he was still learning things that maybe a given, information wise with [QB] Colt [McCoy] over the last few years he’s been here. So, there’s no doubt that that helps. Case obviously prepared from when he first walked in the building. He’s worked as hard as anyone else here to make sure he was prepared and ready and we felt and still do feel good about Case if and when he’s called upon to go in there. And like I said many, many times with [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.], Dwayne is working on a daily basis. It’s just trying to go from basically the system he, was running in college to what we run now here and be ready to play against in an NFL defense. There’s a lot of things that are kind of out of his control that come into play, while also understanding where he’s at in his long-term development process that’s very, very important to us.”

      On if there was any indecision on picking McCoy as the starter:
      “Well there was definitely no chaos. There was definitely no indecision. Coach [Jay] Gruden made it very, very clear to us early on in the week that he wants to see where Colt was from a health standpoint. And there’s really no way to know until you get a guy out there and actually see him practice and play. Then where he was at from, it’s been a while since he’s been in a huddle, from a rust standpoint. How much of the game plan, how much could we really put in this week with him making his comeback from being injured. But Colt did a great job this week. [QB] Case [Keenum] did a great job this week. We're still obviously monitoring his health going into the weekend and seeing where he’s at with his injury, so there's a lot at play. But as far as whatever the perception may or may not have been out there, I'm not aware of it, but I can tell you that was certainly not the case in house here.”

      On when he found out McCoy was the starter:
      “I think I'd like to keep that information between me and myself just from the fact that the plan that was in place got carried out and whether he was healthy or not, I think it’s to our advantage not to talk about when that took place and I think you guys can probably understand that.”

      On what he thought about Haskins’ performance in Week 4:
      “I think the best thing about it was it was a great learning experience for him, being ready to go, being one snap away like he was and obviously he gets in there and we were looking for a spark from him. He’s able to kind of us on a sudden change drive like he did, got a couple first downs, couple conversions and then we get down in the low red zone, then he learns right off the bat, no matter what we do in the drive, if we can’t finish in the red zone for touchdowns and not field goals, it could come back to haunt us. But that was just one of the little things. Then from a football side of things, the coverages, some of the pressures, some of the looks that we got from those guys, some of the things that maybe he could have digested earlier in the game when [QB] Case [Keenum] was in there that maybe repeated themselves later, now he knows, ‘Whether I’m the starter, I’m one snap away or two snaps away I have to use every moment to be ready to go when my time is called.’ And I think that will be a good thing that comes out of it in addition to now he knows what it’s like on a Sunday to be in a game when we’re trying to go win a football game and that will help him from a preparation standpoint. I think that’ll help him the next time he gets into a game.”

      On what has stood out to him in this new role:
      “I just think all the little things. From a scripting standpoint, from an installation standpoint, the time at which you have to operate to try and get all the details in that you want to have in, and then all the conversations that you want to have in – individually or collectively as a group – in an install, and then with the quarterback position trying to still have as much of a role as I possibly can with those guys as well. Just time management and those things that – there’s only so many hours in the day before you’ve got to reload it and move onto the next phase of the game plan. So for me, it’s been that. And then just how great of a group we have from a standpoint of – our guys are tough, we’ve got some great leaders on the offensive side, so I can really rely on those guys. Even when some of them may be injured, they can still have a voice in the locker room and in our offensive team meeting room to allow us to have the best possible chance when those guys have a voice and a role, no matter whether they’re on the field or not.”

      On what he’s observed about Jay on day-to-day basis:
      “As far as the communication, the back and forth both in the game week and during the game, we’re always communicating. That’s one thing about Coach [Jay] Gruden with the whole staff and with the players, I think he’s a great communicator. You really know exactly not only where you stand with him, but what he’s expecting of you. He lays it all out pretty clear.”

      On what he uses from his time in New England:
      “You know, schematically there’s obviously a lot of things. I learned a ton from [Offensive Coordinator] Josh McDaniels when he was the coordinator, my quarterback coach up there. You learn a lot from being around [QB] Tom [Brady] on a daily basis, not only schematically, but just how to operate, how to be a leader of a group of men and an offense and a team. That applies to being a coach just like it does to being a quarterback. But then, obviously, Coach [Bill] Belichick at the top and the way they run things there – you really learn a lot about the core characteristics of putting the team first, speaking for yourself, things you understand. You have a responsibility to your teammates, you have a responsibility to ignore the noise and be the best possible teammate that you can be on a daily basis, and I think that carries over to being a coach because your role deals with dealing with other coaches, it deals with dealing with people in the building, dealing with the players on a daily basis. So, the communication that comes with that and then the expectation of being consistent every single day, being the same person win or lose. You’ve got to come in every single day and be the same person and be stable for the guys around you that they can look to you and know they’re going to get the same Kevin [O’Connell] every single day. So, that’s definitely another thing from day one up there I learned.”





      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 10/4/19: Gruden, O’Connell started by Boone View original post
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