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    • Skins/Eagles Quotes 9/17: Gruden/Cousins/Jackson/Kelly/McCoy

      September 17, 2014
      Redskins Park


      Head Coach Jay Gruden


      On the injury report:
      “Obviously Robert [Griffin III] will be out. Did not participate – Akeem Jordan still with a sore knee, Tracy Porter with his hamstring, Jordan Reed’s day-to-day with his hamstring, Kedric Golston with his groin, and DeSean Jackson did not participate with his shoulder. Limited was DY [Darrel Young]. He has the neck and back issue. Then Kai Forbath was limited with his groin. Full practice was Roy Helu, Shawn Lauvao and Brian Orakpo.”

      On his level of optimism about wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s chances of playing this week:
      “I feel pretty good. A lot of these injuries I can be optimistic or not, it doesn’t really matter. It depends on how he feels, really, and whether or not he feels like he’s got full motion with the shoulder. We’re not going to put him out there in any circumstance where he’s going to be playing in pain because that will take away from his style. He’s a reckless player, a fast player, and if he’s not 100 percent, he’s not worth being out there. But he’s a tough kid and I think he’ll get right.”

      On if there is any new information on quarterback Robert Griffin III’s ankle:
      “No, nothing really new. I think everything’s the same. He’s going to be in a cast for about 10 days, and then they’ll reevaluate after they take the cast off. Nothing new popped up as far as any new injury popped up. It’s what we thought it was. It’s just going to be 10 days in a cast and then we’ll look at it from there and it’ll be a rehab process – probably four to six weeks, somewhere in there.”

      On if he has any sense for tight end Jordan Reed’s possibility of playing this Sunday:
      “I don’t. It’s just the dang hamstring. It’s one of the most difficult injuries to guess upon and try to predict because you push him out there too quick, he’ll reinjure it. But right now, he’s not doing anything. He’s just working with the trainers as far as doing some rehab in there and hopefully tomorrow he’ll go out there and do some more individual work and then see where he’s at.”

      On Reed’s injury history:
      "Well, it’s a totally different injury and you have to take every injury for what it is. It's something different and the plan varies based on the injury, whether it's the knee, neck, shoulder... Hamstrings are totally different than you'd rehab a knee or concussion or what have you. So, we just have to take every injury into its own account and rehab him and get him right 100 percent. I don’t know when that'll be, though."

      On the similarities in coaching Kirk Cousins and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton:
      "It's what I know. It's where I come from. It’s the football that I've learned coming through the ranks, studying other teams from my brother and all that stuff. So the system hasn’t changed really from Robert Griffin to Kirk Cousins to Andy Dalton. We're running a structured amount of plays and concepts that I like and know and we try to be different and have some variety but nothing’s really changing. But he is a very similar guy to Andy. They both wear rubber rings on their ring finger, you know, but they're quarterbacks. They're drop-back quarterbacks and they're both very good, competitive, smart players. But Andy's done it. Andy's proven it. He's won. He's been the past three years in the row and played a lot of football. Kirk hasn’t had the reps that Andy's had. Andy from Day 1 of training camp, he got every first-team rep. That's not the case with Kirk. So, he's got to now take all these reps and fast forward to a game on Sunday and that's easier said than done a lot."

      On how much time the coaching staff took in the offseason to prepare for the Eagles’ offense:
      "Yeah, we take quite a bit. We really study our division opponents very much and we always study trends around the league and obviously the no-huddle is a trend that a lot of people are going to. Not just Philadelphia, but there's a lot of teams running no-huddle and you study how you communicate the process for your defense and try not to be so vanilla all the time. But, I think today was a great day, a firsthand look at the tempo. It's hard to mirror that tempo in a game situation – the fast pace – but today was a start. Tomorrow we'll get more of it, but we have studied Philadelphia quite a lot."

      On how difficult it is to create that tempo in practice:
      "It's hard, it's very hard because you have to show the cards to the scout team and you try to have a couple different sets of cards going and all that good stuff and you try to tell the defense, 'Hey don’t give the signal until the very last second so you’ve got to communicate it.’ So, there's a couple different ways to do it and you only have so many guys that can run scout team cards, too. It's not like we NCAA football roster limits. You know, we have 53 guys here practicing here, really about 45 guys practicing here so it's hard to get the subs in and out of there. I think we have a couple good periods we really do the up-tempo and try to get a good look. Practicing the up-tempo and tackling [Darren] Sproles and [LeSean] Shady McCoy are two different things."

      On the difference in this opportunity for quarterback Kirk Cousins:
      "I don’t know how the opportunity was last year. I'd like to think that this year I tried to lay it out very clear for Kirk coming in here that Robert was the starter and he was going to get all the starter reps and it was his job, and it was his job to be the No. 2 guy and take advantage of his reps when he got them in the preseason and in practice and he's done that. Now that Robert's had the injury, it's his job and we'll cater to what he does, but he's been nothing but a pro with the whole process of this ordeal and I think he'll be ready. Time will tell. He got some good looks, the running game was very effective against Jacksonville. We'll see how he does in some key third down situations when the game's tight or if we're trailing. There's a lot of circumstances in a football game that can really determine how a quarterback will be with the pressure. We'll see, but we have obviously high hopes for Kirk and I know the team does."

      On if he appreciates running back Alfred Morris more after working with him this year:
      "Yeah, no question about it. He is a tough guy and he's a great guy to lean on. You know, if things don’t go right in the passing game, if you're worried about a pass rusher here or there, it's nice to turn and hand it off a guy you know is going to get some chunks of yards for you and run through tackles and make positive plays and not complain if he doesn’t get the ball and all that good stuff. He's a class act. He’s a good, hard runner, great zone runner. He has great vision and obviously, the best part of Alfred is No. 1) he's very durable, and No. 2) he makes yards after contact. He's always falling forward which gets you from second-and-nine, instead of second-and-nine, you get second-and-seven, second-and-six, which those are huge yards. They really are. So, he's been everything as advertised when I got here and we're going to continue to rely on him."

      On running back Darren Sproles joining the Eagles in the offseason:
      “He’s a great player. Anytime you have a chance to get after a player like that who’s been that dominant in the passing game – a third-down type player, ball in space – you’d like a crack at him. It didn’t work out for us, and when you find out it’s not going to work out with us, you dang sure want him to go to the AFC somewhere, but unfortunately he went to Philly. He’s a great player. You can tell he works hard. He understands his role. He relishes it. He dominates his role. When his number is called, he produces consistently, year after year after year. He’s a great pick up for them.”

      On if a quarterback like Kirk Cousins can be good without immediate playoff wins, awards, etc.:
      “There’s no question. No question. We don’t expect him to go out and win the MVP next week or win a Super Bowl to prove he’s an upper-echelon quarterback right away. We do expect him to produce and play within the offense and not make mistakes and do what he’s supposed to do – handle the protections and play the position – because we feel like he’s good enough to play the position at a very high level. Expectations? We expect him to be effective. He doesn’t have to throw for 450 yards and six touchdowns to be effective. He can manage the game, manage third downs, not turn the ball over, keep us in good field position and play the position. Good quarterbacks can play differently. It’s not all about stats all the time, so we feel good about where Kirk is, but we’ll see. ”

      On Jackson as a teammate:
      “He’s been great. I like DeSean a lot. He hasn’t been any issue, hasn’t had a problem as far as being late, as far as any personal problems. He comes out to practice, works hard. I don’t have any problem with him. I don’t know what the issue was beforehand, I can’t speak on Philly, but ever since he’s walked in these doors he’s been fine with the players and with me.”

      On the return of safety Brandon Meriweather:
      “It’s another guy to communicate, another guy to help handle the defense. Ryan Clark has done a great job of holding the fort down. Now you throw another guy out there who knows the defense inside and out and can communicate with the linebackers and the defensive line and they really play well together. You can see that all through training camp. When Ryan and Meriweather are out there together, they really do a great job at communicating and working well. He’s another physical presence to our defense. You throw Ryan Clark out there and Brandon Meriweather out there, two guys that’ll bring the funk so to speak, tackling-wise, it makes a big deal when receivers go across the middle.”

      On the next step for Jackson:
      “I think we’re just going to go day-to-day with it and see. I think tomorrow he’ll probably be limited, if anything. The big thing is he’s getting his range of motion back and his strength. We’ll see where he is, but I think Thursday I would be surprised if he practiced. Friday, I’m hoping he gets some reps and we’ll challenge him with some balls over his head, see if he can go up and get them, put the shoulder pads on him and see if he can bang around a little bit. I’m hoping Friday, if he practices, then he’d be good to go, but we’ll see. ”

      On if he was worried about the talk about Jackson prior to signing him:
      “Not really. We did our due diligence on him. I’ve known some people that worked with him and I feel pretty good about when you bring a football player in, you coach them to play football and you have a set of rules and you have some good players that have a great sense of accountability. [Linebacker] Brian Orakpo, you bring in [defensive end] Jason Hatcher, you have Ryan Clark, you have guys like that that hold the players accountable. The more players like that you have, you worry less about somebody like DeSean who has a bad reputation, but none of that bad reputation thing has followed him. If he had one or not, I don’t know. He’s been fine with us, like I said – on time, worked hard, prepared hard. Actually, I really like him. He’s a fun guy to be around… every now and then [laughter].”

      On the release of safety Bacarri Rambo:
      “Well, when Brandon came back, we had to release somebody and I think Trenton Robinson has done such a great job on special teams, same with Akeem Davis, that they were going to stick. Then, we got Duke [Ihenacho] just now. We had to release a safety and that’s what we chose.”

      On if he is concerned about defensive line depth when facing an up-tempo offense:
      “No question, there is a major concern there. It’s been a concern for the first two opponents that they [Philadelphia] played because Jacksonville wore down and so did Indianapolis – it looked like on tape. I’m not going to speak on their behalf. When you’re up 17-0 in the third quarter and you give up 34 and a couple of those big plays, it could be not so much the defensive line but maybe the safeties, the communication gets out of whack. Big plays happen, so it’s very important for us to figure out a way to stay fresh and try to use the best rotation we can possible whether it’s nickel, whether it’s base, whatever it might be, but we have to stay fresh somehow. For them to stay fresh, we’ve got to do a great job defensively on third down and offensively on third down to keep drives alive and keep them off the field. That’ll be the key to the game.”

      On how Jackson is so effective despite his size:
      “He can run really fast [laughter]. He’s really fast and he’s really good after the catch, you know what I mean? He can catch and he’s not afraid of traffic whatsoever. So he can catch a short pass, turn them into big gains, and obviously he takes the top off a defense. Even if he’s not catching the ball he’s opening it up for somebody else underneath. Unfortunately against Houston, we weren’t able to use a lot of that stuff and then he got hurt against Jacksonville, so hopefully the next 13 games you’ll see a lot more of DeSean.”


      Quarterback Kirk Cousins

      On if he feels different as the starting quarterback now compared to the end of last season:
      "Yeah, if we're comparing last season the last three games to right now, certainly it's different. Much earlier in the season with a lot more to play for and I think that creates a heightened sense of urgency and anytime you play, you want to play well but certainly there is a lot of football to go and with a divisional opponent on the road, we really need to have good attention to detail and good focus this week in our preparation."

      On how he handles pressure:
      "Well, I think in that sense just the pressure, the expectations, whatever you want to call it, it's nothing new. We've played college football on a big stage and started NFL games and been a part of NFL teams in big games. All that being said, this isn’t something brand new that we need to make a big deal of. We're going on the road, we're playing a great football team, a team that 2-0, leading our division, and we need to have a great week of practice to be ready to play them."

      On Head Coach Jay Gruden's influence in his development:
      "Jay, first of all, having played the quarterback position and done it at the professional level, you trust him because he’s been there and he has been in your shoes. He has a lot for experience. I watched him have a lot of success with Andy Dalton the last three seasons and I believe that if I just do what he tells me to do and stay patient, trust the process, keep working, good things are going to happen because he knows what he's talking about and he has a proven track record. So I fully trust him and really just want to do what he tells me and work really hard to make sure the development comes quickly."

      On how comfortable he is with the starting wide receivers:
      "You're certainly going to develop greater chemistry, greater rapport the more you play with them, the more reps you get with them. So, if I were to play for four, five or six weeks, you know, Week 6 we're going to be on a much better level than we are Week 1. But that being said, I do feel comfortable. I feel like this is a system that mirrors a lot of what I've done in the past. Like I said, I trust Coach Gruden. I understand where he's coming from and we have a lot of talented playmakers on the field. You saw a lot of guys catch the football last Sunday. It's just a matter of me managing the game and getting the football in the right guy's hands to let them go make plays."

      On the distribution of reps when he’s the starter:
      "Well, when I'm the back up, I get many of the scout teams reps and I get none of the offensive reps. Now, as a starter coming in, I will get all of the starter reps and I'll get none of the scout team reps. So basically, it'll go, when the defense is on the field getting their reps, Colt [McCoy] is the quarterback. When the offense is on the field getting their reps, I'm the quarterback. So, a little bit of night and day. You completely leave the scout team and you completely move to the offense and that will certainly help come Sunday. "

      On what he learned from the final three games of last season:
      "I think first of all I gained a lot of confidence. I think when you start three games in a row that's an experience. That's something that helped me have confidence now when I'm asked to go in against Jacksonville on Sunday. So, you gain that confidence, that ‘been there, done that’ kind of feeling, and whether it was the close games we had against Atlanta or Dallas or the tough game in the rain against the Giants, you go through experiences that help you to say, 'I've been there and I've done that.' It's hard to pinpoint any specific change or development. I think it's just a gradual ability to continue to make better and better decisions and to continue to manage the game at a higher level that the longer I'm out there on the field, the better I'm going to get."

      On wide receiver DeSean Jackson:
      "He's a talented player. I mean, one of the best receivers in the league and we'd be foolish not to try to get him the ball and give him an opportunity to make plays. As a quarterback, when you stand in the huddle, when you break the huddle and go to the line of scrimmage, there are certain guys that just make you feel better in tough situations and DeSean is certainly one of those guys. "

      On Eagles Coach Chip Kelly’s comment that Cousins has a great command of the offense:
      "Yeah, I think I'm always going to try make sure my command of this offense is as strong as it can be. You know, I'm not 6-5. I don’t run a 4.3. I don’t have an arm that can throw at 90 yards. So, if I don’t have good command and if I'm not making good decisions and if I'm not doing a great job of managing the game, then I'm not going to be playing in this league very long. So, the focus for me has to be having a good command, making great decisions, knowing where to go with the football. Sometimes that's taking a sack, sometimes that's throwing it out of bounds, but always giving us a chance to win the game at the end."

      On his area of focus this week:
      "I think it's getting very comfortable with the game plan. The installs, the protections, any new concepts we’ve put in. You get introduced to them last night, this morning and it’s important to get as familiar as possible with them come Sunday morning."

      On if protecting the football was a key focus for him during the offseason:
      "Protection of the football is one of those areas that is just critical to wining and critical to having a successful team over the long run. As a quarterback, the ball is in your hand almost every play, if not every play. So, taking care of the football will be an emphasis of Coach Gruden to all the quarterbacks for as long as he's here and as long as I'm playing I'll always try to protect it. That being said, you're going to have turnovers. The best quarterbacks in the league are going to average an interception a game. If you finish the year with 16 picks, you're probably going to lead the league in terms of fewest interceptions thrown. It's part of playing the position. If you're going to make some great throws and hit some big time third down completions, you're going to have to at the same time throw some picks too. So, you take the good with the bad, but certainly if we protect the football with the defense we have, we're always going to have a good chance at the end of the game to win."

      On what he does well:
      “I don’t know that I want to spend this press conference bragging about myself. I think I need to let other people do that, let you guys make your critiques, good or bad. For me, it’s always going to come down to decision making. If I’m not making good decisions and knowing where to go with the football, I’m not going to play in this league very long. Just avoiding negative plays – sacks, interceptions. I have to keep us ahead of the chains, keep us out of third-and-longs. If you’re consistently in third-and-long and consistently punting the football, you’re putting your defense in a tough spot and you’re not giving yourself a chance on offense to get your whole playbook going. So, it’s a matter of staying positive on first and second down, staying out of long-yardage situations, and when you do that, you find yourself always in the fourth quarter having a chance to come down and win it.”

      On if this is his biggest opportunity with the Redskins:
      “It’s hard to rank them. I think every opportunity in the NFL is big. You’re being evaluated by so many people – your own team, your own coaches, your own front office, other teams, the media, friends and family back home are evaluating you. So, every opportunity you get, you’re under a microscope, and it’s just important that you’re well-prepared each time you go out there and you know what you’re going to do and you don’t lay an egg. Rather than compare them, I just say each opportunity is very, very big.”

      On his enthusiasm in the huddle:
      “Without going into too much detail, I just say that I have a laser focus, I’m an intense guy, and sometimes I like to make fun of myself too and kind of play jokes on that as well about how intense I am. It’s always a balance of making sure you’re locked in and focused, but also that you’re not putting too much pressure on yourself or forgetting to be light-hearted and have fun at the same time because it is a game.”

      On if the team made any adjustments to help ease him into last week’s game:
      “You know, I think if anything, we thought the zone read was going to be really good. With Robert going out, we didn’t execute quite as often or at all against Jacksonville. So if there was any change, it was probably for the worst that we didn’t have that at our disposal as much when I was in. Other than that, the playbook stayed entirely the same and felt like the full menu of plays that would be there for Robert were there for me. It’s just a matter of executing.”

      On Jackson’s speed and developing an on-field relationship with him:
      “I haven’t done a lot of work with him because when DeSean’s on the field, Robert has been on the field. That will be an emphasis in practice this week to make sure I get a good feel for ‘How fast is this guy really?’ But, in watching and seeing all the reps and the work I have done with him in individual, it is hard to overthrow him. And as a result, you want to make sure you get the ball up and down and let him go get it. Guys like that, you just want to give them a chance to make plays and go do what they’re paid to do. You don’t want to be a deterrent or slow them down from being able to make our offenses as explosive as I think it’s capable of being.”

      On hearing the news of Gruden’s hiring in the offseason:
      “Yeah, I was thrilled to hear that Jay was hired and that Sean McVay was going to be the offensive coordinator. I felt like all things considered, it was probably the best possible scenario – selfishly – for me to have a coach who has proven success with a guy in Andy Dalton, who I would say is a similar player to me. The system didn’t have a whole lot of turnover from the previous systems, so we were able to keep some things the same. And then the fact that Sean was able to be kept from the old staff, gave us a good communication in installing the offense to be able to say, ‘Here’s what we did last year and here’s what we’re doing now.’ I think it was a really good situation for me to come into. In this league, you’re only as good as the guys around you and that includes the head coach and the offensive coordinator and the guys calling plays. So I feel very fortunate to have the receivers I have, the tight ends, the running backs and the offensive line, but then obviously also the coaches and the play callers. It makes a big difference as a quarterback.”


      Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson

      On his shoulder:
      "My shoulder, you know, it’s the third day. The soreness went down a little bit, swelling went down as well too. Still in there [the training room] every day, trying to get it back to full strength and full motion. It was just one of [those] situations where it was a fluke incident. I just kind of fell on my shoulder, just the impact of the ground and the guy falling on top of me was the biggest thing. Just irritating – to finish the game like that was just tough.”

      On playing the Philadelphia Eagles this week:
      “As far as the emotions on the game, obviously being in Philadelphia my first six years and playing there and accomplishing some of the things I accomplished to start my career was obviously a huge time in my life, a huge part of the beginning of my NFL career. So obliviously it's going to be a huge game for myself and something I always looked forward to ever since everything went down the way it went down."

      On his level of confidence about his ability to play on Sunday:
      "You know, I'm a very confidence person, regardless of an injury or not. I pride myself on not missing any games and preparing myself any and every way I can to go out there and help my team. So, when it comes time for a game, I'm going to do everything I can to get myself prepared and ready. Being able to get cleared through my trainers is more of what we're waiting for to see if they’ll give me the OK, but I should be good to go come Sunday."

      On if the Eagles explained why he was released last season:
      "Honestly, what's happened has happened. It's in the past and moving forward in the career is the biggest thing I can really say. I'm not focused on why it happened or why it transpired or why it happened the way it happened. I'm not really worried about that. As far as talking to some of the guys still there, I have a great relationship with LeSean McCoy. He's like a brother to me. We talk on an everyday basis, almost. As much as he misses playing with me, I miss playing with him as well, too, because we felt the dual threat that me and him had together was very unlike any another in the league so I wish him the best. Unfortunately, this week, can't really wish him the best against us, so hopefully my defensive boys go out there and get on him and shut him down."

      On if he felt he had to monitor his behavior in Washington because things might get ‘blown out of proportion’ following the end of his tenure in Philadelphia:
      "I think that speaks for itself, honestly. As far as anything you do in life, being in the NFL and being in the position that I'm at in my career, regardless of what it is, you kind of have to over-analyze anything you do. Being in the NFL, it's like you're under a microscope and everything you do is being looked at. So being able to come here to Washington and play for the Redskins, since Day 1, since I stepped in here with this organization, I was just myself. I didn't really change. They accepted me for who I was. I didn’t really have to prove anything to them because they knew what type of player and person I was. That was the best thing and the best reason why I chose to come here to play in Washington. My teammates are a good group of guys that go out there and work hard. We compete versus each other and vice versa. Our coaches challenge us to go out there and put the best on film and do the best we can to help win games. That's the biggest thing we can say. The first game didn’t go the way we wanted it to go, last week we [were] able to come out versus a team that we felt we should have won. Regardless of that, it's the NFL and any given Sunday, you’ve got to go out there and prepare, have got to play, so that's what we look forward to this Sunday coming up. It's just another football game for us."

      On his friendships with Eagles players and if he’ll be excited to see Eagles coaches and management Sunday:
      "Honestly, man, I have friends on the team, but my focus is more here in this locker room, doing what we need to do win a football game. Obviously, it's an NFC East game, and I'm very familiar with NFC East games and I'm not here to be buddy-buddy, you know? I want to win football games for this team here. Once game time comes, I could care less about anything else. Burgundy and gold are my colors now and that's all I'm going to focus on, that's all I’m going to worry about. Buddy-buddy, there is no time for that once game time starts. So, you’ve kind of got to put all that aside and go out there and battle, play football and try to do our best to win a football game."

      On transitioning from quarterback Robert Griffin III to quarterback Kirk Cousins and how they have adjusted to his speed:
      "I mean, the biggest thing is going out there and practicing. You have to go out there and get reps. He has to see it, you have to go back into the film room and just make a judgment. It’s an overall judgment when you play this game. You have to see it. Football is a game where everything happens in front of your eyes. If you’re not able to see and not able to judge and just have that feeling of how things are going to turn out, this game is one of them games where it would be hard to be successful at. He’s been playing the game for a long time. I’ve been playing the game for a long time, but we have a great feeling for going out there and adjusting on the run. So the more and more we practice, the more and more reps we have to go out there and play preseason games, the beginning of the season, it got better. Unfortunate he’s going to be down for a couple of weeks, but I feel comfortable in Kirk Cousins to come in and do a great job, as everybody saw he did on Sunday and just help this team win games. As long as the quarterback in huddle is being in control and making good reads and getting the ball out of his hands, it makes it that much harder on the defense and the defensive coordinator. We all feel Kirk can get the job done."

      On the Eagles’ decision to release him:
      “Honestly, that’s their decision. They made the decision. They moved on. I moved on. I’m just blessed, like I said, to have a second opportunity to play here in Washington, and, you know, it’s not about them anymore. It’s about what we’re doing over here – what I need to do to better my career and what I need to do to help my organization win games. So, this week we have a great opportunity to go play the team that has a lot of pub and everybody’s been congratulating them on the things they’ve done good. Hopefully, we can go out there and exploit them and win the football game.”

      On what kind of reception he expects in Philadelphia:
      “That’s something I’m going to have to wait to see. I’ve never had to experience that. So going out there and playing on Sunday will be a reaction that I’m yet to see how they treat me. I felt I put it on the line for them when I played there and [know] what I’ve done to help that organization win games. As far as if they congratulate me or boo me or whatever the case may be, I’m ready for whatever it is.”

      On if he can give any advice to his teammates about the Eagles’ offense:
      “Yeah, I’m very familiar with their offense. They do some great things – high speed, high tempo. The biggest thing I can tell these guys is keying in on certain plays – what their characteristics are, what they like to do. Everything they do over there, I know. As far as what I can tell my guys here to help them out, I’ll do the best I can. At the same time, they’ve still got to go out there and stop it. So, no matter how much advice I give them, no matter how much I prepare them, they’re still going to have to go out there and stop it. It’ll be an interesting thing to see. I think our defense is great. They’ve been flying around, doing some great things this year. It’s going to be a high-powered game, and we feel very confident on our side that we’ll be able to go out there and get it done.”

      On his willingness to play through pain on Sunday:
      “Honestly, I’m not jeopardizing or hurting my body more than it is. I wouldn’t be into doing that. But at the same time, it’s not any broken bones, no torn ligaments or things like that, so at the end of the week we’ll see how it plays out. But, I don’t think an AC joint is jeopardizing my career in the long haul. If it’s all on me, I’m playing. I don’t plan on missing this game.”


      Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly

      On preparing for quarterback Kirk Cousins:
      "I don’t think when you look at what Jay [Gruden] is doing offensively that they change very much when Kirk came in. I think he's got a great command of Jay's West Coast system. Obviously [he] did an outstanding job in the game against the Jaguars, so I think it didn’t seem like they missed a beat very much in terms of what they were trying to do in that last game."

      On finding the balance in planning an offense around a quarterback’s abilities:
      "Well, our offense no matter wherever I’ve been has always been personnel-driven. So it's finding out the strengths and weaknesses of the individual players that you have, not only at quarterback, but at every other position. I don’t think you can just fit it around one person because there is 11 guys playing. I think every coach goes through that whole deal of, ‘What is this guy’s strengths? What are the weaknesses and how do we put them into positions where they can make plays?’"

      On what wide receiver DeSean Jackson brought to the Eagles’ offense last season:
      "DeSean had a very productive year for us last year, obviously led the team in receptions. I think he's obviously a very fast receiver, he's got great ball skills, great hand-eye coordination, very, very productive player for us last year. We were just going in a different direction at the wide receiver position here and that's what we decided to do."

      On the decision to release Jackson:
      "Yeah, just trying to build the overall team in terms of what we we're looking for offensively and how we wanted to get bigger at the wideout spot and that's what we did."

      On his level of concern about Jackson's character off the field:
      "Zero."

      On if there was any concern that Jackson remained in NFC East:
      "No, whenever you release a player they have an opportunity to go play for anybody in the league, so we understood the ramifications of the decision that we made."

      On what he learned from his team during their second-half comebacks in the last two weeks:
      "That we better play better in the first half [laughter]."

      On the Eagles not lying down in games this season:
      "Yeah, I don’t think anybody lays down in this league. I don’t think you get to this level – I've never seen teams since I've been in the league and I've only been in the league a short time that just 'Hey, they just laid down.' I think everybody competes and we try to play every possession, we look at that as an individual play. That's how we're looking at the game is by possessions, not just the entire total game. You’ve got to keep banging. There's usually about 12 possessions each game and keep competing in each of those possessions and then pick your head up at the end of the day and see if you were good enough to win the game."

      On if he made any adjustments because of the short week:
      "No, we were in yesterday. We're normally in on Tuesday. Normally Monday is our day off but we had a game on Monday. So, we were back here yesterday afternoon and made corrections and put in our initial game plan and we're back on the field today for our normal Wednesday training session. So, really nothing has changed."

      On how his team has grasped his playbook:
      "I think everybody has a lot of offense or defense or whatever. You just specifically tailor it to each game that you're going to play. So, over the course of time what happens in the third game of the season may be different than what happens in the eighth game of the season. But I don’t think it's in terms of opening up your playbook, it's just you're facing a different defense, you're facing a different set of personnel over there and you're trying to pick plays out of your system that fit in terms of what you're trying to do. I think our game last year when we played them, I think they played us two different ways, definitely in the first game than they did in the second game. You just have got to be prepared for it that whatever they throw at you defensively that you have enough on the offensive end to handle it."

      On running back Darren Sproles:
      “He’s just really a very talented player in all aspects – as a running back, as a receiver coming out of the backfield and then also as a return guy. I think the ability to get one guy that can do all three was a huge bonus, especially when you only have 46 guys active on game day. He really is fulfilling three different roles, but you’ve got them rolled up in one guy. So we obviously have what we think is the top back in the league in LeSean, but we don’t feel like there’s a dropoff when we go from the No. 1 back to the No. 1A back in terms of when Darren comes in the game. That’s a credit to those two guys and how talented they are.”

      On the Redskins’ defense:
      “We’ve played them before and just have great respect for them. It starts with the two outside linebackers – [Ryan] Kerrigan and [Brian] Orakpo. Just really, really good football players. You add Jason Hatcher, who I think played outstanding against us in the two games he had when he was with the Cowboys last year. I think he’s one of the top defensive ends in this league. And then you’ve got size in [Chris] Baker and [Jarvis] Jenkins inside. You’ve also got Clifton [Geathers] there, who played for us last year who is another big, large body. They’ve got a lot of size on the defensive line. It’s going to be a real challenge for us. Those outside linebackers and that defensive line is going to be a real challenge for our offensive line.”

      On what attributes a backup quarterback needs to have:
      “I don’t think you have backup quarterbacks in this league anymore with the amount that the No. 1 guys get banged up. Kirk’s got a lot of snaps. I don’t know the exact number that he’s started. I know he started the last part of the season last year there. He was a pretty high draft pick anyway at the quarterback spot. I think it was pretty smart of what they did in the past to make sure they get them both in the same class because they’re both outstanding quarterbacks. Last year we had Mike Vick and Nick Foles and we had to play them both. We actually played three quarterbacks last season here in Mike and Nick and then Matt Barkley played against the Giants and against the Cowboys. I think you need – and I said it all along – you need to have at least two quarterbacks in this league just because of how tough it is to play that position. So we don’t look at Cousins as a backup quarterback. We look at him as the starting quarterback, and I think Jay will probably tell you the same thing – fortunately for them they have two really good ones in RGIII and Cousins.”

      On how he would handle a starting quarterback returning after a backup has played well:
      “That’s a great hypothetical that you should ask Jay, not me [laughter].”

      On the Eagles’ defense:
      “Really happy with where our defense is, just the overall play we’re getting from them. When you play an offense like the Colts last week, you’ve got a lot of different weapons from Andrew Luck – who I think is one of the best quarterbacks in the league – to Trent Richardson and [Ahmad] Bradshaw ran the ball really well. They’ve got a bunch of really good receivers in [Reggie] Wayne and [T.Y.] Hilton. I’ve been pleased with our defense. I thought in the first two weeks they’ve really improved. I’m excited about the direction that they’re heading. But we’ve got another huge challenge again this week because of the balance that the Redskins have – one of the top backs with Alfred Morris and then what Kirk did when he got in there, throwing the ball and the talent they have with [Pierre] Garçon and the rest of those receivers. When you play balanced football teams, you just can’t gang up on one aspect where they throw it every down and now we can just play really, really good pass defense or they run it every down and we’ve got to play really good run defense. When you play teams that are balanced, I think that’s the big challenge and I think that’s what our defense has. That’s the big issue for us going into this game.”

      On if he buys into the notion that the NFC East is down:
      “No, I don’t buy into any notion. A year ago, we were picked to be last in this division, so if we bought into notions, we wouldn’t have ended up first. So I think it’s what makes sports great. Everybody can have an opinion on what’s going to happen, but the ultimate great thing about sports is that it has to be played out on the field, and there’s nobody on this team or in this organization that crowned anybody champions before you play the game. That’s what we said last year and we’ll pick our head up when the season is over and see if our effort for the course of the season was good enough to be in the playoffs, and we have the same mindset this year. No matter what people are saying about you, it makes great articles and makes great talk radio, but it’s played out on the field and that’s where it should be played out.”


      Philadelphia Eagles Running Back LeSean McCoy

      On Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson:
      “That’s my guy. We still talk and we still text. We have a good time. I was worried about him after the last game so I texted him to see how he was doing. He says he’s fine.”

      On his conversations with Jackson this week:
      “We actually just were texting yesterday. I knew he’s banged up so I didn’t want to talk no trash to him until he’s fully healthy. And he said he was good. We just talked about our families. We really didn’t get too much into it – about just the game.”

      On if it will be weird seeing Jackson in burgundy and gold:
      “You know what’s got me the most worried about it is seeing him in an 11 jersey in person. I’m so used to seeing that 10 running past defenders, making plays in that green. It’s going to be a little different. It is a business. He’s looking to come out here and put a show on. So, we’ve got to do the same thing on the other side.”

      On if he thinks Jackson will play Sunday:
      “Oh man, I don’t need the coaches to tell me he’s going to play. I know him. I know what this game means to him, coming back here. I know what type of player he is. He’s always trying to make plays and be there for his teammates. So, I’m sure he’ll play this game. We’re scouting for him.”

      On if he understands why Jackson was released:
      “You know what, I never really thought about it. It was bigger than that. I just felt like he’s been a good friend to me, and besides, he’s a good teammate, a great teammate. We’re good friends and I never really thought about why he left or why we let him go. I really didn’t get to that.”

      On why Jackson was released:
      “I don’t know. I’m the first to be honest with anything asked. I don’t have problems answering questions. It’s just I never really got into it. I trust my team and the front office and the calls they make. I’m sure DeSean and the Eagles discussed what happened. I think it’s his choice or the Eagles to really release that, but I never get into details about it.”

      On how he practices his elusiveness despite limited contact in practice:
      “It’s more through the week, I just focus on my alignment, studying the defense and running hard just to get my conditioning up. I don’t really practice that much as far as practicing moves and trying to make guys miss. I just practice hard and fast. I think some things are just natural. It just happens.”

      On how much more dangerous the offense is with the addition of running back Darren Sproles:
      “Man, that’s kind of why we brought him here. Without Sproles, we’ll be in some trouble, especially the way we started off these first two games. He’s very explosive. I think we use him well. He’s great on special teams and the option on offense. He’s needed to give us the spark we needed on offense these last couple games, and obviously the last game, he really took over for us. What’s just cool about him is we’re going to have so many different packages with him, using him and putting him the game where teams will start to be fooled and have to scout for him and know where he’s at. So he can be used as a playmaker and a decoy which will obviously help us out on offense.”

      On Jackson’s emotions directly after being released by Philadelphia:
      “I’m trying to remember. That’s so long ago. I can’t remember all of that.”

      On a receipt featuring his 20-cent tip auctioning for $100,000 on eBay:
      “Hey, I need parts of that, man. That’s why I probably didn’t tip him more than 20 cents.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins/Eagles Quotes 9/17: Gruden/Cousins/Jackson/Kelly/McCoy started by Boone View original post
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