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    • Skins Quotes 10/2: Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins

      October 2, 2014
      Redskins Park

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On the injury report:
      “Robert Griffin is out... [Tracy] Porter did not participate and Trenton Robinson did not participate. Porter just re-tweaked his hamstring a little bit in the game. We’ll check him out tomorrow. Robinson did not participate with his ankle. And limited were [Kedric] Golston, Akeem Jordan, [Shawn] Lauvao, Niles Paul, Jordan Reed and Trent [Williams]. Full participation were [Chris] Baker, [Jason] Hatcher, DeSean [Jackson], [Jarvis] Jenkins and [Brian] Orakpo.”

      On if tight end Niles Paul has been cleared for contact:
      “Not yet. He just was going through individual drills and stuff and they’ll monitor him again today after practice and tomorrow and they’re just taking slowly but surely steps to make sure he’s OK.”

      On the team’s identity:
      “I think we’re still learning, and guys are still learning how to play the game the right way. We have some youth. Defensively, guys getting a lot of reps for the first time and they’re learning as they go and they’re making some young mistakes. The good thing is they’re in the heat of the battle. They’re in the fire and they’re learning from what they’re doing. They’re going to get better because of it. Offensively, we just have to continue to grind out what we’re good at and try to obviously convert our third downs.”

      On if he thought the team would be further along in its search for an identity:
      “You hope so. Losing DeAngelo Hall and forcing [Bashaud] Breeland into some action early on and Keenan [Robinson] doing a great job at middle linebacker – he’s going through some things – Trent Murphy’s learning the defense and Hatcher’s learning a new group and Ryan Clark is learning how this system works and all that stuff. We have some guys that are kind of finding their way. Overall, as a group, they just have got to learn how to play together and that takes a little bit more time than I thought and I hoped, but they’ll get it. I know they’re practicing hard, and they’re going to come along quickly and I hope they come along a lot quicker.”

      On if he is confident the players limited in practice will be able to contribute on Monday:
      “I am. They’re going through with Larry [Hess] and they’re doing their rehab the right way. We’ll see. You never can tell. Some guys when you’re limited you’re not getting the reps you need out there at practice. You’d like to get more. You still have to be cautious with them. These guys are tough guys. They want to be out there, but we also have to be smart. We have no way of knowing but I’m very hopeful at least.”

      On guard Josh LeRibeus starting his first game:
      “He did OK. There were some snaps I know he wish he had back. He got thrown around a little bit a few times. There were some plays he was very good. He was kind of one extreme or the other. He was either very good or not very good. We have got to make sure we eliminate the ‘not very good,’ get him a little bit more consistent. But in his first full-time action, there’s a lot to improve on, but he did some good things.”

      On Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson:
      “He’s a very good decision maker, you can see that. Even when plays breakdown and he’s out of the pocket, he’s very protective with the ball. He manages the game like a pro, like a veteran. He doesn’t make many mistakes, he’s accurate with the ball when he has to be and he plays their offense the way it’s supposed to be. He doesn’t turn the ball over and their defense gets turnovers, and that’s the big difference in their team. That’s why they’re 2-1, they’re Super Bowl champs. They create turnovers on defense and they don’t turn the ball over on offense. That starts with the quarterback making good, sound decisions, and he plays like a 10-year vet, that’s for sure.”

      On if there’s one part of the Seahawks that worries him most:
      “No – that’s what concerns you the most is that they’re very good everywhere. They’re averaging giving up 2.8 yards a carry, I think. You’d think with such a great pass defense, ‘Heck, let’s run the ball.’ But, teams are only averaging 2.8 yards a clip. We had a 500-play cutup on them on their run game, and 350 of them were two yards or less. So they do a great job in the run game. And then obviously when you have to throw it, their corners are excellent, their safeties are excellent and then their pass rush is outstanding. So, they don’t have a weak player, a weak link on their defense. We just have to go out and run our offense, try to be more physical and do what we do. Our guys are just going to have to play a little better and a lot better for us to have a chance.”

      On quarterback Kirk Cousins’ ability to use his eyes to move coverages:
      “He’s still progressing. He’s very young with limited starts. That’s going to come with experience. Staring down receivers is part of it that you have to learn from. If you stare down receivers against these guys, you’re going to throw more than four picks – you’re going to throw about 11. So we’ve got to make sure he does a great job with his eyes because that’s one thing Seattle does unbelievable is all eyes are on the quarterback and they drive and they do an excellent job of rallying to the ball, so he’s got to do a good job with his eyes and be decisive with his throws and accurate. But that just comes with time and comes with preparation and learning from your reps that you get at practice and in the games and moving forward when you do make a mistake. So I have confidence that Kirk is going to bounce back from his four-pick day and do a much better job moving forward.”

      On balancing between not limiting his own offense and not throwing toward a talented cornerback:
      “It’s a good point. It’s a heck of a deal. They’ve got two very good corners. I think [Byron] Maxwell is playing excellent, too. And then the safeties are doing a good job. They have good underneath help, sometimes, so [Richard] Sherman can slough back a little bit and play the deep ball. Sometimes when they want to play bump and run, man-to-man, he can get up and jam people and go a great job. He’s obviously a great corner, but we feel like we have good receivers and we have to go out and challenge whoever the corner is. That’s why we went out and got DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts. So hopefully those guys will be up to the challenge. They definitely have to step up their routes, their route discipline coming in and out of breaks, and the quarterback has to do a great job with the accuracy and anticipation for us to have a chance. We’re not going to shy away from anybody, but obviously we know both corners are very good.”

      On how to slow down Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch:
      “I don’t know. You have to go about it by bringing your whole body of work with you. Your pads – you’ve got to lower your pad level with him, you’ve got to bring your arms with you. If you try to tackle him on the side, he’ll run right through you. But he is an angry runner and he is a violent runner and he loves contact. On the Monday night stage, he’s got a lot of energy – he’s got a week off, so he’s going to be fresh-legged – so it’s going to be important for us to gang tackle, wrap up and get him on the ground. But he is a dynamic running back and he is an angry running back and a forced to be reckoned with, and to me, obviously Russell is very good with managing the game, but he [Lynch] is the heartbeat of that offense.”

      On if there is an instance other than injury in which wide receiver Santana Moss would be activated:
      “There is. He’s very close right now. We’re only dressing five wide receivers. He definitely has the talent to be one of the five. It’s just right now with Aldrick’s speed and DeSean’s kind of had the hurt shoulder – we wanted to have another speed threat out there. 4.25, 4.3 is tough to substitute for. And then of course Ryan Grant emerging as the young guy, we want to make sure he gets his rep from time to time. He’s just right now the odd man out. [It’s] nothing that he’s done wrong. It’s just we feel like we’ve got five receivers that are a little bit more useful, but we have a great deal of respect for Santana, what he brings to this team on and off the field. I would imagine that by season’s end, he’s going to get his reps and he’s going to get his looks. I don’t know when that will be though.”

      On the feedback he has received about cornerback DeAngelo Hall’s surgery:
      “That it went well. I think he’ll rehab fine. I was in Cincinnati with… Leon Hall and he had two of them done and he came back fine with it, so if he goes through the rehab process like I know DeAngelo will, he’ll be ready to roll.”

      Quarterback Kirk Cousins

      On if the loss to the Giants was tougher to handle than other losses he has suffered:
      “It is hard to rank different experiences. They are all tough when you don’t win. You definitely learn from it, you get better as a quarterback from it, it toughens you and now we are focused on Seattle. We’ve got a great opponent coming in here Monday night, national spotlight game, and it is very important that we play well and find a way to win.”

      On playing against Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in college and in the NFL:
      “I actually went against him three times. Played him twice my senior year – the game that ended in the Hail Mary, which we were fortunate to come out with the win, and then the Big Ten Championship game, which actually they got the better of us in that one. And if I could, I’d do it over again and I’d rather switch it and be able to go to the Rose Bowl and win that championship game. And then the playoff game, yeah. So played him three times, at least first person, and he is very talented, just a special player. And he is one of those guys – I told him when I saw him in the offseason after our rookie year, I said, ‘You make me nervous. When I am standing on the sideline and the ball is in your hand you make me nervous because I never know what the next play is going to be.’”

      On his memories from those games:
      “The Hail Mary game I just remember a back and forth game. They got the lead early then we came back, stormed back with some good plays and then they came back late in the game, Russell made a bunch of plays. Then we got the ball with a couple minutes left and went down the field, got it to midfield, then had to throw that Hail Mary. So it was a back and forth battle of two really good football teams. It showed itself again in the Big Ten Championship game, two really good football teams. In the playoff game I just remember we got ahead early, had a great start. FedExField was rocking and then they just kind of steadily kept marching back and stayed in it and then took the lead. It is one of those games that didn’t sit well with it because of how close we felt like we were to winning a playoff game. But they are a great football team and they have shown why ever since then with all the success that they have had.”

      On if there was a benefit to not having to come in and contribute right away:
      “Yeah, I think that is a great testament to Russell [Wilson], the fact that he was able to win the starting job right away and play so well early. Just shows how talented of a player he is and how hard he works and his approach to the game. I do think the silver lining in being a backup early was I was able to watch and learn. There are benefits to both obviously. It’s worked out very well for Russell. I also feel like there are opportunities that I’ve had here that were good for me.”

      On how he deals with grand pronouncements about his future after every game:
      “Yeah, I agree with you, John. It’s been tough. Even my rookie year when you only get a couple spots and everybody is going to try to write the book on who you are as a quarterback from the end of the Ravens game or the Cleveland game and then you may get spot duty last year. So that is tough. And to say how do you deal with that, you know, I don’t know that I have the perfect answer. I am the kind of guy who would like to know my future and like to know how things are going play out, I don’t. So I try not to ride the roller coaster. I try to be as consistent as I can possibly be and I think that approach is going to help me have success in this league. But as a quarterback, you are going to have things that go your way, you’re going to have times where it is going to be tough. I think the guys that last are the guys who can ride it out and say consistent no matter what.”

      On if he is given the same chance to develop as other young quarterbacks:
      “I think everybody is in a different position. Everybody has their challenges, has their advantages to being in the situation they are in and I certainly have my advantages and I have my challenges. No one is going to care about the excuses. They want to see results in this league and over the long haul we are going to find out over time who they guys are that can last. We’ll see.”

      On if his last performance will make him hesitate making throws moving forward:
      “You know Chris, that is a natural response to having a game like I had last week, a young quarterback especially. Human nature would say you’re going to be a little more careful, but if you do that I think you get in trouble more than you help yourself. So I think it is important in talking with the coaches, watching the film from the game to just go back and trust my reads, trust my instincts and play the game. And if I start to let previous performances affect the next game in a negative way, I am not going to be in this league very long. So every play is its own entity, every game is its own entity. I learned that from Coach Gruden. I think it is important that no matter what’s happened in the past, I keep playing the game the best way I know how and let the chips fall where they may.”

      On if his eyes gave away his intent against the Giants:
      “I think there are so many areas where I can and need to get better. I think my eyes have been pretty good in talking with the coaches. They’ve said, ‘You’ve done a good job with your eyes.’ I think that obviously out one all of those interceptions I made a mistake somewhere along the line somewhere along the line that caused the result to be what it was. But eye control, discipline with your reads and your progressions are all going to be a big part of being able to move coverage and get guys open and that is one of the deals that is kind of the game within the game. So I think that is something that as a more experienced quarterback as I go and as I play I am going to get better and better at and that should serve me well going forward as I get more experience.”

      On lessons he learned in the Giants game and how to apply them this week:
      “Each play was different. I think when you look at the turnovers, each one had a different reason why it happened. But just understanding that you can’t throw the ball blind, you can’t force footballs into coverage, sometimes it’s better to take a sack, sometimes it better to check it down or move in the pocket, so you are learning every play and each play has its own reason. I probably would have to sit down with you, Mike, and go through every play and watch the film together, which someday we can do. But to go through and say, ‘Here is what happened here, here is what happened here...’ We don’t have enough time to do that but every play there’s something.”

      On what he does to improve in the film room:
      “You have to be brutally honest with yourself. You have to check your ego out at the door when you walk into the film room, and say to the coaches, ‘Let’s make sure this never happens again. However you have to coach me, be hard on me to make sure that it gets through.’ So, being coachable, listening to what they have to say, the advice they give, being hard on yourself, and then on the practice field next week just emphasizing different areas. Always trying to make your weaknesses irrelevant and keep improving those and continue to use your strengths to get you where you want to go. I hope we’re learning and getting better each and every week and each and every game.”

      On if there is a common theme for quarterbacks who have played well against Seattle:
      “Well, I think it’s a lot of the same themes that happen in every game – whether you’re playing an outstanding defense like Seattle or a defense that’s middle-of-the-road, you’re going to have to do the same things, which is protect the football, stay ahead of the chains, stay out of third-and-long. All the things that affect a normal game are going to affect it when you play a top opponent like Seattle.”

      On when he felt like he had turned the page on last week’s game:
      “I always feel like it helps once I’ve watched the film both with the coaches and on my own. That helps you bring some closure to it, once you’ve been table to watch the film and evaluate it. That being said, I had games back in college that didn’t end the way I wanted to but I felt like fell on me. And even though we had a great career and went on to do good things after that, those games still don’t sit well with you. They’re still a part of who you are. They toughen you up and harden you a little bit. I think this game does the same thing, although once you watch the film, that’s when you start to move on.”

      On taking advantage of the whole field as a quarterback when playing against a talented cornerback:
      “We have our rules, we have our coverages that are kind of ignoring personnel. You’re just going to play by your rules, ‘All things being equal, here is how you play the game.’ Certainly personnel then is another element that factors into your decision-making as a quarterback, your play calling as a coach, where you’re going to put guys on the field and try to give guys a chance to be successful – understanding the personnel that we have and the personnel that they have in different spots. That’s the chess match, that’s the game. He [Richard Sherman] is a great corner. We have a lot of respect for him. There’s a reason he signed a great contract and has a lot of success and a Super Bowl ring. So, he’s a guy to be aware of on the field, but at the same time you don’t want to be letting it affect you too much. That’s a balance you have got to find.”

      On playing against a hard-hitting secondary and not leading his receivers into hits:
      “I think putting a receiver in a bad spot, period, whether you’re a hard hitter or not, you’re putting a guy in a tough spot. This week these guys have certainly done a great job of reading quarterbacks’ eyes and breaking on the ball very, very quickly and playing at a high tempo. I’m definitely going to want to be smart, throw to the open guy, and make good decisions. If I do that we’ll have much of a better chance of winning the game.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 10/2: Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins started by Boone View original post
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