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    • Skins Quotes 10/22: Jay Gruden

      October 22, 2014
      Redskins Park

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On what he saw in quarterback Colt McCoy:
      “Well, we know that in college he was one of the most successful quarterbacks to play. He’s a winning quarterback. He got drafted and started some games, some meaningful games and record-wise didn’t have a lot of success, but just watching him play quarterback, we know he has got talent. He was on the streets and we needed a third quarterback for training camp – somebody to come in here and compete. He was the perfect fit. I always liked the way he played – his accuracy, his toughness has always been a strong quality of his. We want to give him some opportunities. He knew coming in that we had Robert [Griffin III] and Kirk [Cousins] and he was going to be the No. 3 guy, and he just wanted an opportunity to come in, learn the system, and if his number was called, he’d be ready.”

      On what quarterback Robert Griffin III was able to do in practice today:
      “Same stuff. He’s just moving around. He did some team drills today. He looked good. We’ll find out from the trainers how he feels right now, then tomorrow morning will be the big thing. Another day’s work tomorrow, we’ll see how he progresses.”

      On Griffin III’s role in practice today:
      “He was quarterback. He did a little bit of everything. First-team, second-team, third-team, he did it all. So did Kirk [Cousins], and so did Colt [McCoy]. We just alternated. Today was a bonus day for us. We did some stuff against cards and did some stuff ones against ones. It was a good day’s work. Everyone got a little piece of it.”

      On if McCoy is still the starter for Monday night:
      “Right now, yeah, he is.”

      On if Griffin III showed anything different from last week:
      “No, he’s progressing along. It’s just a matter of watching him. It’s not so much watching him run. I think he feels OK running right now. It’s just a matter of how he feels tomorrow. There’s certain movements – rolling out to the right, rolling out to the left and cutting back – we’ve just got to see how he handles that. But, the big thing is getting him back comfortable into the pocket and throwing the ball to the receivers, getting his timing down. There’s a lot of that that has to take place also, so he’s coming along at a good clip like we thought he would. We’ll see where he is tomorrow and the next day.”

      On if the likelihood Griffin III plays on Monday increased today:
      “No, it’s about the same. We’re still going to measure him. It’s up to the trainers and doctors right now. They’ve got to clear him, No. 1. Like I said, No. 2, he has got to feel good. But it’ll be a process of how he feels tomorrow, how he feels the next day, and how he’s throwing and how he’s playing the position.”

      On Griffin III’s accuracy during practice:
      “He didn’t have a lot of clips. We weren’t out there very long. In routes versus air with the receivers, he missed a couple, threw a couple good ones, and when he did scout team cards, he threw a couple of good ones, and in the team period he did a nice job. All of the quarterbacks did. So, we’re just going to take it day-by-day.”

      On how to judge Griffin III’s performance without live game situations:
      “That’s the whole thing. It’s not so much about how his leg feels – it is, but it’s about taking plays with the pass rush coming at him and the live reps that he hasn’t had since Houston or since Jacksonville, which is a long time ago it seems like. So, the big part of it is, ‘How do we progress him along and get him the reps in practice?’ There’s only so many you can have. That’s the biggest issue – that and getting the timing with the receivers and just playing the game.”

      On linebacker Keenan Robinson winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week and the brace on his arm today:
      “Yeah, I think he just has a little strain. He’s OK. Keenan is one of those players, as a young player, you go through some rough patches, but when you play through it, you can see the progression of these guys. [Bashaud] Breeland had a good game the other day against Tennessee also. So, these young players getting these meaningful reps – the ones that continue to get better and better are the ones that are going to be special-type players and I hope that for Keenan. He had a great game. They’re all banged up a little bit right now. It’s a preventative brace right now. He’ll be fine, but we’re happy that he won the award and deservedly so.”

      On what Griffin III must do to be ready to play:
      “I think he has got to take the reps, he has got to see the routes, deliver some passes accurately and on time under a little bit of duress in the pocket and move around. You know, when he runs he has got to run both directions full-speed. Obviously we can’t simulate any contact – we can’t tackle him, you know, that’s the one thing. The biggest thing is No. 1, the doctors have got to clear him and then he has got to go through a couple good days of practice of actually running, asserting some energy on that thing and then see how it reacts the next day. Is it going to swell up? Is it going to be sore? And then also still evaluate him from the process of getting back into football shape and football form. So, there is a lot of variances to whether or not we think he will be ready for Monday night. Health-wise, No. 1, then obviously, is he ready physically getting back in the flow with the wide receivers with the timing, the accuracy and all that.”

      On if he would rather wait another week for Griffin III:
      “That could be the case. We will wait and see. Like I said, we will talk to him tomorrow. I am in no rush today to make any crazy decision but I really want to see how he is feeling tomorrow and then we will get another good day of practice tomorrow and go from there. But if we had to wait for another week or another two weeks or after the bye week, then so be it, but that will not be my call initially.”

      On how difficult it is to distribute reps in practice:
      “That is the hardest part because if Colt [McCoy] is going to be the starter, he hasn’t had a lot of reps himself, he needs them all. You start to throw another quarterback in the mix and then you would like to get Kirk [Cousins] a couple reps. And, you know, that’s rough because then DeSean [Jackson] has got to run another 20 routes down the field and they get tired and crabby at you. You’ve got to try to get your quarterback ready that you are going to play. And we are going to try to make that decision as fast as possible. I’ve already made the decision it’s going to be Colt. I said that Robert [Griffin III] would be the wild card possibly if he is ready to go and that still hasn’t been decided yet.”

      On the go-ahead touchdown by the Tennessee Titans:
      “I think they had a play-action fake on there and Ryan [Clark] played the run a little bit too aggressively. And I think out of the corner of his eye he saw our defensive back fall down, so he probably picked him up which left [E.J.] Biggers high and dry in the slot. It was an unfortunate play. It was a good play by them. We had the play earlier in the game a couple times and defended it quite well, but that one they got us, made a good play and Charlie Whitehurst saw it and made a hell of a throw.”

      On the hierarchy of making the decision on Griffin III:
      “Yeah, Larry [Hess] has got to clear him first, you know, say ‘Hey, he is ready for full contact,’ That’s No. 1. And then, No. 2, Robert’s got to feel in his mind that he is ready to go – I know that he is going to say, ‘I’m ready to go.” He was ready to go four weeks ago probably in his mind. After that, it will be a football decision whether or not we think he is ready to go not getting any reps for the last six weeks or whatever how long it has been. And that’s a long time for a quarterback, you know? It’s one thing to play offensive guard maybe, miss five or six weeks and come right back in, but at quarterback with the cadence, the reads, the progressions, the audibles, the timing with the receivers, that’s a little more difficult, especially for a young guy.”

      On if he looks to err on the side of caution with Griffin III:
      “I try to take this injury itself into its own entity. This is a different type deal. I am not going to assume the fact that he has been injured before that he is going to get injured again. If the doctors say that he has no risk of that thing getting reinjured – if it’s stable, they feel like he can go through a game and get tackled and one little turn is not going to do a lot of damage, if they feel like it is stable – then we will go from there. But I am not going to take past injuries into account.”

      On if guard Shawn Lauvao having shared a huddle with McCoy in Cleveland is helpful:
      “Shawn Lauvao? Shawn Lauvao hasn’t talked in the 12 weeks that I have known him [laughter]. I don’t think that matters. Colt’s got – I think everybody is a great fan of Colt’s and all those linemen, they just listen to the play and say ‘Ready, break’ and they go down their own way, man. They don’t know the difference.”

      On if he hopes the decision about the starting quarterback would be made by Friday:
      “Yeah, I would think so. I’d like to make the decision tomorrow after practice, really. Just because I want A) the team to know who the quarterback is , B) the quarterback to know who the quarterback is, and C) we need to know who it is for game plan purposes. So, we will battle this thing and try to get a better idea tomorrow after practice where we are going.”

      On if the options for Griffin III this week are either being the starter or being inactive:
      “Yeah that – probably leaning towards that. He is either the starter or inactive, most likely. If he gets cleared, he is cleared. If he doesn’t get cleared, then he will wait another week or two or three after the bye week.”

      On linebacker Trent Murphy and what he saw from him in practice:
      “He worked in his normal position. He took Brian’s [Orakpo] spot. Yeah, he is outside linebacker and him and Ryan [Kerrigan] are going to be moving around... Yeah, both sides, they are working both sides. They know both sides, they can play both sides, they can go into strength, they can go away from strength, they can go right and left. So, they do a good job moving them around. They want to make sure we get Ryan an opportunity to match on both sides of the line, same with Trent.”

      On if he is comfortable with the progress he has seen from Murphy:
      “Yeah, you know he has done a good job. He has come in here, he has played behind those two guys, been a good quality backup. When Brian [Orakpo] has been a little bit dinged up before or when he needs to give Ryan [Kerrigan] a break, he has been a good No. 3 for us. Being a No. 3 and being a No. 1 are a little bit different, so he is going to have really to make sure his stamina is in place and make sure his mental toughness is in place because they are going to come after him.”

      On why he is confident McCoy is the guy for this big stage and how Kirk Cousins has reacted to the change:
      “Well, Kirk is disappointed, no question about it, but he knows the position. Baseball pitchers if they walk a couple guys they get taken out for a reliever every now and then. Kirk, we weren’t very good on third down and we were turning the ball over too much, so I thought it was important to give somebody else a try and not so much I’m blaming Kirk for the third down failures and the turnovers, but it is more so let’s give Colt a shot because he has done his job and done well in the offseason program and training camp and when his number is called out at practice and he had a great second half. So I just thought more so the fact that Colt deserves an opportunity to start based on the production of our offense on third down and the turnovers.”

      Quarterback Colt McCoy

      On if his time away from starting has made him a different quarterback:
      “Am I a different quarterback? I would say I’m older, maybe a little bit stronger. I think I’ve learned from a lot of my past experiences, and I’ve watched a lot of good quarterbacks play. Hopefully by doing that, you naturally gain a little bit of confidence even though you’re standing on the sidelines. I think that would be probably accurate.”

      On if his shoulder injury from college affected his tenure in Cleveland and if it is still an issue:
      “You don’t ever want to make excuses or bring up injuries from the past. I was well enough to play, but with a nerve injury you really have to stay on top of it. Any quarterback who has had one, it’s been a real issue. Mine was a real issue, but I’d like to say I’m over that now.”

      On how special it would be to start in Dallas:
      “Yeah, it’s really unbelievable. I can’t even sometimes take my mind there. But, I’m really just trying to approach this as a professional and know that this is our next game, this is our next opponent. It’s a game in our division that we really need to win. This week is really important, and I think it’ll be helpful for me to get some reps. I didn’t have any reps last week, so I’ll get some timing down with the receivers, with the O-line, work on our silent counts – a lot of things that I just hadn’t been able to do. So, it’ll be a huge week in practice for me to get more comfortable with the guys, but obviously this is a huge game for us and our season. We need a good, sharp week.”

      On the journey from being a successful college quarterback to a backup in the NFL:
      “It’s tough, it’s tough, but I wouldn’t change some of my past experiences. I’ve learned a lot from them – a whole lot. I’ve seen a lot. My path in the NFL so far has been a lot different than other guys, but I’m thankful for the things I’ve learned and the experience I’ve gained. I’ve been in some good places with some good coaches, and like I mentioned after the game, I really feel confident with our coaches here, with our players here with this organization. My teammates have welcomed me in. They kind of surrounded me and helped me last week and hopefully they’ll continue to do the same thing for me this week. If we go down there to Dallas this week – and Jay [Gruden] mentioned after practice that this is a huge game for us, but it’s defense, it’s offense, it’s special teams, it’s everybody, you know? I didn’t go in and win the game last week. Our defense played well. They got some nice stops for us. The guys kind of brought me in and they played well around me, and I just distributed the football. Hopefully, we can do the same thing this week.”

      On if the uncertainty about whether or not he is starting is distracting:
      “My focus is I’m just going to prepare as the starter. There’s nothing else that I can do. The decision is not up to me. What I can control is what I can control. The reps that I get, the time I spend up here preparing for Dallas… They’re obviously 6-1, a great football team. We’re going to have to bring our best game to Dallas on Monday night. My focus is just to take it day-to-day, not look forward to anything but live in the now and approach it just like I would every other week.”

      On if he has received encouragement from quarterbacks Kirk Cousins or Robert Griffin III:
      “I feel like we have a pretty solid room. There’s always been good communication since I’ve been here, and I don’t think that will change. I don’t think that will change at all. When Kirk was starting, we were both really supportive of Kirk, and when Robert was starting, Kirk and I were both supportive of Robert. It is a competition every day. I’ve had to approach my job that way ever since I’ve been in the NFL. I don’t think that will change me. The only difference is I’m taking the reps this week and I’m preparing to start.”

      On if it is a mental challenge to keep from playing outside of himself with this ‘huge opportunity’:
      “Yeah, I guess it could be. Like I said, I am really just focused on right now. We are going over first and second down, their base defense. I am really just trying to get a grasp of what they do, how they play. They have beaten a lot of good teams, a lot of good quarterbacks. So, we obviously know that this is a huge task for us as an offense. I just don’t want to get caught up in this ‘huge opportunity’ thing. I just want to go out there and be who I am – that is who I am every day in here – be confident and play the best football I can play.”

      On if he agrees with Head Coach Jay Gruden that it is helpful for the team to know its starting quarterback early in the week:
      “Yeah, I would agree with that for sure. I think just for your team, that’s accurate.”

      On the last time he started a game in Texas:
      “I started my rookie year, we played in Houston. I think that would probably be the last time – when I was in Cleveland, we played in Dallas but I was the backup.”

      On how it important it would be for him to start in the state of Texas:
      “I was going to get a few tickets before I wasn’t playing and now it has turned into a laundry list. I don’t want it to be too big of a distraction though. I am excited about going back to Dallas. It is going to be a lot of fun.”

      On receiving his first snaps with the first team today:
      “It felt good, it felt good. I think the biggest thing for me is getting on the same page with guys like DeSean [Jackson], Pierre [Garçon], Andre [Roberts], Jordan Reed – working with Alfred [Morris] and Roy [Helu, Jr.]. Those things, you know, naturally as a quarterback, you know where the guys are supposed to be but throwing to them in the rhythm and the timing of the play is – you can’t replace those reps that you get in practice. That is huge for me, that is huge for my confidence and even though we were pretty efficient in the game Sunday, we’ve still got to keep working, spend some time with each other and I think that will be huge this week.”

      On what confidence he can carry into this week after the final drive last week:
      “Yeah, that was huge for us. We really, really needed to win that game. We didn’t necessarily want to have to win it at the very end of the game, but for our offense to step on the field and put a drive together and go down and get a field goal to win was huge. I think the team and the coaches and our organization will build off of that. You know, I certainly hope so. As an offense, for us as a unit, you know that was big too, doing that at home, something we really wanted to do was win that game and that was big for us. So hopefully there will be some carryover there for sure.”

      On if the locker room feels different for Dallas Week after winning last week:
      “Yeah, I think that any place that you play or anywhere you are, you know games in your division are obviously – there is more excitement and more focus. So, yeah, you can definitely feel it in the building for sure. Going down there on Monday night, for us as a team, we just have to do what we do best and that’s focus, control what we can control, practice well, in order to prepare ourselves for the challenge we have on Monday night.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 10/22: Jay Gruden started by Boone View original post
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