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    • Skins Quotes 12/10

      December 10, 2014
      Redskins Park

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On the injury report:
      “[Barry] Cofield did not participate. He had an illness – under the weather. [Jason] Hatcher, knee, did not participate. [Roy] Helu [Jr.], toe. [Brandon] Meriweather, toe. Keenan Robinson, knee. Limited were [Kedric] Golston, back and foot, DeSean [Jackson] with his shin, Colt McCoy with his neck and then Morgan Moses injured his ankle/foot area. He’s going to get an MRI this afternoon. Then full-go was [Will] Compton and [Chris] Baker.”

      On how quarterback Colt McCoy looked today and if he could play Sunday:
      “Yeah, I think he has got a chance. He sprained his neck. It’s just a matter of getting his full range of motion back. But, he did good today, and we’ll get a look at him tomorrow to see if he progresses.”

      On if the decision about the starting quarterback could take until Sunday:
      “Yeah, I’m not going to announce anything until I see the week of practice and see how it goes. We’ll make our decision then.”

      On the scuffle between wide receiver Andre Roberts and cornerback Bashaud Breeland:
      “You don’t want fights at practice, but guys are a little frustrated and things happen when football players are competing. I like the competitive nature of guys competing at practice, one-on-ones. We had some good, competitive team drills today, but that was a rarity. That doesn’t happen very often and we addressed it.”

      On how he split the reps at quarterback today:
      “Today, Robert [Griffin III] took a lot of reps and Kirk [Cousins] had some reps also. Both of them had some good plays and had some plays we’ve got to talk about. So, we’re just going to get these guys reps, and it’s up to them to take advantage of the reps they get. So, the decision will be made easy for us come tomorrow or Friday.”

      On the most recent roster moves:
      “Yeah, we picked up a kid from the practice squad at Kansas City [Ja’Gared Davis]. We’re just looking for… we’re trying to shuffle a few guys around and try and help us out on special teams a little bit – guys with some of that mentality… Moving forward we’re just going to continue to try to tinker with our roster. [Director of Player Personnel] Alex Santos felt strong about a couple of these guys. We worked one of them out. We’ll take a look at them and see how it goes. We’re just trying to add players to our roster here that can help us not only this year but in the future.”

      On the biggest improvement for Robert Griffin III over the past two weeks:
      “He hasn’t had many reps other than scout team, you know? It’s a matter of quarterbacks improve hopefully daily on things they’re working on – their footwork, your fundamentals, your accuracy and just their whole position over the game and knowledge of the system. We’ll see. He had some good plays today. He had some plays that I know he wish he could have back. That’s just the nature of the business. He’s got to continue to improve, see these route concepts, feel the pass rush, get to the protection plans we have and just continue to play.”

      On if Griffin III is getting the ball out of his hands quickly:
      “Yeah, that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a decisive player at the position that will pull the trigger and get the ball out of his hands. We just have got to eliminate the negative plays. We have far too many sacks whether they’re pinned on the offensive line or running backs or quarterbacks – it doesn’t matter. The fact is, we’ve had too many. We’ve got to eliminate the negative plays, and with that being said, we’ve got to have a great familiarity with our system and where people are on the field and some anticipation – get the ball out of our hands quicker. As coaches, we have got to do a better job at calling better plays to help that process.”

      On if improvement is possible running the scout team or if the work has to be done separately:
      “Every guy is going to work in their own way. When they’re out of this building, it’s up to them to do things on their own, to study the tape like I said a couple weeks ago. They have iPads at home, they could study their opponent. They could study the plays that we’ve installed this week. It’s up to them to get ready as much as it is up to the coaches to get them ready. It works hand-in-hand. I think all three quarterbacks are hard workers, are diligent and want to be good. It’s just a matter of getting the reps and continuing to prepare and get better. Hopefully, as you call the same type of concept over and over again from training camp, that we see some progression there, we see some development, we see some knowledge and some anticipation and go from there.”

      On what he saw from wide receiver DeSean Jackson today:
      “I think he can jog pretty good, we saw that today. It’s just a matter of him, he needs to air it out and hopefully tomorrow he will get some more plays in practice. Whether he is full speed or not, we just want to see him run. And then hopefully by Friday we can turn him up a little bit and see where he is, but he needs to be obviously full strength and I think – I’d say 50-50 right now. I know that is kind of a cop out but that’s kind of where he is.”

      On if he is concerned about the Giants’ pass rush:
      “I think everybody’s pass rush is a concern, especially when you have third down an 15 and you’re down 17-0 with three minutes to go in the third quarter. That’s when pass rushes become very good because you turn into a one-dimensional football team and we’re obviously not very good when we’re one-dimensional. The only strength we have is we have the running game and we have the play-actions off the running game and then obviously the quick passing game. We have all that available to us but when you’re up 17-0 or like the Giants were up 31-14, I believe it was late in the game, where we turned into a one-dimensional football team, we’re not very good. So it’s very important for us to keep this game within reach and we’ve got to do that. We’ve got to figure out a way to keep the game within reach for four quarters, so we have the whole playbook open to us offensively.”

      On if he is concerned about the difference in Alfred Morris’ production with and without Griffin III:
      “Yeah, it’s a concern. We couldn’t get anything going in the running game and that’s part of the reason we were in second and long and third and long. We ran the ball, we lost four yards on an outside zone, we lost seven yards on another one, we had a holding call on another one. We had a false start on another one, which left us in very difficult third down and long situations and then which also made us punt the ball which kept our defense on the field a lot longer than they had to be. So we weren’t able to maintain any drives because of the lack of production in the running game and that is a concern moving forward. We are working very diligently to make sure we do a better job in the running game. If we can eliminate the minus-yard gains and the false starts and the holding call,s we’ll have a much better – if we gain two yards, I will be happy on some of them. Second and eight is a heck of a lot easier than second and 16. So we’ve just got to try to make sure we eliminate the negative plays, keep the ball moving forward as opposed to going backwards.”

      On if he is satisfied with the amount of studying the entire team does:
      “Well, I think that as a group we can all work harder. That’s obviously the case when you’re 3-10. I don’t think we are satisfied in any part of our game right now. Our production, obviously, our preparation, we are not satisfied because we are not getting any results, so we have got to figure out a way to get the better results, obviously. I feel like our guys study hard, just sometimes on game day, certain players have a brain cramp every now and then, which are very magnified around here and it’s very unfortunate. But we’ve got to eliminate it, man. We’ve got to coach better, we’ve got to hold these guys to a high standard and make sure it doesn’t happen on a weekly basis. It seems like some of the same guys are making a mistake, might not be the same mistake but it might be a different mistake, but it’s a mistake. We just got to eliminate the self-inflicted wounds.”

      On if the players who study more have fewer “brain cramps” during games:
      “That’s usually the way it works. I’ve also been around some guys who don’t study at all and they are very – it just comes natural to them. Some guys, football doesn’t come that natural to them and they need to work harder. It works both ways, but we can all study harder.”

      On the timetable for naming a starting quarterback:
      “I will reach it when I gain all the information on Colt [McCoy] and get a couple days of practice and looking at the other guys, too.”

      On if he will withhold that information until Sunday:
      “I will let you know. I know you guys are eagerly awaiting. You guys are contacting all your sources available, but nobody is going to know this week [laughter].”

      On analysts saying Griffin III would fit better in another offense and in which offense Griffin III would fit best:
      “Well, we’re hoping it will be this one eventually. You know, we try to cater to our players’ strengths and I don’t know what offense they are talking about. As far as the offenses that I have studied in the National Football League, we all run similar dropback concepts. Not everybody runs the zone read, we run the zone read to try to help him out. We run a lot more play-actions and bootlegs than most teams, so I don’t know, I don’t know what offense they are talking about. But we are working towards that and maybe they are right. We are trying to find the perfect fit for all our quarterbacks that can put them in a position to succeed. But I think eventually if you play quarterback in the National Football League, you’re going to have to dropback and throw it. That’s where we are trying to get him better at.”

      On the hit McCoy took from Robert Quinn:
      “It was kind of a messed up play. Kory [Lichtensteiger] thought he heard the quarterback say ‘hut’ and he didn’t say it, so Kory snapped it. So Quinn had a free run at him, I don’t think he really knew what to do because I don’t know if he thought the whistle blew or what because he was so free. He just came across and hit him. I don’t think he had any intent to hurt him. It was just an unfortunate play, another bad luck play for us. You know, that doesn’t happen very often where the center snaps it and no one was ready. He just thought he heard ‘hike.’ But I’m not going to say it was dirty. He didn’t get a foul and I don’t think he got fined, so it was a legal hit.”

      New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin

      On preparing for a team that has not named a starting quarterback:
      “Well, obviously you have to broaden your spectrum because you’re not sure what’s going to happen. But, I did see [Colt] McCoy practiced. He said yesterday or the day before that if there wasn’t anything seriously wrong and he felt better, he thought he would play. I guess you just look at the limited participation list and try to take a lot of things into consideration.”

      On how important divisional games are:
      “Well, they’re very, very important. Obviously, to me, they’re worth two of any other game because of the nature of the way we get into the playoffs. So, I put a lot of stock in that. You also realize people know each other very, very well. Some of the best games are within the division because of that very nature. So, I do put a lot of stock in it and it’s important.”

      On how the Redskins and Giants can reduce turnovers on offense:
      “Obviously whatever I’m doing isn’t working very well either and you’ve pointed that out. So, that’s the stat that we preach more than any. We run our series of drills that are ‘core drills’ – what I call them. One of them totally devoted to ball security and taking the ball away, that type of thing. It’s a very difficult thing. We’ve been a team here that’s set the record – for one or two years anyway – for the fewest turnovers. Then, we turn around the last couple years, and we’ve had a lot of them. It’s just indicative I think of your record. Our record is not very good and our turnovers are high.”

      On how long it takes for new quarterbacks to acclimate to a system:
      “We really have had the same system forever. It just changed last year. So, I think right from the very get-go, the learning experience for Eli [Manning] and for Ryan Nassib was outstanding. But, going through a year of checks and audibles and being able to understand to nuances of the entire offense, and what applies to the things you’re seeing on defense, I think it takes a while. I really do. I think as far as understanding it and what you want to accomplish is one thing. It’s making sure that you can apply it to the field that takes time.”

      On how to keep a team that is eliminated from playoff contention motivated:
      “Thank goodness we’ve been able to maintain a level of good, hard work and good practices really throughout this span. We’ve done that. It kind of makes you scratch your head, but our practices have been good. Our meetings and preparations have been pretty good I’d say. That’s the key. You certainly would like to think everything is very, very important when you are in the hunt. It is. By the same token, it is regardless. I mean, each game is so critically important to you – future of many players, future of coaches, the whole deal. It’s really important, so I think whether it’s a matter of pride or what it is, you have a responsibility to be the very best you can be regardless of your record. The fact that you are responsible for your record only enhances that in my opinion.”

      New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning

      On facing the Washington Redskins again after winning the teams’ first meeting in Week 4:
      “We are expecting to get their best. We probably had our best game of the season and a lot of things clicking for us, so we expect them to be fired up and to definitely want a little redemption. So we will expect their best effort. They probably will have some new wrinkles in their defense and we will be ready for that, so we will just try to go out there and get the win and play hard and figure out a way to put some points on the board.”

      On the challenge of learning a new system and new concepts:
      “You know, it is a challenge and some of the stuff might be similar concepts, some of it might be very different, so just understanding what the reads are, also just understanding – sometimes you’ve just got to run plays a number of times before you have a great feel for it. And until you have run it versus every single blitz and every single coverage, everything that could possibly happen, you might not be as comfortable in it as you can be. Something new might always come up – you haven’t seen it versus this coverage – and it’ll throw you off. It is challenging and it has its moments, but it takes a lot of time and effort to put in to get comfortable with it.”

      On what he has done to get more acclimated in the system:
      “Just in preparation, you know, try to get through the game plan as soon as possible, drawing up the plays where I can kind of think through it, can go through my mind based off kind of what the defense is doing – the team we are playing, what my checks might be, what my looks, what my progressions are going to be, asking questions about certain plays, talking to the coach, telling what my favorite plays are and which ones I’m not as comfortable with. Trying to get all on the same page, ask lots of questions to make sure I’m seeing things the way the coach is seeing things, making sure we kind of understand why this play is in or what the look is, and so everybody is on the same page. I think communication is very important for that.”

      On transitioning offensive coordinators early in his career:
      “That was a fairly easy transition just because it was really the same offense. We didn’t change the terminology, we kept a lot of the same plays – maybe kind of put an emphasis on some other plays, some newer plays that he liked – so that was a pretty smooth transition because you weren’t changing a whole lot.”

      On if the importance of division games is overstressed:
      “No, I think the division games are always important just because it’s just rivals and teams you face twice a year every year, and so you just always get up for them and just kind of having that bragging rights or whatever it might be. So there’s just a different feel to them. And so even this year with us and Washington not having the season we wanted to have, it’s still a big game and I know both teams are going to play hard.”

      On if he feels that division games are indicative of how an entire season will go:
      “I think you always kind of assume that going in and stress the importance of it, but obviously you have 10 other games also that are just as important. So I don’t think… Usually the way it works is towards the end of the season you have a divisional game that can be the difference in whether you make the playoffs or who makes the playoffs, so in that case they are extremely important, so I think that’s what it comes down to a lot of seasons.”

      On the key to not doubting himself in tough situations and putting on a confident front for his teammates:
      “You’ve got to make sure it’s not a front. You’ve got to make sure you’re doing everything from your preparation standpoint that you’re prepared and so therefore that will lead to confidence. Even if you play poorly the week before or you know you’re still going to bust your tail and get in there and work hard at practice and make plays at practice and communicate with your teammates on what you’re going to do this week and how we are going to be better and what we are going to accomplish. I think talking about what you are going to do and having new signals and keeping it fun for them and being energetic is very important.”

      On if there is anything mentally that he has to do to get his mind right in those situations:
      “Normally, I think – you think through the plays and you think positive and you imagine everything going well the next week and you imagine how the plays are going to work out. I think just having a great game plan going into it is all you can do prior to and then you go out there and you make plays. And, hey, you might make some bad ones and that’s alright. You put those behind you and you just try to make a good decision and a good play the next time.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 12/10 started by Boone View original post
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