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    • Skins Quotes 12/16

      December 16, 2014
      Redskins Park

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On what he can draw from the first game against Philadelphia:
      “Well, there’s some positives to take from that game. We had some big plays and some good chunks of yardage plays, and unfortunately at the end we had a chance to tie the game or win the game and didn’t get it done in a big-time situation. There were some good things to take from that film. We were competitive obviously, but we’re looking for more than that. We’ve got to finish the deal one time. We’ve got to play in a crucial situation and somebody’s got to rise above it and make a play. Unfortunately, we were unable to do that against Philadelphia. It was obviously a very good game, but we came out on the short end of the stick which isn’t good enough.”

      On where quarterback Kirk Cousins stands:
      “He’s No. 2 right now. He has got to wait his turn and it’s up to Robert [Griffin III] to keep the job. Hopefully Robert does a good job and we don’t have to worry about it. But, Kirk’s been competing every day. He had some really good plays when he played. Unfortunately, we had to make a [No.] 1,2 and a 3 and he was No. 3. Now that Colt’s on IR, he’ll be No. 2.”

      On placing quarterback Colt McCoy on IR:
      “We’re going to put Colt on IR, and we pulled Jackson Jeffcoat up from practice squad. Those were our two roster moves.”

      On his feelings about McCoy’s injury:
      “It’s been a tough deal for all three quarterbacks. Robert had the job Week 1, hurt his ankle and leg, and opened the door for Kirk. Then, Colt had a great opportunity also. All three of them had great opportunities to take this thing and run with it. Unfortunately, we just haven’t had the stability at that position. Colt started out pretty hot there against New York, had some high hopes for that game. Unfortunately, his neck didn’t hold up. But, the big thing for him moving forward is making sure that neck gets 100 percent healthy. It’s not a long term issue, we know that. But in a short period the next couple weeks, I think it’s important for him to rest it and get himself back to next year.”

      On the possibility of adding another quarterback:
      “It’s probably too late for that unless something happens to one of the quarterbacks these last two games or this week against Philadelphia, we might – or we will.”

      On if he has any concern that Griffin III is “injury prone”:
      “He’s had injuries and durability is a very important trait at the position. You’ve got to be dependable. Unfortunately, he’s had a couple fluke injuries. That’s an issue. We have got to do the best we can to keep him upright, get him out of the pocket, run the ball. Obviously there’s some worries there that he might get injured, but I think as a play-caller, utilizing Robert to the best of our abilities, we can’t worry about the ‘injury-prone’ factor. We have to call the game to best utilize his strengths and that puts him at risk sometimes. Hopefully, he does a good job of protecting his body – slide when he has to slide, get out of bounds when he has to get out of bounds and throwing the ball away when he can throw the ball away and avoid the hits. That all comes with experience and playing the position.”

      On Griffin III’s development and if he believes Griffin III has started to “get it” in recent weeks:
      “We hope so. That just comes with repetition. You look around the league at some of the successful guys. I was looking at Eli Manning – I think he’s on his 195th career start and Peyton [Manning] is on 200. Drew Brees is on 200. He’s on what, 15 or 16? So, it’s going to come with time, man. This position is very difficult, especially when you’re learning new concepts with a new system. It takes time. So, it’s important for us to try and have some success on first and second down so we don’t have to dropback and throw it 30 times a game and have a lead so we don’t have to worry about it. But, eventually, like I said, when you get behind, you get in third down, you get behind the chains, those have to be accomplished – the dropback reads and progressions have to be accomplished and that’s something we’re fighting through right now.”

      On if it is good to assess players in games in which the opponents are fighting for the playoffs:
      “It is. It’s a great opportunity for us to come out and play against a team that’s fighting for their playoff lives and for a division title and see what we’re made of, see how we can come out here and compete. I thought we competed last week. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done, and we’re very sick about that. But, to see some of these young guys compete on a Saturday afternoon against a division possible champion or a playoff team is going to be a great test for a lot of them. Hopefully they step up.”

      On if he noticed any mental change in Griffin III:
      “I don’t know what his mental approach has been. As a quarterback, you’ve got to have the confidence and you’ve got to feel like you have total control of the situation, which in turn makes you play free and have some fun playing. I think he might have been pressing a little too much early in the season, putting a little bit too much pressure on himself and therefore some of the troubles incurred. But, he’s taken this game, taken this game plan and these plays and has a better understanding and a little bit more confidence, but I don’t expect perfection from him, but we want to see improvement from a weekly basis.”

      On if he noticed any physical change in Griffin III:
      “In training camp, we thought he had some explosiveness. We saw him take the ball and run pretty well in training camp. Then, after the injury against Jacksonville, we felt that in the practice leading up to the Dallas game, he had some explosion. We wouldn’t have put him back in if we thought he lacked explosion or wasn’t as explosive as we thought before the injury. So, we’ve always seen that he can run. That’s not been an issue. The issue is keeping him upright in the pocket, getting the ball out of his hands when he has to get the ball out of hands and when it’s his turn to run, elude some people and make some plays.”

      On Griffin III getting up from taking hits:
      “We were down 11 in that game against the Giants and we had every intent to try to score there at the end of the game, and he laid down there and I thought he was out. I thought he was knocked out. I think he might have been dinged or something, I don’t know what happened to him. He laid down there and everybody saw it, so the receivers kind of trotted back. We didn’t have a third quarterback, so we ran a draw play. I was just worried about his health. So, he’s got to get up. He’s got to get up quicker. He has got to avoid those crazy falls if he can, but he’s such a competitor and tries to get every inch that he can that sometimes he puts himself in harm’s way. But that’s Robert being Robert. He just has got to understand that as a starting quarterback you’ve got an obligation to stay healthy for this football team and sometimes you need to avoid some hits, get the ball out of your hands and live to fight another day. That’s something quarterbacks will go through at this early age.”

      On his comments about Griffin III earlier in the season:
      “It was coaching out loud. The whole thing came up when it came out that he was ‘criticizing his teammates’ or what have you, and I just wanted to make sure that he was worried about his own game. There’s some things that he can clean up and I can clean up, and everybody just needs to clean up. That comes with coaching. I need to coach him to clean up his fundamentals. I need to coach our left tackle to clean up his fundamentals, our middle linebacker, our safety… It’s just fundamental football that everybody needs to clean up on a weekly basis, and we’ll never stop coaching fundamentals.”

      On if the Eagles change their offense for quarterback Mark Sanchez:
      “No, not at all. They have different things up their sleeve every week. They do a great job with the no-huddle and obviously try to keep you off-balance and keeping you basic on defense and running their stuff. [They are] very effective in what they do. But I don’t see really a lot of difference in what they do. Both of them, they ran the read option. They both have the good play-action game. Obviously they utilize their weapons extremely well and they have a lot of them with [Darren] Sproles and [LeSean] McCoy and obviously [Jeremy] Maclin and the tight ends with [Brent] Celek, and Riley Cooper. So they’ve got a number of guys they can throw the ball to and they distribute the ball equally amongst all of them and they’re very effective.”

      On if there are any young players he wants to focus on during the next two weeks:
      “We’re focused on everybody, to be honest with you. I don’t really discriminate with the age thing. I want all of our football players to step up and compete and play well and give us something to be excited about heading onto the offseason and make our jobs as easy as possible as far as who we’re keeping and all that. So the big fundamental issue that we have right now is we’ve got to get ready for a very good Philadelphia Eagle team at our place. And then the players need to play and show what they’ve got.”

      On safety Phillip Thomas:
      “I thought Phillip made a couple strides toward the better. It’s good to see him run around there and make some plays. He’s a very good tackler – sound tackler. Did some good things – almost had a pick there, went through his hands. He always catches them in practice, didn’t catch it in the game. I was impressed with Phillip and he’s one of the guys you might have mentioned – a young kid we want to see continue to develop and step up – Phillip, and obviously we’d like to see Chris Thompson and we’d like to see Silas Redd do some things. We’d like to see [Will] Compton continue to improve. We’d like to see a lot of our guys step up and improve – [Bashaud] Breeland continue to play better, Trent Murphy. We’ve got a lot of young guys back there. They just need to step up and continue to play and gain some confidence and momentum headed into the offseason.”

      On if the team will have to accomplish more tomorrow because of the short week:
      “No, we’re going to keep tomorrow like a typical Wednesday, and then Thursday we’ll change it up a little bit and do more specific work – red zone – and then Friday, instead of doing a walkthrough, we might have a little shorter practice session to make up for some of the periods we lost. But I think it was important today to have a walkthrough, introduce Philadelphia’s offense, defense and special teams to our guys. Let our guys heal up physically, and then we’ll have a good practice tomorrow and Thursday and do a little bit more on Friday as opposed to a walkthrough to get them ready for Saturday.”

      Quarterback Robert Griffin III

      On if he is starting to see the field and go through progressions better:
      “Yeah, you watch the film, you learn from your mistakes, you see where you could have gotten the ball out in certain situations, and then you apply that to the next game, so looking forward to applying that to this game.”

      On if his “confidence and swagger” returned against the Giants:
      “Like I said, you’ve got to go out there and have fun and play the game the way you know how to play it. So that’s the only real focus and, you know, try to get a win.”

      On if he saw a difference in himself when watching film:
      “Yeah, like I said, you’ve got to go out there when your number is called and be ready to go and play with an enthusiasm and a fire in your belly and that’s what I did.”

      On getting up after hits:
      “I’m not going to overanalyze that kind of stuff, guys. I’ll get up, that’s all that matters. As long as you get up, it doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, as long as you get up you’re OK.”

      On upon what he wants to build from the Giants game:
      “Yeah, I mean I just want to get the ball into the wide receivers’ hands and let them do work and at times we did that in the game and got some big gains from it and that’s what we are looking to do. This defense that we are facing is real aggressive. They are going to challenge everything and our guys I think are up for the challenge.”

      On if there is a difference in preparing for a team whose own offense plays at a fast pace:
      “Yeah, you just want your defense to get them off the field so you can have more opportunities to score and that’s what we are looking forward to doing. When you run an up-tempo – I have experience running the up-tempo, you can be out there for a long time and have long sustained drives or you cannot have that – and we as an offense have to ready for either.”

      On how he reacts when being labeled “injury-prone”:
      “I don’t react at all because it’s not true.”

      On if he thinks he has been a victim of bad luck:
      “I don’t know. Everything happens for a reason, that’s just the way I look at it and God always has a plan. So anything that he allows to happen to you, it’s meant to be and he wants you to come out of it stronger.”

      On if being named the starter this week is different:
      “We’ve got two games left and we’ve got to make sure that as a team we go out there ready to play because anytime you have a chance to go out there and play this game… We are playing at a high level. These guys in there are the best in the world, so we have to go out there and show it. So I pray that the team is ready to go. I’ll make sure I get them ready to go and we’ll follow Jay’s lead.”

      On how and why he arrived at the decision to not participate in social media in recent weeks:
      “It’s similar to the press conference I had before the San Francisco game. It just felt like for me, anything that I was saying whether it was positive or negative, whether it was a positive retweet or anything like that, it was getting twisted and turned against me and against this team. So, I felt like I shouldn’t say very much. That’s why I came out and we had the ‘Focus on San Francisco’ thing and, you know, I think people got a kick out of that but it was by design because I feel like I can be free up here and talk to you guys but sometimes things get twisted and turned and it creates a distraction for the team. I didn’t want that to happen. So I will start participating in social media again after the season, but for right now I won’t say much.”

      On if it means something to be able to eliminate Philadelphia from playoff consideration:
      “I mean, you can say that and you can make arguments for that, but the way we are going to approach it is as another opportunity to go out there and get better and that’s what we have to do. We have to create some positive momentum going into the offseason and this is one of those games. They have a lot riding on the line in this game so we know they’re going to come ready and we have to make sure we match that intensity and be physical.”

      On the balance between getting the ball out quickly and being reckless:
      “Yeah, you’ve got to be smart with the ball. It’s all about managing the game and being a quarterback. So you go back, you watch the tape from the past game, you figure out the situations where you could have been more decisive. Then you apply that to this game with the game plan we have that way you have an approach towards every single play.”

      On if there was a point where he had to “hit the reset button” in the past few weeks:
      “Yeah, man, you can’t pay attention to that kind of stuff. Just the way I looked at it, it was the best thing for me, best thing for the team. Just with all the noise, I played a game and then I was out for seven weeks and there was still a ton of noise. Sometimes you don’t understand certain things and they don’t go the way you want them to go, but if I get criticized for retweeting about going to a charity event for a foundation, I mean, what else can you do? So I decided to just shut that down and not focus on that, and it’s not that I was focused on it before, I just felt like it would cut out a little bit of it for me and I’m sure there is still a lot of noise out there but I don’t ever see it.”

      On if it is difficult to not interact publically as much as he would like:
      “No, like I said, I have been off of it so that’s been relatively easy, but like I said I will get back into that in the offseason. I am a social person. I like to be open and talk to the fans and we’ll definitely get back to that, but for now I will just leave it alone.”

      On at what point he felt like the perception of his actions could not be controlled:
      “That goes way back to way before, but it’s nothing that we need to talk about up here or that we need to focus on, so I don’t really worry about that. The way things are perceived are always going to not be the way that they should be and that’s unfortunate.”

      On what he learned last year down the stretch:
      “Yeah, you know, you’ve got to have a spark. We’ve got to have a spark when you get on the field and we’ve got to make sure good things are happening early on in the game to make sure that everybody stays locked in. And, you know, I plan to be that spark and facilitate the ball to allow our other guys to make those plays.”

      On how to take the quarterback position and run with it:
      “Yeah, I haven’t played very many games this year, so my goal is to always go out there and be the guy, and that’s my only focus so I am not really worried about anything else.”

      On where he is mentally:
      “Oh, I’m in a great place. You know, God has blessed me with a lot of mental toughness to be able to deal with all this stuff. Just having the right people around me, the right people to talk to, it’s been very, very helpful going through this process. So I am in a great place mentally. I just want to play football.”

      On if he changed his mind about the last play of the first half last week after reviewing it:
      “No, it’s a touchdown.”

      Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly

      On planning for a team that has changed quarterbacks frequently:
      “Obviously, I think they do some base things the same with all the quarterbacks, but the different with RGIII [Robert Griffin III] in there is his ability to run. When he can turn a bad play into a good play very quickly, you have got to be very conscious of your rush lanes when he’s in there. So, I think the change is a little bit different just because of his ability to run over the other two guys.”

      On if he has a special message to his team because of the Redskins’ record:
      “No, the last time we played them, it was a three-point game. We have got great respect for Washington this week. In this league, every single week is its own season unto itself. There’s nothing we can accomplish as a team if we don’t win this game this week. Everything is riding on this game.”

      On his strategy for stopping running back Alfred Morris:
      “Yeah, Alfred is obviously one of the more talented running backs in the league and in just the short time he’s been in this league, he’s made a huge impact on it. I think they’ve had some injuries across the front and at the quarterback position that leads to some inconsistencies, but when they’re rolling and they’ve got their running game rolling, they’re a very hard team to defend, and obviously it starts with Alfred.”

      On which penalties are most frustrating:
      “I think they all are. There’s not one penalty. Any time you put yourself in a negative situation, it hurts your football team. So, I wouldn’t say a coach would specify one penalty over another penalty. I think any penalty that you do obviously affects your team, and a lot of times a game hinges upon that. So, the team that can play clean has a shot.”

      On if penalties measure a team’s discipline or skill:
      “I think it depends on case-by-case.”

      Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Mark Sanchez

      On his experience this season:
      “It’s been so fun, man, just getting back out on the field, getting the chance to play again and doing something you love, being healthy, having a great coordinator and a lot of talent around you, it’s been an absolute joy. We’ve got a couple big ones coming up, so hopefully we can finish off the season strong. I think we missed a couple opportunities, so we’ll try and make up for that.”

      On what makes Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly so unique:
      “I think it’s his attitude, his approach. He tries to be the same guy every day, has such a positive attitude, enjoys the grind, enjoys staying up late watching film, game planning. You can tell he is a junkie for the game of football and it makes it fun having a coach that’s a gym rat like that because you know he’s always thinking about you, taking care of you, looking out for you scheme-wise and then more importantly in life, he cares about the guys in this building and all the people that work here. He really practices what he preaches about loving the game and giving it everything that you got.”

      On what he has seen from the Redskins and what the Eagles need to do to get into playoff position:
      “Well, most importantly we’ve got to pick up some things on offense and fix the turnovers and continue to develop the running game and be a little more accurate in the passing game – plenty of things to fix. But, you know, a team like Washington, that was one of the toughest games we had all year early in the season – I think it was Week 3 – but it surely was a physical matchup. I know they’ve lost some guys to injuries but that doesn’t change their attitude, and having played against Coach [Jim] Haslett a couple times, he is – well, for one – he is one of the best in the league. He knows how to dial up pressures, he knows how to attack your protections and his defenses are never shy about hitting you. So we know it is going to be a physical matchup and you know we have to embrace that and have fun with it and understand that there will be some bumps and bruises after this game but hopefully we will win.”

      On how he stayed mentally ready last season:
      “During the time when I got hurt the last – or second-to-last preseason game, after that, I mean for the most part after the surgery in October… The first few games I was there trying to prepare like the starter, trying to help Geno [Smith] as much as I could. And then after my surgery, the IR guys in New York don’t really – they are kind of with the team, but you’re not in meetings. You’re not allowed to go to meetings and stuff. So some teams just do it different and that’s just the way they did it there.”

      On what he did off the field to remain mentally ready:
      “I was just doing my own stuff, whether it was rehab -- the physical part – and the mental part was just watching other games around the league. You can get the cut ups from any games you want. So you watch a little [Tom] Brady, a little [Peyton] Manning, some [Drew] Brees, [Aaron] Rodgers, Philip Rivers, you know guys like that, guys that every year seem to be the top guys. You just watch games and watch defenses, watch Seattle, see what they are doing on defense, you know little stuff that’s going on around the league, whether it’s the TV copy or the film copy that you get from your video department. But just stuff like that to stay fresh, to stay sharp, but other than that, nothing too crazy.”

      On how he was able to avoid doubting himself:
      “You can’t. I mean, there is no time for it. I’m in a good spot mentally. Being injured is tough, being away from the game, but I think it makes you appreciate it even more, so when you do get another opportunity like I have now, it is important to make the most of it. Remember what it felt like being out of the game and understanding that I have a chance to fix a lot of things that have not gone my way before, so that is kind of the position I am in. But I don’t really worry about outside opinion. I’ve got a great family and a lot of people would enjoy the position I am in, you know. Win, lose or draw, I am in a great opportunity and I can’t ever forget that, how fun this is. And usually when I am feeling like that, I am playing pretty well.”

      On his perspective on the Redskins’ quarterback situation:
      “You know, I don’t know too much about the situation. I’ve only seen the stuff on TV, so without really being a part of it, I don’t want to say too much. I think he has got a ton of talent, he showed that his first year, but I am not really an authority on it. I don’t know what’s going on in that building, so I don’t want to speak on that.”

      On if he empathizes with other quarterbacks:
      “I mean, you never want to see anybody go through an injury, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, going through that IR/ injury/rehab process. That’s no fun. So I feel for him there, but you know, anything X’s and O’s wise, all that kind of stuff, coaching-wise, I don’t know. I am not there.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 12/16 started by Boone View original post
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