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    • Skins Quotes 12/24/14: Jay Gruden

      December 24, 2014
      Redskins Park

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On the injury report:
      “Did not participate – Jason Hatcher, Trent Williams, knee [for Hatcher] and shoulder [for Williams], same issue. Limited was Chris Baker with his toe and elbow, Gabe Miller with his ankle, Keenan Robinson with his knee and Robert Griffin III with his right shoulder. Full practice – we got a whole list of those guys, I don’t know if you need to hear all of those, do you?”

      On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s injury:
      “He just sprained his right shoulder a little bit, a little sore today. So we kept him on a limited basis.”

      On if the injury was sustained against Philadelphia:
      “Yeah, I think so, yeah. Yeah, it was from the game.”

      On if he is concerned the injury could threaten Griffin III’s ability to play Sunday:
      “Well, it needs to get better. I don’t think it’s a serious deal but if it affects throwing then it could be an issue but right now we are just taking it very precautionary and making sure we get him rest and hopefully he will be ready to go Friday.”

      On tackle Trent Williams being named to the Pro Bowl:
      “Yeah, I think Trent from day one was voted captain here by the players and he fought through some injuries all year, you know he had a lot of them. He gave us everything he had. He statistically probably gave up more sacks than he ever has but for the most part I still think he is one of the top left tackles in the league and your expectations are so high for somebody that talented that you don’t expect them to get beat ever, but that does happen and we’re obviously proud of the fact that he made it to the Pro Bowl and we think he very much deserves it.”

      On if he is disappointed by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan’s Pro Bowl snub:
      “Yeah, disappointed a lot in that one. Ryan had a great year I think he is at 13.5 sacks. You know, the forced fumbles, the consistent play, the durability that he has shown, there’s worthy guys at the position obviously across the league but we definitely thought he should have been recognized in the Pro Bowl.”

      On if improving the defense could help Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris:
      “Oh, no question. That is absolutely true. As you’re working through young quarterbacks like you are until they are really developed to their max potential, which you know takes some time, obviously you have to surround them with a good defense, No. 1, and you want to surround them with a good running game and that’s the intent. Really no matter who your quarterback this day and age, you want to have a good – you see the difference in Tony Romo’s play from last year with a solid running game, it makes it a lot easier for him. It’s not easy but it’s very beneficial, so moving forward we definitely want to try to always address our defense and make sure we keep Alfred [Morris] happy and keep him fed.”

      On if Griffin III played through his injury:
      “I think he played – it was the hit on the sack when Fletcher Cox got the sack. I don’t think really bothered him during the game, I think it just had some lingering soreness after the fact.”

      On Griffin III hanging onto the ball on the hit:
      “That was one of the most incredible plays ever to hang onto that ball. I don’t know how he did it; I had to ask him on that one. I mean, I froze it, freeze framed it. He shows his strength, but that was impressive. We’ve been stressing ball security – you see that? That’s how good coaches we are [laughter]. But that was a heck of a play to hold onto the ball.”

      On if Kirk Cousins would be the other option at quarterback:
      “Correct, yes.”

      On when he needs to see Griffin III at 100 percent, and on how big of an opportunity Sunday’s game can be for young players:
      “Huge opportunity. Robert, I think we will get a look at him – tomorrow they are off for Christmas – and I’m sure he will still figure out a way to get treatment and then Friday I think we’ll see him be able to do a little bit more and I’d like to see him throw Friday for sure to get ready. But for those young guys, Trevardo [Williams], Jackson Jeffcoat, and, shoot, Will Compton who has been playing a lot, [Phillip] Thomas, [Justin] Rogers at corner, we’ve got a lot of guys that are getting some meaningful reps. Gabe Miller is going to play this week. So it’s a great opportunity for these guys to showcase what they can do and for us to evaluate them moving onto next year. It helps our depth for next year, helps what we are looking for in the draft and free agency and all of that. So it’s very, very important for these guys to step up and play well so we can get a great feel for how good they are or how good they can be.”

      On if Friday will be the next day to see what Griffin III can do:
      “Yeah, I mean he threw a little bit today. He can throw the ball, it’s just a little sore. I think he will be OK. I just want to make sure he doesn’t aggravate it more today. Give him another couple days of rest and be ready to go Friday.”

      On tackle Tom Compton:
      “Yeah, Tom’s done good. He came in there in the middle of the season, he’s had his ups and downs as we all have offensively. But I think he’s shown the ability and really been good in the running game. He’s stout in the running game, just some of the pass pro issues that we’ve had he’s worked through. Tom’s done a very good job I believe at right tackle and he’s obviously had to fill in at left tackle for Trent [Williams] a couple game when Trent went down, so he’s done good.”

      On Williams playing through injuries to make the Pro Bowl:
      “Yeah, it says a lot, it also talks about the respect that he has amongst his peers in the NFL. Even though he has been banged up a little bit and hadn’t put up the gaudy numbers as far as sacks allowed or what have you, I think people know what kind of player he is in the running game and pass pro and all that stuff and his consistent approach to the football game. He’s a solid football player, great guy and obviously provides leadership for us at a tough time.”

      On what the win did for the team:
      “Yeah, I mean at least you have a chance to smile a little bit for a short time but obviously we’re all frustrated with what’s going on and then when the season is over you have to watch other teams play in the playoffs, it’s very frustrating. It is good to see these guys work hard, compete late in the year against teams that have a lot to play for and for them to get a big victory at home in front of our home crowd is very meaningful to a lot of guys, a lot of coaches, a lot of players. Hopefully moving forward it will pay dividends as far as how we work, how we prepare and the consistent approach we have to the game.”

      On preparing for the Cowboys when he’s not sure who will be playing:
      “You prepare for the Cowboys and you expect to play their best. You expect Dez Bryant and Tony Romo. You expect DeMarco Murray, you expect all their guys and they have got a lot of them. So we’re preparing for what they do and then whoever does it I’m sure [Joseph] Randle’s stepped in and done a nice job as Murray’s replacement. So they have a lot of weapons that can hit you but we are preparing for their best.”

      On if he will work out any other quarterbacks if Griffin III can’t play:
      “I think he’ll be fine, but I think we’ll judge that on Friday. I don’t anticipate that happening right now.”

      On Griffin III’s practice load today:
      “He threw a little bit. Just sore.”

      On his Christmas plans:
      “I’ve got my family coming in – my grandson and my other two sons are flying in.”

      On cornerback Trey Wolfe:
      “Trey has been impressive in practice. You know, we do one-on-ones and we have competitive periods and Trey has done some good things, but I have not seen that part of it. He’s one of those prospects that we have in the building here that we hope we can gain a lot of work in the offseason and then in training camp. But we’re excited about Trey’s prospects moving forward.”

      On his surprise about Kerrigan and punter Tress Way not being selected to the Pro Bowl:
      “I mean, a little bit, especially Kerrigan. Kerrigan’s had an outstanding year. He’s been consistent. I did answer that, but you know what, there’s a lot of good players at that position. We know what Ryan means to this franchise. I know he’s probably a little bit upset, but you know it happens. It’s a tough position, but he’s a great player and he’ll get his due sooner than later if he continues to do what he’s doing.”

      Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett

      On the plan for his starters on Sunday:
      “We’re going to practice our guys this week and play our guys on Sunday.”

      On the rationale behind playing his starters:
      “There is something on the line. The outcome of our game matters in certain scenarios, and we just believe in practicing and playing and getting ready to go play in the playoffs. I think we’ve played well the last month or so and are excited about this opportunity against the Redskins on Sunday.”

      On running back DeMarco Murray’s performance with a broken hand:
      “I thought he was nothing short of remarkable, in my opinion. I thought it was the best game he played all year. Obviously the statistics aren’t gaudy like they’ve been at different times this year, but his determination to play from immediately after the Philadelphia game to on the plane ride home, the next morning, the next night after the surgery, unwavering. The number of times he told me, ‘Coach, I’m playing,’ and the effect of that on a football team is really, really positive. He never hesitated in any way. He always had a very determined way about him. He started practicing on Thursday, got good work in on Thursday and Friday and played in the ballgame. Not only did he run the football, but he protected and did a lot of other things that a running back has to do and, again, didn’t waver once. No hesitation, and I think its impact was far-reaching.”

      On facing quarterback Robert Griffin III:
      “I thought they played a very good game as a team, obviously, last week against the Eagles. We understand how challenging they can be to play against. I thought they did an outstanding job – offense, defense and in the kicking game – and he certainly was a part of it. They ran the ball effectively, the play-action game was very good for them, and they made the plays when they needed to, and again I thought he was certainly a part of it and contributed greatly to that win.”

      On how much the Redskins’ victory against Dallas earlier in the season factors into Sunday:
      “We don’t really use that as motivation. Obviously we have great respect for the organization and for their football team. They came down here and beat us last time we played. Hopefully it’s something we learned from when we watched the tape and can get better from. But our focus is on what the challenge is, and our challenge is going up there this weekend and playing our best game.”

      Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo

      On his thought process preparing for this game:
      “Well, I think my thought process is the same as it is every week – you know, to be the best version of myself. Anytime you have the opportunity to play in a football game, I think that you owe it to the game and to your team and everybody to go out and play the game the way it’s meant to be played. I think that’s all out the whole time. If Coach takes you out, he takes you out, but I’m going in with the approach that I’m playing to win this football game and be the best version of myself I can be and just another opportunity to go out and play the game we love.”

      On what the Redskins’ defense does to make it difficult on him:
      “Yeah, I think Coach [Jim] Haslett does a great job mixing things up and he’s done a good job of slowing our running game over the years a little bit. More than anything just trying to turn the game one-dimensional and I think they do a good job with some of their pressures – we’ve evolved a little bit over the years and they’ve had to adjust as well. They’ve had their fair share and we’ve had ours and I think the last game the caught us with some Cover 0 blitzes – we call them our all outs – and we will be a lot more prepared just for that side of things. And they play some trap coverages and other things you’ve got to be prepared for. You can create some big plays if you execute certain things the right way and so we are going to try to do some of that.”

      On if he feels the Redskins can time his cadence because of their familiarity with him:
      “Not necessarily. I think more than that it was just… I don’t think they had a bead on the cadence, they just had a couple of really good plays and we had a couple turnovers in the first game that really hurt us and they got off the field on a couple third downs with some all-out pressures that can create a problem if you didn’t have the right stuff on. So we are just going to make sure that each of our calls do not have certain things that allow for that.”

      On approaching a game against their rival:
      “I think for us it’s just about playing the next game and putting our head down and going to work and being, like I said, the best version of yourself. And if you’re a mentally tough football player, you’re going to play your best regardless of circumstance. In the playoffs, out of the playoffs, whatever it entails, you have an opportunity to go out and put yourself on tape and show everybody who you are. When you have that opportunity you want to always take advantage of that. It’s an important game for us. We understand it’s Washington at the same time, you know we kind of look at each game the same and just go out and do our jobs and try to be the best version of ourselves while we do it. That’s our approach.”

      On the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry:
      “I think it always depends on just how the teams are doing. I mean, everybody in the NFC East, I feel like we have a rivalry with Philly, there’s one with the Giants, another one or different one with the Redskins, and in each case it’s just playing well when teams are consistently good. For a long time there, the Eagles when I was really young and then the Giants and I know Washington has sprinkled in a couple really good seasons and you know it’s all based on during the time you are playing which teams are playing well. Over the course of history and time, the Redskins have been one of the better teams in the National Football League over the 40-year span, so have the Cowboys. So I think that created just a great rivalry between both organizations.”

      On Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:
      “I think Ryan’s their best defensive player. I think it shows when you look at the tape earlier this year, the same thing now. I think he just exemplifies what you want probably in a football player, a guy who can rush the passer, can drop into coverage, who plays the run well, very good on his assignment. He just does a great job of when he’s going one direction, he’ll turn and basically his change of direction is good and he’ll give you a lot of effort to the ball even if it’s behind him. Things like that are what you’re looking for and the obvious one is that he can get to the quarterback and create disruption in the pass game. He’s an outstanding talent and you’ve got to prepare for him. He’s just a great challenge each week and everybody wants a guy like that on their team.”

      On the difference in Kerrigan without linebacker Brian Orakpo on the field:
      “I think Brian’s been a great player in the league for a long time, too. I think sometimes there’s an expectation you’re supposed to get 15-20 sacks every year, and I think Brian plays the run well, he rushes the quarterback well. We always look at sacks but that’s not always what we look at more watching tape. We look at a lot of other things for the player to see what his weaknesses are and how we can attack that. You know, when you have both those guys, it’s just hard because they both beat one-on-one matchups and they can create the pressure on the quarterback by themselves. You just have to have a plan for that. I think there’s a little bit where you get a great pass rusher, you have to do different things in the pocket as a quarterback to help your chances to get through reads and progressions and there’s certain subtle things that come about that can really help. The Redskins have put quarterbacks in positions like that sometimes with their different looks and pressures, and sometimes you have to subtly do certain things to give you a better chance. And when you don’t have both guys, it makes it a little bit easier.”
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 12/24/14: Jay Gruden started by Boone View original post
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