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    • Skins Quotes Post-Game vs. Saints: Jay Gruden

      REDSKINS HEAD COACH JAY GRUDEN

      Opening statement:
      "First off, we donít have any injuries to note. [RB] Alfred Morris went out of the game with a sore rib and finished the game."

      On the teamís performance:
      ďIt was very impressive; I told them in the locker room it was our best week of practice. We practiced with great energy, great focus and it carried over to a game. It was great to see those guys all step up - offense, defense. Defense against a heck of a quarterback, heck of an offensive scheme over there. Stepped up and made some big plays. Of course special teams played well also.Ē

      On QB Kirk Cousinsí performance:
      ďHe was obviously very good. You have a perfect passer rating youíre going to be pretty good. But really the people around himÖ I think the offensive line did a good job. I think players took some short passes, turned them into big plays for him. He delivered the ball with efficiency, with great decision making and the results were outstanding obviously. Our running game helped out a little bit also. We were pretty balanced with our attack. I think we had 200 yards running the football and obviously 300-plus passing. Itís a grind. Itís hard to do that. Our offensive line was outstanding and obviously Kirk was the trigger-man.Ē

      On the defenseís two interceptions:
      "Yeah, it was great. You know, [LB] Perry Riley got put on the island a couple of times last week and wanted to redeem himself and he did that in a big way. Iím happy to see him make a big play, and obviously [Dashon Goldson] made a big play for the pick six. Defensive line was good, they got enough pressure on [QB] Drew [Brees]. The sacks Ė I think we had two. I think he felt pressure and had to hurry some throws. I think the tackling was better, with the exception of the 70-yard run, we missed a tackle. On the whole I think our tackling was a lot better."

      On how it feels to win after tough losses:
      "Anytime you win in the National Football League against a team like New Orleans Ė coached by one heck of a coach that [has] done some great things over there Ė itís a great win and Iím very proud of those guys. Now itís about expectation levels, and their expectation levelís got to be higher. We play an undefeated Carolina Panthers next week. So they can enjoy this win for a few hours and then itís back to work Monday and Tuesday. Iím very happy to get to 4-5, keep ourselves rolling, keep ourselves in this race in the NFC East and weíll just go from there."

      On whether the teamís high level of urgency came from coaching or last weekís loss:
      "A little bit of everything. I think we went out last weekÖ I think we played [with] good urgency last week, we just didnít make some plays that we normally make Ė missed some tackles, dropped some balls. This week you see them - no drops obviously, great runs after the catch offensively and very few missed tackles. These guys really have been playing hard all season long. You can see their effort, you can see the way they practice Ė and itís going to pay off for them. I keep telling them itís going to pay off for them in the long run. We keep preparing, we keep practicing like we did last week, and the week before that, and the week before that, results will come."

      On having success with the running game after stressing the importance of believing in it:
      "It was excellent. It was good, and you notice that we didnít have a lot of negative runs. We were stuck at second-and-seven, second-and-six, second-and-five Ė as opposed to second-and-10, so we were able to stick with it, and we were able to stick with our play-actions and we got our whole playbook basically. [OC Sean McVay] did a great job of getting this offense ready, getting it together [and] organized for Kirk. Kirk did a great job executing, but really it was a total team effort. You know, the offensive line, like I said, tight ends made some big plays. The backs made some big plays in the running game and in the passing game. We didnít get Pierre [GarÁon] very much involved today unfortunately, but he was good in the running game. [WR Jamison] Crowder made a big play. So, you look around the football team and I think everybody really executed what they were supposed to do and took advantage of the plays when they came Ė it was good to see."

      On how big it was to see everyone on the offense contributing during this game:
      "Itís big. Itís big to see everybody getting involved in the offense, and thatís the goal. Thatís the intent every week. Unfortunately it doesnít always work like that but, today, it was a good day for our offense. Very happy that they all had some touches and they all get a taste of success, you know, because some weeks itís going to be somebody different. Next week it might be Pierre with 10 balls or whatever, but this offense is built where we can spread it around and get everybody involved, and whoever weíd like to match up the best or whatever the coverage dictates Ė heíll get the ball. They all have to be ready for it and they were today.Ē

      On how having a healthy secondary helped:
      "We went out and brought [CB] Chris Culliver, we want him to play. Heís one of the best corners in the league. We feel like having him healthy is big. And [Bashaud] Breeland Ė getting him back healthy is big. D-Gold [FS Dashon Goldson] can play a safety spot and [CB] Kyshoen [Jarrett] played a little bit of safety. We got [Will] Blackmon and D-Gold, so I think we started to see our best players back there in the secondary. D-Hall [CB DeAngelo Hall] was able to play some safety in dime situations. Itís good to have our horses back there. They played well.Ē

      On if the heightened security was a distraction:
      "Obviously, that is all on our minds. Itís a serious matter. As far as distractions come game day, there werenít any. Our guys were focused on their job and moving forward and doing what they were supposed to do in order to get ourselves a victory in front of our home crowd. Our home crowd was outstanding today. They came out and it was loud. You could see [QB] Drew [Brees] had some issues with communication from time to time. Overall it was a smooth process. Everybody focused in on the game and it was a good victory.Ē

      On the execution of the downfield blocking:
      "You saw people getting downfield blocking in the screens also, you saw the lineman getting downfield and making big, big blocks that we might have missed in weeks past. But overall, I think that offensive line was outstanding in all phases today. When you put out these type of numbers Ė rush for over 200 yards and throw for over 300, you canít single anybody out. The offensive line played a heck of a football game. Iím very proud of them.Ē

      On if he can see a progression of improvement:
      "Thatís the intent. We try to stay steady in our approach and keep trying to grind on these guys that the way they practice and prepare will pay off. Unfortunately, we were 3-5 before this game and it didnít seem like it to a lot of people, but we could see it in the building. The guys are working extremely hard, and we are getting some of our key guys back from injury and the proof is in the pudding. Today, you can see what we can do. Now, itís a matter of us taking this victory and building off a victory. Weíve had a bad habit around here of not being able to follow-up a victory with another victory, so itís very important for us to get our frame of mindset today. This is what we can do Ė we are capable of doing this. We have to continue to practice hard and prepare and hopefully put another win back-to-back.Ē


      On what they did different on defense:
      "I think they made their minds up to make some big plays. They really did. They had a big stop on a third-and-one or fourth-and-one to start the third quarter. I think that was a huge play Ė a lot of momentum swing there. And then they made the interception for a touchdown and they had some big stops there in the second half. So, itís a matter of them stepping up. Like I said, the pass rush was solid enough where it made Drew a little bit uncomfortable, then guys made some plays. We were fortunate with a couple. I think they dropped one on third down and they dropped another we got for the pick. Itís good to see our guys flying around the ball making some big plays.Ē

      On how the media should view quarterback Cousins after the game today:
      "You should write a positive article about him for once. The quarterback in the NFL is always under the microscope, and deservedly so. Itís the most scrutinized position in all of sports. Heís got the ball in his hands. Heís got the decisions on every snap of every game, and when a team wins or a team loses, he gets too much blame or too much credit. Thatís the nature of the business. Thatís what he signed up for. Thatís what he wants, and thatís what you want as a quarterback. Kirkís going to take his lumps, but heís going to keep grinding. You can see the results starting to pay off. The most important thing a quarterback can do is put this game behind him, enjoy it with his wife tonight because next week the Carolina Panthers are going to have a whole different set of game plans for him. Itís going to be difficult, but heís doing great. His progression, you can see it, and heís doing a good job."

      On if the Redskins have a history of playing down to competition:
      "I donít think we play down to any competition. Every team that Iíve seen is good to me. If you guys think thatís the case, I think youíre mistaken. We donít play down at any level or any time. Everybody we play, we take very seriously. Theyíre well-coached, and they have good football players. Itís just a matter of trying to get our consistent production week in and week out. Thatís going to be an important thing. Itís not going to be easy going on the road playing Carolina, but itís something weíre going to try to do, focus on and improve on."

      On the evolution of RT Morgan Moses and the addition of K Dustin Hopkins:
      "Morgan Moses, when youíre talking about developing quicker than anybody, thatís Morgan, to be honest with you. I think heís playing at a level of right tackle as good as anybody in the National Football League. I havenít seen everybody, so itís a pretty tough statement, but his development has been unreal. [Offensive Line] Coach [Bill] Callahan has done an excellent job, and Morgan has done an excellent job working himself into this kind of shape. His technique is sound. Heís good in the running game. Heís done an excellent job. Morgan has solidified his spot as a right tackle in the National Football League for many, many, many years. As far as Dustinís concerned, heís been outstanding. He makes every kick, and every kickoff is pretty solid. Weíre happy as heck that we got him. Theyíre both good players."

      On using deep pass plays more in the future:
      "Theyíll come. They will. We had a situation in this game where we had a couple called that we didnít throw, but that was a huge play to start the game. It was our opening drive of the football game. We had a third-and-five, and we were backed up. We got the ball to start; it was a huge play, a huge completion. It backed them up a little bit, which opened up a lot of the short passes which is why we started checking them down a lot. Their linebackers were getting a lot of depth, their corners were playing over the top, and they had a safety in the middle of the field sometimes, too. I think Kirk did a great job taking what was given to him and didnít force any throws, but the deep ball will be a major part of our offense moving forward."

      On getting RB Matt Jones involved in the passing game:
      "Just what I told you, they really dropped deep with their linebackers, and we were able to take advantage with some underneath throws. The screens were outstanding, and the run after the catch was excellent. You look at the blocking on that, [LT] Trent Williams wasnít even supposed to be out there, but heís running down the field and made a key block. I think the running after the catch was great by Matt. He had three catches for 131 yards, so that was pretty good for the big fella. [RB] Alfred [Morris] had some catches out of the backfield; obviously, [RB] Chris Thompson did. When youíre taking those deep zone drops, those backs become very, very important. They did a good job taking advantage of it, and Kirk did a great job finding them."
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes Post-Game vs. Saints: Jay Gruden started by Boone View original post
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