A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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    • Skins Quotes 12/1/16: Gruden, Barry, McVay

      December 1, 2016

      Head Coach Jay Gruden

      On how he keeps the team motivated:
      “Well, I think that being that every game is so different, you’re dealing with a different opponent, with different circumstances, different players, different challenges every week. Different schemes, different game plans, it’s easy, really. You only have 16 cracks at it , like I said yesterday, and it’s a chance – every game is a chance for them show what they have, compete, play hard, have success personally and as a team. And it’s fun. You’ve got to make it fun.”

      On keeping outside distractions away from practice:
      “Yeah, that’s not hard. I think some of these guys individually they might have some when they get home as far as what they’re thinking for next year, but when these guys come to work, it’s all business, it really is. They study, they work hard, they practice hard, so I don’t really see that part of it, the distraction part of it that you’re talking about. We have a number of other guys that are playing on their final year of a deal too and they just understand what it is with the contract but they’ve still got to come out and perform, that’s the bottom line.”

      On the play of the offensive line since losing T Trent Williams:
      “Yeah, they have stepped up. Ty Nsekhe, especially. He can play right tackle, left tackle. He’s learned the system, he’s a big body, done a great job. But the core – Spencer Long, Morgan [Moses], Shawn [Lauvao] – they’ve done a great job – Brandon [Scherff] – they’re just solid. They’re good guys and Bill [Callahan] has done an excellent job with them with their technique and continuing to coach them. They’ve got a great style about them. They’re fundamentally sound, they’re big, they’re good athletes and they love football.”

      On the status of WR Josh Doctson:
      “He’s on IR.”

      On how Doctson is doing:
      “I don’t know. I think he’s coming along, I talked to him today at lunch, he had a nice slab of pizza on his plate but he seemed in good spirits, seems to be doing better, but as far as running and sprinting, he’s not doing that yet.”

      On the injury report:
      “Did not participate: [Anthony] Lanier, lower leg; [Jordan] Reed, shoulder. Limited: [Terence] Garvin, shoulder; Ricky [Jean Francois], knee; Ty Nsekhe, ankle; Scherff, ankle; [Bashaud] Breeland, ankle; Chris Thompson has an illness. And then full were [Trent] Murphy, [Will] Blackmon, [DeSean] Jackson and [Nick] Sundberg.”

      On how QB Kirk Cousins has improved since the last time he played in Arizona:
      “Yeah, I mean it’s a totally different quarterback, totally different person, player. The repetitions that he has been able to accumulate over this time means a whole world of difference. The time when he played against Arizona, he didn’t have any first-team reps, so to speak, for training camp, OTAs or any of that stuff and all of those reps mean a whole heck of a lot for a quarterback. He competed, made some great throws in that game. We couldn’t finish it off but the experience factor for a quarterback plays a huge part in the development and the skill and the success rate.”

      On preparing for Arizona’s blitz schemes:
      “We have to practice them and try and do the best we can to pick them up. Sometimes our back has to pick up and be a part of it and sometimes he doesn’t. The linemen have to handle the stunts and the movement and it’s going to be very, very crucial to our success throwing the football. Ideally you would like to be out of the third down and longs where they really do a great job of picking and they have good stunts and obviously good blitz packages like you say, but that’s going to be important for us to be able to pick those up. And then they can rush four. They have a good four-man rush, just a four-man rush and they play coverage with [Calais] Campbell and obviously the rest of the guys coming, [Markus] Golden does a nice job rushing and Chandler Jones obviously, so they can get home with four and that’s their most dangerous package, I think.”

      On if his level of optimism is diminishing for TE Jordan Reed’s availability on Sunday:
      “My level of optimism? I don’t have any; I’m even keel right now. I’m not expecting him to play or not to play, I don’t really know. I’ve just got to wait to see tomorrow how he’s doing and we’ll go from there.”

      On if it would be remarkable if Reed is able to play given the pain he is in:
      “Yeah, it would be, but we’ll have to wait and see. That’s all I can say.”

      On the team’s ability to fill in for missing starters this season:
      “The backups – the guys who have stepped up and filled in. That’s the answer. Vernon Davis, now we have [Derek] Carrier. He’s rolling. And obviously Ty Nsekhe. And then at receiver, you talk about Ryan Grant and Maurice Harris and Jamison Crowder – those guys have done an excellent job also.”

      On if it is helpful to know in the game-planning process if a player like Reed will be unavilable:
      “Sometimes it’s harder because you don’t know if he’s going to be up or not, so you don’t know if you should game plan with him in or with him out. We’re going to keep the standard concepts, the plays that we have that we like, but we expect Vernon or Derek to be able to do them. We might have less of a certain package – maybe the three-tight-end sets, or something like that – but we’ll still carry about everything that we have and just let Vernon or Derek do it and hope that Jordan can play.”

      On if LBs Martrell Spaight and Terence Garvin could see more action on defense:
      “I don’t know, we’ll see. I think right now obviously in base it’s Mason [Foster] and Will [Compton], it’s their job right now. When we go nickel, we bring in Su’a [Cravens] and he does a good job. If something were to happen to one of those guys, then we wouldn’t feel bad about playing Terence or Spaight. Spaight did a great job in the preseason. He’s had limited reps during the season, but right now they are backups and they’re core special teams players for us. They’re doing an excellent job on special teams, which is important for that position for those backups to play. We just feel very good about the guys that are playing right now and they’ll wait their turn and if called upon, they’ll do good.”

      On if C Kory Lichtensteiger is close to being able to return:
      “He is close, he’s doing good. He’s mastered the game of shuffleboard downstairs. He’s rehabbed his calf and done a nice job. He’s very close.”

      On Doctson:
      “We just answered that. Josh is coming along. He’s not really running yet. They’re doing more and more with him in the rehab room there. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

      On how the offensive line looks after getting some rest:
      “They’re looking better. They’re still banged up. Anytime you have such a big body and you’re carrying a lot of that weight, the rehab takes a little bit longer. But they’re all tough guys and they’ll play through it. You’d like them to be 100 percent, but this time of year, big offensive linemen, not many of them in the NFL are 100 percent – Week 11, 12, 13. But you need to have tough, physical guys and that’s why we drafted guys like Brandon [Scherff] and Morgan [Moses], and that’s why we like Ty [Nsekhe] so much – they play through it. Shawn Lauvao also, Spencer [Long]. They’re going to play through it. That’s the nature of the beast. They’re all big, tough, physical guys.”

      On if players have intense battles every day during closed portions of practice:
      “When you guys leave, we do more scripted sessions as far as Arizona’s offense vs. our defense, or Arizona’s defense vs. our offense. So it’s not quite as competitive. We’re more trying to get the looks and trying to study their blitz packages or coverages, what they like to do offensively. So it’s not quite as competitive as it would be if it were us vs. us, like it was when you guys were there.”

      On if he attended WR DeSean Jackson’s birthday party:
      “I did not. I was not invited, son of a gun.”

      Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry

      On his assessment of CB Kendall Fuller’s season so far and improvements he’s made:
      “You know, I think it’s a little typical of a rookie. I think he’s had some ups, some downs. I know one thing, I think Kendall Fuller is going to be a special player in this league for a long time. His maturity, his instincts, his awareness have been really, really impressive for a rookie. So I think he’s had some ups and downs like all of us, but I expect big football from him in the future, no doubt.”

      On what Fuller needs to do to make more plays:
      “Well, I think that’s typical at any position, but when you play in the back end anywhere, but especially when you play – especially with the way the NFL’s going. It seems like every team has that guy, meaning that guy in the slot. It’s a different world when you go inside and play inside. Every position has pitfalls, but there’s tough matchups in there and I think he’s kind of feeling his way through it, learning his way through it. And that’s the one thing with Kendall is he’s a kid that he learns from every experience. He’s a student of the game, he works at it, he understands routes, he understands leverage and the more he plays the better he’s going to get. And that’s the thing that’s exciting about him.”

      On Arizona RB David Johnson presenting a ‘unique threat’:
      “Yeah, I think they have—not only [No.] 31 [David Johnson], but [No.] 38 [Andre Ellington] as well. I think both those guys are weapons. They’re obviously weapons when they hand the ball off to them but equally they’re just as dangerous when they run routes out of the backfield. And what really makes both of those guys special, 31 specifically as you said, they can run the whole route tree. They get them out in empty formations, and especially 31 specifically with his wide receiver background, he can run every route in the route tree. So, yes, it’s going to be very, very important to get proper matchups on him because he’s not just a random running back out of the backfield. He’s really like a wide receiver lining up out of the backfield. He’s very talented in his, obviously catching the ball, but everything that he can do as far as running the entire route tree.”

      On if CB Josh Norman could follow Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald into the slot:
      “Yeah, anytime that we’re in a situation when you match a corner on a wideout – if you’re truly matching him no matter where he goes, he goes. Now, there’s parameters based on that when you’re in man, when you’re in zone, things like that. But yes, there will be times per call – if the call dictates that Josh matches No. 11 [Fitzgerald], he’s going to match him even if he’s lined up in the backfield.”

      On the challenges of playing in the slot for a rookie cornerback such as Fuller:
      “Well, the big thing, John, when you’re talking specifically about the nickel corner position… Let’s take it a step further. When you’re talking about the outside corner, when you’re playing a right corner or a left corner, you pretty much either have that man man-to-man or you have that outside zone based on what you’re talking about – whether it’s Cover 2, Cover 3, Cover 4, whatever. Well, when you play in the slot, now if it’s man-to-man, again relatively simple, I have the slot receiver man-to-man. But when you’re talking about zones in the slot position, now you talk about the run game, now you talk about run fits – you have to fit the run, you have to be ‘a la’ defensive back/corner, but also part linebacker also. There’s situations where blitzes – we bring the nickel corner as a blitzer. So you really have to… It’s all-encompassing when you play that nickel corner position. You have got to be able to play man, you have got to be able to play zone, you have got to be able to play run, you have got to be able to play pass, you have got to be a blitzer – so there’s a few more hats you have to wear when you play the nickel corner position. Again, with Kendall, that’s why I think that you can’t just throw any random corner in to play the nickel corner position. It has to be a guy that’s kind of cerebral, that understands, that has instincts, that has awareness – and those are the things that are exciting about Kendall because he possesses those things.”

      On if those challenges can slow down a young cornerback:
      “Oh, yeah. I think especially for a rookie. That’s why the best on-the-job training is playing, you know? And I think he’s… as I said, he’s had his pitfalls as we all have. He’s had his ups, he’s had his downs but he’s learning every single game, every single week really in practice the nuances of the position.”

      On why teams have been successful attacking the defense in the flat:
      “It’s all random, Mike. It’s been a few times I think we’ve been illegally picked. Other times we’ve busted a coverage, whether it be just simply busting a coverage or being in a coverage trying to check to another coverage. And ironically it’s just happened that… The easiest route for a quarterback to throw, I don’t care what the personnel group is, I don’t care what the down and distance is just simply someone going to the flat and throwing the ball. And really when you’re talking about defensive football when you’re installing things – defend the flat. Who has the first thing to the flat? I don’t care if it’s man, zone, pressure, whatever. We have gotten scarred a few times but it’s been a number of different things whether we’ve gotten picked, whether we’ve busted a coverage, whether we’ve had a check and busted the check. But that’s the simplest, easiest thing for a quarterback to do. ‘Oh, no one in the flat? [throwing motion] Boop.’ It has hurt us three or four times.”

      Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

      On QB Kirk Cousins’ success during the last four games:
      “I think he’s done a great job. I think what it’s a credit to is his preparation and I also think it’s a credit to the teammates around him. Anytime that the quarterback is able to play as well as he is, it obviously starts with him but it takes all 11. And I think the offensive line has done a great job protecting him. I think the backs are doing a nice job in the run game and in protection and then our receivers and tight ends have done a great job separating, distributing the field accordingly when we are throwing the football. And he’s playing at a high level, but this is something that we always knew he was capable of. He’s a guy that we have a whole lot of confidence in, feel very good about him as our leader, and we expect the same as the season continues.”

      On the challenge of creating a game plan with the uncertainty of TE Jordan Reed’s status:
      “It’s one of those situations, John, where you have a contingency plan in place. Obviously if we’re able to have Jordan, you feel great about it and there’s some things that you’ll definitely use that maybe you wouldn’t if he isn’t available. Fortunately you’re in a situation where you feel really good about your tight end in Vernon Davis where he’s playing at an extremely high level in both phases in the run and in the pass game. And then you’ve got a bunch of depth at the receiver position. So it’s a good situation with the amount of playmakers that we do have. We’d love to have Jordan, but if not, we won’t do a couple of things that kind of make him a difference maker, but we feel very good about our personnel even if he’s not there.”

      On if it feels different preparing for a game without Reed this year:
      “Yeah, well it does because of what Vernon’s been able to offer us from the depth of that spot. Not having him last year, what he’s been able to provide when we haven’t had Jordan makes you feel extremely comfortable where you can still carry a lot of the normal personnel groupings in 11, where you got three receivers and a tight end and Vernon is capable of doing all of those things. So it does give us a little bit of depth at the position where you’d love to have Jordan but if you don’t, you don’t feel quite as short without him.”

      On if anything has surprised him most about TE Vernon Davis:
      “Yeah, I think so. You know, one of the things that’s extremely refreshing is for a guy that’s had as much success over the course of his career – you know, this is a perennial Pro Bowl player we’re talking about, he’s a top-10 pick, he’s had a bunch of success – for him to be as receptive to coaching, wanting to learn every single day and just the example that he sets for those players around him… He’s a consummate pro, he’s been a true joy to be around and really have enjoyed learning from him. With some of the experiences he’s had both in San Francisco and Denver, he’s very willing to share. But how receptive he’s been to a new system, us asking him some different things that maybe he hasn’t done over the course of his career, it’s just a breath of fresh air for a guy that has had as much success to be that receptive to some of the new things we’re asking him to do.”

      On if he was surprised that Davis was on the market given his past success:
      “It surprised me that he was available. You know, I think anytime that you transition from team to team within the framework of a season, especially given maybe a complex system where there’s a lot of different little nuances, I think that’s always a little bit tougher transition which is why you have such an appreciation for the OTAs, the offseason program and training camp. But when you really study him down-in and down-out, whatever he was able to do in San Francisco last year and then in Denver when he was able to play for those guys, this is still a very talented player. His movement has never fallen off at all and really when he did get some opportunities to touch the football, you can still see a special player. Always been productive in the run game. So I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised. I think he’s done an excellent job, but if you really watch him closely, I think he’s played at a high level and I don’t really ever think there was that drop off that kind of there was that perception he wasn’t playing well. I think he still was if you’re just studying him down-in and down-out.”

      On how he feels he has improved from last year:
      “That’s a great question. I think the biggest thing that you learn from anything is if you’re able to look at the mistakes and then sometimes when you’re able to have success, can I critically look at myself, learn from the mistakes. So you say, OK, when this situation in the framework of a game comes up, is this the best selection to put our players in the best spots? You know, I look back at some of the things, you know, every single week where I would’ve handled that differently. And I think if you’re able to learn, you have good coaches and mentors around you like I do with Jay [Gruden], Bill Callahan, Matt Cavanaugh, you know, everybody, I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by great coaches that are willing to help me continue to progress and learn. But I think if you’re able to learn from the mistakes and then continue to try to do the things that have allowed you to have a little bit of success, it gives you the chance to grow and that’s what we’re trying to do as an offense.”

      On if he has specific examples of ways he’s improved:
      “I think it’s more just situational calls. Obviously every single game you really look at… what you try to do when you put together a game plan, kind of roleplay where, ‘OK, if this comes up, what’s going to be the situation, what call will I make? You know, in a third-and-goal from the five, what our priority is, what is the defense presenting?’ So I think it’s more along the lines of OK, you want to be process-driven. Sometimes things work out, but at least if it’s thought through, you can feel good about those decisions. But I would say on a week-to-week basis, certainly you look at just based on the production last week, you know, you say, ‘OK, we had seen some different things when we decided to direct snap the ball to Rob Kelley. That was something that didn’t work out for us but we felt like the process was right.’ And as long as we are continuing to be process-driven, I think the results will end up coming as a whole and that’s what we try to preach to our players as well.”

      On Arizona’s defense:
      “Yeah, it’s a great defense. I think when you really look at it, they’ve got a bunch of great players on the back end. They feel very confident to play a lot of man-coverage principles. Do a great job upfront creating movement with a variety of pressures. Whether it be some five-, six-man, some different overloads and they change up the front, so I have a lot respect for Coach [James] Bettcher and what he presents schematically both on first, second and third down. And then once you get into the red zone, they’re very tough as well. So I think it’s a credit to the scheme and then obviously the personnel. They’ve got some special players and I think they use them the right way. He puts them in good spots, and it’s going to be a great challenge for us. It’s one that I know our players are looking forward to. When we went there and played them a couple of years ago, I thought, you know, they obviously did a great job against us and it’s something that guys will be ready for the challenge. But we have a whole lot of respect for this team and what they’ve put on tape as a defense, especially this year.”

      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
      This article was originally published in forum thread: Skins Quotes 12/1/16: Gruden, Barry, McVay started by Boone View original post
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