October 20, 2016

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:
“[Josh] Doctson did not participate. DeSean Jackson did not with his shoulder and Jordan Reed did not with a concussion. Full were [Su’a] Cravens and everybody else.”

On if there was a setback with TE Jordan Reed:
“Not a setback, we just thought – the medical staff thought – today it was best to keep him out. And he’ll get evaluated today again – or tomorrow, I’m sorry – by the independent doctor.”

On WR DeSean Jackson’s status:
“DeSean’s just got soreness in his shoulder and we chose to keep him out today.”

On if Jackson will play Sunday:
“Yeah, as long as it’s not his legs, but we’ll see. We’ll see how he’s feeling. You know, seriously though, he’s sore right now but [we will] continue to get him treatment today and we’ll see how he’s doing tomorrow.”

On if Reed was showing signs that he needed a day off:
“No, I just think that they have their own way of doing things in the training room and they thought that today was a day that they should keep him off his feet.”

On if S Su’a Cravens is now out of the concussion protocol:
“No, he’s going to get evaluated again tomorrow, but he did everything today. So it’s just the progression of things and the protocol. He’ll get checked out by the independent guy tomorrow and hopefully he’ll get good news.”

On if that is the last step for Cravens to play Sunday:
“It’s still up to the doctor and how he’s feeling tomorrow – how he recovers from more and more work. So we’ll see how he does tomorrow.”

On how Cravens looked at practice:
“He looked great today. He did a lot, a lot of stuff with the linebackers. He did some scout team safety. So he did some good stuff.”

On if Cravens’ work as a scout team safety is developmental or for use this season:
“That’s developmental. We’re doing scout team stuff. It’s good for him to get back there and see the whole field. It’s good for his eye progression – both at linebacker and safety. It’s been good work for him. And since he’s been out for a couple weeks, it’s good for him to just keep running and keep working.”

On TE Derek Carrier’s progress:
“Yeah, he’s close. We could put him on his… You know, he’ll have 21 days of practice before we can activate him here pretty soon. That could be as early as next week, it could be after the bye – we’ll wait and see how he’s doing.”

On if players ‘hiding’ concussions makes him nervous:
“Yeah, I’m not going to put words in his [Jordan Reed’s] mouth but I don’t know if he meant he ‘hid’ it. I think he might’ve meant he knew when he got hit and got it. I don’t know if there is a difference there, but obviously we want our players to be honest, especially with the significance of the concussion. We don’t condone that in any way. I think, like I said, I don’t think really he noticed he felt any concussion issues until Tuesday, if that makes sense.”

On if RB Robert Kelley’s role for the rest of the season will be similar to what it was last week:
“I don’t know. I think every game is going to be different depending on how much we run the ball, time of possession. You know, fortunately for us against Philadelphia we had the ball a lot in the first half. You know, we had the kickoff return and the interception return, so our offense was on the field a lot, which enabled him to get a lot more touches. Obviously if we have that many opportunities offensively, he’ll get more and more touches. It just depends how the game flow goes and how many possessions and time of possession and all of that, but we’d love to get him some touches for sure.”

On if the team could carry four tight ends when Carrier is healthy:
“Well, we’ve got to get him healthy first and then see where we’re at. We love our three tight ends without a doubt right now. See how Jordan’s doing. Last week we played with two, which is a little scary, but obviously Ty Nsekhe can play tight end in some cases. But I think there will be a spot for him when he gets healthy. Eventually we can carry four very easily.”

On if the team could play with two tight ends again if Reed is unavailable:
“That could be a scenario, yes.”

Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry

On the defense preventing big plays:
“I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any defense in the NFL that doesn’t preach ‘limit the explosion play.’ And we define that as plus-30-yard passes and plus-20-yard runs. And really we’ve been, I think for the most part, we have been good in that. When we have gotten hurt it’s been because of missed tackles. We’ve talked about that, especially in the run game. Yes, it’s something that… Again, I don’t know a defense or a defensive coordinator that doesn’t preach that. We preach let’s not beat ourselves. Let’s not give them anything. Let’s make them earn everything. And if you do that you’ve got a higher success of obviously keeping them out of the end zone and playing good defense.”

On the performance of the secondary:
“You know, very similar to last year. It seems we always have a bunch of moving parts there. But the guys have done a great job. Perry Fewell, Aubrey Pleasant do a great job with that room, with that group. I think we’ve been really consistent with having obviously good, young players but also having veteran guys that understand football. And I think even though, for example Will Blackmon’s playing a new position, you know, he’s played a lot of football. Same thing with Donte [Whitner Sr.] coming in here, brand new to the system, he’s still hearing things on a daily basis that it’s still new for him, but he’s a football player. He’s played a ton of football. So that helps in that regard.”

On S Donte Whitner Sr. earning playing time:
“I’m a firm believer you have 46 guys that have a helmet on game day and whatever number you have on defense – whether it be 21, 22, 23 – let’s find a role for them. Let’s get them all on the field. We have three safeties right now that we’re going to try to get in in different situations and between Duke [Ihenacho], Will [Blackmon], Donte, we’re going to get them all on the field in certain situations.”

On if CB Josh Norman is fulfilling the hopes the team had for him when he was signed:
“Liz, anytime that you sign a big-time, high-caliber, profile player, the No. 1 thing is you want playmaking, no question. But I think at the position he plays, you want consistency, and he’s been rock-solid in that regard. You know exactly what you’re going to get from Josh Norman every single week. We’re able to do different things with him week-in and week-out. He’s getting more comfortable in the system every single day, every single week. But my message with Josh has not changed. If anything, it’s intensified in the sense that he’s an unbelievable pro. He comes to work every single day, he wants to get coached, he wants to get better. You know, that’s how he really made a name for himself. By no means does he ever feel like he’s arrived or he’s the man. If anything, he’s even more hungrier to prove that he’s worthy. And I think that’s what makes Josh really, really special is that whether it be in the meeting room upstairs, whether it be in a walkthrough out in the bubble, whether it be obviously out in practice, he’s always looking to get better, improve his game. And that’s the thing that’s awesome when you have a guy like that that just wants to be coached. He craves knowledge, he craves information. He’s always looking to get better. So that’s a very cool attribute in a player, and he has it.”

On what has stood out about CB Kendall Fuller during his rookie season:
“You know, I’m going to give Virginia Tech a little plug right here because I said the same thing about Kyshoen Jarrett last year. He was just very mature, very football savvy, and Kendall is absolutely in the same mold. He is a rookie. He’s obviously young, that’s obvious. But he’s very mature for his age, football mature I’m talking about. Very detailed, asks great questions. You know, the biggest thing, playing any position but especially playing DB and specifically the nickel corner, you’ve got have a plan every week on how you attack the guy that you play based on what type of player that is, and usually young guys don’t get that. Usually young guys say, ‘Oh, I get the call, I’ve got to play the call.’ You know, ‘I’ve got to play my leverage, I’ve got to do my job.’ But you learn as you’re in this league, you’ve got to approach every single wide receiver different. And it’s cool that Kendall already understands that. He already really gets it and that’s why I talk about his awareness, his savviness, his instincts, whatever you want to call it. He has that and it’s really neat.”

On upon what the defense can continue to improve:
“Well, you know, we’re always striving to play better each and every week. You know, I equate it a lot of times to I read Michael Jordan refer to what he calls a ‘peak performer,’ and a peak performer is someone who equals or betters their last performance. And even though we played well last week, you know, it’s the challenge for us as coaches but the players love it. They want that challenge. Let’s go out and play better this week, you know? And if we can peak perform each and every week, that’s obviously the goal. That’s what you want to do. From a work ethic standpoint, from a preparation standpoint, you know, I’ve sat up here and said this from whether it was OTAs, whether it was Training Camp, we’ve got a great group of guys that come into work every day and punch the clock and grind. And even when we weren’t playing well, it wasn’t because of lack of preparation or work ethic. Our guys are very special. We’ve got a special group when it comes to that but they want to be challenged and they want to play better every week, you know? Doesn’t matter what you did the week before, let’s go out and peak perform this week and they love that and they’re up to the challenge every week.”

On what he did during the defense’s hour-long stretch without a play last week:
“I overanalyzed a lot, repeatedly. It’s great. I mean, again, any defensive coordinator will tell you, the best defense there is – the best call there is – is when you’re over with your guys on the sidelines drinking Gatorade… It’s a wonderful thing, it is unique. That was quite strange, but great job by our offense, great possessing the ball. You know, I’m never going to argue that at all.”

On if he has considered calling plays from the booth and the benefits of being on the field:
“You know John, I did it one time this preseason just to experience it. Even as an assistant coach, as a position coach, I was never in the box. So, I’ve spent my whole coaching career being on the field and I think it’s just a comfort level. You know, people say you go up in the box you’re able to see things a little bit better. I feel, just because I’ve being doing it so long on the field, I feel that I can see everything, but, yeah, it’s always discussed. I think those are things that you’ve got to kind of commit to in the preseason and say ‘OK, this entire preseason I’m going to go up in the box for all four games then make a decision.’ You know, me personally, I would feel uncomfortable doing that during the season. Also, I like to be able to… if something happens good or bad, I like to be able to be face-to-face with the player instead of having to get on the phone with him or whatever. So, yeah, it’s always discussed. You’re always potentially looking at ways to do things different but just from a comfort standpoint, I’ve always been on the field. I’d lose my mind I think if I was up in the box.”




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