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Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1

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    Default Skins Quotes 10/31/16: Jay Gruden

    October 31, 2016

    Head Coach Jay Gruden


    On the red zone:
    “We’ve just got to keep working. You know, we had… The first opportunity, we went down there and scored. The second one we got stopped. We went for it on fourth-and-a-foot and didn’t get it. And then we got stopped, and then the last one, we conceded it. We took a knee and centered the ball and kicked the field goal. Last week we stopped at the 18-yard line, took a knee to run the game out. So a lot of those are misleading. We’re getting down there quite a bit, but we do have to convert more obviously touchdowns, and that’s something we’ll continue to work.”

    On if he believes NFL games should be allowed to end in ties:
    “Well, these games are long. We had a lot of guys banged up, and you make these games even longer, it’s going to be more difficult. If they want to try to do anything, you might want to figure out a way to shorten the overtime and make it more like college where you get the ball at the 25 and each team gets a shot and see what happens at the end of each possession. I couldn’t imagine going into another period of overtime there with the guys that we had banged up. Morgan Moses got banged up, DeSean [Jackson] was banged up, [Will] Blackmon, he was banged up and so on and so forth. It’d be nice to end the game with a victor, but until they figure something out, it is what it is.”

    On if the team can improve in the red zone at this point of the year or if it can just overcome it by scoring from farther out:
    “I think there’s a little bit of both. You know, we have to get better in the red zone, without a doubt. The windows get tighter. I think the running game will help. I think we had the play on third down and four or five, and they hadn’t shown any two-deep, drop-eight at all and they dropped eight and played two-deep and they took our play away and ended up kicking a field goal. We got stopped on fourth and a foot was the other one. We took a knee on the other one. So we just have to continue to work and get better. We’re not going to concede to anything. We understand the importance of the red zone and converting drives into touchdowns. Whether it’s run or pass, we’ve got to take a long look at it and find our best ways to get the ball to our best weapons down there and convert.”

    On WR DeSean Jackson’s opportunities:
    “We just have to continue to… We can’t force the issue, number one. I think Kirk [Cousins] has enough on his plate to worry about who is getting their stat numbers. DeSean is a great player. There is no doubt about it. We have to try to figure out ways to get him more involved in the offense. Yesterday was a tough deal because he was banged up and got injured. But he made a huge play in the game that when we were down 10 points, we needed a jolt and he gave us a jolt on a 40-yard gain – I think it was – on a deep corner route… But unfortunately after that he got hurt and didn’t really return. In order for him to get the ball, he’s got to be in there. He’s just got to continue to keep working and he’ll get his balls.”

    On Spencer Long’s performance at center:
    “Yeah, he’s done a really good job, he really has. He just continues to get better and better at the position. The more he plays, the better he’s going to get. It’s not an easy position. It’s not easy to come up with all these calls and then when those fronts are moving like Cincinnati had a multiple front, they were shifting into jam-fronts and double-A’s and all that stuff, to have to make calls at a split-second rate – changing protections in a split-second – it’s not easy. He’s just getting better and better at it. He’s a big, physical guy. He can move people in the running game [and] he’s showing he can handle the mental side of it, too. That was my biggest concern initially, but he’s handled that extremely well and he’s doing a good job.”

    On the penalties in yesterday’s game:
    “Well, it’s something that we have to address with our team. We had a lot of penalties. I think we gave them eight first downs via penalty. After watching the film, I don’t know. Some of them were not very blatant, that’s for sure. Some of the glancing hits to the facemask on A.J. Green, I just don’t understand them. There was no intent there to injure, it was absolutely just a glancing blow that had nothing to do with anything. They called them. They thought it was a penalty. We just have to be sure as defensive backs that we get our hands down. [Quinton] Dunbar had two or three, I think, holding calls – one of them in the end zone. I don’t know what to teach them. He was jamming his guy and then Andy threw it over the guy’s head and threw it out of bounds, but they called holding again. There’s some of those that we can clean up our hands a little bit defensively, and then offensively, the offensive PI [pass interference], there’s nothing I would change there. That’s not offensive PI in any realm whatsoever of the penalty that I know of offensive pass interference. There’s nothing Pierre [Garçon] did wrong, unfortunately the referee saw it different. Some of the penalties we can clean up, some of them we can’t do anything about. We just have to abide by the rules that they see them as and go from there and try to overcome them.”

    On recovering from the trip to London and the plan for this week:
    “Yeah, I think we’re starting to get back. We had a long flight last night. We’re back to normal here. The players have a day off today and they’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll have a meeting and review this film, try to give them a plan of what to do in their free time as far as working out is concerned. Hopefully they come back with a free mind and be ready to roll for the second half of the season. We have a tough stretch. I think we have three games in 11 days, or something like that. We have got Minnesota right around the corner. No. 1 defense in the league, they’re playing extremely well. We have got to get ready. Big thing is to get some time off, get their mind off football for a little while, and then come back raring to go because it’s going to be a grind. The second half of the season is going to be a tough one.”

    On RB Matt Jones:
    “We’ll have to wait and see how he does when we return from the bye. He’s going to get treatment these next four or five days and then when we come back to practice, he’ll practice, hopefully with the team. Then we’ll make that determination of how good he’s doing. But Robert Kelley I thought ran hard. He ran physical and made some nice runs. I think he pre-determined a couple cuts here and there, maybe didn’t let the play develop a little bit like we would like, but I think for the most part I was happy the way he ran. He ran physical and he ran hard. I think he had 21 carries for 85 yards, or something like that, 87 yards. That’s a pretty darn good first day for the guy as far as being a lead-down back. I like what I saw in Robert, but it’s not out of the possibility that Matt Jones could come back in here and get some of those reps back.”

    On if he’s considered mixing and matching running backs throughout the season:
    “Yeah, I’ve thought about it. I think these guys have all proven that they can carry the ball. To say that one is so much better than the others – if we had a clear-cut, No. 1 guy, it would be different. But we have a couple guys that are worthy of getting the ball. I think if Mack Brown continues to keep working in practice, I might try to get him some carries. I think we have four really good backs. It’s just a matter of you only have one ball. We have five, six, seven really good receivers and tight ends and we just have to distribute the ball properly and try to keep everybody off-balance with our running game and passing game.”

    On the third down defense:
    “Yeah, no question that’s something we’ll look at. The red zone offense, the third down defense, red zone defense – that’s something that we always look at. We’re really trying to focus in on situational football – whether it’s goal line, red zone, short yardage, four-minute – all those that come up in a game and are crucial in the outcome. Those are big time. So we’re definitely going to look at third down defense and red zone offense, and third down offense, for that matter.”

    On the defense:
    “I’ll tell you, they’re playing hard. You know, just watching the game you can see that they’re playing extremely hard. There’s some things we can clean up, you know. I think Will Blackmon getting hurt a little bit and Duke [Ihenacho] getting hurt a little bit put us in a little bind at safety, but they continue to compete. Will Compton played his butt off. The defensive line is running to the ball, outside linebackers were running. So I’m happy with the effort we’re getting. We’ve just got to try to figure out ways to make some more plays. We got the one interception and the one fumble, which were big time, but we’ve got to try to continue to figure out ways to get the ball back to the offense.”

    On if there’s anything he regrets from last week:
    “You know, I don’t know. I thought the decisions you always go back and look at probably or, you know, at the end in overtime. We had second down and four. You know, the issue that we had, Morgan Moses was out. We were out of some of our big packages as far as using [Ty] Nsekhe as an extra tight end and Niles Paul was out also. So we only had two healthy tight ends – Vernon [Davis] and Jordan [Reed] – and Nskehe had to play right tackle so we were kind of short as far as big bodies were concerned. So that’s kind of why I decided to center the ball and give [Dustin] Hopkins the extra point-type kick, and thought we’d get out of there with a win. I still think that was the right call. But other than that, I think we used our timeouts properly in both the first half and second half, and overtime, and there weren’t any really challenges that I could’ve done or done differently. I just think we just came away with a tie. But we’re going to look at everything we did from play callers, offense, and defense and special teams and see what we can do different. But nothing really glaring that I have regrets about. I regret tying, but nothing as far as decisions.”

    On TE Niles Paul:
    “Well, he’s going to get an MRI. We’re waiting on the MRI results right now. So we’ll wait and see how that is. He’s got a shoulder strain and we’re going to figure out the extent of it here shortly.”

    On other injury updates:
    “Will Blackmon’s going to have surgery on his thumb. Hopefully we’ll get him back in action. They can cast it up and hopefully he’ll play. DeSean [Jackson] just came out of the game. He was just a little sore. He already had the shoulder, he had the tight hamstring, and then he got hit again on the head. It wasn’t a concussion but he was just banged up – his whole body was banged up so he didn’t go back in. But I think he’ll be OK. And I think that’s about it.”

    On T Morgan Moses:
    “He has an ankle sprain and he’ll be day-to-day when he gets back.”

    On if he is concerned about CB Josh Norman being targeted by officials moving forward:
    “Well, he can’t be any more targeted than he was yesterday, that’s for sure. Josh is his own man and he really speaks his mind and he just felt strongly about the way he felt and he put it out there. So he was frustrated after the game. It’s one thing to have one or two calls but he had quite a few on him that were, you know, that could have gone either way quite frankly. But it’s going to be hard to put a filter on Josh. He’s very passionate about the game. He’s a great player, I love his energy, I love what he brings to this football team. He’s one of the greatest competitors on this team that I’ve seen in a long time and I will not take that away from him. So, he’s just going to continue to go out there and compete. As far as him being targeted, he probably is a little bit but he’s going to have to deal with it and work on his hand placement and just continue to work and get better and better, but he’s a great player and I love his passion.”

    On if he spoke about targeting in reference to officials rather than opponents:
    “[Laughter] Yeah, I think everybody knows where he is. He’s such a high profile player and he plays so hard and he’s always up there in bump-and-run, playing physical with the receivers, so I think they keep a close eye on him and his matchup. But, you know, I think some of the great corners had to go through that a little bit. I think [Darrelle] Revis probably has in his career and it just goes with the territory. When you’re a great player, people keep a closer eye on you.”

    On his surprises and disappointments at the halfway point of the season:
    “Oh, boy. You know, I think being 4-3-1, I think we have all of our goals still in sight which is good, but we’re obviously disappointed not being at the top of our division right now. That’s probably the most negative thing is where we are in the division. You know, being at 4-3-1, if you told me before the season we are 4-3-1 after eight games and [would] be in last place, I’d say you’re crazy. But, you know, that’s a little disappointing. Positives, I like the effort we’re playing with. I think we’re getting better and better. Our offense is playing pretty well right now. Obviously the red zone things are something we have to correct. We have to finish drives and figure out ways…We have too many weapons and too many good players not to convert drives into touchdowns and that’s something that we’ll address. But other than that, I am not disappointed at all in any player or any way that we are playing, but we just have to tie up some things, tie up some loose ends here, correct some coachable things and get ready for the second half.”




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  2. #2
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    It's not that the Redskins are 4-3-1. If we had had a really brutal opening schedule of games that record might actually be a springboard for a better second half.

    The problem comes in that we have faced a collection of teams that for the most part are similar to the Redskins in talent, with a couple that are less so.

    And we have found a way to lose 2 very close games and tie another when we had a better than average chance of winning.

    But we didn't come through in any of these games.

    And now the schedule gets more difficult with some of our better players way under 100% like Trent, Josh Norman, Moses, Jackson, Breeland, etc.
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  3. #3
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    Not a problem with the early schedule, but after the bye we have Minnesota, Green Bay, Brokebacks and Cards as the next four, then we finish with Eagles, Panthers, Bears and Giants.

    We could feasibly go 1-3 over the next month, then repeat again, so we end up 6-9-1 for the year. However, I think the best we can do, now, is 8-7-1.
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    Why should I get out of bed at 4am just to watch us lose?

  4. #4
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    Redskins have to run the table. No ifs ands or buts about it. Time for Kirk to hit on those long passes he has overthrown all year long. That's all it takes to run the table, hit on a few long plays, no need to dominate.
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  5. #5
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    Cousins is throwing for yards but not TDs.

    It's the latter that quarterbacks get paid elite money for.

    In my mind we have to see improvement from Kirk over the last half of the season in order to sit down and give him a long-term contract.

    He has to show that he is better than a guy who produces when everything else is going well.

    HE needs to be the difference in some wins.

    Whether that means taking some more chances inside the 20 to score TDs by going into the end zone or using his legs and mobility to extend plays on a more regular basis, he has to show us more.

    For all those people that say we HAVE to sign Kirk because otherwise we will end up in the abyss, I present to you Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson, and other quarterbacks taken in the draft that came in and played right away.
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