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  1. #1

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    Default Skins Quotes 12/12/16: Jay Gruden

    December 12, 2016

    Head Coach Jay Gruden

    On the injury report:
    “[Will] Compton has a PCL sprain; he’ll be no surgery. He’ll be week-to-week, day-to-day. [Su’a] Cravens has a moderate elbow flexor, he’ll be day-to-day, week-to-week. It’s a brachialis strain, actually, whatever that means. And then [Mack] Brown is in the concussion protocol.”

    On if he can ‘shed any light’ on if the injured players will play Monday night:
    “No, I can’t. Wish I could.”

    On if any of the players will be placed on the Reserve/Injured list:
    “No.”

    On the defensive performance:
    “I think they played good when it mattered and that’s important. You know, there’s big-time plays in that game and we made some. We had a coverage FUBAR on the touchdown to [Darren] Sproles but for the most part I think our guys were sound in what they did. Eagles did some good things offensively. [Zach] Ertz had a big game. Carson Wentz is a good, young football player who made some great throws. But overall our defense hung in there, stuck with the plan and made plays when they had to.”

    On if he will have a variety of players assume Cravens’ role if he is out Monday:
    “Yeah, mainly Mason [Foster] took over, played a lot of that role there and he did a great job. Mason played a lot of snaps yesterday and didn’t wear down. I was happy for his performance. We still have obviously [Terence] Garvin on our roster, hasn’t gotten much play but that could increase here [in] the next couple of weeks. We’ll have to get him ready to go.”

    On Cravens’ injury:
    “I got elbow flexor in parentheses right here, yeah… You can Google that one.”

    On if he was relieved that Cravens’ injury wasn’t as severe as perhaps initially expected:
    “Yeah, yeah. Initially with the lack of mobility that he had after the game, we were very concerned but we got basically good news on the MRI. Now it’s just a matter of him getting his strength and movement back and I don’t know how long that could take. It could be a couple of days, could be a couple of weeks. We’re not sure yet.”

    On what role LB Martrell Spaight could potentially fill given LB Will Compton’s injury:
    “Yeah, he could be our starting middle linebacker. He did do well when he came in for Compton. He made a couple big-time plays. The screen that they caught on third-down-and-15, we tackled them for a gain of 12 or 13 – he got cut on the play, got up and made a heck-of-a play that was a touchdown-saving tackle, quite frankly. He did some good things, and I think once he got comfortable back in the role, he did well.”

    On if Spaight would potentially share the Mike linebacker role with Mason Foster:
    “No, I think he would be fine at middle linebacker making the calls.”

    On how he sees members of the secondary being used in the coming weeks:
    “I think I like using them all, really. I think [Quinton] Dunbar had the pass interference play, which was unfortunate, just a little too early. But for the most part, he did some good things coverage-wise. [Greg] Toler, when he came in there, he did what he was asked to do and did well. And then [Bashaud] Breeland playing the nickel, did some good things last week/yesterday. I think those guys are all very multiple and can do a lot of different things – Breeland especially. He’s actually played some safety for us, he’s played nickel, he’s played corner – [it’s] just a matter of who we play and how we decide to use them.”

    On G Arie Kouandjio’s performance:
    “He did good, he did good. I think in pass protection he was solid. We didn’t have many opportunities, really. We only had the ball for like, 43 plays. But for the most part he was solid in there and competed and did well.”

    On if there is an injury update for G Shawn Lauvao:
    “Same. He’ll be day-to-day with his groin.”

    On S Deshazor Everett’s enthusiasm:
    “He had the two penalties – the first one I really didn’t think was a penalty, but the second one obviously was a penalty. He just mistimed it. He wasn’t trying to injure Darren [Sproles], and that’s an unfortunate deal. He was apologetic about it. But I love his energy. He plays hard, he plays fast. Special teams, he has made his mark. He got an opportunity to play at safety and cover the tight end and made a big interception for us. Hopefully that role will continue to expand a little bit because he is fast and he can hit and he’s showed that he can cover.”

    On if he has heard anything about potential disciplinary action for Everett:
    “I have not heard anything from the league. I imagine he’ll get fined, but I don’t know. I can’t even guess what’s going to happen. But it was not intentional by any stretch and hopefully not a suspension.”

    On coping with close, high-stress games:
    “Well, we’re used to them now. It’s kind of what we expect. It wouldn’t be right if it was a blowout. I think with the parity in the NFL the way it is, it’s just what we expect. We keep grinding it out, we make some plays, we give up some plays, but we know come fourth quarter is when you have to make the plays. Defensively, we’ve made some big-time plays getting off the field and getting the ball back for our offense. Obviously, offensively we did some good things other than the pick-six. We just have got to stick with the plan, stay poised, and our guys really understand that it is truly a four-quarter game in this league.”

    On if the lack of possessions affected the offense:
    “The offense? Well, yeah. If you’re not on the field, you can’t do much. A little bit, I think we weren’t as good on third down as we have been in the past, and I think that hurt us a little bit as far as possession time. But obviously with them controlling the clock for the most part, it hurt our ability to make some plays. Maybe we were stressing a little bit more once we got out there, but it’s just the way it played out.”

    On the consistency of WR Pierre Garçon:
    “Yeah, I think he is our most consistent player, quite frankly. The way he practices also, he practices exactly like he plays and it’s great for the young guys to see that, a veteran-type guy like that with a talent that he has work as hard as he does on the practice field. And it carries over to the game because all the routes are the same and Kirk [Cousins] is very comfortable to throw to him because he knows how he’s going run them because he runs them every day the same. But, you know, the fourth-and-two play was huge, getting the separation that he got and the tight throw by Kirk and the great catch, strong hands. The touchdown reception was big. But he’s getting a lot of different route cuts and he’s taking advantage of them.”

    On the touchdown run by RB Chris Thompson and if he should have done anything differently:
    “After looking at it… A couple ways of looking at it – you could have gone down there, taken a knee at the one, taken a knee, taken a knee and then try to run it in on third down and if not kick a field goal to win it, but like I said, we were at the 25-yard line and we were behind and I think we didn’t anticipate that hole being that big. But I’m happy with the decision that he made to score. I’m happy with the fact that we relied on our defense to win the game and they did.”

    On if there was a defensive miscommunication on the Eagles’ first touchdown:
    “The one to [Darren] Sproles? Yeah, yeah. Preston [Smith] didn’t get out there on the No. 2 guy so he saw that he was uncovered… It was actually pretty good heads-up play by [Bashaud] Breeland to see the guy was uncovered. He tried to pick up the slack for him and [Carson] Wentz did a great job of seeing him and throwing it to Sproles behind him.”

    On the play of CB Bashaud Breeland:
    “I thought he played with good energy, man. He made some good, physical tackles and did good in coverage. He lost coverage a couple times, gave up some catches but for the most part he did good. I think there are some things we can clean up, especially with his hands, but I like the way he can adapt to a new position with ease. We’ve asked him to play safety, we’ve asked him to play corner, flipsides and now we’re asking him to play nickel and he’s a very valuable player for this football team because of his flexibility.”

    On how the team will take advantage of the extra rest day before Monday Night Football:
    “Well, give them another day off, you know, get some rest. It’s this time of year where we are banged up. You saw our injury report last week and it’ll probably be similar this week. We’ve got a lot of guys banged up, so an extra day of healing will be great and just try to get ready. It is a huge game for us again. Carolina is the defending NFC Champions with obviously Cam Newton, awesome players, so we got a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a great challenge for us but hopefully we’ll get our guys healthy, No. 1, and then No. 2, get a good week of preparation.”

    On if they are already preparing for the Chicago Bears for the upcoming short week:
    “No, no. We’re going to focus on Carolina. Chicago doesn’t matter right now. We’ve got to put all of our eggs in Carolina’s basket right now and do the best we can.”

    On looking at the playoff race:
    “We understand that we’re right in the mix. We do know that, but we also know that one slip up and you’ll be a game-and-a-half, possibly, back. It’s just up to us to take care of what we can take care of – that’s Carolina right now. We’ll let the chips fall where they may.”




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  2. #2
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    On if Spaight would potentially share the Mike linebacker role with Mason Foster:
    “No, I think he would be fine at middle linebacker making the calls.”
    I may not understand this quite right but it sounds like he is saying that Spaight would completely displace Foster. Considering that Martell plays against the pass better than Foster & Compton combined, I hope he'd be the starter over Foster. It's been obvious all season Skins can't cover anyone in that 5 to 10 yard area past the line of scrimmage.

    Nothing against Toler but expecting him (180 lbs soaking wet) to be able play the nickle and pick up a TE is poor coaching. Overall player wise, they really aren't well suited to play that formation as much they do. Some young CB's (which is mostly what they have anyway) that might grow into that spot (and Breeland ain't that Nickle guy) but they'd be better off with Blackmon/Cravens in that spot or not use it so much. Maybe if they stayed out of the nickle so often they'd be better against the run?

    On the touchdown run by RB Chris Thompson and if he should have done anything differently:
    “After looking at it… A couple ways of looking at it – you could have gone down there, taken a knee at the one, taken a knee, taken a knee and then try to run it in on third down and if not kick a field goal to win it...
    Run 25 yards - then stop before the goal line - then hope you can run down the clock and hopefully settle for a FG (at worst) with a kicker who hasn't been the most reliable recently (including an earlier miss) - while your behind. Just may be the stupidest thing I've ever heard from Jay, I hope he was joking. If your behind you take all the points you can get. It's up to the D to hold. If they don't, that's on the D. Offense scores, Defense stops scores.
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  3. #3
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    The taking the knee thing was wholly generated by the media as it happened.

    While it is a viable option to run the clock, Jay said right after the game that he wouldn't ask his RB to do that but considering the option wouldn't be bad either.

    As he said, he was happy with the score and putting it on the D to finish the game.
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    "Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting." ~ Joyce Meyer

  4. #4

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    That kind of decision can look like genius or utter stupidity depending on the outcome. Most coaches are going to want points regardless of the situation. Let's not beat on Gruden for answering a specific question posed ...


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  5. #5
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    After looking at it… A couple ways of looking at it – you could have gone down there, taken a knee at the one, taken a knee, taken a knee and then try to run it in on third down and if not kick a field goal to win it, but like I said, we were at the 25-yard line and we were behind and I think we didn’t anticipate that hole being that big. But I’m happy with the decision that he made to score. I’m happy with the fact that we relied on our defense to win the game and they did.
    I'm happy with how the game ended too. That Defensive Stand was a critical (& necessary) shot of confidence for them. Taking a knee would've prevented Jay from demonstrating his confidence in The Defense when it mattered most. I know everyone's bearish on The D, but if we're going to make noise in The Playoffs, their contribution to that end is imperative.
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