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  1. #1

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    Default Skins Quotes 12/26/16: Jay Gruden

    December 26, 2016

    Head Coach Jay Gruden

    On the injury report:
    “After the game, we have got [Donte] Whitner with a quad strain. Spencer Long has an ankle sprain. Those guys will be day-to-day. [Quinton] Dunbar will still be in [concussion] protocol. [Jordan] Reed will be day-to-day with his shoulder. DeSean [Jackson], jaw, day-to-day. Rob Kelley had an MRI on his knee to get it checked out; he should be day-to-day. [Trent] Murphy, foot, day-to-day; and [Su’a] Cravens hopefully will get a little more work in, but we’ll see how he does.”

    On if his plan for the week will change based on the outcome of the Dallas/Detroit game tonight:
    “No, it shouldn’t change at all. We still have to worry about what we do. I’ve tried to preach all along that you can only control what you can control, and that’s how we play against the Giants. Hopefully things fall in our favor, but regardless, we have to prepare for the New York Giants.”

    On RB Robert Kelley’s injury:
    “He should be OK. He’s a little sore. We’ll take it slow and he probably won’t do much this week. Hopefully we’ll get him up-and-running Thursday or Friday.”

    On if they have to test TE Jordan Reed in practice this week or if he could just play given the stakes:
    “Yeah, that’s a good question. That’s something that we’ll have to determine with our trainers and Jordan to see where he’s at come Wednesday. Tomorrow will just be a walkthrough, anyway. We’re just going to tie up the loose ends from the game on Saturday and then introduce the Giants and then have a walkthrough. Wednesday will be a big day for him.”

    On what he makes of this season so far:
    “Interesting, that’s for sure. It’s been fun coaching these guys. We’ve had our ups and downs, for sure. We’ve handled adversity. We’ve played really well at times, and not played well at times. It’s kind of been like our own mini roller coaster ride, to be honest with you. But, I like where we are. We have a chance in the final game of the season – that’s something to be said in a positive way. We just have got to keep grinding and try to finish a little bit better than we did last year at 9-6-1 and 4-2 in the division, which would be good. We have a lot to play for [and] guys are competing and playing until the end. That’s what I like.”

    On how a postseason berth would change his outlook of the season:
    “We obviously wouldn’t think of it as a successful season unless we get in the playoffs, that’s for sure. That’s our goal coming into the season. We went to the playoffs a year ago, and had every intention of trying to win the division and go back to the playoffs. Obviously the Cowboys played very, very good football for 16 games, and they deserve to be where they are, but we’re still trying to get in there. I think anytime you don’t make the playoffs – regardless of your record – it’s a little bit of a disappointment. We have a good team, we have good players, and we feel like we should be in there. But we still have work to do and it’s not over yet.”

    On if Su’a Cravens would return as a linebacker or safety this season:
    “Well, we’re probably going to put him… Well, depending on [Donte] Whitner – if Whitner is out, then we’ll probably put him at safety when he gets back.”

    On if there is something different about this group of players that makes it enjoyable to coach:
    “[Laughter] Well, I’m not going to say I don’t enjoy it… I think they come to work every day and they work hard, number one. They’ve stayed together. It’s a tough market here, without a doubt. It would be very easy to have your team drift apart in some tough times that we’ve had with the media after them and some of the negative publicity. But these guys have stayed together. They’ve had each other’s backs – which I really, really like – and they just come to work every day and practice and play hard. There’s not much more I could ask.”

    On his confidence in Cravens at safety:
    “That’s something we’ll have to wait and see. We have got to get him healthy first – it’s a moot point if he doesn’t get healthy. We have got to wait and see how he’s doing tomorrow, see if he has got more mobility in that arm. We’ll just take it day-by-day and see how he’s doing and then try to see where he is mentally. We know he can play dime linebacker, which is good, so we have a spot for him there. But we would like to see what he can do at safety – see how much he can learn and see where he is from a mental standpoint.”

    On WR DeSean Jackson’s injury and his performance prior to it:
    “First half, really, I think we found some holes in the zones, and Kirk [Cousins] made some great throws. He made a great catch on a crossing route where he took a hit from the safety, and then he made some good runs after the catch. He caught the crossing route and then broke it for, I think, a 60-yard gain. I think he was beating man and he was beating zone. It was good to see him run around like that. And then his jaw – I think it’s a bruised jaw and hopefully he can go. Maybe it will quiet him down for a week [laughter]. But I think he’ll be OK with a hurt jaw, but we’ll see. I don’t know the severity of it – we’ll see him tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be fine.”

    On how much he has grown as a head coach:
    “I’ve grown a lot. I think every year you get better as a coach when you get to know your players – number one – the people you work with, number two. Very, very important in delegating the responsibilities to guys you trust and watching them perform and watching them get better. The coaches have gotten better, and obviously the players that have been here have gotten better. You add the new draft picks, the young players, the free agents – it’s just been fun to watch them grow within the program. That’s I think what’s going to make us successful for a long time is keeping our young players here in-house, working them in the weight room, developing their mind in the system, and just watching them get better.”

    On Kelley’s availability if the game had been closer and the play of RB Mack Brown in his absence:
    “I think he could’ve kept going. He wanted to keep going but I wanted to see Mack Brown and I wanted to make sure that he got some touches in case this thing was a significant injury. You know, we don’t know. Robert is a tough guy. He didn’t want to come out at all but you could see he was in some pain, so I wanted to get Mack Brown some touches, see where he was so if we needed to use him in a big way Sunday he would be ready to go. So I think we saw what he can do, the confidence that he has in the line and seeing holes, so we feel good about those two guys and obviously Chris Thompson.”

    On the team being able to stick together through adversity:
    “I think we have strong leadership, really. You know, it starts with the quarterback, obviously. Kirk [Cousins] has done a great job of leading them, Will Compton on defense, you know, Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, we have strong leadership in the building and that carries over to the young people. So it’s been fun to watch these guys. Offensive line has stuck together. We’ve been fairly healthy there, which helps a lot, but for the most part I think it starts from the top from your strong leadership, leader-type players and it trickles down to the young guys and they all perform and play hard.”

    On if players have stepped into leadership roles when other leaders have departed:
    “They have, they have. We’ve had a lot of guys step up, young players, too, for that matter, you know? It’s a good group, really, and, like I said, it starts with leaders – big leaders, big-time leaders – but really when you go out and you draft and you bring people in here… Scot [McCloughan] has done an excellent job of bringing the right type of people in here that all work hard, even the veteran guys like you bring in a Donte Whitner early in the season, you know, he’s been an excellent guy to work with and work with and some of the other guys we brought in late… Just overall it’s been a good group.”

    On which younger players have stepped into leadership roles:
    “Oh, shoot. You know, a lot of them, really. You know, I think Jordan Reed has gotten more and more of a leadership-type guy. I think defensively you look at guys like Trent Murphy and [Bashaud] Breeland and Josh Norman obviously coming in here has been a big-time help, so a lot of these guys that have just come in here and bought into the system and just come in here and prepare and we’ve had some issues here and there, but for the most part, they get worked out before we go onto the practice field and before we play a game.”

    On what LB Preston Smith did differently on Saturday:
    “You know, he’s shown the ability to do that, take over games. I think it started with the blocked extra point or the blocked field goal. You know, he got through there, got a little bit of pizazz in him and a little bit of energy, I guess, so to speak, and he just felt it, you know? Sometimes the confidence is brewing, he got good jumps on the snap count, was using his hands extremely well, was getting pressure, which is good to see. And that’s what we expect from Preston and he’ll be the first one to tell you – I’ve been on him. Every snap I’ve been on that poor kid [laughter].”

    On not knowing which Giants will play this week:
    “Well, you only dress 46 guys, right? So they’re going to have to play somebody. And… the reason why they are where they are – they’re [10-5] – is because they not only have good starters, they have good depth. So whoever they put out there, they’re going to have good players out there. They’re going to compete and try to win the game. So we have to obviously get ourselves ready to go. We don’t worry about who’s out there, we’ve just got to worry about what we do and prepare and perform to the best of our capabilities.”

    On if he has reached out to Dallas to encourage them to play their starters tonight:
    “[Laughter] Yeah, no. It’s hard to root for Dallas [laughter]. But, no, like I said, it’s fun to watch until the bitter end and see what happens. But we’ll see what happens. I know if Dallas ends up slipping tonight against Detroit, then Detroit has to beat Green Bay, so we’d still have a chance. Regardless of what happens, we have got to take care of the Giants and then when the dust settles, we’ll see where we are.”




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  2. #2
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    It may be because I've been so busy at work this year, but what issues is Jay alluding to here? Is everyone else left wondering what he's talking about, or is it obvious to everyone except me?

    (emphasis mine below)
    Quote Originally Posted by Grudy
    On which younger players have stepped into leadership roles:
    “Oh, shoot. You know, a lot of them, really. You know, I think Jordan Reed has gotten more and more of a leadership-type guy. I think defensively you look at guys like Trent Murphy and [Bashaud] Breeland and Josh Norman obviously coming in here has been a big-time help, so a lot of these guys that have just come in here and bought into the system and just come in here and prepare and we’ve had some issues here and there, but for the most part, they get worked out before we go onto the practice field and before we play a game.”
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