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  1. #1

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    Default Skins Quotes 7/28/17: Jay Gruden


    July 28, 2017

    Head Coach Jay Gruden

    On mixing and matching the defensive line:
    “Well, hopefully there’s a method for Coach [Jim] Tomsula’s madness right now. We’re in day one, day two, we haven’t even put on pads yet so we're giving everybody the opportunity. That’s what it’s all about. We’re trying to find the right pieces in the right places — I had mentioned that yesterday — and it’s going to be a process. We have a long time to get it done and get a good look at all these guys with ones, with twos, at three [technique], five [technique], shade. We’ve got a lot of good pieces. We just have got to figure out the right ones.”

    On DL Joey Mbu:
    “You know, Joey, we had him last year on the practice squad and he did some good things. We liked his progression, we’ve liked what he’s done in the weight room, and then we’ve liked how it translated on the field when Coach [Greg] Manusky and Coach Tomsula got here. He’s done a good job. Now, as all defensive linemen, it’s all going to become a matter of how they do when the pads get on and we start doing some drills – some inside drills, all that good stuff, see how they get off blocks – and then obviously the preseason games.”

    On CB Josh Norman’s demeanor this season as compared to last year:
    “I think last year he was trying to find his way as a leader. I think he wanted to be accepted and he wanted to play very well to prove his worth, and I think he’s done that. I think he’s more comfortable in his role as a leader and as one of the best players on our football team. He’s got a great attitude, great work ethic, and he’s a great competitor and that rubs off on a lot of people. It’s a joy to have him. His competitiveness we want to rub off and we want everybody to be as competitive as Josh. He talks about it all the time and how he wants to get better and how he wants to challenge himself. He wants to go against the best players in practice, he wants to take more reps and more reps. He’s just one of the best that I’ve been around.”

    On the inside linebacker rotation with Will Compton, Mason Foster and Zach Brown:
    “And [Martrell] Spaight too. Spaight’s done a good job, and [Zach] Vigil and we’ve got a couple other guys. Josh Harvey-Clemons is also working in the mix in some dime linebacker roles. H e’s doing a good job. Again, it’s so early in camp for us to finalize any ‘You’re the one, you’re the two’ with a couple exceptions, guys like Josh Norman, [D.J.] Swearinger, guys that are obviously penciled in as No. 1 guys. But the rest of them, we want to have good competition. At the end of the day, we are going to play the best players whether they’ve been here a couple years or are free agents or rookies, it doesn’t matter we are going to give them all opportunities.”
    On how much more defensive linemen rotate in today’s game:
    “A lot more. There’s so many different packages nowadays that it’s really hard to figure the starter. You know, ‘You’re the starter but you’re going to play the first two plays and then you’re going to be out for the next guy.’ They rotate a lot and they are big bodies. We want those guys to have energy, and nowadays there’s very few guys that can play every down as a defensive lineman, especially on interior. You’ve got your nickel packages, you’ve got your sub packages, you’ve got your odd packages, there’s so many different packages that guys will be guys rotating. That’s why it’s important to have a lot of them and we do.”

    On what about Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky’s system fits Norman so well:
    “I think he has more ability to have eyes on the quarterback in this system – just a little bit – and I think that’s his forte. When he can see the ball and see the quarterback and feel the route concept, he has a great knack for getting his hands on balls and getting interceptions. You know, when he is locked up man-to-man, he is good at that too, it’s just hard because quarterbacks can work elsewhere. He can come off on a different receiver, make plays and do some great things when he can see the ball and see the quarterback.”

    On what he wants to see from LB Preston Smith:
    “I think steady improvement. I think he is getting bigger and stronger. He had a good day yesterday and he looks like he’s worked hard in the offseason which is a big plus. Again, Preston and Junior [Galette], and Ryan [Kerrigan] and Trent [Murphy] obviously – although he’s going to miss four games – with the addition of Ryan [Anderson] and Lynden Trail’s done some good things… So we have got good stable of outside linebackers there that we hope can all benefit from the competition but also from experience that they have in the system.”
    On what Smith needs to do to finish plays:
    “Well, we have to have better coverage down the field for him. There’s sometimes that the ball was out so fast that he does not have the opportunity. Other times, like you said, he did come close, just couldn’t quite get there. But we like where he is. I think he’s going to get better and better. He’s still young and I think we can move him around a little bit on the defensive line too and it’ll help on third down, maybe put him on the inside over the center or over the guard from time to time, try to let him to move around because he can also drop in space. He’s a great athlete. He’s a good benefit for us because he’s very versatile.”

    On how S D.J. Swearinger is handling his leadership role in the defensive backfield:
    “Great. Great. I've been probably most impressed with D.J. as anybody so far throughout the process of these… OTAs and mandatory camps and the first day here. He has a great understanding of defense and how to play it. Route concepts already you can see him understanding how to play them. He's been fun to watch. He's great in the running game too. I think the experiences that he's had both good and bad has been a big benefit. He told me today that he's benefited from the four or five position coaches that he's had. He's had a lot of them. He's learned a lot from each and every one of them, he's learned a lot from the veterans that he's played with. He's come a very long way from when he first came into the league as far as his steady improvement. That's what drew us to him as an organization to try to go out and get him because of the great improvements and strides that he's made.”

    On RB Rob Kelley saying he’s added muscle but lost weight:
    “I think all these guys… You know, when they’re rookies coming in and he went to Tulane… If you spend a year in the weight room here with Chad [Englehart], you’re going to gain muscle and lose weight and I think a lot of these rookies will go through that. Samaje [Perine] may not, he’s kind of rocked up already, but for the most part, most of them will come in and then they’ll gain muscle mass and lose weight. That’s the whole intent of being in a pro football organization. Rob is just one of the guys that are benefiting from that – the process of lifting weights and having a schedule.”
    On if he sees a difference in WR Josh Doctson’s attitude now that he is healthy:
    “Josh is really quiet, man. He’s a quiet assassin. He doesn’t say a whole lot so it’s hard to really gauge how he’s feeling and all that stuff. I have to ask him all the time, ‘You feeling OK?’ But he seems like he’s doing OK. He’s running routes very crisp. He’s in and out of his breaks effortlessly. He’s got big strong hands. So it’s like I said before with a lot of these guys, Junior [Galette] and Josh, we have got to put day in and day out, day after day after day together and see how they do, but I’ve been impressed with them, always have been.”

    On if he had to tell Doctson not to get frustrated last year:
    “Yeah, I think, well, that's the whole part of it. You know, you can't control injuries, you never can. I think the big thing is you have to be patient in your recovery and do what the trainers tell you. The odd thing with him is, we couldn't really put a finger on what it was and how to get it better. We just figured it had to be rest. I mean, we put him in a boot for a little while to get him some rest, I think ultimately that was the best decision to just get him off of it, put him in a boot, and get him ready for this year and we did.”

    On Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick’s comments that it’s difficult to evaluate players this early in camp:
    “Yeah, when you come back from summer, these guys have been off for a while. One, you’ve got to make sure they're in decent condition. We had the simple conditioning test. Then you're going back and you're installing plays from the beginning and just putting your system in and then going out and trying to execute the plays. But you're right, he's right. Judgements can't be made in shorts after the first couple days. You know, you have to put a process of days together and see how they do in pads after they have a good day or a bad day, see how they recover, see how they bounce back, see how they learn new plays, see how they put it all together, see who the most consistent players are, see who the toughest players are - mentally and physically. Then you make your decisions. But asking after a day like this who our starting linebacker is, who our starting defensive line is, you know, I'm just being nice [laughter].”

    On CB Bashaud Breeland:
    “He had an IV yesterday and we’ll play it by ear but I think he’ll be OK today.”

    On players who don’t fit in a positional box and how to tailor a system to them to fit their skills, particularly as it pertains to S Su’a Cravens:
    “That’s a good question. I think that happens offensively to certain players too around the league. But Su’a came in as an oddball outside linebacker-type guy. He wasn’t really a safety, wasn’t really an outside linebacker, he was a nickel kind of a move-around type guy so we brought him in here and we thought we’d put him in as the dime linebacker on third down and cover tight ends and cover running backs and blitz and let him learn the game from the inside out. This year, we thought we’d move him to safety, obviously, and see how he can learn it now that he knows the system and where people are supposed to be. So we’re trying to put him at safety and give him some different packages that are very similar to what he played at USC also and let him do a lot of different things. It’s all going to come down to how much he can handle mentally. Su’a is a bright guy and I think he can handle a lot, but that’s what these practices are for to try to put him in different situations and let him be effective in his role because he’s a very effective guy out in space covering. He’s a great blitzer. He can play the box and play the run, so it’s like, what do you do with him consistently? I think the best thing about him is you can move him around and do different things with him. That’s what we’ve got to figure out.”




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    Last edited by Boone; 07-28-17 at 11:51 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I still think this team is going to make a move for another veteran defensive linemen before the summer is over.

    We really don't know what we have yet in Phil Taylor, Terrell McClain, etc. - whether these guys are starters or rotational guys/backups, etc.

    As a rookie I expect Jonathan Allen to be a guy that gets 30 snaps or so the first few games before getting the green light to start.

    So for those first few weeks we may need a veteran guy who can come in and play from Day 1.

    Not a star, not a guy that is going to be a 16 game starter, but a 31-32 year old DL that gets cut loose due to the development of younger players on the team who has some gas left as a spot starter and very solid rotation guy.

    Even though he took a pay cut, if it were me I would still be looking to unload DeAngelo Hall's un-guaranteed $2M salary for 2017.

    It also appears Brian Quick may be in some trouble with this staff from the OTAs in terms of making the roster, so that's another $850,000.

    We can use that money to sign a veteran when the time comes.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog's Twin View Post
    So for those first few weeks we may need a veteran guy who can come in and play from Day 1.
    Cullen Jenkins comin back ?
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  4. #4
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    @BT- Hall is on the PUP. So, if they need him he's there, if he isn't needed right away they can keep him there or release, I suspect that's Washington's rational and he's there during camp as an adviser. I can really see Hall as a guy who can step into a position coaching gig whenever he hangs up the cleats. His money you can play with after Week 1 if you want an ancient DL guy or any other vet for that matter in whatever position.

    At the moment - they don't need that vet DL guy, let's wait and see what develops during camp. Not too concerned about 'missing out' on a 32+ year old DL before the season starts. For what they payed (about $17M in dead money right now) McClain & McGee - they ain't missing the roster other than injury. Worst case - they are both backups - and you still don't need that old guy. Lower guys on the depth chart would be released anyway to makeup for the $$$ if you did want a vet minimum guy.
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