August 23, 2017

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On TE Jordan Reed:
“He did good. He did everything today. We’re easing him into the lineup. He did some good things in the passing game, we put him in the running game a little bit – did good. He looks well.”

On if any other injured players returned:
“Junior Galette came back. That was the only other one.”

On the run game:
“You know, I’ve said this before, when the run game doesn’t work, it’s not one guy. Sometimes it’s tight end, sometimes it’s a tackle, sometimes it’s a back, sometimes it’s the center. So, we’ve just got to get everybody on the same page. You’ve got to be in unison. All six, seven, eight, nine, 10 guys have got to be in unison and we just haven’t been right when the ones are in there. Rob Kelley hasn’t gotten many good looks. Other guys came in there, we got [Samaje] Perine some good looks and he had some good hits. We’ve just got to keep at it. It’s all about practice and working at it and getting better.”

On if there’s a chance Reed might play Sunday:

On how important it would be for Reed to play again before Week 1:
“Well, it’s important. It’s not critical, but it’s important. I’d like to get him back out there and get in the running game a little bit, get involved and obviously catch a couple passes. But, if he’s not feeling up to it at that time on Sunday afternoon, then so be it. I think Jordan’s the type of guy that has missed time before and come back and not missed a beat. He’s just one of those freakish guys that has the luxury of doing that. Not many other people can do that. Still, you’d still like a player to get some involvement in a game before you play a real one.”

On C Chase Roullier:
“He took [reps with the] ones today and did a good job. Ronald Patrick’s getting more work also, so we have two centers. Probably would like to get another one eventually depending on how long Spencer [Long] is going to be out, but we’re hopeful that he’ll return Week 1. But, we’ll see.”

On how he would describe what LB Junior Galette was able to do at practice today:
“I would say he went, he did some team exercises. He did all the individuals. He did some team stuff, not a lot, but he just wanted to get in there and get his feet wet and see how he felt. He felt pretty good.”

On his confidence when Reed is on the field:
“Yeah, he is a critical part of our offense. We know that, so it is a comfort level when he’s in there.

There’s a lot of things that he can do that not many people can do at the tight end position. It’s all on tape. So, it’s good to have him back, but guys have done very well in his absence out here at practice – Niles Paul and Vernon [Davis]. Derek Carrier’s done a nice job. Manessah [Garner] has done a nice job. E.J Bibbs has done some good things, so they’ve covered the slack for him but Jordan’s a special guy.”

On if RB Samaje Perine’s success can be attributed to the looks he got or what he created for himself:
“A little bit of both, it’s a combination of both. He ran through some tackles. He got hit one time behind the line and still managed to get six or seven yards and that’s what it’s all about. Our backs understand that we’re not going to get them all blocked; it’s your responsibility to run through a tackle or two. Rob on the other hand has gotten bamboozled by two or three guys sometimes, so we’ve just got to do a better job. Baltimore has a really, really good strong front. Early in the game we only got him two touches in that game, and then obviously last week against Green Bay we tried a couple different types of runs and didn’t get them blocked – targeted – correctly and didn’t have a lot of good running lanes. We’re going to stick with it though. I feel good about our run plan each week and this week poses a different threat. They’re a 4-3 team with Geno Atkins and Vontaze Burfict, Pat Sims, a very good defensive front, and [Carlos] Dunlap and Michael Johnson so it will be another good test for us.”

On if it is “silly” for people to get excited about Perine after last week:
“No, I mean you guys can get excited or down or whatever you guys want to do [laughter]. I mean, obviously it’s doom and gloom if we lose and we’re going to go undefeated if we win. So I think we’re all very excited about the prospect of him being a running back here. But I’m still excited about Rob [Kelley]. He hasn’t had many good looks. Perine and Chris Thompson have done some good things – Mack Brown. Matt Jones. So, we’ll just keep rotating them through there and see who the best ones are.”

On C Spencer Long:
“You know what, he has been hobbling a little bit. It has been bothering him. He’s been trying to fight through it. He does not like to miss a rep. He’s a very competitive guy and unfortunately you could see it starting to bother him. After the game, he tried to fight through the whole first half against Green Bay and he just said he couldn’t really go. We wanted to get it checked out and found out he had some meniscus issues and got it fixed up.”

On DL Terrell McClain’s role:
“I think he’s a major part of our rotation, really. I think all those defensive lineman – [Stacy] McGee, McClain, [Jonathan] Allen, [Matt] Ioannidis, Ziggy Hood – they all can rotate in there. [Anthony] Lanier II, A.J. Francis, [Joey] Mbu’s done some good things, so we’ve just got to figure out the right five or six guys that are going to be ready for Philadelphia. We’re moving them all along the defensive line. I think they can all play multiple spots. Love what Terrell’s doing – he’s active. He’s coming from a different style of defense, more of a gap-penetrating defense in Dallas. Now, he’s trying to play different styles here and Coach [Jim] Tomsula is doing a good job working with him. I think he’s got great energy, plays with good pad level, and he’s going to be a good player for us.”

On LB Ryan Anderson:
“He’s just got a stinger. He’s been limited. He doesn’t have full strength yet.”

On how he evaluates the preseason games when the win/loss result doesn’t matter as much:
“I think we have prepared these guys to play a game, it’s just you don’t get the entire week of practice like you would normally. Usually we only do one day or two days in getting ready for a team and less carded periods. That’s still no excuse. We should perform better than we have in the first two games, offensively especially. We still are very critical about our scheme, about the techniques we’re using and about the run concepts we’re calling. We’ve just got to get better at it and continue to coach them. We’ve done some good things out here, but it has to transform and carry over to the games and it hasn’t done that yet. But, that doesn’t mean we have to give up on it. It’s tempting when you get Jordan Reed back out there and [Jamison] Crowder and [Josh] Doctson and [Terrelle] Pryor and all those guys, and obviously Chris Thompson because we’ve got a lot of weapons to throw the ball, but in order for us to be effective we have to be balanced in my opinion and we’ve got to get the run game going.”

On the performance of LBs Mason Foster and Zach Brown last week:
“They did good. They did good. I feel really good about our linebacking corps. I think [Martrell] Spaight comes in there and does a good job. Obviously Will Compton is a great leader, a great communicator, does some great things. Josh Harvey-Clemons has done some good things at middle linebacker. Honestly, any pairing there I feel pretty good about right now. [Nico] Marley obviously has been running around like a bat out of hell, so those guys are playing well. Kirk Olivadotti has done a nice job coaching them up and I like the combinations we’re going with right now. Now we just have to see how they play against Cincinnati. It’ll be a great attack with Joe Mixon and obviously Jeremy Hill and Tyler Eifert and A.J. [Green] and [John] Ross and all those guys. It’ll be a great test for our defense to see how they communicate with all the formations and all the different looks we’re going to get.”

On the plan for WR Josh Doctson:
“We’ll see. I think Josh was just coming back from his hamstring, we weren’t sure how much he was going to play. We eased him back in the lineup a little bit and made a couple catches there. We’ll wait and see. Again, it’s kind of like middle linebacker. Whoever is out there, I feel good about. They can win. [Jamison] Crowder, if we line up in two tight ends and two receivers, it could be Crowder, it could be Doctson, it could be Crowder, it could be [Terrelle] Pryor, it could be [Ryan] Grant. All those guys – [Maurice] Harris is doing well, [Brian] Quick is doing well. We just have to… When it comes right down to it, we’ll narrow it down and play the guys that we want.”

On the pros and cons of playing Galette as compared to Reed:
“The same. I think, Junior, I would like to get him some action before he plays because he hasn’t played in a couple years. Jordan has been playing. So, I would like to get him out there, but I also don’t want to jeopardize his hamstring and have him re-injure it. There is a fine line there. We will have to wait and see how he does.”

On WR Brian Quick:
“Brian Quick has been impressive. He is a big, physical guy. When he gets going, he has got some great long speed and he is a physical guy. I have been impressed with Brian. So, you just add another one to the mix, keep those guys fresh and rotated. I am happy about that.”

On what pleased him most about Perine last week:
“I think the way he bounced back, really. He struggled. He had the fumble and he had a dropped pass. He didn’t do too well in the first game. He didn’t have great opportunities, and when he did, nothing really happened. So, to see him bounce back and compete was most impressive.”

On his coaching style and trying to get into the defense’s heads in individual drills today:
“Well, the defense is doing well, so we had to challenge them a little bit. We had to challenge our offense. When the offense did well, I had to challenge the defense. It just depends on the day, the moment, the mood.”

On if it has gotten “more heated” for him:
“The big thing is you always want them to compete at their highest level. If somebody is doing well or if somebody is not, you have to challenge them. It’s all about competition, really. That’s what it is all about. I want to see their best on every single rep.”

On the physicality of the game against Cincinnati last season and if he addressed it with his team:
“You know what? I haven’t even brought up the London game yet. I think that is long forgotten. I know all those guys in Cincinnati. There is nothing dirty about that team. I know that they are a good football team, very competitive. Marvin [Lewis] coaches them well. Paul Guenther is a great defensive coordinator. [Ken] Zampese is a good offensive coordinator. They have good weapons on both sides of the ball. All we are worried about is doing what we do and controlling what we can control and that’s it.”

QB Kirk Cousins

On the return of TE Jordan Reed:
“It means a great deal to have Jordan Reed in our offense. He’s one of our best players on the team and he’s a joy to play with, great to have him back. And, I think, just as importantly as having Jordan back, it was great to have our whole offense together for the first time because even with Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder and some of the other guys who have at times taken days off here and there, we haven’t had many days where the whole group is together. So this felt like the first day, not only to have Jordan in place, but to really have what we’d like to think is our offense – at least to start the season. So, it felt good to have everybody working together and have all of our guys on the field.”

On what Reed does to make the offense complete:
“Jordan has unique movement skills, and then because he’s often lined up in a way where he’s being covered by safeties and linebackers and nickel corners, he creates matchup issues. If you want to put your best corner on Jordan Reed, that’s one option, but then now you’re opening a door for whoever else is out there – a Josh Doctson, a Terrelle Pryor, a Vernon Davis, so on and so forth. So, we’re always looking for those matchup advantages and they tend to be in Jordan’s favor, just because of how uniquely gifted he is. And then, usually a guy covering him is not necessarily the top cover guy on the team.”

On C Chase Roullier:
“Chase did a really good job today. We’ve had about three practices together total with him running with the ones – one back in training camp and then the last two days. I can only imagine all the changes that come with going from playing at Wyoming to playing here, and playing for Coach [Bill] Callahan and all the protection calls and all the fronts that you see. He’s handled it very well. He’s very intelligent. You can tell he’s a pro’s pro. He was a good draft pick. He can pass protect, I think that’s a strength of his, his ability to hold up in pass protection. There’s going to be growing pains. That’s understandable, but it’s exciting to see potential when it’s there, and it’s certainly there with Chase. He’s a good teammate, a class act, so I’m excited to work with him. We’re going to throw him in the fire against the Bengals and see what he can do. I’m going to do all I can do to help him, making protection calls and trying to be decisive so he doesn’t have to think too much. But I’m excited to get him out there and see what he’s got.”

On his post-practice work with WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.:
“I think we’ve said it all along that one of the benefits of working with Terrelle is that he just really loves football. And that’s evident with the fact that he wants to stay after practice, he wants to talk about the routes and the nuances of it. I think, again, what some of the stuff we’re working on goes back to the fact that, as good as he is, as talented as he is, there’s still a lot more there. We think that as he continues to fine tune and understand what we want to do here in our offense, he hopefully can just keep getting better and better. I enjoy playing with him and I take it upon myself to get him the football, give him opportunities. He’s so talented, and he has such a good heart and works so hard, I want to make sure he’s given a chance to be really successful and have a great year this year.”

On the touchdown drive against Green Bay:
“I do think we got in a rhythm in that two-minute, which helps. Plays were working and sometimes that can feed the next play. We’ve been pretty good when we get in a no-huddle and just have an up tempo to our offense, that’s been good for us. We didn’t get behind the chains. We were – I think for the most part – in second-and-medium or third-and-medium. We didn’t put ourselves in a lot of tough situations of third-and-12 or third-and-15. I think it was good to have that drive, but we’ve all acknowledged that so far this preseason we haven’t been good enough for what we want to do this regular season. We’re excited for the chance on Sunday to start trying to put our best foot forward and put a better product on the field.”

On why the faster pace works well:
“It comes and goes in the sense that there have been times where you’ll try to hurry it up and you’ll go three-and-out, so I don’t know exactly. Usually when you don’t huddle, you can regulate defenses, they can’t substitute, maybe they get a little fatigued I’d like to think. Sometimes you have the right play call for the right coverage or you just execute properly and sometimes you can slow the pass rush down by going no-huddle and forcing them to be a little winded but no one thing makes the difference.”

On if he feels “behind” now that today was his first day with all of his weapons available:
“I don’t know if I want to say I feel ‘behind.’ I think that would create a headline that I don’t want to put out there, but would I have liked for Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed and Josh Doctson to practice every single day from OTA one to now? Yes. Is it a little bit frustrating that we didn’t have that? Sure. But, fortunately, some of these guys have played a lot of football and I’d like to think that any rust that would be there is going to be gone by Week 1. I’m optimistic but I think we still need to get the rust off between now and then. I don’t think it’s fully off yet.”

On that rust:
“I think it’s throwing and catching and reading coverages. You know, football’s a fast game and there’s split-second decisions that receivers are making on coverage adjustments and there’s decisions I’m making. There’s body language that I’m going to read to throw a ball a certain way with a little more touch or a little more anticipation or try to drive it a little more. All of that happens with just playing and getting a feel for someone. I think the longer we practice together, the more we hone in and fix all those errors.”

On if there is value in this tight end group’s versatility when going up-tempo:
“I think so. I think having tight ends and running backs who can be versatile does give you an advantage. You’d like to think it forces a defensive coordinator to not know what’s coming next – if you’re going to run the ball, if you’re going to play-action pass, if you’re going to drop back and throw it. When you have a running back on the field who can both pass protect and run the football well, he doesn’t know what you’re going to ask him to do, so it gives you your entire playbook and a defensive coordinator doesn’t necessarily know what’s coming next. There are other times when we’re going to put five wide receivers on the field, you know?”

On checking down to RB Chris Thompson instead of throwing to WR Josh Doctson in the red zone last week, and if that’s an example of getting used to different players:
“There were a couple plays that you’re referring to where Josh Doctson and Chris [Thompson] were on the same side. One, the ball should have probably gone to Josh if you’re talking about the preseason game. I believe it was a two-minute drill, I threw a flat route to Chris. Chris got out of bounds, but actually the ball should have gone to the slant to Josh. If Josh gets that ball, he may have a much bigger gain up the seam after catching that slant, so that’s where I’d say the read probably wasn’t as good as it should have been. Got a completion, got out of bounds, but there’s a better throw. Then just after that was when Chris caught the ball on a little snag route and then took it down towards the front pylon. Josh ran a double move, and he ran such a good initial move that the DB kind of recovered, and so as a result Josh I didn’t feel like was open and kind of had to reset to Chris. That one was more just well-defended, I guess you could say. They kind of played right, guessed right, and that one was a good thing to go to Chris. But, that route with Chris takes a while and that’s where I say it takes all 11. A lot of times protection hasn’t allowed me to wait on Chris to run that route because I feel the pocket collapsing and, fortunately, in that situation, I had enough time where I could sit there and let Chris run the entire route – and that’s a beautiful thing when your line is protecting that well and giving you the time to do that.”