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    Default Skins Quotes 9/29/17: Jay Gruden

    September 29, 2017

    Head Coach Jay Gruden

    On injuries:
    “Did not participate: Kirk Cousins, non-football; Ty Nsekhe, core muscle. Limited were Mason Foster, shoulder; Rob Kelley, rib; Jordan Reed, rib/sternum; D.J. Swearinger, hamstring; [Jamison] Crowder, hamstring; and Jonathan Allen, shoulder.”

    On if QB Kirk Cousins’ absence was related to his wife’s pregnancy:

    On if there is any news on that front:
    “I haven’t heard yet. No, haven’t heard yet. I think she’s close.”

    On how Cousins’ absence affects his preparation:
    “Nothing. We’re just getting Colt [McCoy] ready to play, [he’s] getting all the reps and then Kirk will catch up when he gets here. I’m sure he’ll make up time. He was able to FaceTime some of the meeting today. So, [he] picked up that.”

    On if he thinks Cousins did any extra preparation to account for his absence:
    “[Smiling] Kirk will be just fine, mentally. I promise.”

    On DL Jonathan Allen, S D.J. Swearinger and WR Jamison Crowder:
    “Yeah, they’re just limited, that’s what they are. They tweaked their hamstrings a little bit yesterday, Crowder and Swearinger. Allen tweaked his shoulder a little bit today.”

    On if those three players will be ready for Monday:
    “I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see. We’ll get them some treatment, see where they are tomorrow. We’ve got red zone tomorrow, so we’ll get a better picture tomorrow.”

    On Chiefs LB Justin Houston:
    “He’s a little bit different than what we saw last week with Khalil Mack. He’s a talented pass rusher, got a little bit different style, got more power, but he’s very effective. Base defense, he doesn’t rush a whole lot, he drops a lot, but when he does, he’s a force. In nickel and sub defenses, he does a good job lining up over both sides and over guards. Very effective pass rusher, strong, got good knack for where the quarterback is. He can transition his rushes a lot of different ways –inside moves, outside moves, power. Very similar, man. We’ve got to give our best pass sets when he’s in there.”

    On facing different pass rushers every week:
    “People are always looking for pass rushers. So when they’re around, you draft them or if they’re a free agent, you go get them. They change the game. And [that’s] part of the reason why the Chiefs are 3-0 and they’ve had a great defense for a long time. The outside backer pass rusher, they had [Tamba] Hali, they have Houston, they’ve gone through a lot of guys. Now they’ve got Dee Ford and Houston so they’re very effective in that regard. Allows them to play tight coverage and the pass rush can get home because of that.”

    On balancing staying aggressive and stopping the Chiefs’ big plays:
    “That’s the trick every week. You have to be sound when you are aggressive, you have to make sure you have the gaps taken care of, take care of the big play, and when you’re playing coverage, you have to make sure you rally to the ball and wrap up, very similar to last week. Every week, when you’re playing explosive offenses with good people, it’s going to take more than one guy and great pursuit from some angles, rushing the passer all play a part of it when you’re trying to get them more one-dimensional on third down, that’s also a big part of it. First, second down, if they’re in first-down-and-10, second-down-and-3, third-and-1, they’re very dangerous because they can hit you a lot of different ways with the play-action pass with [Travis] Kelce, with [Tyreek] Hill, with [Kareem] Hunt. So, very effective offense, Andy Reid does an excellent job.”

    On if prime-time games add pressure for the coaches:
    “It’s no added pressure, really. If anything, it gives you a little bit more time to get ready, especially the Monday night games. Really it’s just about trying to get your team mentally ready to go, and coming off a big win like we did last week on prime time is important. It gives them confidence. But going to Arrowhead Stadium is going to be a different story – a different challenge with the noise – so we have to approach that differently a little bit and try to get our team prepared for the noise. It’s hard, but for the most part we’re going to challenge our guys to prepare and every plan is going to be a little bit different. But there’s no added pressure for us.”

    On LB Zach Brown’s impact:
    “I think very positive, without a doubt. I think his speed really shows up on tape. Plays that… for instance, the Rams game, when the kid broke a long run – the tight end who ran a 4.5 at the combine or whatever he ran – he got hawked down by Zach Brown, and what the heck did Zach Brown run then? So his speed shows up a lot. Pursuing to the football, dropping in pass coverage, planting his foot and coming and gang tackling and making plays, so I think you don’t really notice that on the practice field until you get in game day when you see it show up. I think that’s the biggest thing that he’s added to this defense – he’s added to our team speed.”

    On how TE Vernon Davis maintains his body at his age:
    “It’s a good question. I asked him yesterday what he had for lunch. I said, ‘We all should get on Vernon Davis’ diet.’ I mean, really. The guy’s a freak. He’s the most impressive guy I’ve been around really as far as taking care of his body, and whatever he’s doing, he needs to tell all our young guys to do it because he’s amazing. Just out here today, he’s running around like a 20-year-old kid. We’re going to have to try to dive into that but I know he has a great routine in the offseason, during the season. His diet is top-notch. His workouts are on point. Not to mention he prepares and he’s just always got a smile on his face. He’s just one of those guys you look forward to seeing every day and then you watch him practice and it’s always hard and effective. Great guy, great player. [He] takes care of himself.”

    On how difficult it is for athletes to keep that motivation to prepare their bodies into their 30’s:
    “Well, I didn’t prepare my body like that [laughter]. I still had my chicken wings and occasional beer, but I think when you’re a competitor and you love football, I think that helps – a lot. I think he still loves to play the game and when you love to play the game, you have two options. You get yourself ready to play, mentally and physically, and he has taken it to a level that not many people do. So I think the commitment when you decide to play, whether you’re 25 or 35, has to be stronger as the years go up because you have to take even more care of your body and I think he’s done that. He gets himself ready to play in the offseason even harder now than he probably did when he was 22 and 23, and that’s what you have to do. You can probably talk to Tom Brady. He’s the same way. At age 40, he’s in better shape now than he probably was when he was 25 and that’s what it takes if you want to have longevity in this league.”

    On if LB Martrell Spaight has improved or if he’s just finally getting a chance to show his ability:
    “Yeah, that, pretty much. And he’s going to get better. All of these guys, these younger-type players – first, second and third year guys – are going to get better with the more reps they get. When you get injured, that halts your progress a little bit. You’re getting the mental reps, but you aren’t getting the physical reps. The more reps he gets, the better he is going to be. He has always been a striker, always been a guy that hustles to the ball. Now it is just a matter of getting his keys right and his run fits and all that stuff. He is more and more comfortable with that. He is a very good linebacker, but those guys really need reps because the gaps change, formations change, strength changes, whatever it is. You have got to be on point on all that and he is getting better and better in that regard too.”

    On if he breaks seasons up into quarters and how he approaches the end of the first quarter with the bye week coming up:
    “Yeah, you try to do that a little bit – first quarter, second quarter, third quarter… It’s so early right now, I haven’t really approached the bye week other than you might handle your roster a little bit differently with the injuries we talked about yesterday. That’s the only different approach. I think we just have to just continue to prepare as we have with a game the following week or whatever. We will handle the bye week no differently. The players will have a mandatory four or five days off. We will take care of them in that regard. For the most part, we want to finish off the first quarter strong, without a doubt, and then get ready for the second quarter because the last 12 games without a bye is going to be a grind on them. They have to understand that and get their minds ready for that.”

    On preparing for the noise in Kansas City:
    “We will have our ways of communication. We have a lot of non-verbal communication and ways we can handle things with the snap count and hand signals and all that stuff. We try to use some crowd noise out here with the music and all that stuff. Tomorrow we might go inside to even make it louder so we can really try to simulate it. Like I said, there is no substitution for actually being there. It’s going to be extra electric because it is Monday Night Football. We have to just prepare ourselves, you won’t be able to hear anything and that’s what we are kind of preparing for – we won’t be able to hear anything. So silent counts, all that stuff. The quarterback has got to really verbalize in the huddle and then at the line of scrimmage, if we do use a snap count, he has to use his voice deep and loud.”

    On if he prepares for most road games like that or if it will be specific to Arrowhead Stadium:
    “It is most of them, but that one is special. That one and Seattle are the two that really jump into your mind. Anytime you play in a dome also, it is always extra loud. In the National Football League, home crowd noise I think is the biggest advantage in pro sports, quite frankly, because of how much the offense has to communicate, the defense gets jumps on the ball and all that good stuff, the inability to audible sometimes and do that stuff.”

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    Last edited by Boone; 09-29-17 at 09:19 PM.
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