October 3, 2017

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:
“Trent Williams is getting an MRI on his knee… Rob Kelley has an ankle sprain and he’ll be day-to-day when he comes back. Josh Norman has a rib fracture. He’ll be week-to-week. Josh Doctson has a shoulder strain. Deshazor Everett has a hamstring.”

On T Trent Williams:
“He irritated his kneecap and we’re just getting an MRI. He did it in training camp a little bit and it kind of aggravated a little bit so we’ll get an MRI and go from there. Get the proper treatment, get him ready.”

On if fatigue played a role in the defense’s performance:
“No, I didn’t see fatigue at all being an issue. I just saw a couple injuries pop up there. Guys were cramping. A couple of them cramped a little bit, which is kind of normal, I guess, with the travel and all that stuff. But for the most part, I think the guys that played played hard and played with a lot of energy until the very end. You know, they were out there on the field a lot. We just had some unfortunate injuries there that popped up – you know, Everett and obviously Josh and [Quinton] Dunbar just cramped up a little bit but he came back in the game and finished. Montae [Nicholson] went down a little bit with his shoulder there but he finished the game. So just some bumps and bruises. Kendall Fuller got kicked in the eye and was bleeding a little bit, but he came back in the game. A lot of guys came out for a play or two. Zach Brown came out for a play or two, Mason Foster came out for a play or two, [Martrell] Spaight came out for a play or two. They’re just playing hard. They laid it all on the line and sometimes those one- or two-play injuries will happen.”

On RB Samaje Perine:
“I think he didn’t get any carries Week 1, got a few Week 2 and 3, and obviously last night did some decent things in the running game. Like I said, we didn’t have many opportunities for him to get really in the flow of the game there with some sustained drives. I think we had the ball three plays in the third quarter, and really in the fourth quarter, we were throwing the ball pretty effectively so we stuck with the passing game there for a little bit. I think he’s still in the process of developing, like all young running backs are. The kid for Kansas City is a special guy – [Kareem] Hunt – but Perine is in a spot right now where he’s just continuing to get the workload, especially if Rob Kelley has got an ankle injury for any due time. He’s going to get more and more reps and he’s going to get better and better.”

On WR Josh Doctson’s shoulder:
“He hurt it on the last catch. He landed on it – the last attempted catch, I should say. But I think overall, he made a great catch on the high cross there where he dove and caught it. He had a good catch on the ball on the sidelines on the first drive of the game. Only had those opportunities and then he had the last opportunity there at the end of the game. Unfortunately he couldn’t wrestle it in there when he hit the ground. But we’re fine with Josh and where he’s at. We spread the ball around pretty good. The tight ends between Jordan [Reed] and Vernon [Davis] had a nice day. Couldn’t get [Jamison] Crowder going early, but [Terrelle] Pryor had three big catches. Ryan Grant had a couple big catches. But like I said, we only threw the ball 24 times, so it’s hard to get everybody the ball. Only 14 completions, so we didn’t spread it around quite like we wanted to because we didn’t have many attempts.”

On if S DeAngelo Hall is progressing:
“Yeah, he is getting healthier. You know, there is a time frame we have to wait. I think it’s six weeks before you start practicing and after the eighth week he can start to play, but he is working out and doing what he needs to do to get his body right.”

On what the team can take away from the game:
“I think they realize we can compete with anybody, obviously. Anywhere, any time. I think they’re in a good frame of mind. We’re 2-2 and we’re behind the 8-ball a little bit. We’re a game behind Philly – a game and a half really since they beat us – but we’re right in the thick of things. We’ve played Philly, who is 3-1. We’ve played the Rams, who are 3-1. We’ve played the Chiefs, who are 4-0. And obviously Oakland is 2-2. So we’ve had a pretty good run at some pretty top competitors in this league and we’ve stood toe-to-toe and came out .500 after the first quarter. Not where we want to be, but I think people can see the progress and the talent on this team that we can compete. Now it’s just a matter of continuing to work hard, put it all together and get after San Fran when we get back from the bye.”

On if he would wait to call the timeout on third down on the team’s final drive in retrospect:
“I don’t think so. I let a couple of seconds go to try to drain just a little bit, but we had a play where we had a couple shots in the end zone with Josh [Doctson] and obviously Jordan Reed, but also, if they played zone, we had two shorter routes – one to Jamison [Crowder] and one to Terrelle Pryor – and of course our back out of the backfield. Had we completed one of those, the clock’s going to be running, we needed time. I wanted to make sure we had enough time to score if we did get the first down. I mean, obviously hindsight, but even if we did kick the field goal there and left the Chiefs only 45 seconds or so, we expect our defense to make a play. Alex Smith made a great play off-schedule and completed a long one to get them in field goal range. I wanted to make sure I had enough time where we weren’t in panic mode if we did get the first down at the 20-yard line and only have one timeout left. I wanted make sure we had ample time to score.”

On what he learned about his team last night:
“I didn’t really learn anything; I just kind of verified what I know about these guys and how hard they play, really. I’m glad people got to see it. Unfortunately we didn’t get the win, but these guys have given me everything they had since OTAs have started. They’ve got a great work ethic. They’ve got a great demeanor about them. They understand that this game, with the people we have here, there’s going to be a lot of ups and downs in pro football and they have to handle adversity. I think we have a group that can. Unfortunately we didn’t get it done last night. Hats off to the Chiefs, but you can see our guys battling and not batting an eye when things don’t go their way. We overcame some penalties, some injuries, some big plays by the Chiefs. Offensively we overcame some injuries and some good defensive play by the Chiefs. Had a chance to win it at the end. Unfortunately we didn’t make the play at the end in the end zone and they made a huge, great catch off-schedule where the guy got blasted by Montae Nicholson and he held onto the ball. That’s how close we are. But these guys are working hard and I know we have chance to win every game with the guys we have.”

On if there are coaching points from the off-schedule play by Chiefs QB Alex Smith:
“100 percent. Carson [Wentz] hurt us Week 1 and then obviously Alex hurt us Week 4. It’s not going to stop because we still have some athletic quarterbacks coming up. We’ve got Dak Prescott twice, we’ve got Carson again, we have a lot of quarterbacks that are mobile and can get out of the pocket, so we have to make sure we do a better job with our rush lanes. One time he got out of the pocket, we had a corner blitz called and we failed to contain the pocket on the side he scrambled to. The other one, [Ryan] Kerrigan had a nice bull rush and just got tied up and couldn’t get off. Another one, Ryan Anderson was bull rushing and got tied up and couldn’t get off. But just have got to do a better job of containing the pocket, let our internal people get home. The good thing is I think our internal pressure is so much improved right now with Matt [Ioannidis] rushing the way he is and Jonathan Allen and Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. Those guys – and Ziggy Hood is getting some good push. We’ve just got to do a better job of containing the pocket, and if he does get out, which will happen from time to time, we’ve got to matchup the receivers and do a better job in that regard because it’s hurt us in both losses.”

On WR Jamison Crowder:
“We had 24 attempts, and he might not have been targeted, but he’s in every pass route. There was a couple times he was doubled. A couple times he was open, we just worked somebody else. It’s very difficult when you have 24 passes. You know, Chris Thompson only had a couple targets and we’d like to get him more involved in the passing game. But Jordan [Reed] and Vernon [Davis] we felt like was a good matchup. Terrelle [Pryor], we wanted to get him some shots early, which we did. Ryan Grant had a couple good shots at it. We just had a lot of good… Josh Doctson had a couple good shots. So, the defense will dictate where the ball goes and Kirk has got the ultimate decision making power and he’ll deliver it to who’s open and based on coverage, sometimes it will be Jamison more often than not. Sometimes it’ll be Chris Thompson, sometimes it’ll be Pryor, Doctson, I can’t tell you. But 24 attempts, obviously not everybody is going to get the touches they want or expect.”

On how snap counts are determined for receivers:
“We determine it a lot of times based on personnel groups. Whatever personnel groups that we are going to feature, like if we’re in more two-tight-end sets, our starting Z in Tiger – we call it – is Jamison and Ryan Grant at Z and obviously Terrelle Pryor at X. If we are in three receiver sets we move Crowder inside and Josh will play some Z with Ryan Grant and Josh will play some X with Terrelle Pryor. They’ll split it up. Then if we are in two tight ends, fullback situation, Josh will be the Z in that situation. So we try to do it by personnel groups and then by how fresh everybody is. Everybody was fresh so we didn’t have to do a whole lot of subbing, being that we only had the ball for, I think 49 snaps it was and only 24 passes. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the reps that we wanted on offense and the reps were not indicative of how we want to spread them out, but it just happened that way last night.”

On if Doctson is putting himself in position to be in more personnel groupings:
“Yeah, there is no doubt. It is just a matter of who you are taking out. Are you going to take out… if you’re going only two receivers, you taking out Pryor or you taking out Crowder or Grant? So we have those four guys dressed and they all are very good receivers. I have no problem with any of them at any given time, but I think the more Josh – obviously if he can stay healthy – gets on the practice field does it in practice, the more reps he will get. Hopefully the shoulder doesn’t set him back at all but we will wait and see.”

On QB Kirk Cousins through the first four games of the season:
“I think there is a lot to like, really, I think especially after the first game. He got a lot of pressure. He was a little bit inaccurate the first game, more so then he ever has been but a lot of that had to do with the pressure that Philly gave him. People were in his face quite often. I think he has improved dramatically Week 2, Week 3 and even last night. I was impressed that last drive. He had a couple huge scrambles using his legs, big runs to get us into a position to get a tying field goal or possibly win the game if Josh can hang on to the ball. Kirk is playing well and he is getting us in position to win. That’s all you can ask for at the end of the day. He’s handling the running game. He is using his legs in the passing game and delivering strikes, but obviously there is room for improvement like there is for all of us. That’s what we are striving to do, to improve every week and every day quite frankly. But I have been impressed with Kirk in the way he has come on after Week 1.”


On Cousins’ comfort and his improvement:
“I think you can see he is more comfortable, not just so much with the offense, just with everything – the standard operating procedures of getting to the line, breaking the huddle and getting the snap count, the protections, the runs or whatever it is. Leaving himself ample time on the clock to get to audibles or protection changes or what have you, he is a lot more comfortable. Each week there is going to be a different game plan, so to speak. The Chiefs pose a different issue than the 49ers will and we will have different ways to attack that defense next Sunday when we play them. We attacked the Chiefs differently than we attacked the Rams and so on and so forth. He has a great handle on the offense. He can handle a lot of terminology. He can handle a lot of information and it has shown on game day.”

On if CB Josh Norman’s injury is to one rib or multiple ribs:
“I have got ‘rib fracture,’ singular. That’s what I have got on my sheet.”

On his comfort calling plays again:
“Yeah, I feel good, really. Obviously you beat yourself up when you’re calling plays. It’s easy if you don’t call plays to yell at the play caller when they don’t work, but now I’m the play caller so I have to yell at myself, which I do quite often. There’s a couple of plays I wish I had back, but for the most part, from an operating standpoint, it’s very smooth. Coach [Bill] Callahan interjects a lot of the runs throughout the game, and Coach Callahan, Coach [Kevin] O’Connell, they do a great job – Wes Phillips – of chiming in in between series, which we need to get to, and it’s been pretty smooth for the most part.”

On if TE Jordan Reed was on a snap count:
“Yeah, for sure. He wasn’t quite 100 percent. He wanted to play. He felt like he could really help us in part of the passing game. In the running game this week, he was pretty much held out of by design. I think when we play San Francisco, he should be fully healed, I’m hoping, and he can be a part of more plays than that. It’s very similar to the way we ended last year against the Giants when he was banged up a little bit. We kind of kept him in the three-receiver sets and known passing situations pretty much.”

On if there’s concern Norman could miss multiple weeks:
“Yeah, I mean, there is a concern there. It’s a fractured rib. So, I don’t know where it is, how severe the pain is for him, but when you have to play bump and run, you have to tackle and all that stuff, I think it will be a pain tolerance during [the game]. We have got to make sure it’s healed enough where he can play and be effective and not do more damage to it. So, that will be up to the trainers and up to Josh. The initial report was a fractured rib will be two to four weeks. But since we do have the bye week, there is a chance he could be up for San Fran – that’ll be two weeks, right?”

On if the level of concern would change if there’s any further damage:
“If there’s any concerns like that, he won’t play. Obviously, the only way he is going to play if those concerns where they can do more harm to him, there’s amount of risk there. So, if he can put a pad over it, protect it, there’s a chance he can play if he feels good enough to play. But we won’t put him out there and Josh won’t go out there unless he feels really good about the healing process.”

On how the running game changes without RB Rob Kelley:
“Well, I think we don’t really change between Rob and Samaje [Perine], they’re very similar. We change a little bit when Chris [Thompson] is in the game, but not Rob and Samaje. They like both the inside zone runs, the power runs, the gap blocking runs, the counters and all that stuff. They like those between the tackle type runs. Chris [is] more a speed guy. He likes the inside zones and some of the outside stuff. Those guys don’t change. I just think that Rob, since he has been here, now a year and little bit more than a year, has got a better feel right now. I think Samaje will grow in that role with the more reps he gets. Hopefully, Rob will be OK, but if not, the run game won’t change with Samaje”

On if RB Mack Brown could receive more reps:
“Mack gives us a little something different too, you know? That’s something to be considered but we will have to wait and see. We’ve got to make sure we play the healthy guys, that’s for sure, because this game is a grind on those backs. We are only going to dress three running backs every week, I would anticipate unless something happens and we have an extra spot somewhere. That’s something we will consider because Mack has done a good job when he has gotten the opportunity.”

On what he can say to give Redskins fans confidence:
“Well, you know what? I am a very positive guy and it’s a lot easier to be positive when I’m around these guys every day and I see how hard they work and how talented they are. This is the most talented roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s the hardest working roster I’ve had since I’ve been here. It’s a great group of guys. They’re connected. Great camaraderie. I just think they are playing their hearts out and you saw it last night. They just battled to the bitter end and continue to handle adversity. I think this team has a chance to win every game they play. They’re fun to watch. They’re fun to coach. They’re great people and I think the fans should rally behind them because they are going to give everything they have.”




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