Post-Game Skins Quotes 9/15/19: Jay Gruden

One of many experimental iterations ...


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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia


On injuries:
“No injuries of note.”

On what hasn't worked on defense:
“I don't know yet. I'll have to go back and watch this film. There are no excuses to be had. We have to look at ourselves, and we have to play better. We're minus a couple pieces in the secondary, that has an issue. But really, we should be better than this. That's on us, obviously, as coaches and we have to get more out. We have a very talented group on defense, and we're not reaching them. We have to play better, and we will play better. We have 14 games left and still a lot of football to play.”

On if there will be any coaching changes:
“No, I think after two games – you're talking about playing two very good offensive football teams and two of the best offensive lines in pro football we just played back-to-back. That's no excuse whatsoever, but I don't think we need to hit the panic button yet. We just have to continue to focus on what we can do better to win. Get Jonathan [Allen] in here, get a couple of our corners back in here and let's go back and strap it up against Chicago [Bears] next week and see what happens.”

On the penalties on the right side of the offensive line:
“Today I can't explain it. I don't know what happened. I didn't see the holding calls that they called on those two guys [Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses]. They are costly penalties again. We talk about their movement all the time. Until you have to go block their movement, their stunts, and you have to react and stick your foot in the ground and react, and then bounce off the stunt and try to get the other guy, it's easier said than done sometimes. We're very effective and have been for a long time. A couple holding calls here and there may be understandable, but we've had way too many the first two weeks.”

On the experience of his defensive unit:
“We have some moving parts now. Landon Collins is a veteran guy but this is his first year, [Montez] Sweat's in his first year, [Cole] Holcomb, it's his first year, [Jon] Bostic is in his first year. We're playing Dominique [Rodgers-Cromartie] at corner and this is Jimmy Moreland's first year, so it's not like we are the most experienced group. We feel like were very talented, but we`re still fighting through somethings. There are a lot of things to look forward to, without a doubt, but we do have to play better and strap it up and get back to work.

On CB Josh Norman's performance:
“I have to look at the film, sometimes they may be in a zone and he may be expecting middle help. But I don't know, I'll have to wait and see the film. If he's playing a cover two and they run a basic ground draw, then that's not his guy. We just have to look at it and get more out of all of our guys. But I'm not going to blame Josh Norman for this one.”

On the issues with starting fast but not finishing in the second half:
“Offensively, it's the penalties again killed us on those couple drives. Defensively, we gave up another big play on the post route. Then the drive to start the second half, they ate the clock up and knocked it down our throat, good game plan by them. [Cowboys Offensive Coordinator] Kellen Moore did a great job offensively, and credit to [Cowboys Head Coach Jason] coach Garrett, their staff and players.”

On cleaning up the penalties:
“I have to check them out, I have to look at them. The play at the end of the half, we were going to hold them to a field goal, and they called defensive holding and we thought their left tackle held our guy. Instead it was on us and they got and extra down and they scored a touchdown. That's a four point swing right there, we`ll have to wait and see what that looked like. Every coach in the NFL teaches fundamental football – hand usage, knowing the snap count. Eventually, we are going to have to execute a little bit better and make sure we understand that we're being watched very closely. We got to eliminate penalties offensively and defensively.”

On WR Terry McLaurin and why he didn't play as much in the preseason:
“Well he was hurt a little bit. I didn't want him to go out there and he hurt his back or butt muscle or something, so we laid off of him. But we see Steve [Sims Jr.] as a guy that's very smart, very young. That whole receiving core actually did pretty good today with all the moving parts. We had some no-huddle and some different formations like he and Trey Quinn. Robert Davis came in a little bit, and obviously Steve Sims had a couple of carries there. It's pretty impressive so far. I think there's a lot to look forward to. The youth on this team is getting better and better as the season goes on.”

On keeping the players in a positive mindset:
“We played two games and that's the big thing. It's got to keep in-house and stay together. That's without a doubt. I know there's going to be a lot of people that are going to try and tear us apart without a doubt and deservedly so, probably. But we played two games. We played two very good football teams. Unfortunately, we're zero-and-two in our division. We lost to Dallas and Philadelphia, two of our rivals and we don't like that at all. But there's a lot of football left. We have a young football team that's going to develop and grow. We need veterans to step up and take this team by the throat and I think it will happen. I still feel very optimistic about the future of this football team.”

On where the team stands in the division:
“I think when you see us in the first half of the first two games, we can go toe-to-toe with anybody. I think we wore down a little bit, then we let some things happen where we did not come out of the funk. We did not get the momentum back in our favor. We held the field goal, got it down to 10, and we had a fourth down-and-three and we missed Chris Thompson out of bounds. That could've been a big play and a chance for us to go down and try and get some momentum back. But these first two games, it's all about when you lose momentum. You've got to seize it back somehow. Somebody's got to step up, make a big play on offense, defense and special teams, and that just hasn't happened for us yet. But I expect we stick with the plan. Guys continue to play hard, buy in and stay together. We're going to change.”

On getting penalty plays back from the NFL:
“We do it all the time. You send them 10 plays and you get the feedback and the explanations and if they're wrong on that one, it doesn't help the game. You get the explanation and they say, ‘this is why we call it.' That's what we're really looking for, and now we get to have phone calls as well when they have questions, so we can see what they're asking about. If it's our guys holding and all that stuff, we can really hone in and see why they're calling holding calls when they're calling them.”

On the defense:
“For sure. We're in it together. I've spent a lot of time with [Defensive Coordinator] Coach Manusky already this week and we're going to work through this thing. This week was a little bit hard when you're talking about your fourth defensive back we just signed yesterday and your third safety doesn't want to play corner in case [Dominique] Rodgers-Cromartie goes down, he's playing the whole half limping. We're a little short-handed there. Once we get our guys back, I'll feel a little better about the secondary. The defensive linebackers we have can't give up 200 yards rushing against anybody, anytime, any play, anywhere. That's something we really have to hone in on. I'm sure [Defensive Line] Coach Tomsula will have a few words to say about that and [Outside Linebackers] Coach Grimm. We'll get it shored up.”

On the offensive rhythm:
“I think it's a combination of things. Both games in the second half, we got down by a couple scores and we had to hurry up a little but to try and get the ball back and do a little bit of a no-huddle offense. Kind of got out of our rhythm. We had some really good flashes, we thought some shot plays and we got hit some in our more down the field throws as well. I've got to call some more. We've got to protect a little bit better and we've got to take some shots, try and get some chunk yards. It seems like when we do efficient football, something happens where it's a holding call or a loss of five or something like that that kills the drive. We've got to take more shots and obviously get our running game going in some way, shape or form.”

On QB Case Keenum:
“I think he's doing good, really. I think it's not an easy position to play for your first time learning new terminology against the Cowboys. It's an entirely different defensive scheme than we faced last week, so we have a whole new set of plays. I think he handled it really well. He might've miss a few throws here or there, probably the most glaring one was a fourth-and-five. He was rushing a little bit to Chris [Thompson], but for the most part, he's competing. He's not taking many sacks, he's getting out of the pocket, he's making plays, and I love his competitiveness. I think that will rub off on the entire football team if it hasn't already. Guys like to play for him and play with him.”

On being down multiple scores:
“We've got to play better defense on third downs. We had a big third down-and-five early in the third quarter. We played cover two and they hit a little route in zone for a gain of 15. They ran a zone read for 45 yards, which we've seen many times on tape where somebody's got to have the gap or somebody didn't take the quarterback. I think we've got to hone in, play better, play smart, play more efficiently, play tougher, and play more physical. That's what we're all about.”

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The All-Time Great
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md

‘We have a very talented group on defense and are not reaching them (as coaches)' - Gruden

Okay, so what changes are you going to make to ensure coaches reach the players they are in charge of?

If you are talking about keeping Manusky, staying with a ill-suited 3-4 and coming back year after year with many of the same players then there will be NO change in results.

I felt all offseason that the Redskins went short at safety.

After signing Landon Collins only HALF the job was completed.

Montae Nicholson, who was benched for Clinton Dix last season and was arrested for an offseason altercation, was brought back and handed the free safety job.

No competition was brought in to challenge him.

Backup safeties Everett and Apke as we are seeing now are not legitimate options for an NFL defense.

The nearly complete invisibility of Apke a #4 pick in his second season to this point is some evidence this was a blown pick.

These days rookie safeties and corners are often expected to contribute when there are injuries but definitely by Year 2.

After spending $84M on Collins the team appears to be 3 safeties short of a solid unit.

We could say the same thing about the cornerbacks where Josh Norman continues his decline at 31 and DRC at 33 pulled up with an ankle injury just 30 minutes into covering for Dunbar and Moreau who were out against Dallas.

So, we signed Aaron Colvin from the Texans after he gave up a career performance by Michael Thomas of the Saints in Week 1.

Meanwhile supplemental draft pick Adonis Alexander who was pitched to us as a second round talent in college before injury was cut to get to 53 and remained on the practice squad when the team went out to get help at CB.

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