Skins Quotes 9/16/19: Jay Gruden

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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

September 16, 2019
Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the defense's performance in Week 2:
"We didn't play good enough without a doubt. [The Cowboys] are a good football team I've mentioned before. You got to give them credit number one. Number two, I think we got to challenge them. I think we got to stay on course here. Play more physical up front, get after the quarterback, obviously stopping the run is our number one priority. I think we gave up 200 yards -- a couple big runs by [QB Dak] Prescott, obviously, [RB Ezekiel Elliott] had a couple good hits. Our standards haven't changed; we just got to play better and demand more.

On his comments of ‘reaching' the players on defense after the game:
"I think we're reaching them fine; we just got to play better. Like I said, we played two very good offenses, and we got Chicago coming here this week. We got to focus on this week number one: playing better, playing harder, playing physical, challenging receivers a little bit more. Getting after the quarterback is the big thing. Our third-down percentage on defense isn't good enough in any league. So it's gonna be a point of emphasis, but the beginning of third-down is also important. It's a combination of things that we can do better, and I think we will."

On third down issues on defense:
"We'll pass rush is not there. It's really not there. [Dak] Prescott is patting the ball two or three times, and when we do get pass rush, we're not tight enough in coverage. So it's a combination really. I'm not blaming the pass rush. I'm not blaming the coverage. It's a combination. So maybe we have to give some more exotic looks to make the quarterback hold on to the ball a little bit longer to get home with the pressure. We got to rush the passer a little bit better. I think that's the biggest challenge for our defensive line.

On pass defense issues and playing off too much:
"For some of it, we were pretty vanilla yesterday with some of the moving parts we had at corner, late in the week. We were hoping to get [CB Quinton] Dunbar or [CB] Fabian [Moreau], and that didn't happen. [CB Dominique Rodgers] Cromartie coming in here at corner and obviously [S Monte] Nicholson is still very young. So probably a little more vanilla than we'd like to be. So hopefully we can expand a little bit if we can get Dunbar or Fabian back in the secondary that'll help out a lot.

On how he thought the defensive line played in Week 2:
"I think [DL Daron] Payne played good. Really do, he played good. [DL Matt] Ioannidis, he's still trying to hold up the gaps and play physical. I think there's a couple instances where we didn't hit the right gap without defensive ends from time to time or didn't hold up on the edge. Our linebackers maybe didn't fall back or hit the hole they're supposed to, or safeties didn't fill in the right gap. Combination of a lot of things. And Dallas has two or three Pro Bowlers upfront, [TE] Jason Witten is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. And a great back and a great quarterback. Great challenges for us the first two weeks. We did not perform up to par, but I believe we have the talent in our building to fix and play a lot better.

On not being more exotic vs. strong offensive lines:
"Youth, youth. We're mixing and matching back there in the secondary quite a bit that's number one. [LB] Cole Holcomb's a rookie, [LB Jon] Bostic just got here, and this year he's communicating the defense. Obviously, [LB Montez] Sweat is young. [DL Tim] Settle is only in his second year. You want to challenge them and throw a lot at them, but you also want to be sound with what you're doing and make sure they know what we're doing. Last week against Philadelphia we had a couple of blown coverages, gave up some easy touchdowns didn't want that to happen. We want to challenge them and make them earn their grass, and unfortunately, they did. We were a little bit more sound but just didn't make many plays."

On Dunbar and Moreau playing in Week 3 and how close they were to being available for Week 2
"I don't know, either one. He wasn't really close – Dunbar. He wasn't as close as we thought he might be. Fabian probably a little bit more closer than Dunbar at this time, but hopefully a couple of days off will do them some good. And come Wednesday, he might be able to do some individual. Same with [TE] Jordan [Reed]"

On how CB Aaron Colvin may fit in on the defense:
“That's thing, it depends how quickly he picks everything up. That's another reason why we have to be a little bit more standard. We got him, signed him on Friday afternoon after practice. He had two days [and] he's our fourth corner. [CB] Simeon [Thomas] was our fifth corner, who we just got off the Seattle practice squad. So, can't be too exotic with those cats. Hopefully with another week of practice we'll get all those guys ready to go, get those [other] guys healthy and we'll do some more things.”

On T Morgan Moses' performance in the first two weeks and wearing a knee brace:
“He's a little sore, but he's ok. I think overall Morgan [Moses] did some good things in the game. There was a couple stunts that we missed -- an inside move that he missed and a T-T-E, or nose, stunt that he didn't come off on late. He's playing decent football, i wouldn't say he's playing poorly. And I'd say [G Brandon] Scherff is playing pretty good as well except for the one holding call that he had that he kinda stumped and I don't know if it was a holding knock or not. Those guys, we're count on those guys to play well and hey will play a lot better. I think [G Ereck] Flowers [Jr.] again played pretty well again. And [T Donald] Penn battled his tail off and [C] Chase [Roullier] is doing a good job at center. I think just getting those guys in unison, keeping them on the field hopefully playing together will be key, critical for that unit and hopefully will help a lot in the pass game Jordan [Reed] will help a lot in the passing game as well. We gotta run the ball a little bit better as well.”

On what the issue for the defense is early on:
“I think it's a combination. We have to do a better job at teaching, for sure. That's on us as coaches. [That is] something that can be more of a point of emphasis. We'll have more walk through time, hopefully. Get some more meeting time so these guys can study and learn and make sure they're in the right spot. And when they are in the right spot, we gotta make sure we finish plays and make plays. I'm not going to say we were totally out of gaps all the time. [Dallas] had some good hits too as well. But we will do a better job. I think the more these guys get used to playing with each other -- [Jon] Bostic, [Cole] Holcomb, [LB] Shaun Dion [Hamilton] at linebacker. Obviously the safeties Montae [Nicholson] and Landon [Collins]. The corners, once we get the corners situated and comfortable playing together, I think it'll all smooth out pretty smooth.”

On the struggles in the run game:
“The run game, we're not doing a good job at. Pass protection [the offensive line] is doing a pretty good job. Two sacks, couple hurries, the penalties are killing us, obviously. It's something different all the time. We had a couple good runs against Philadelphia that got called back for holding, which took us out of the running game. Then this week we had holding on sprinkle and then holding on Scherff on first. We had first and 10 at the 35[-yard line], instead we had a second and 20 at the 50. But the running game we're not getting adequate enough movement, probably, with our interior people up to the next level from time to time. It could be a point of attack, not getting movement from the point of attack. We're making the back just kinda stop his feet and cut it right up the gut real quick. There's a combination of things we can do better. But like I said, all the moving parts they have with Lawrence on the edge, some of the defensive linemen they play. The two linebackers, three linebackers in base. Those are three really, really good linebackers they have there. Great challenge for us the first two weeks and I expect us to get better. This week with Chicago is no picnic either. I think they held green bay to about 20 yards rushing so it's easier said than done to just say, ‘Hey let's run the ball this week.' We have to be balanced and try to score anyway we can.”

On QB Colt McCoy:
“I think there's a chance he does some individual this week. We'll see how he does on Wednesday, see if he wants to get some individual throws.

On when specifically RB Derrius Guice injured his knee:
“I have no idea, no idea. There's a lot of times in a football game with your adrenaline following, you might get a nick here or there and the next day something swells up, you go get an MRI and something is wrong.”

On if the injury occurred prior to the Week 1 game:
“No, no. He was fine going into it. That's why he was the only first down back.”

On where the optimism comes from despite being 0-2:
“I think we have good skillset in-house. I think we're a tough, physical football team, we just haven't shown it right now. We have the ability to do it. I think we have great skill on offense, once we get Jordan [Reed] back, Terry [McLaurin] has done a great job, [WR] Trey Quinn, I think [WR Kelvin] Harmon is going to get better and better. (Inaudible). We just have to get our running game going a little bit with AP going, which will open up our play action pass. Defensively, like I said, hopefully [DL] Jonathan [Allen] comes back and I think that defense line is still pretty good. We just gotta do better on the edges. [LB Ryan] Kerrigan has done some good things. We gotta get [LB Montez] Sweat going a little bit more, [LB] Ryan Anderson, we gotta get those guys rushing the passer. I think our linebackers are going to be fine, keep playing, keep communicating. And the back end, we just gotta get those guys healthy and playing better together. I think from a skill, talent standpoint, once we get everybody healthy and playing, I think we can compete and go toe-to-toe with anybody. We did for three quarters pretty much the first two games.”

On DL Jonathan Allen:
“He'll do some individual Wednesday, we'll see where he's at.”

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The All-Time Great
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md

Nicholson being such a raw player that was hurt earlier in 2017 and got benched in 2018............

You would have thought there would be competition thereover the summer.

Everett and Apke are not NFL safeties as depth either.

On a really good defense Nicholson would be the #3 safety.
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