Skins Quotes 9/17/18: Jay Gruden

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Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

September 17, 2018

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On what he feels went wrong against the Indianapolis Colts following film review:
"First half, offensively: third downs. We had four plays and a punt, messed up on a route. Next time we had six plays a punt and we dropped a pass. Next drive, we had four plays and a punt. We got a ball batted at the line of scrimmage. Then we had a third and one, we did a little toss crack play, we didn't get a puller, so just four, five drives there in the first half, third downs were the nemesis. We convert three of those things, you keep drives going, you get your run-pass ratio where you want it and you are controlling the game than we did."

On the struggles with the run game on first down:
"We had some struggles in the run game throughout the course of the game. On first down, a lot of their movement, we didn't handle very well. We [missed the target on] a couple of runs; which is uncharacteristic. Overall, you can't point to one person or one position. In the running game, I've said it 3,000 times, it's a total team effort, when it doesn't work, or when it does work."

On the report that former Ravens WR Breshad Perriman worked out with the team today:
"Yeah, he worked out, we had about four or five guys work out today; some tight ends and just had a workout. If we were to sign anybody, we would have to figure out a roster spot, which we are in the process of doing. We don't know who we are going to sign yet. There're a couple good players at that workout."

On potential injuries that would clear a roster spot:
"You know I think the only one of significance could be Rob Kelley with his toe. He hit it pretty good, so I don't know if he's got to go have surgery or not. Could be a month, month and a half type deal, but we are getting the final word here soon."

On if he sensed a lack of energy leading up to the game:
"I think what happened was that they (Indianapolis Colts) took the opening drive and went 75 yards for a touchdown right? We got hit in the mouth right there on the opening drive. We never were able to establish any momentum or get it back at all. Defensively, they gave us a couple of opportunities with turnovers there in the second half. We failed to capitalize on them. We failed to grab the momentum at any point in the game. Unfortunately, we never really had a chance to play with a lot of great energy. We were trying our hardest to get the momentum but we just couldn't do it."

On if there was a missed assignment on the third and 1 pitch play:
"No, we were supposed to have a puller, but we blocked it wrong."

On the balancing the opportunities the defense gives you to throw downfield:
"Yeah, we called some shot plays there, you know, I had to check a few of them down, send guys vertical quite a bit. There's a fine line there; taking completions aren't the end of the world, but towards the end of the game, we probably should have pushed the envelope a little bit, get the ball downfield, the only chance we had there especially after the fumble. Other than that, I think the decisions were appropriate at the time. I think he [Alex Smith] could have tried to jam a couple down there, but you know, turnovers aren't good either. We'll take a look at it, try to get some more shots down the field, big plays, you know, we didn't get any against Arizona really, other than the dump off to Adrian [Peterson], and we didn't really get any this week either. So, it's something we'll have to look at and try and get more of."

On following the game plan versus making adjustments in the game:
"Well we didn't really have to abandon it until Jordan's [Reed] fumble. We pushed it. I think we had seven and a half minutes to go. We were down by two scores, really, we're still right in the thick of the game; had the ball at the 25-yard line and fumbled. Had we scored there, we would still have four and a half minutes left, three timeouts left, we're still able to do what we wanted to do, but you know, I don't think you abandon the game plan until you're down two scores and have to throw it."

On tweaking the game plan:
"Yeah, I think we still want to try and get the running game going. We just were unable to do it other than the little inside zone Adrian [Peterson] popped there for about 12 yards. We were stuck in a lot of second and longs, third down and longs, where we had to throw it. Ideally, you stay out of those second and longs, where we try to get some drives going and you are able to stick to your plan so to speak with more nakeds (naked bootlegs). You have more play passes. You have more runs. But, when you are four plays and out, then three plays and out, and six plays and out, then five plays and out, you don't establish anything and we never did over the course of the game. We had the big fumble of course and that's just the way it is. If you're not converting on third down, you aren't establishing anything, you know, that's the story of the tape."

On the sellout streak coming to an end and if he noticed the empty seats in the stadium
"I did not notice it, no. No, I'm trying to get ready for a game and I did not notice it."

On getting LB Ryan Kerrigan and LB Preston Smith in a better position to make plays:
"Yeah, we rush them. You've got to rush them and then they've got to finish and get them in some more third down-and-longs. They had about five or six third down-and-3's or less I believe and that's a tough rush down, the ball is coming down quick, they're doing quick pick plays and quick crossing routes and it's very hard for an edge player to get pressure or a sack when the ball is coming out that quick. When they did have third down-and-long we did feel some heat, got a tipped interception, got another interception later, so we did get some heat. But, the key is first and second down we have to do a better job of getting them in third-and-long, stay out of those, and when they did get third-and-long they ran a couple of screens so wasn't able to get home."

On the teams' morale following the loss:
"I think everybody is obviously very disappointed and any time you lose a game it's hard to get up and get to work, but I think guys are focused on the next one. That is the only way we can be, it's on to the next one, it always is win or lose and put this behind us. We have to learn from our mistakes without a doubt. The energy factor was a factor. We have to figure out ways to boost these guys more in pregame warm up and get them a little bit more energized so to speak, get the fans involved, and get their adrenaline flowing and that's on us as coaches probably more so. But, I like the way these guys came in, I think they have a no-nonsense approach. They're ready to fix things and move on."

On if he wanted to see how his team would handle adversity:
“Yeah, you don't want it this way. I think the first half obviously we saw some adversity. We had a great start to the Arizona game, so we never really faced any adverse situations. Week 2 – terrible start, they go down and score, we can't do anything on offense, went into halftime and we're down and we had to look ourselves in the mirror, bounce back in the second half and we tried to – the defense tried to get us some stops, but offensively we just couldn't do anything."

On if he expects to see more teams implement what the Colts did on defense going forward:
"Well they're very similar to – there are a few teams that are kind of similar. You have some of your Atlanta-Seattle type teams, you have your Dallas-Indianapolis Colt type teams, you have your Green Bay under front teams and coverage teams, so there are a lot of teams that have similarities that do what they do and do it well. They played a lot of zone defense, only about three or four snaps of man the entire day and had a lot of movement up front, stopped our running game. I'm sure we're going to see some versions of that, but probably not this week because (Packers defensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) Pettine is a totally different coach and has a totally different scheme than Indy."

On how much he emphasizes fixing the mistakes when going against a new defensive scheme:
"We correct those after the game in-house and try to do things better and make sure that they understand when they do come back up we are on top of it. Not a whole lot of mental mistakes really just a couple targeting errors in the running game. Mental mistakes, there weren't that many we just physically got beat a few times and had a couple physical drops and a few of those things and the fumble, but overall we just have to continue to learn from our stuff and move on."

On the pick plays and switching to zone coverage:
"Yeah, we just have to get different levels and not get picked. You have to be more physical at the line of scrimmage if you're at the line of scrimmage and you sluff off on bump and run, if you sluff off your chances of getting picked are pretty good, so we just have to be more physical, play our leverage, know where our help is and do a better job in that regard. That is the big thing, playing in different levels."

On if new players on offense played into the performance on Sunday:
"Not really. We called a couple of them like I said and they didn't come up. When you're having to punt after four or five play drives you start the series and you're trying to get something going maybe it's a quick gain, maybe you're trying to run one of your feature runs and then you're second-and-11 and then you're trying to get that 10, 11 yards right there, you're not trying to pump the ball 50 yards down the field. We just didn't have a lot of great situational-type – we tried one on the second play of the game, had to check it down to (RB) Adrian (Peterson), we tried a couple others and had to check them down because coverage dictated that's where we went, but we will continue to push it."

On if he is still confident the pass game will improve throughout the season:
"No, I think they're in good shape. We preach on taking what the defense gives you and Alex does a great job of that. There will be a time and place for everything, we will take some shots in another game here soon and we will take it from there."

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The Starter
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Sep 7, 2014
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Chapel Hill, NC

William and Mary

On following the game plan versus making adjustments in the game:
"Well we didn't really have to abandon it until Jordan's [Reed] fumble. We pushed it. I think we had seven and a half minutes to go. We were down by two scores, really, we're still right in the thick of the game; had the ball at the 25-yard line and fumbled. Had we scored there, we would still have four and a half minutes left, three timeouts left, we're still able to do what we wanted to do, but you know, I don't think you abandon the game plan until you're down two scores and have to throw it."
One of the things about Gruden that I've always said is that he doesn't seem to want/or can adjust to changes in the day and it's shown in this quote. While I certainly think one can't throw out the game plan right away, I would think you start making adjustments when you realize you aren't consistently moving the ball. You don't wait until it's desperate time.

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