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Press Release: Gruden, Hatcher, Garrett, & romoSUCKS Quotes


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October 23, 2014

Redskins Park


Head Coach Jay Gruden


On the injury report:

“Limited today was Ryan Clark, ankle/shoulder, Robert Griffin [iII], ankle, [tackle] Trent Williams, knee... [Chris] Baker was full today… [Tracy] Porter, hamstring [was limited]… Full was Alfred Morris and full was Perry Riley [Jr.].”


On if quarterback Robert Griffin III has received clearance for full contact:

“Robert really hasn’t changed. You know, there’s really not a whole lot to say. He’s just steadily progressing in these drills this week and then we’ll make a decision probably later on. I’m not going to announce whether he’s active or inactive until, what, 7:30 Monday night, probably. The big thing for him is to just get back out on the field, get with the guys, break the huddle, do the team stuff, gradually get back in the flow, call the play in the huddle, make his throws. Today was a rough day because it was so windy, but overall just feeling the pocket converge on him and make the throws under duress. It was good for him today.”


On if he is proceeding as if Colt McCoy is the starting quarterback this week:

“Oh, yeah. Yeah.”


On linebacker Trent Murphy balancing his pass rush ability with avoiding penalties:

“Yeah, that’s the case with a lot of defensive players. They get over-anxious and they work so hard to get to the quarterback and they get there a little late but they feel like it’s necessary to go ahead and hit him anyway. You’ve just got to try to rein them in a little bit and coach them up and [help them] understand that they’ve got to play by the rules. He has a huge penalty Sunday against Tennessee on special teams. He jumped offsides on fourth-and-five, which we had coaches in line ready to yell at him coming off the field. But he plays hard. He plays with great effort, man. He’s going to be a good player for a long time around here. He’s just got to continue to grow and develop and just keep playing. He’s going to be a good player.”


On linebacker Will Compton’s role on defense following the return of Perry Riley, Jr.:

“Yeah, they’re both getting reps at the spot this week. You know, I can see them both playing, to be honest with you. Will does have a role on special teams, obviously. He did a great job in Perry’s absence, but Perry is still working to get full-go. He was full participation today, but as far as full mobility and full movement, he’s still coming along. I think there’s going to be a place for both of them to play, but when Perry does come back at 100 percent, it’s his job.”


On how much of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s success can be attributed to the effectiveness of their run game:

“Well, it helps, that’s for sure. It helps take the pressure off a quarterback. That’s the intent here also is to really get our running game going so we can take the pressure off our quarterback, but Tony is a great player regardless. He’s had a great career. He can throw it, he can scramble, he can do just about anything you want a quarterback to do so having a running game to help him along the way will make him all the more effective.”


On if he has decided whether Tom Compton or Tyler Polumbus will start at right tackle:

“Not really – not yet. You know, we’re looking at both of them and obviously Morgan [Moses] is still in the mix also, but we feel good about all three of those guys. I think it’s just a matter of who we decide to go with on Monday, but I would imagine it will be close.”


On if a rotation at right tackle is an option:

“We rotated them last week in the second half, so it is an option, yeah.”


On if guard Josh LeRibeus could earn more reps:

“Well, we feel that Shawn [Lauvao] has done pretty good at left guard. And when LeRibeus played, he did OK when Shawn as out, so we don’t really anticipate moving Shawn out of the starting spot at left guard. We feel good about him. We feel good about [left tackle] Trent [Williams]. Obviously,

Kory [Lichtensteiger] has done a good job. [Right guard Chris] Chester has done a good job and then Polumbus has been battling a bit of soreness in his knee. He’s been full-go and all that stuff, but we just thought Tom deserved an opportunity to play and we mixed him in there at right tackle also.”


On Griffin III’s mindset as he returns from injury:

“Yeah, he wants to play. There’s no question. He’s a great competitor. He wants to play, but he also knows he has to go through the process and he understand that. He’s a great competitor, like I said, but he still has to feel… He’s still got to get out there and throw these balls, like I said, in the team drills and to the wide receivers to get himself back in game form. It’s not so much the injury now as it is more about getting himself ready from a mental, physical standpoint playing football.”


On if Griffin III took one-on-one reps with the first team today:

“He got a few, yeah.”


On if there is a timing issue with Griffin III:

“Yeah, a little bit. And plus, Colt needs those reps, too. We’re really tinkering here on thin ice as far as who we’re giving the reps to. Every time we take Colt out of the game getting ready for Monday night, we’re taking away from his progression every time. We have to get Colt the reps right now, but we also have to make sure that we’re bringing Robert along at a good rate so when he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.”


On covering Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant without cornerback DeAngelo Hall:

“Yeah, we’ll find out. D-Hall has always done a very admirable job against Dez Bryant. Dez is a great receiver, no question about it, so [David] Amerson, [bashaud] Breeland, they’re going to have to step up and I don’t know if they know what they’re in for yet but we’ve covered some good receivers this year also. But Dez is a lot bigger, stronger, more physical than guys that we’ve faced so far and he’s having a great year and we know that come crunch time, if they need a play, somebody’s got to cover him. Hopefully, Breeland and Amerson will be up to the task.”


On when he wants to see Griffin III back on the field as a starter:

“I don’t know when it’s going to happen yet. I’m not going to say it’s not going to happen for Monday, but ideally I want him back when he’s ready. That’s all – when he’s physically and mentally ready to go. I don’t care about anything else. We’ll get a good feel from him and the trainers and all that stuff and when it’s time, it’ll be time.”


On who the starting quarterback will be against the Cowboys:

“We’ll announce that on Monday night. But Colt’s the starter. We’re preparing for Colt to be the starter, you know what I mean? But we’re trying to get Robert some reps, get him ready, but right now it looks like odds are Colt will be the starter, but we’re trying to work Robert into the lineup and trying to get him reps to get him ready to go because I ultimately – when it’s all said and done – when Robert’s healthy, Robert’s the starter. Do we understand that? Robert’s the starter. Colt is not the starter. Colt could be the starter Monday night, but when Robert is healthy, he’ll be the starter… We just don’t know when that ‘healthy’ will be. Mental healthy, physical healthy, we’ve just got to get him ready.”


On when Griffin III will meet with Head Athletic Trainer Larry Hess to evaluate his progress:

“It happens every day. They go through all the rehab process every day and it’s a matter of going out, when you do more, how you feel… He’s been cleared to do just about everything. It’s just a matter of now that’s he’s doing everything, going back to Larry, continuing his rehab, how’s he feeling? How’s it holding up? All that good stuff.”


On Monday Night Football production meetings with his brother, Jon:

“It’s entertaining. They ought to film it. It’s good, man. It’s always good to see him. We don’t get a chance to see each other very much this time of year, obviously, but it’s always good to see him. He’s a pro at what he does. He’s good. He’ll throw out a couple ideas for me every now and then but, you know, it’s always fun to get together with him.”


On showing a video of the history of the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry to the team:

“Well, I just think the history, a lot of guys haven’t been in this organization – myself included. This is my first year. It’s always good to see the history of this rivalry and how important it is to the fans, the ex-players – the alumni and the organization in general. This is a huge game for a lot of people and we’re going to make sure it’s known that this is a big rivalry for the new players and coaches.”


Defensive End Jason Hatcher


On his emotions about returning to play in Dallas:

“I was there eight years of my career, man. I had a great career there but I am approaching this game like any other game. It is a must win for us. So, I am just concentrating on being the best player I can be to help our defense play the best they can. It’s no extra emotions involved, it is just another game.”


On if he has heard from any former teammates this week:

“No, you know, a lot of those guys, man, I was there so long I saw guys come in as rookies, grow up as men, you know, mature. I mean, of course they’ve reached out to me, excited to see me, those guys over there have got a lot of respect for me. So, it is going to be great to see those guys but at the same time we’ve just got to go in there and get a win.”


On if he could sense a change with the Cowboys as he was leaving:

“Yeah, you could see it. The culture there changed, it took a while with me being an [expletive] sometimes, you know, the culture kind of changed. You could kind of see it happening. But I am excited for those guys. I wish the best for them. They are playing well, it is hard to win six games in this league but you know, we’ve got to go and get our third one.”


On the adjustment from leaving Dallas and coming to Washington:

“It was one of those things that I knew was coming, I prepared for it my last year there. So, I knew it was kind of coming. Just getting here, you know, the guys that’s here, they [were] great accepting me as a teammate, so it was an easy transition for us coming and playing for the Redskins.”


On how hard it is to put emotions aside with a game like this:

“I think you’ve just got to be locked in to what is at stake for this football team and I am. And what’s a stake is another win. So, that is what I am focusing on. I am not going out there trying to be no hero or nothing like that. I am just going to continue to be the player I am. I am not going to go do nothing special, try to be no hero, but I am going to go out there and play the best I can.”


On what impact the Cowboys’ success on third down has for their defense:

“I don’t think about it at all. I am a Redskin at heart, this is my team, this is my organization, I love them to death. But they have been able to do some good things. But the key, the key is 29, DeMarco [Murray]. He is a great back, he has been a great back since he came to the Cowboys. It is one of those things – he couldn’t stay healthy, this year he is staying healthy and he is showing the world who he is. So, we’ve just got to contain him, man, he just do a lot of stuff by himself, that I watch on film so he is a great back.”


On what has to be done to contain Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray:

“You’ve just got to be where you are supposed to be at. If you’re supposed to be in the B-gap, be in the B-gap, because if you are not there he is going to go where you are not. He has awesome vision. He is – if not the best back in the league, you know, he is up there in the top five definitely. So, you’ve just got to be sound in your defense and every snap because if you are not he’ll make you pay.”


On if there is extra excitement to now have the opportunity to sack Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo:

“It is exciting for every quarterback, man. I enjoy rushing the passer, man. That is what I do. I love it so it just happens to be my old teammate. It’s going to be great. So, every quarterback – I don’t like quarterbacks, so every quarterback, all quarterbacks are going to get rushed the same by me.”


On how he feels physically going into this week’s game:

“I feel great. I told Coach last week was the best I’ve felt since my hamstring. But, you know, I don’t make excuses. But I feel great going into this game, just have got to continue to take care of my body and do the right things to get ready for Monday night.”


On if he has had to act a certain way to try to create a culture change similar to the one in Dallas:

“You know what, it is slowly but surely coming in. I am just being the guy that I have always been, the leader that they expect me to be. And some things you’re not going to like that I say, but I am here to be that leader and that voice. So, I’ve just got to continue to do it and I think the football team is going in the right direction.”


On if the response to his leadership in the locker room has been received well:

“Absolutely, absolutely. And a win always makes everything better. So we are coming off a win and it feels great. So I am glad we are coming off a win going into Dallas, which is a tough football team to play and it’s going to be very, very exciting challenge for us.”


On if the loss of linebacker Brian Orakpo will change how teams attack him:

“I get attacked every game. I get attacked every game. So that is something – nothing’s going to change, I get double-teamed every game. So, if they don’t double-team me, they know what it’s going to be. So, every game I get double-teamed, so I am not – they are going to attack me regardless. So, they know what kind of player I am.”


On the process of coming to a new team and taking a leadership role:

“Like I said, those guys accepted me in for who I was coming in on this football team. I jumped in right like I’ve been here my whole career, so it’s been great.”


On if he knows how to get to the visitor’s locker room in Dallas:

“I don’t, never been over there. But I am excited to go see it. I know it’s nice. Jerry [Jones] got it all fixed up for us.”


On how to stop the Cowboys’ offense:

“You know, just 29 [Murray], Dez [bryant], he is a monster, 83 [Terrence Williams]. They’ve got one of the best skill positions in the league. Just playing sound football. Just go out there and play like we know we can play and we will be OK.”


On how he became so close with defensive end Stephen Bowen:

“Well, when you’re in a hotel room with two beds for the whole training camp, OTAs, you have no other choice of getting close to each other. I didn’t like him at first because he was a snorer. I had Bill Parcells as my coach and he would run us in the ground, I would get like two hours of sleep. So after he kind of got out of my room, we got close then.”


On if he has shared any information about the Cowboys’ offensive linemen with his teammates:

“Yeah, everybody’s got weaknesses. I practiced against three of those guys up front. They are really good players man. So, I know a lot of stuff – a way to beat them. I have been sharing it as much as I can to try to go out here and get this victory.”


Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett


On his thoughts on Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy:

“Well, obviously we think he is a good player. We evaluated him very closely coming out in the draft. He has had a couple different stops and certainly when he got his opportunity last week for the Redskins he played very, very well for them. So I have a lot of respect for him and we have to prepare for their entire offense, obviously, and he is a big part of it.”


On if he is preparing for McCoy or Robert Griffin III:

“Well, I think you prepare for the whole offense and then what you try to do is you go back and watch their team play with each of them playing quarterback and see if there is a discernible difference between how they are calling the game or what schemes they are running and then you try to be ready for both.  So, we will try to keep an eye on what they are doing throughout the week but we certainly have to be ready for both of them and just get ready to play our best football.”


On how running back DeMarco Murray’s productivity has helped quarterback Tony Romo:

“Oh, I think it’s probably helped him immensely. Anytime you’re able to run the football, that’s the quarterback’s best friend. So when you run it effectively, teams typically have to try to defend the run and put a lot of guys down around the line of scrimmage and the opportunity to work some favorable matchups outside, they’re so much greater and you can really try to take advantage of that. We believe in trying to be a balanced offense – balanced between run and pass – and getting different people involved. Anytime you’re able to do those kinds of things, I think it’s easier on everybody, particularly the quarterback.”


On if he is concerned about Murray getting worn out:

“Well, obviously he’s a bell-cow runner for us, and we’ve had some games where we’ve been in what we call four-minute type situations where he’s gotten a lot of carries right at the end of the ballgame. That’s part of his job. We believe in the guys that we have behind him. Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar both are good players who have played well for us when they’ve been given opportunities. So we’ll continue to try to cycle those guys through there. But DeMarco understands the workload necessary and he’s certainly capable of handling it. At the same time, we want to make sure that we get the other guys a chance as well.”


On defensive end Jason Hatcher:

“Looks like he’s playing well. I think he’s a good fit up there. Been productive, been active both in the run game and affecting the quarterback.”


On the importance of neutralizing Hatcher’s pass rush ability on Monday:

“It’s important, obviously. They have good pass rushers there – individual guys. They have a good pass rush scheme. So that’s certainly critical every week. When you watch the tape, they have some guys that can get home, so a big challenge for our guys up front, certainly.”


On the difference in the defense this season despite key losses this offseason:

“Well, the guys you’re referring to, those are big losses when you’re talking about DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, and we lost Sean Lee to injury during OTAs. Those are important parts of our team and have been for a long time. But the ‘next man up’ philosophy is alive and well here in Dallas and when you lose guys like that, it gives other guys’ opportunities. I thought we did a good job going out into free agency and signing some guys maybe a little bit under the radar who have come in and contributed. We had some young guys in our program who we drafted who we felt good about giving them a chance and they’ve stepped up and done some good things. I think we’re playing good team defense. I know we have a long way to go though, and we’re very much of a work in progress. So guys are working hard every day to put their best effort out in preparation, certainly in game time, but we certainly have a long way to go. We feel good about some of the things we’ve done, but we’ve got to get better in a lot of different areas.”


On why his team has been successful at converting third downs:

“I think it starts with our success on first and second down and getting to some favorable third down situations. I think any time you do that, you’re obviously giving yourself the best chance to convert those. I think our offensive line has protected well in some of those challenging third down situations where protection is always at a premium. And I think we have a lot of different guys we can throw the ball to – Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Terrence Williams, Cole Beasley and Gavin Escobar and James Hanna, Lance Dunbar, all these guys have contributed on third down when we’re throwing the ball and been able to convert third downs for us. So certainly a big part of the game, we feel good about where we are right now, but it’s very much a collective effort and has a lot to do with what we’re doing prior to third down. We’ve just got to keep that going because it’s a big part of the game.”


On having Head Coach Jay Gruden’s brother, Jon, as part of the broadcast crew on Monday:

“I’ve known Coach [Jon] Gruden and Jay for a long time and they’re certainly professional. They’ve demonstrated that throughout their careers. It’s something that is kind of part of this game and it’s something that I know we’re going to handle the right way and I’m sure they’re going to handle it the right way as well.”


Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo


On owner Jerry Jones saying he is playing as well as he’s ever played:

“Well, I just think you are always just trying to improve and get better and there are a lot of reasons that go into when you are playing good football, but ultimately it’s just the ultimate team game. And when you have multiple people who are playing well at their position, I think it is a trickle-down effect for everybody. And our football team is just a team. We all help each other out in different avenues and, you know, I think we just spread the wealth around.”


On the culture change in Dallas:

“I think we follow the lead of our head coach. I think Coach [Jason] Garrett has a certain approach to the way he coaches and it has really rubbed off on the football team and they kind of take his same mental approach that he brings every day. And it kind of just seeped into the rest of the team and you can just see the guys and the way that they work and the effort they give and just the commitment to getting better every day. It has been a great thing to see.”


On if the offensive line has shaped the way the team has developed:

“Yeah, we are running the ball well. I think that obviously has a lot to do with the guys upfront – DeMarco [Murray]… There two things – and I have said this before – a couple things really that travel in the NFL are defense and running the football. I think that goes back to having a great D-line or a great offensive line and that gives you a chance to win every week you play. This is a man’s game. It’s tough, and its physical and you’ve got to bring it over and over and over again. I think our team has some guys like that who are willing to go out there and grind it out and have some ability and it has been great to see.”


On what has led to team’s success on third down:

“Yeah, I think we are doing some things that create some trouble for defenses in that area. I think we have some good players that can create some matchup trouble, and then you just have guys that do their jobs well and they understand on third down how to get the job done and then you have to go out there and execute it. So, all of it goes hand-in-hand together. I don’t know that there is one specific reason why any more than anything. We are just executing and I’m just going through the reads and getting the ball out. You’ve got to deliver the ball on time and you’ve got to deliver it accurately and that is what I am trying to do.”


On what it will be like not having to face cornerback DeAngelo Hall:

“Well, I will tell you after the game. I think he has done a good job. He is a good corner. You know, we obviously had to prepare for him over the years and it will be a little different this time, but I think philosophy they are going stay the same to what they have done. They may add a few wrinkles, a few pressures and change it up and do some different things and we will be prepared for that and get ready to go.”


On working his way back into game play and ‘hopping back in’ after dealing with an injury:

“I don’t know that you’re really just hopping back in, I think you just do everything you can. You film study, you wear that out, you wear out meeting time, you go through walkthroughs. You mentally stay in everything that you are doing. Then when you do go practice, you just have to stay in it mentally and then physically you have got to go perform. I always felt like it was always a joy – a great thing to be able to practice. It’s not the grind it is sometimes for other guys because of what you have to put your body through in the National Football League. For me, it was always almost like going to open gym or something where you are able to go compete and try to win each day. I’ve always loved the way that practice feels.”


On how to know when he is too injured to play:

“If you can walk and you’re not injured enough to – if it’s not broken basically or not to the point where you can’t go, I think you play. You may not be at your best but you are able to go and help your football team and that’s usually what I have done over the years. If I can stand up and walk and do those things, usually I am going to play.”


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On how to know when he is too injured to play:

“If you can walk and you’re not injured enough to – if it’s not broken basically or not to the point where you can’t go, I think you play. You may not be at your best but you are able to go and help your football team and that’s usually what I have done over the years. If I can stand up and walk and do those things, usually I am going to play.”


^That folks, is how it's supposed to work

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