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Press Release: #Redskins Quotes- Gruden


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December 21, 2015

Redskins Park

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:

“Morgan Moses, ankle sprain, he’ll be day-to-day. Josh LeRibeus has an ankle sprain, he’ll be day-to-day. Dashon Goldson has a rib fracture, he’ll be day-to-day. Will Compton had an MRI on his neck. His exam was normal. Matt Jones had a hip contusion. And Ryan Grant has an oblique muscle injury. He aggravated it. He’ll be day-to-day also.”

On his conversation with QB Kirk Cousins after the game against the New York Jets and if it is the reason behind Cousins’ recent success:

“Well, I don’t know. I think just him playing and him getting all these reps and just playing better… We just talked about — I just showed him the success of another quarterback [Tom Brady] and how he is managing the game and he’s not doing everything himself. He is letting his players do the work for him — lot of quick game, lot of balls getting out of his hands and just managing the football game. But, you know, I think it’s mainly on Kirk. I don’t think it’s any talk that I had with him or [Offensive Coordinator] Sean [McVay] or anything like that. I think Kirk coming out here, progressing, getting better, studying the tape, really, studying the practice reps, just getting better every day. Kirk has really been on-point as far as his preparation for each game and just continuing to get better and better.”

On if Cousins’ studying has increased:

“Well, you can study and be a backup and don’t get the reps. He’s studying and he’s getting all the reps and we’re catering the offense to him. He’s learning from the reps and his mistakes in practice. It’s one thing visualizing things and seeing what I would have done, maybe, but actually doing them every day and taking every first-team rep for the last 30 weeks or so, it’s been very, very important and obviously beneficial for him.”

On if C Kory Lichtensteiger could return for the playoffs:

“Yes, he’s going to start practice. We’re hoping starts practice tomorrow [if] he’s able to do that. He’ll get two weeks of practice in, and then, he would be eligible to play in the playoffs.”

On the importance of T Trent Williams’ leadership and work ethic:

“Well, it’s very important. I’ve mentioned that before. He’s been a great leader. Guys have looked up to him. His work ethic has been outstanding. [Offensive Line Coach] Bill Callahan grinds those guys. He’s down there during every drill working with him. Obviously, Spencer [Long] and [brandon] Scherff and Morgan [Moses], they all look up to him — and [Tom] Compton. When you’re the best player on the football team and you’re also working that hard, you earn a lot of respect from each guy — from everybody. It’s a great benefit for all the young guys to have Trent around.”

On how different this year feels coaching ‘meaningful’ games in December:

“Personally I think every game is meaningful. You’re a head coach in the National Football League, I think they’re all meaningful. It’s a great privilege, but to have a chance and have your team in a position to possibly win the division this late is obviously what you coach for – these moments and these games. So we’re excited about it. We’re excited for the challenge. The guys, the players have got us in the position. They’ve worked hard. They continue to battle and compete and that won’t change.”

On S Dashon Goldson’s injury:

“It’s going to be painful for him. He’s the type of guy that’ll probably do whatever he can to get on the field. We’ll see how he is Wednesday. I doubt he’ll practice Wednesday, probably Thursday. We’ll see how he is come Friday. He’s got a rib contusion, rib fracture."

On T Morgan Moses’ injury:

“Morgan tried to come back in and the first play we got the touchdown, I believe, he came back in. But he did have to redirect on the next play, he had to redirect and he had some pain so he couldn’t go back in."

On RB Matt Jones’ mental mistakes:

“Yeah, he’s got to hone in there, be more focused – the false start penalty and he almost missed a big blitz pickup that luckily Kirk got away to [Jamison] Crowder in the flat. He’s working hard. He’s a rookie, he’s going to make some mistakes. We have to limit those mistakes. Luckily for us we have three, four good backs now that are all playing pretty well. Chris Thompson could be healthy next week and obviously Pierre [Thomas] is learning and learning. Obviously Alfred [Morris] had a big game yesterday. I think for being a rookie I think he’s been a pretty good football player – smart, too. His mistakes haven’t been that often. He’s had a few, as everybody has, but I think he’s done OK."

On how Cousins can replicate his home success on the road:

“Just continue to distribute the ball like he’s been doing, read the defenses, go through his progressions and the line has got to give him time to do that. Fortunately for us last week and throughout our home success that he’s had we’ve been pretty fortunate to stay out of a lot of third down and longs. We’ve had great balance offensively. The running game, we rushed for over 100 yards yesterday, which was great. The play-actions, the nakeds, the keepers – whatever you call them – were very successful for us. As long as we maintain our balance, I think he’ll have good success. It’s when we get behind and get in the third down and longs where we become one-dimensional like we were on the road against New England, like we were against the New York Jets in the third and fourth quarter. That’s where we’ve had our troubles."

On WR Jamison Crowder’s punt returns:

"He hasn't had many great looks at them. He's had a few that he's made some good returns. I don't think it's all negative. Yesterday's punt drop was unfortunate. You know, he just ran up there and misjudged it a little bit. I think overall he's been pretty consistent as far as fielding the punts. I think he had the one fumble and then he dropped one earlier that he recovered, but overall I'm pretty satisfied the way he's returning punts. We can always throw DeSean [Jackson] back there. That's just hold your breath, who knows what's going to happen then? [Laughter]. It sure is exciting, though. Gives me a couple more gray hairs. But I'm fine with Crowder. He's doing OK. He has just got to hold on to the ball."

On if he has seen a punt like the first one by the Bills yesterday:

"No, I've never seen that. In fact, I was going to challenge it because I think it hit the ground first and it would've been a drop kick. We should've gotten the ball at the spot from what I was told up in the booth, but we couldn't challenge it. That was weird though [laughter]. That was weird."

On if WR DeSean Jackson had been close to having a breakout game before last week:

"It's been close. His first game back was [against] New England, I don't think he was quite right. He's gradually getting himself back to where he is rolling and I think he's been healthy the last three or four weeks. It's just a matter of getting back into the flow and getting that continuity with the quarterback and having that trust in Kirk. You can see the other day – yesterday – he threw a ball up to him, the 77-yarder, that maybe a couple of weeks ago he wouldn't have thrown just because he wasn't sure how DeSean would adjust to it or what have you. But I think the trust factor between DeSean and Kirk is starting to grow and with all the receivers quite frankly. You can see him giving a back shoulder throw to Jordan Reed, a fade throw to Pierre Garçon. He's not worried about the receivers being entirely perfectly open all the time. He's anticipating throws and letting the receivers go do the work for him, which is why he's having success and DeSean is no different. We're giving him a few more looks."

On looking back on the fight between the Redskins and Texans during training camp:

"I just think it brought everybody together. It was pretty neat to see everybody just run to each other’s back and have each other’s back and get in the scrum, watch Pierre [Garçon] in there battling with J.J. [Watt] and all these guys come to each other’s rescue. It was a good team building exercise; you know, some teams like to go bowling, we like to have all-out brawls with the Houston Texans [laughter]. It was good to see and I think we had lot of fun with it. Luckily nobody got hurt and there was no issue there. It was good to see everybody rally around each other."

On plans for the short week:

“We’re going to handle it just like we handled Chicago, quite frankly, after the Monday night game. We’re going to give them obviously today off and tomorrow they’ll come in and we’ll just do a walkthrough. Wednesday and Thursday we’ll get two good days of practice, walkthrough Friday and then fly out Friday night on Christmas.”

On the importance of veteran leadership:

“I think the veterans have a great hold of this locker room. A lot of these young guys have been through a lot of big games in their careers but nothing like this, nothing like a Saturday night game on the road at Philadelphia for possibly a division title – it is for us if we can win it. We’ve just got to play with our poise and just continue to play with our great effort. Hopefully these guys prepare like they’ve been preparing and it’s not too big for them, which I don’t think it will be."

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