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Press Release: #Redskins Quotes-Gruden, Cravens, Fuller


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April 29, 2016

Redskins Park

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On LB Su’a Cravens:

"Yeah, there's not a lot of things that he can't do. He's a playmaker. When you're talking about defensive football nowadays, you want to get people who can do multiple things and be versatile in what they do and figure out ways to get the ball back for your offense. He's one of the top guys at his position. He's got position flex. He's a ball hawk. He's a turnover machine and he's a great player. He'd be effective on special teams obviously. He can play in the box at linebacker, there’s a thought he might be able to play some safety. Once we get him in the building, we will figure out a way to get him on the field."

On DB Kendall Fuller and his knee:

"A lot went into that. We feel good about his progression from his injury. We think he's going to miss rookie minicamp but there's a chance he could be back for the OTA's. Worst case scenario we think he will be back for training camp. He's too talented of a player to pass up. He can play nickel obviously. There's a big hope for him. He can play outside. He's got great, natural football instincts at the nickel or corner position. Obviously he's got great bloodlines. I think it's a great pick."

On the value of versatility and flexibility:

"It's very important. There are so many sub packages nowadays – three-receiver sets, four-receiver sets, halfbacks lined up outside. Tight ends nowadays are versatile and can lineup outside. You need a guy that can be in the box, be effective in the run and then go out and cover people. We're playing Darren Sproles. We are playing running backs who can go out there and catch the ball. [shane] Vereen of the New York Giants. We’ve got to be able to have someone in there who can cover. He [Cravens] can lineup in the box. He's effective against the run. He can cover tight ends. He can cover backs. He's a great blitzer. He's got a great nose for the football, one of the best zoning defenders that we saw in this draft. He got great vision on the quarterback, ball-out break. Everything that Joe Barry preaches, he does. We'll find a spot for him whether it's in the box, whether it's out of the box. He'll be effective."

On what the picks and recent signings mean for CB Chris Culliver in terms of his recovery:

“Yeah, that’s what we have to wait and see. We have to get him healthy and see where he’s at. We’re just trying to add good football players to this team. We’ll figure out who’s playing where, how to get the receivers the ball, what have you. I think the important thing here, and the goal of this draft, is to sign the best players we can and draft the best players we can. Josh, and obviously Su’a and Kendall are three pretty good football players. We feel great about them coming and being Washington Redskins.”

On if the team leaned on Dr. James Andrews in assessing Fuller’s knee:

“I think every team has that information on the kid and we feel good about his recovery. We know he’s a hard worker. We know where he is in his rehab. We’ll get him down here and help him along the way, but he’s a hard worker and he’s going to get himself ready to go.”

On not selecting a defensive lineman in the first three rounds:

“There’s a lot of debate going on for every pick. We feel great about the guys we got, but I feel good about the line that we have. We’ll try to add one tomorrow and see what happens, but we’ve got [Ryan] Kerrigan, [Junior] Galette, we’ve got Preston Smith, [Trent] Murphy, [stephen] Paea, Ricky Jean [Francois], we’ve got Chris Baker, we’ve got Kedric [Golston]. We added some other guys. Corey Crawford is a young player – up-and-coming player. I feel good about the depth that we have. I’d like to maybe add one tomorrow, but we’ll see.”

On if he views Trent Murphy as a defensive lineman now:

“Yeah, absolutely.”

On trade interest:

“Yeah, there were a few phone calls that Bruce [Allen] and Scot [McCloughan] took. It just wasn’t to our liking, so we stayed where we were and got the players that we wanted.”

On Fuller’s family history in the NFL and his brothers saying he’s the best in the family:

“Yeah, that’s a pretty good thing to say about the kid. It shows what type of guy he is and what kind of worker he is. It’s exciting to know that he has been growing up in football. He has got older brothers that have showed him the ropes. He has gone to Virginia Tech and started a lot of football games there and played for a great coach in Coach Beamer. And I’ll tell you what, he’s a great kid and if he’s the best Fuller like they say he is, man, we’ve got a heck of a football player. Even if he’s not, man, that’s a great family football tradition and we are happy to be part of it.”

Linebacker Su’a Cravens

On where he fits in the Redskins’ scheme:

“They said they see me as a dime linebacker. So, I’m going to come in and give it my all.”

On his role at USC:

“I played 3-4 Sam ‘backer, so I was out in space a lot, covering the slot and making plays in open space.”

On what position teams wanted him to play in the pre-draft process:

“Probably every question at the combine was, ‘What position do you want to play?’ Half of it was safety, half of it was Will linebacker. Not too many teams spoke to me about the dime linebacker position. So the fact that Washington called me – which I wasn’t expecting – and told me that’s what they wanted me to play, I feel like it’s a spot where I can fit right in the defense.”

On what he likes about that role:

“I like that you can be a playmaker. You can be in open space. You can come fit down and get ready to protect against the run, and then also be in space and cover and show your athleticism. So, it gives me the chance to use my instincts and just be in the right position to make plays.”

On what he likes to do best:

“I like to be in space. I like to rush of the edge or help in the run. Those are two of the things that I do best, things that I excel at. To be honest, I just can’t wait to get on the field and showcase that.”

On surviving as an undersized player:

“You use technique. I think if you look at my film the past three years, I was an undersized linebacker that was in the trenches taking on tackles, guards, and fullbacks out of the backfield, getting off blocks and making plays. So I think it’s the attitude you carry, the mentality that you have, and how physical you want to be.”

On his relationship with Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry:

“Well, Joe recruited me when I was in high school. He left before I got to SC, but me and him had built a relationship before he had left and he knows my family inside and out. So I got a real good feel from him when I met with Washington at the combine. But, like I said, I hadn’t heard from him since the combine, besides pro day, but every team was there at pro day, so it came to a surprise when Washington called.”

On the player in the NFL he models his game after:

“I would say Deone Bucannon. He plays a lot bigger than what he is and he makes plays in open space and he’s very physical when it comes to the point of attack. I think I do a lot of the same things he does.”

On athleticism running in his family:

“My mom and dad were both athletes in high school. My brother went to Hawaii for football. My older sister, basketball at USC, and my younger sister plays basketball at Vanguard now. My little brother just got a full-ride scholarship to Alabama for receiver, so athleticism is running through the family.”

On his competitiveness growing up:

“They [games with family] weren’t for fun; we were playing for bragging rights. Whoever won the game definitely let the rest of us know. All the family reunions we have from both sides of the family, they get really competitive.”

On the best athlete in the family:

“If I couldn’t say myself, I would say my little sister. I think she’s a real baller.”

Defensive Back Kendall Fuller

On his emotions after being selected by the Redskins:

“It’s just a blessing just to get that phone call and see your name flash across that screen. I’m thankful for the opportunity and I’m just ready to be down there and compete and play some football.”

On his knee:

“I’m feeling really well. Working out wise, I’m not limited to anything, I’m doing everything. I’m still getting a little bit more strength back in it, but I’m doing really well.”

On if he expects to be able to fully participate in spring workouts:

“The way I feel I think I could, but at the end of the day, it’s going to have to see what the doctors say at the Redskins. Dr. [James] Andrews is the guy, isn’t he? So that will definitely work out well. So I guess we’ll see in the next couple days.”

On where he feels most comfortable:

“I’m comfortable everywhere. Being at [Virginia] Tech, you know, Coach [Torrian] Gray and Coach [bud] Foster trusted me to put me all over the field, play outside, play inside, play zone, play man. So pretty much everywhere.”

On his relationship with DeAngelo Hall:

“He’s really just one of those all-time greats, one of those legends. I was there to see him before the season this year, things like that. I’m definitely looking forward to playing with him, learning from him and just soaking up some knowledge from him.”

On the advantage of having three older brothers in the NFL:

“It was definitely an advantage. Like I said, being able to learn from their experiences, their past, and like I said, soaking up that knowledge and really being able to understand the game fully and things like that definitely benefited me a lot.”

On the biggest thing he’s learned from his brothers in the NFL:

“Really just their work ethic. We’re guys that we don’t talk a lot, but we work through our actions and we’re never going to let anyone outwork us. We’re going to try to be the hardest-working guys on the field.”

On when he realized the severity of his knee injury:

“I think we played ECU either the third or the fourth game and I was pretty much out the whole week of practice. I was trying to hopefully get right for Saturday and I was never able to. After that we kind of realized I was doing too much just to get ready for Saturdays. So, we just decided to go ahead and get the surgery.”

On going into surgery thinking he’d be able to play later in the season:

“I went into the surgery thinking I would just get the meniscus cleaned out, scoped out. I came out and found out that I had to get the microfracture.”

On playing alongside Josh Norman:

“Definitely will be fun. He seems like a guy that likes to compete, a guy that obviously has great talent, a guy that I can come in and learn from, who’s been there and done that. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”

On waiting to be selected:

“It was definitely rough. Knowing my talent level and I guess planning to get picked a little earlier, just praying and staying patient and things like that and just waiting to get that phone call.”

On who called to notify him the Redskins drafted him:

“They just told me, ‘Welcome to the team.’ Coach Jay Gruden, just welcome and [they] look forward to having me in there.”

On all of his brothers being in the NFL:

“Honestly, the only thing I can think about is just playing football now. Not expecting to wait that long I guess just gives you so much more motivation and makes you want to go get out on the field. It’s definitely a blessing and definitely something that me and my brothers all worked hard for. The only thing I can picture in my mind right now is just playing football.”

On if he was a Redskins fan as a child:

“I couldn’t really grow up as a Redskins fan just because I had my brothers in the NFL. Like I said, being from this area and always going out to PG Sports Complex, I remember we played DeMatha there at one game. Being around there and being familiar with it, it is definitely special.”

On ever imagining playing for the Redskins:

“Honestly, I think when you think of the NFL, you think about just being on the field and making plays. I personally never thought about a specific team. I just always thought about the things I could accomplish, the dreams I could accomplish and things like that.”

On what he is able to do currently:

“As far as sprinting, defensive back drills, change of direction drills, I’m pretty much doing everything. Only thing that I really need to I guess get back to 100 percent is full strength. Movement-wise, I’m pretty much at 100 percent and moving well.”

On his familiarity with Dr. James Andrews:

“I’m definitely familiar with Dr. Andrews. I trained down at EXOS in Pensacola, so I was right next door to him. I talked to him all the time down there and things like that, so I’m definitely glad that he’ll still be on the staff and I can still work with him and talk to him. He’s the best in the business.”

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Good to see they aren't expecting sua to play a lot of safety. He's certainly a ball hawk....looking forward to how we use him!

So is he a cross between Monte Coleman and Alvin Walton? Two players I loved and were very effective, but also were great because of how they were used. Walton as an extra linebacker on seek and destroy missions and Coleman as a nicklebacker who could do everything because of his speed... our best coverage lb back in the glory days.

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I'm worried also. Maybe left side?

If he can get to 285-290 w 'good' weight, I think he can be a solid DE in our rotation.....not a star but good against the run and able to contribute 4-5 sacks.... I actually like him better at DE vs OLB since he doesn't really have OLB speed/quickness. Time will tell

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