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Press Release: #REDSKINS Quotes - Gruden

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December 5, 2018


Head Coach Jay Gruden




On injuries:

"Did not participate were [Ryan] Anderson, hamstring, [Tony] Bergstrom, ankle, [Colt] McCoy, fibula, [Matt] Ioannidis, shin, [Adrian] Peterson, shoulder, [Chase] Roullier, knee, [Montae] Nicholson, illness. Limited were [Morgan] Moses, knee, [Trent] Williams, wrist and thumb and [Josh] Norman, hamstring and there's one more guy I can't read. It starts with an M [Laughter]. [Fabian] Moreau, knee."


On if something happened to WR Trey Quinn that forced the IR move:

"After the game against the Cowboys, he played pretty good and then he was in a lot of pain and obviously couldn’t go last week and was in a boot. I thought and we thought as a team that it was best to get that thing rested up. He's fresh off a surgery this year, tried to fight through it, played well against Dallas and then I think the short week playing Dallas on Thursday made it flare up quite a bit and we weren’t sure if the timetable was three, four weeks, five weeks or what have you, but we thought the best for Trey was to go ahead and put him down."


On the decision to put CB Quinton Dunbar on IR:

"Well, I've been saying it all along, this is a unique injury. When you are talking about the nerve, we don’t know exactly how long this is going to be, but we know it is a slow healing process. So, what I think is best for him in his future is let's get this thing checked. When you're talking about nerves, it worries me a little bit. I know it worries him and it worries the staff, we haven’t been able to quite find exactly the timetable for this thing, but I know that he's not too confident in putting a lot of weight on it and running full speed and it's something for his future, we've got to get it figured out."


On if there is confidence that the rest will be enough for Dunbar:

"Yeah, I just think it's a slow healing process, so we do have confidence the thing will heal, you just don’t know the timetable exactly. It could be three weeks, it could be a month, it could be two months, but the fact of the matter is, we just want to make sure we do the right thing by him and let him see as many specialists as we can to get a good grasp on exactly what it is, so we can target the rehab time and get him fixed."


On the extent of C Chase Roullier's injury:

"Yeah, he's got a grade one I think knee type of deal. There's so many different ligaments and issues in there and he's limping around a little bit today, but we'll see. It's something that has to progressively get better and hopefully it will over the next couple of days, but he's in a little bit of pain."


On if the organization has to take a step back and look at the amount of injuries and why it's happening:

"Yeah, we had a lot of conversations in the offseason about it. We added the recovery room, we are trying to get the right treatment, we've got massage tables in there, we've got sleep centers, we've got all kinds of stuff in there for guys to take care of their bodies, but you look at the type of injuries that we've had and it's the same as last year, they are all kinds of different ones. There's ankles, there's knees, there's pecs, there's thumbs. I just can't put a finger on it and if anybody has an answer, I'd love to hear it. It's painful, it's painful for the players, it's painful for us as a team, organization, all the work we put in the offseason to get these guys ready to play, you have your final cuts, you feel good about your offensive line and then you lose seven, eight, nine of them. It's hard to overcome something like that, but we've got guys in here now that we have to get ready to play."


On the decision to sign QB Josh Johnson:

"Yeah, we have three, four days to get ready. I've been with Josh, he was with me in Cincinnati, he was with me in Tampa and he knows the terminology, so when I say 'Dusty' he knows exactly what that is, quick seam, he knows what it is, so he can function thataway, with the cadence, with the terminology. When you have three or four days to prepare for a team and get a quarterback ready, you've got to have somebody with some familiarity and I felt most comfortable with Josh because he knows our protection calls, he remembers a lot of our terminology, he can move around a little bit, but mainly for the sake of communication, we had to have somebody that had a little bit of a background in our system."


On Johnson and his mobility opening a different part of the playbook:

"Yeah that’s the other good thing about him, he is versatile in what he can do. It's just a matter of trying to get him the reps out here with the new guards that we have, so we can't throw too many different types of schemes at the Giants. Obviously we'll try to do the best we can to keep them off balance, but he does bring an element of that, that we can do. We've just got to get him some work tomorrow, hopefully and maybe Friday to get a good package that we feel good about and the line feels good about and the receivers for him. So, yes he does bring that element."


On the plan at cornerback without Dunbar:

"Yeah, we will continue to look at all three of them, really. We like what they all bring, something different to the table. [Greg] Stroman has played both inside and out, Danny [Johnson] has done the same thing and I think Adonis [Alexander] is more of an outside guy, but we've used him in some joker packages where he's had to cover tight ends a little bit. I think it's just going to be an ongoing process. Obviously we would like to have in base Fabian [Moreau] at one corner and Josh [Norman] at the other corner and when we go sub, that's the one we can interchange a little bit, play Stroman in there possibly, move Fabian in there. It just depends on the matchups."


On how much QB Mark Sanchez needs to overcome after not playing in the league for a couple of years:

"It's a huge leap. It's a huge leap playing with guys you don't even know. I don't even know if he knows all the guys on our team’s names, so it's big-time. The terminology and just calling a play in the huddle off the wristband or calling a play in the huddle and being confident in what you're doing and then you got to go to the line and possibly make protection calls or switch the play at the line of scrimmage and then get the snap and your footwork and the concepts – all the stuff is going to be a great challenge, but the good thing is he has played a lot of football in his day and he did a pretty good job against Philly. Obviously a nice two-minute drive and had some decent plays where we just have to build off of that and really as a staff our job is to tap into what he knows and what he feels comfortable with moving forward while also trying to come up with a plan for what the Giants do. It's not easy for any quarterback no matter how long he played, if you don't get any reps in training camp, preseason or regular season with the guys you are playing with and you don't know the terminology so to speak, it is a great challenge. But he is a veteran guy and I think he'll do the best he can."


On the balance of getting Sanchez caught up while also doing his homework on what the Giants are doing defensively:

"I think you probably have to be a little bit more simplistic in your approach, but you still can challenge the defense in different ways. He may not be able to do so many different formations and motions and all of that stuff, but he can do some different things. I think running the ball will be key obviously and some play-actions getting him outside the pocket can be very beneficial and then the drop back concepts that we have will be things that he is comfortable with. The trick is third down, red zone that is its own entity and that's something we're going to look into tonight and really try to come up with a plan, a protection plan and a route concept plan and all that good stuff."


On QB Josh Johnson:

"I don't know. I know he's had a lot of opportunities and I had him in Cincinnati and I think sometimes we have a backup quarterback and you want them to be able to function in the huddle and call plays and he is a very smart guy, he has been in a lot of different systems, he can handle the protections, calling the plays in the huddle and then when the play is snapped he can make some plays with legs which is very important – scrambling and moving around outside the pocket. So, he does have some qualities in a quarterback that other guys don't have. As a pure drop back guy, if you are going to throw it 50 times you would probably want to go elsewhere, but Josh is more of guy that is a first, second down guy that can run a little bit, get outside the pocket and make some things happen."


On Sanchez's previous success in the two-minutes drill:

"I don't know. I didn't know he was good at two-minute in New York, but he did a nice job in our two-minute drill. Sometimes you play fast you don't think quite as much, there is less to do when you feel good about the two-minute plan there is less plays and less concepts that you have to deal with. He did a good job getting the ball out and moved around in the pocket pretty well and did some good stuff in our no huddle situations also, so it's something we have to look into."


On what the plan is for Sunday with the offensive line:

"We're looking at Zac [Kerin]. We signed Zac here. He will get some looks at guard. Obviously we signed [Demetrius] Rhaney also today, we had him in training camp, so he can play center if Chase [Rouiller] can't go. That whole group is kind of in flux right now to be honest with you. We obviously feel good about Morgan [Moses] and Trent [Williams]. I'd like to keep Ty [Nsekhe] outside if we could, but if we need to play him at guard again we could, possibly. We're just looking at all of our options right now before making a decision."





New York Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur


On if he has dealt with similar quarterback situations as the Washington Redskins:

"Well, I've experienced it. Two that come to mind in my first go around in Philly, we had Donovan McNabb that went down, was replaced by Koy Detmer who helped us win a Monday night game, then had a problem with his elbow and was replaced by A.J. Feely, who came in for a stretch of games and kept winning for us until Donovan came back. So, that was the first one and then most recently in Minnesota, we had Teddy Bridgewater, who then was replaced by Sam Bradford, who was then replaced by Case Keenum. That was over the course of a season and a half but the challenge is certainly that right is right. You have to find a way to win but you have to also find the things that quarterback can do and sometimes it's in a short period of time. Unfortunately for the Redskins this week, it's a six-day period, so you've got to try to find the things that Mark [Sanchez] does well and you've got to find the plays that work well against the Giants and then you've got to certainly couple that with the things that you do well in terms of running the ball and so on. So, that’s the challenge. Certainly when you replace a quarterback it's really critical – especially when you don’t have time. Time is always against you when this comes up."


On a new quarterback and knowing what they do well:

"I think you've got to talk to him. We all have systems that involve everything from quick throws, to movements, to drop-back throws, to heavy play actions, to empties. We all have those plays, so what you need to do is go through your system, based on who you have to throw to and you've got to hand it to, to run the ball and find the things that he's comfortable with to work against the opponent and this week it's the Giants. That's what you do, that’s what they do behind the scenes and then you rep them as well as you can and go out and play."


On how he looks at QB Mark Sanchez:

"I do know Mark because I worked with him for a better part of a year. I'm familiar with what he is and he came to us and heck he was playing in two AFC Championship games for the Jets, so he knows how to win and lead and he had that about in Philadelphia. He's good at throwing on the run. He executes well from the pocket and then we've got to look at what they do and just kind of surmise the plays they'll run with him."


On what he liked about Sanchez in Philadelphia:

"Probably the things that you may be see about him there [with the Redskins]. He was in early. He was out late. When we made a play call, he could finish it for you, because he's very studious – knowing what he's doing and understanding the game plan and all that was very important to him. I remember that he would practice with little notecards, where he would have the play drawn up and then he'd have the verbiage of the play on the back side of it, so he really studied, which as a coach you really appreciate and then he went out and executed."


On if having notecards when practicing is unusual:

"Not unusual, it's just a tool that some quarterbacks have used over the years. Everybody has different ways of doing it. If you call something on the left hash, some guys will practice it on the right hash. They just go through that and that shouldn’t be a shock to know that’s part of what they do each week."


On trick plays becoming more normal in the NFL:

"I don’t know that. Actually, the Bears gadget play was very similar to the one we ran but they just ran it in a condensed area. It was kind of a fake reverse pass. Yeah, I think we have all have specials. We all have things we will use in situations where we think it could create a big play for us. I think every team has them and I think it's always been a part of the game, I do. It's just you've got to try to find… and we all have them on our cards each week to call. You've just got to get the right situation to call it and sometimes that doesn’t come up in a game, you know?"


On tricks plays aiding team comradery:

"Yeah, I think we all know this is the ultimate team game, so for whatever reason, tactically find a way for one of the teammates to do something that he doesn’t do and score. I mean how many lineman score in their lifetime? How many receivers have ever thrown touchdown passes? I think the bigger view of this is at the time of game when you might need a little spark. It kind of gives you a little bit of an emotional boost I think. The first one we threw was against Carolina, which kind of gave us a jumpstart and really helped catapult our offensive performance that week. Then certainly, the one that we threw last week was one that kind of put us in the lead. I think that’s more of what it is than the actual throw and the catch."


On QB Mark Sanchez being remembered for one play:

"Listen, we as coaches and competitors we can't control that and I don’t know this, but in my mind, he shouldn’t let that define him. We're all involved in many, many plays and many, many games, but there are many, many good things that happen. You're involved in a lot of wins, but unfortunately you're involved once in a while in a bad play or a bad game and you just try to move on. I mean, that’s another person's view of him and I talk to my team about that all the time. You've got to keep the noise out and just really worry about doing the right thing and continue to compete and heck we've all failed. Right is right and we're trying to win but we've got to keep that noise out and just keep going. I don’t know if that's Mark's mindset but my sense is that it would be something close to that."



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