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Press Release: #REDSKINS QUOTES - Gruden


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May 11, 2019


Head Coach Jay Gruden








On QB Dwayne Haskins:

"It’s been positive. It's been a good experience so far to get to know him, get some plays and watch him learn and then watch him take it to the field. Yesterday, he had a great day. Today the defense played a little better, but it’s just a matter of progression right now and installation. We’re at the very bare minimum right now, but I’m very impressed with his skillset for sure. He can really spin it."


On installing the offense with Haskins:

"Well when you're starting with the quarterback, it starts with the basics. You’re talking about huddle. He’s a guy that didn’t call a lot of plays in the huddle, so you’re talking about breaking the huddle and calling plays in the huddle and snap count and getting guys lined up. Obviously, going through his progressions, his footwork, not only in the passing game but in the running game. It’s just a lot you’re throwing at him. It’s a long process, but he’s a bright guy. He's wanting to work at it and he will work at it. I was impressed."


On Haskins starting Week 1:

"We’re going to go at it. Throw the ball out there let these guys compete really. I think he obviously displayed enough of a skillset to warrant the 15th pick in the [NFL] Draft and to give him an opportunity to see how far he can take this thing without a doubt. I’ve been impressed with the other quarterbacks that we have here. Case [Keenum] has done an excellent job from the little bit we’ve seen of him and Colt’s [McCoy] obviously rehabbing, Josh [Woodrum] has done a good job as well. It’s a good group and competition will be there."


On if there’s an open quarterback competition:

"Yeah, for sure. We have to have that. I mean Case [Keenum] coming off of the most experience is great, Colt [McCoy] has the most experience with this terminology in this system and Dwayne [Haskins] was the 15th pick in the draft. We’ll see what happens."


On LB Montez Sweat:

"I have no doubt that he’s going to play a lot. The skillset that he has is quite evident. You see his length and then you watch him run after practice and he’s faster than anybody we have probably right now. He has great length, great speed. Now, it’s just a matter of transitioning into the defense – both base and sub-fronts. So, we’ll see how he does but definitely impressed with him, with the athletic body of work that he has. Now, it’s a matter of getting him ready mentally and working on the fundamentals to go along with playing outside linebacker and defensive end in sub [package]."


On Sweat's speed:

"He’s just fast. He’s fast. He eats up ground when he runs. It’s like three strides and he’s all the way across the field and it’s crazy."


On having a rookie quarterback like Haskins:

"Well, I just think it’s kind of neat to have a quarterback here that you draft that high and you come in here and you give him set plays and go out there and work with him and watch him spin it. It’s been a treat. I think he’s made some throws that turn your head without a doubt. There are some things we obviously need to clean up, and that’s going to be the case every single day that he’s here. But without a doubt, I think to watch him throw the ball to the receivers that we have in here and he had a pretty good group of receivers as well. Some of those free agents that we signed, T.J. [Rahming] and Steven Sims, they were good and obviously Terry [McLaurin] and Kelvin [Harmon] were excellent. It was good to watch those guys run around."


On Haskins' ability to throw the ball:

"Yeah when he has a clean pocket and his feet are there, he’s just a big, solid, fundamentally sound guy man. He’s just a big presence and the ball just jumps off his hand. But he also has the ability to speed it up and he has great touch as well for some of the short balls. We shortened it down in the one-on-ones today and worked on some red-zone stuff. We just wanted to see his touch down there and I was impressed with that for the first time working with the wide outs in that period. He’s displayed that he can make, in a short period of time, all the throws – the deep ball throws, the 20-yard dagger type throw where you have to line it, and then the touch throws, the anticipation type throws. He's kind of displayed a little bit of everything these last two days."


On fundamentals:

"We’re never going to stop working on footwork and fundamentals. That’s something that Case [Keenum] and everyone are going to be doing. If Alex [Smith] were able to practice, he’d be working on that. That’s something that quarterbacks will always work on, not only in the pass game but in the run game, out of the shotgun, under center. That’s something that you have to be consistent with to give yourself a chance to get your body in the right position to matchup the timing with the route concepts we have. It’s a critical part of playing the position."


On WR Vinny Papale:

"Well, he's a tough guy and he runs everything hard. He plays with a lot of passion without a doubt. Very similar to the movie, right? I was impressed with him. There were a lot of guys that came out here in the tryout basis that were very impressive. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of spots right now at this time, so we won't be able to sign a lot of them. But, some of these guys did jump off the tape the last couple days. We're going to go as a staff and watch the tape again and see if there are some of these guys that we can bring to our 90-man roster."


On Haskins and WR Terry McLaurin having played together at Ohio State:

"I think just the comfort level of having another guy here that you know and that you're comfortable with. Dwayne is a great guy. He gets along with everybody but to have a guy that you can talk to, hang out at lunch or whatever – the first day of school so to speak. I think it's just a comfort level and you can see that they have a natural relationship throwing and catching the ball with the routes. Terry is very, very impressive in these two days with his speed and his ability to get off the jams and make plays down the field. An easy guy to throw to, fast and kind of big."


On WR Kelvin Harmon:

"I like his size. When you watch him on tape, you don't realize how big he is. He doesn't look that big on tape. But when you watch him in person, he's got great arm length, he's tall, he looks every bit of 6'2.5, 6'3 and he plays to his size. He is a very quarterback-friendly target. Learning the system for the first time, the route concepts, all the different cuts we gave him, I think he handled them quite well mentally and now it's just a matter of continuing to work and adding more to his plate – both inside and outside. He didn't do a lot of inside work at N.C. State, but I think there is a place for him where he can work on the inside. Very similar to – I had [Mohammed] Sanu at Cincinnati and he's with Atlanta now and they have a very similar skillset."


On adding Kyshoen Jarrett to the coaching staff:

"Well, I think he's going to be a great coach. I think as a player, we know what type of passion he brought to this football team and the injury ended his career a little short obviously. But he was very bright as a player, a young player. He was playing both safety spots and then when we lost a bunch of corners and nickels, he ended up playing nickel for us, which is not easy to do. He obviously has a passion to try to get himself back to play, but I think now he has set his sights on being a coach and he is going to be an excellent coach. He's been coached by good people, came from a good system at Virginia Tech. He's going to work hard and he is very, very bright."


On Haskins' ability to study film:

"Well, you're going to have to study film whether you're a rookie or a 20-year guy. I'm sure the great one's [Drew] Brees and [Tom] Brady still study film as much as anybody. That's what makes them great. I think we're going to help him along with that, teach him how to study film, what to look at in that regard. But he's a guy that wants to work at it and he has to work at it. At that position of quarterback you have to study, you have to work – the fundamentals, film it is never ending."


On drafting college team captains and the importance of adding players with that background:

"It is very beneficial, really. It's not so much that we didn't exactly target only captains, but if it's close between two players and one of them was a two-year captain at wide receiver with the skillset that Terry had, that's an easy pick. All the guys that we picked really have a great leadership. Ross [Pierschbacher] from Alabama, a great leader at Alabama. Kelvin [Harmon] at N.C. State was very productive, good leader. Obviously Dwayne. When you find good players that are also good people and good leaders, it's a win-win for everybody."


On signing additional veteran free agents:

"I think we're always going to be looking for players that can help our football team. We might have some workouts here and there, but I like where we're at, at every position right now. We have good depth everywhere. There might be a position that we might add a player or two out of the tryout camp today and then like you said, there might be some free agents we might look at. A lot of that will depend on how some of these guys go through the physicals process – how quickly can we get some of these guys back on the field could have an impact on who we sign as well."

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