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Press Release: #REDSKINS QUOTES - Gruden, Keenum


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September 18, 2019

Head Coach Jay Gruden




On the injury report:

"No Injury report today, the only thing of note is [CB Dominique Rodgers Cromartie] DRC is going to have surgery pretty soon on his ankle, so we put him on IR."


On LBs Cassanova McKinzy and Montez Sweat's production so far this season:

 "I think pass rush in general, we gotta get better overall as a group. Whether it's gains inside or beating guys one-on-one, we haven't done a very good job of that as of now. It's something we're concentrating and getting better at. Montez is a young football player, he’s still learning the angles, working on his get-off all that stuff. He's got some length, got some speed, we know that. Now we just got to figure out a way to let him utilize it a little bit better. Hopefully that'll happen here soon."


 On if McKinzy and Sweat are playing through injuries:

"[LB Cassanova McKinzy] ‘Cas’ maybe a little bit. [DE Montez] Sweat's O.K."


On if Cassanova McKinzy practiced today:

"We're not doing injury report today. Nice try.” 


On the Bears defense:

"They're physical in the middle and they have speed at linebacker. They have good edge play. They have a safety that's a ball hawk. Their corners are pretty good and experienced. They don't really have a weakness in their defense. The inside part of their defense with [Akiem] Hicks, big sucker and [Eddie] Goldman, bug suckers. Obviously the outside with [OLB Leonard] Floyd and [LB] Khalil Mack and Roquan [Smith] is very very fast and aggressive at linebacker. They have all the tools to be a great defense and they've shown it on tape so far.”    


On if he believes his defensive players understand the fine line between making plays but also staying within the scheme:

"I hope so, yeah. We never try to shy away from allowing these guys to make a play if they see something. But it's within the framework of the defense we don't want them to go crazy and leave a guy wide open. As long as they're guessing right or assuming right based on film study then sure they have the ability to go break on a route if they see fit.” 


On the deep route that CB Josh Norman got beat on: 

"Well, he doesn't know what route is coming. The guy could go back to the corner. He could run an out or a deep out route. There's a lot of things that guy – the guy could set it down. So, he was in the right position at that play."  


On QB Case Keenum not seeing some potential big play down the field:

"I think he hit some good plays. They're some plays out there that he missed. Part of it is there's a lot of people around him. I think we got to do a better job firming up our protection. We haven't given up a lot of sacks, but we have given up a lot of hurries and pressures where Case has had to maybe hurry up and get to a receiver quickly before we can let the play develop or he could see the guy that's open. That happened two or three times against Dallas [Cowboys]. We have [WR] Paul Richardson who is wide open by about 50 yards and he couldn't quite get to him because of the interior pressure, he couldn't see him. We got to sure up the pass protection a little bit and staying out of third-and-longs will help and staying out of those penalties will help out as well." 


On if he is being more creative with his offensive plays this season:

 "We're trying to – keep the defense off balance a little bit and utliize some of the speed and weapons that we have. We're just getting to know [WR] Steven Sims a little bit, trying to tap into his potential. I think that might be more, depending on the week, a very explosive guy. Obviously [RB] Chris Thompson you want to get him as many touches as you can to him. Then [WR] Terry [McLaurin] is doing a great job. [TE] Vernon [Davis] still has some speed. Obviously the bell cow, we got to do a better job running the ball with [RB] [Adrian Peterson] AP and that will open up some of the play-actions."  


On signing LB Noah Spence and on if he expects him to play on Sunday:

"We'll see. We'll get him some reps out here today and tomorrow we'll see where he's at. And if he can be a situational type rusher for us who can give us a little bit of juice; it could be very similar. I think a lot will depend on how [LB Cassanova McKinzy] ‘Cas’ is doing. We'll go from there.”  


On what led to the Redskins signing Spence:

With [CB Dominique Rodgers Cromartie] DRC going on injured reserve, we had a spot and he was available. He was one of the best pass rushers on the streets right now. We just want to get a look at him the next couple of days [and] see what happens."


On the plan for the right side of the offensive line when facing Bear OLB Khalil Mack this Sunday:

"The good thing is he lines up on both sides, so we don't know which side he's going to be on, unfortunately. If we did, we'd put somebody over there and bang the heck out of him. We don't know where he's going to be. And then [LB Leonard] Floyd's a good rusher. [DE Akiem] Hicks is a powerful rusher. So [the Bears] have a bunch of good ways to get to the quarterback. We have ways to get the ball down the field, but if we can't protect, we have no chance to get those plays off and that's what they're hanging their hat on. They're not overly complicated in the secondary but they are sound and they rely on their pass rush to get home and it has been getting home. We got to have good sets, change up the launch point of the quarterback like we always do and help when we can help. Eventually, those guys are going to have to bear down and make the blocks, which I think they will."


On if he needs to try and get WR Paul Richardson Jr. more targets or if it is more of his role in the offense right now:

"A little bit of both. I think we should do a better job of scheming, trying to get him down the field. [WR] Terry [McLaurin] has been very exciting as far as that role as well. So if you have one guy running deep, one guy running a little shallow, I think Terry right now is getting some of the deep ones. But, Paul surely can do it. He's had a couple of routes where you see him running by people we just haven't gotten him the ball. It's either [QB] Case [Keenum] couldn't see him, or we have pressure or what have you. It'll come. I know he's probably frustrated and wants some shots because he's a fast guy too. Being able to throw the ball 55, 60 yards down the field means you have to hold the ball for three of four seconds and right now we haven't had that luxury the whole time."  


On LB Jon Bostic’s communication on defense:

" He's done fine. I think we've had some strong starts. I think the biggest focus we have to do is we're focusing on our consistency. We've been very inconsistent on both sides of the ball. Third, fourth-quarter production on both sides hasn't been good enough, especially on defense. Overall, the communication is getting better and better. It's a working progress. Hopefully, it'll be really really good come Monday Night."


On if he is comfortable going into the Bears game with two tight ends:

"We'd like to obviously have three. We didn't know about [TE] Jordan [Reed] until probably Friday that he was probably going to be out. So we were anticipating him being in. You just never know with this [concussion] he has. We're just very supportive of him. We want him to get well. If we have to go two [tight ends] we will. If we have to sign another tight end eventually, we might do that. It takes us out of some packages that we really like, some of our three tight end sets and two tight end sets was limited but our one tight end set, three receivers has been pretty good to us. The issue with that is that if the defense plays base defense it’s hard to run the ball. That's what kind of happened – Dallas did that to us a couple of time early in the game. Took us out of our running game. We'll have to adjust."


On the challenges that the Bears offensive personnel presents:

"They do a little bit of everything. Especially with [RB Tarik] Cohen and obviously [WR} Cordarrelle Patterson. [Patterson] is a jack of all trades. He can play running back, receiver, he does the jet sweeps. Cohen does the jet sweeps. They fake the jet sweep, run shovel passes, they do double passes, the bubble screen, the zone reads, a little bit of everything. So we’ve got to be sound. We’ve got to have our eyes in the right spot. Make sure we're in the right gap. Obviously in coverage, on all the fly sweeps, we got to know when we're traveling, when we're not traveling, when we're kicking the coverage, when we're not kicking the coverage, easier said than done come game day when everything is shifted and running around. Communication is going to be pivotal. Hopefully [CB] Fabian [Moreau] comes back, he'll help out. Having [CB] Montae [Nicholson] and Landon [Collins] back there communicating it'll be helpful and obviously [LB Jon] Bostic will be critical in there as well." 


On Montez Sweat’s slow start:

"I think we're working on his technique for sure. This is all new to him. These guys are pretty good he's gone against like you said. I think his get off can be a little bit more explosive. Maybe work more edge on some people when you're playing first, second down, and you got to hold the D-gap a little bit, you're a little bit more hesitant to get up the field. Then you transition into a rusher, I think: A, he's got to work on his transition into a pass rusher from run to pass and B, when it is third down really getting into that sprinter stance and use his speed and length which will come eventually once he gets a better feel for it." 



Quarterback Case Keenum





On what he saw after watching film of Week 2:

“Well a lot of things, third downs. We convert third downs, we score touchdowns. You know, detailing up some stuff. My eyes have got to be in the right place, I’ve got to go through my progressions when I have them, and I’ve got to put the ball in the right place, there’s a few times, and you know, overall you can be good, but there are those two or three plays that make a difference in the ball game.”


On missing big plays downfield in Week 2:

“Those pop up everywhere and that’s the nature of the game and how it’s going to happen. And you just try and eliminate those. That’s why I grind myself during the week and I try to grind myself on progressions and reads and what we’re looking for on certain coverages because they do a great job game planning and putting stuff together. So, I think that’s important moving forward.”


On the creativity level of the offense:

“For sure, there’s a ton of new stuff every week and that’s what’s fun about coming into each week, each day of install. You just never know what’s going to pop up, and we’re going to call plays and who’s going to be highlighted on certain plays and what types of defenses we’re trying to attack. Lots of stuff, lots of creativity.” 


On if this offense is more creative than others around the league:

“All offenses are, but I can’t speak to all others. What I’m doing right now, there’s a lot of creativity and it’s fun.”


On what challenges the Bears defense presents: 

“Well, they do a lot of stuff well and they’re ranked pretty high in a lot of categories. I think up front, obviously, with the guy they got last year in that trade [Bears OLB Khalil Mack] it brings them to a whole other level. So, up front I think we have our work cut out for us. They’ve got a lot of depth, a lot of experience in the back end, some guys who’ve played together a long time. I know they’ve got a new defensive coordinator, but they’ve got a lot of experience playing together so their communication skills, as far as making the right checks and stuff, they do a good job disguising a lot of stuff. So recognizing coverages, recognizing fronts and then knowing our plan to attack those are key.”


On the pass protection in the first two weeks: 

“I think those guys have done a great job and they’re working their tails off throughout the week. It’s been a good learning process the first two weeks and just communication, just the operation of how things go has been good, but we’ll continue to work on that.”


On his takeaways from the Eagles and Cowboys defenses: 

“I mean, I don’t know if there’s anything we take away from them being great defenses. We know that and we're confident that whoever we play we’re going to line up, move the ball and score touchdowns. Everybody in this league is really good and we’ve got our work cut out for us again. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


On the struggles in the run game: 

“A thing here, a thing there. That’s what the NFL is about, everybody is so fast on the other side of the football and so strong, there’s this much difference between a two-yard run and breaking a 30-yard run. Little things like that and you can talk to those guys up there, but you know it’s little things. Everyone doing just a little bit more.”


On if the run game has been effective enough to for play-action:

“I think so. I think we’ve hit some good play-action. Obviously the first week some of the bigger plays were play-action and [we] hit a few this week, too. Handing it to [RB Adrian Peterson] 26 or faking it to 26, those are two good options.”


On his message to the fans:

“This league is tough, it really is. Not making any excuses at all, none of us want to be 0-2, but it is a long season. I’ve started a couple of seasons 2-0, 3-1 and may have won a total of five or six games after that, between the two seasons. I'd rather win 10 of my next 14 than the other way around and start hot and finish cold. It’s a long season and we have played some good football teams. We’re getting better every week. We’ve got a lot of really good stuff. We’ve got some young guys. I don’t know if we’ve tapped into their potential yet either. There’s a lot of different things going together. I think we’ll be where we want to be late in the season.”


On what an effective running game can do for the offense:

“It does a lot of things. Takes pressure off our defense, extends drives, brings them up, tighter coverage, load the box so we can throw it over their head – a lot of things. We need to do better. 


On the process of adjusting his eyes during a play: 

“A lot of things. Knowing what the coaches want from me on certain plays, knowing what the defense is trying to attack and seeing my progressions quicker before they even happen. Knowing that, ‘O.K., I’ve got this defense’, bop, bop, bop. ‘I’ve got this defense’ it’s the other way or something. A lot of those things are big.”


On his message to the locker room after the 0-2 start: 

“For me, we just have to go to work. You can’t look too far ahead, you can’t look behind. That’s this league. That’s why every week is so tough. We can’t take anything for granted. That’s why I love these guys because they come to work every day and extremely dedicated to putting in that work. We’re going to do that, keep getting better and see where we’re at.”


On how easy it is for teams to get turned around: 

“It’s never easy in this league. Nothing is easy. Every day you come in is really hard. That being said, you never know what play or what game the switch flips, who knows where that leads. With that being said, we have the same mindset in that locker room, if not just mentality to work even harder. So, this sky is not falling for us. We’re going to work harder. We’re going to do everything we possibly can, which is what we do every day to be the best team we can be.”




September 18, 2019




LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced today that they have made the following roster moves:


The Redskins placed the following player on the reserve/injured list:

            CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie


The Redskins signed the following free agent:

            LB Noah Spence

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