Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Redskins Coach Jay Gruden Comments from Redskins PR

June 3, 2015
Redskins Park

On Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry’s style and enthusiasm:
“I worked with him in Tampa a little bit. He was a position coach in Tampa, so I got to know him and see his coaching style there. But as a coordinator, I haven’t been around him. He was a coordinator in Detroit, obviously. But I know him as a coach and I know what kind of energy and passion he has for the game. That’s just his identity. That’s who he is.”

On if cornerback DeAngelo Hall had a setback:
“No, he’s had no setback. We’re just part of the protocol. We just want to make sure he’s going through the right rehab steps and the process. We want to make sure that thing’s a hundred percent. I think training camp’s a good start for him to get rolling, start the individual drills in training camp, start some team drills in training camp. Right now, it’s about to continuing the rehab process to make sure that thing’s a hundred percent.”

On tackle Trent Williams:
“You know, Trent had that ankle issue a little bit last year at the end of last year. He tried to go in the Pro Bowl, obviously couldn’t go. In the offseason, he did some things in Phase 1, and just felt like it was a little sore. So he’s just going to take some time off and rehab it. We’re going to make sure he’s right for training camp because we don’t want that thing to be good one week and bad the next week. We want to make sure we get that thing fully strengthened so he’s good to go for training camp.”

On tight end Jordan Reed:
“Same with Jordan, really. He had a little process – it wasn’t a scope. He’s had some nagging soreness with that knee. This is a time where we get a chance for them to work out in the weight room still, build their upper body strength but make sure the things that really make their money – Jordan needs legs, man. He needs to have those things a hundred percent. We’re going to make sure he’s right for training camp.”

Coach Jay Gruden           Photo James Murphy
On wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s absence last week:
“They have lives. This is a major part of what they do. Obviously, we’d loved everyone to be here, 100 percent. I don’t know how many teams have a hundred percent, but I think we’ve had great participation overall from top to bottom of our roster. He missed a little bit of time, but he had reasons for it. I trust the fact that when he does come back – and he has come back – that he’ll be in great shape. He’s a veteran guy. He knows the system. He’s an extremely intelligent person. I would have loved to have had him here, but it’s his choice not to be here. He came back, he looks like he is in great shape. He didn’t miss a beat.”

On the decision to release Chris Chester:
“Chris Chester gave us some great time, man. He’s a great person and he played really hard for us. He did everything right, but it was just unfortunate. We just decided to go in a different direction in both cases. I think the emergence of – we’re hoping Spencer Long [emerges]. We drafted [Arie] Kouandjio. We have [Josh] LeRibeus in town. They’re in-house ready. We have some guards I think that can fill in and play. It was just a matter of we thought it was time to move on from those two players. Nothing but positive things to say about them, but I wish him nothing but the best in Atlanta.”

On Josh LeRibeus seeing additional time at center:
“It’s important. It really is, because that’s one thing that we’re missing with Chris [Chester]. If something were to happen to Kory [Lichtensteiger] in a game, Chris was our backup center. So we have to train another guy to be a center and Josh is taking the right steps to do that. We’ll have some backup centers in-house if something were to happen long-term, but it’s important on gameday that we have a backup center. Right now, Josh is working hard at it. Spencer Long is also working at it. We have to have that covered.”

On quarterback Robert Griffin III’s development since the end of last year:
“I think he’s taking the right steps. It’s still OTAs. Nobody’s sitting on all that good stuff. We are getting some great looks from our defense. We’re in shorts. We’re getting some good full-speed looks. There’s no contact obviously, but the timing, the rhythm of your offense still has to be intact. The defense hustling and getting to their zone drops has to be sound in what you’re doing. Decisions have to be made. He’s going through the process, re-learning everything, studying, going through the right progressions, making a mistake here and there, but we’re learning. All of us are learning about each other and trying to do right because this is a different defense than we’re used to seeing than we’re accustomed to in OTAs. We’re learning as an offensive group. We’re learning about Joe Barry’s scheme. They’re learning about our scheme. But overall, I think all three quarterbacks have done some good things. All three of them, as you always do, have some plays they wish they had back, but you’re learning from them, you’re continuing to coach them, and they’re getting more and more reps and more and more confidence, which is good.” 

On guard Spencer Long:
“He’s a big man. He’s tough and he’s smart. I think he missed a lot of the season at the University of Nebraska his senior year. Coming back last year it was important for him to slowly get into it. I think having a year under his belt, knowing the system, I think the confidence coming into Year 2, we feel good about his progress. We feel good about [Arie] Kouandjio playing at the University of Alabama, doing some really good things, obviously (Shawn) Lauvao’s doing some good things at left guard. We feel good about the guard spot; it’s just a matter of making sure these young guys continue to develop, and Coach [Bill] Callahan is the best at doing that.”

On if Long is a better fit for the power running scheme compared to zone scheme:
“We’re going to do both. We’re not going to abandon the outside zone. Alfred Morris is a great outside zone runner. He’s a great zone runner. I think the ability to do a little bit of both is very, very important to keep defenses off-balance. Spencer is a very powerful man and very good for the power running game, the gap-style blocking, but he also has some great movement skills. That’s what drew us to him in the first place because when we drafted him, we were an outside zone team here in the past and we wanted to try to get to more gap-style, and we thought he could do both, which is what drew us to him.”

On linebacker Preston Smith:
“Yeah, he’s doing good. You know, for defense it’s really not fair for these guys because we’re telling them to fly to the football but there’s no contact, you know what I mean? Keep everybody up. So you really can’t see the violence in his hands that you’d like to see right now, but for the most part from learning what he’s supposed to do, being where he’s supposed to be, with the ability to move around, you can see him work his hands and be able to bend his hips or turn his hips and all that stuff. He’s done some good things. You know, he’s learning like all these rookies are. We’re throwing a lot at these guys for a reason. You know, this is the time to challenge them mentality, see what they can do physically, how they can handle it, how they can transfer from the classroom to the field and see which ones will be ready quicker.  Preston’s showing signs that he’s a very intelligent person, No. 1, and he can translate what he learns in the classroom out here. But when we get the pads on, that will be the true test for an outside linebacker/defensive end.”

On running back Matt Jones:
“He’s a rookie, you get excited about what he can do. When you see him out in space he does some really good things. And, again, for a running back like Matt who is a downhill power runner, it’s hard to really see what he can do in shorts. I had to tell him a couple times out in space, he was trying to lower his shoulder and run over people and I’m like, ‘No, stay up and run and keep your head up and let the guys tag off of you.’ But he’s doing a good job. He’s still learning the protection rules and all that good stuff. He’s going to make his mistakes but for the most part I think he’s a guy that takes coaching and has done a good job.”

On if Jackson’s chemistry with the quarterbacks will improve in his second season in Washington:
“We hope so. You know, I think you need to have stability at the quarterback position. Obviously, everybody would like to have it. Unfortunately with Robert’s injury and then Kirk [Cousins] had an opportunity and we brought Colt [McCoy] in and then back to Robert and then we went back to Colt and then back to Robert. You know, we would like to have stability. The receivers want stability, and that’s very important. I feel good about all three quarterbacks honestly and their progression. But we do need to settle on one – it would be nice to settle on one. So it will have a positive influence on the receivers if we can settle on one so they can get the continuity and feel good about where they are going and all that. Really when you’re talking about schematics of an offense, you’re talking about route discipline and all that stuff. It shouldn’t matter. They should be where they’re supposed to be and the ball should be delivered on time, no matter who it is and that’s what we’re trying to get the consistency of the position so the receivers feel good about where they’re going and they’re going to get the ball.”

On linebacker Trent Murphy:
“When you’re looking at practice and you watch practice film, you look for guys that jump out on the screen at you, guys that are making plays and you feel their presence and Trent Murphy is one of them. He’s bigger, he’s stronger, he’s rushing the passer extremely well, he’s getting off the ball very well right now. I think I’m expecting him to make the biggest jump from first year to second year on our football team because not only is he bigger but he knows the position. He’s athletic, and when you put on some extra bulk and strength, it’s just going to give him more… He’s already a smart football player with great instincts. Now you add the extra bulk and we expect big things from him this year.”

On the tight end group outside of Reed:
“Logan [Paulsen] has done some good things, he’s one of those guys that is going to do exactly what you want. He’s strong. People always say, ‘Hey, you guys have got to run the ball, run the ball,’ but you have got to have a tight end that can block, not only at the point of attack but the backside and Logan right now is our best blocker. It’s good to have him for sure. Niles [Paul] has put on some extra weight also. He’s stronger. You know, he’s a converted wide received for goodness sakes and he’s busted his tail to get himself ready for the tight end spot. He’s stronger; he’s one of our most explosive players in the weight room, done some great things. So those two guys have really done some good things. And then the young guys are all trying to step up and find their niche. We have some young guys that are not used to being in the line and trying to block, you know? When you’re trying to create and identity running the ball, not many tight ends in college football now a days are doing that. So we’re trying to groom some other guys to do it. But we have some prospects that are looking good, but those top two guys I mentioned are doing well.”

On the depth chart at quarterback behind Griffin:
“We’re mixing those guys up. Colt’s running with the twos, so is Kirk. So we’re flipping them around. We’re making sure they get equal reps so we get a good look at them and really those two guys have been excellent. I’ll tell you what, they’re not happy with their role but they understand it and they’re just continuing to work and they both know that they deserve a chance to play and they want a chance to play but their also waiting their turn while helping Robert whatever way they can. Those are two great guys to have on your football team and I would feel I have no problems letting either one of them be two or three. We’ve just got to let it play out though.”

On if he is settled in trying to find one quarterback:
“Oh, yeah. I mean, we still have got to play games and all that stuff. We have announced Robert as the starter obviously and we’re going to go from there.”

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