News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: General Manager Scot McCloughan (05-02-16)

General Manager Scot McCloughan

Opening statement:

"First off, I want to start with this. The whole organization did a really, really good job this week. From the coaches, from the front office, from the scouts, just really quality, quality work. Last year, I came in, I was kind of rushed into it. I was kind of nervous about certain things. We're all on the same philosophy now, same vision. And I think it helped out a lot this year, just, with movements made, with trades, and the players we drafted, it was an excellent, excellent three days for us."

On this year's draft class and what he likes about it:

"It was nice – I wanted more picks, but we get more picks for next year. So, we get seven guys, and guys that we identified as 'football players.' I thought that was very important. It's just not the player himself, it's also the character, and that's huge to me. You look to the right, you look to your left – you're a team. Take care of each other, you're going to win more than you're going to lose, you're going to be all right. It was a good draft. I feel really good about the talent we got and the people we got."

*On WR Josh Doctson: *

"Best player on the board, like I preach, guys. We sat there. If you have talked to me before the draft, I would have never thought that would happen. I thought he'd be gone. You know, we're watching the board. It's shaking out and all of a sudden – boom – he's the guy. And again, it's just not the player, it could be a 6-2, 200-pound receiver that's very, very talented but also the person, and it was a slam dunk. Now you guys can understand what I preach about, 'cause I'm sure none of you thought I would take a receiver because we have got depth and we've got a good core. But he was the best football player on the board."

On CB Kendall Fuller's prognosis:

"Any time you have a surgery, there's something to it, especially at a skill position like that, with the knee, with movement and all that. I trust my doctors. I trust the trainers. We passed him on the physical. He's going to be OK. Now, 100 percent for sure, who knows? But I felt good enough to know the kind of player he is, the kind of person he is, where he comes from family-wise, he's going to do everything in his power to make sure he's a football player for us. When you get to the third round, to get a corner that I think can be a starting corner is excellent."

On the impact Doctson's selection has on WRs DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon:

"They're both really good football players. We won the NFC East last year with them. They're not going anywhere. They're football players and I respect it. We just took the best player. The thing that happens is injuries and stuff goes on and this and that. No, I want to build this roster with 53. It's not about two, it's not about five, it's not about 10. It's about 53, and that's how we're going to win and lose on Sundays."

On his frequent use of the term "football players" and what he means by it:

"It's very important to me… Height/weight/speed is cool, you know, and that's what everybody looks for, and I'm looking for it, too, because it's a big man's game. But the personality, the competitiveness, the passion for the game, understand it's about team, understand that we're going to take care of each other no matter what, it's huge to me. The one thing that I really, really respect about the guys we took? Tough guys. Tough guys that are going to battle. Each day they're going to come out here on the practice field and battle. And that's what I want. But also like I said, I want high character. I want them to understand, 'Listen, it's not about me, it's about us.' And that's what we're trying to build here culture-wise. And the coaches have done a great job this last year getting that implemented, and the scouts have done a great job looking for those type of guys. I can't give the college scouts or the pro scouts enough credit for what they do for me."

On CB Chris Culliver:

"I'll let you guys know this, I just spoke to him. We just released him. Very good conversation. Chris is a professional. This is the tough part for me about this business is having to do stuff like that with any player, but especially with him because of the injury and that stuff. It was a great conversation. It gives him an opportunity to go out there and test free agency and our door is not closed yet either."

On Culliver's rehab:

"He's doing really well. Talking to Dr. [James] Andrews, he's doing really well. He's every day busting his tail. He's going to be in the league – might be here, might be somewhere else – but that just happened probably a half-hour ago."

On when the plan for Culliver began to change:

"Well, getting [Josh] Norman, getting [Kendall] Fuller kind of changed things. It's going to be kind of tricky – I don't want to say dates about coming back, but like I said, talking to Dr. Andrews, he's doing a really good job. He's ahead of schedule and everything's going positive for him."

On not addressing the defensive line until the fifth round:

"I was looking. Again, it's best player [available]. It's 53 guys. In my personal opinion, if you draft for need, that's when you get in trouble because all of the sudden you're like, 'Son of a gun, we had these three guys higher and they're going to the Pro Bowl, but we forced the issue to take that guy.' I wanted to address it early. I wanted to address it [in the] first five picks, but again, I'm taking the best football player. I have to. For me to do my job and make this organization as strong as it can be, I've got to take the best football players."

On comparing the defensive line depth in the draft class to the depth on the roster:

"Yeah, you can say that, but looking at the depth and looking at the names and that stuff, but you know what, we still have good football players on the defensive line. We've got a lot of good football players on the defensive line. I would have loved to add a younger guy – younger guys – but it didn't work that way. Like I said, we went into it and if you had told me the night before I'm taking a receiver in the first round, I would have laughed at you and said you're crazy. But he was the best player. I don't want to force the issue, but I understand where our depth is at. I understand who can and can't play. We're OK upfront. We're OK."

On if he expects this draft class to contribute as much as the 2015 class:

"Well, I hope so, but the thing about it is… The way I look at it, this morning I was on the radio, they were saying, 'Hey, you got an A, you got a B.' I don't care about that. You can give me an F. It doesn't matter. What I look at? Three years from now, see what happens. Like I said, we took football players. We took character and football players, and that's what we're going to build with. We're going to have our superstars step up and more Pro Bowlers and all of that. But you build your team with good football players that are good people that are high character that can get after it, and that's huge."

On if acquiring future picks is an underrated commodity:

"It is, because a lot of people don't want to do it because it's not immediate impact. 'Well, that's next year. What about this year?' Coaches want this year, which I understand completely. But what it gives me the opportunity to do is not just worry about next year's draft and trading up and that kind of stuff, but this offseason and during the season trading. We've got multiple picks now."

On if turning a fifth-round pick into a future fourth-round pick is more valuable than selecting a player:

"Well, the thing about it was if I was dead set on the guys on the board at that pick, I would have taken them. But knowing I can get a fourth next year for them and knowing that it gives me ammunition to trade around too later if need be this year or next year? Yeah, it's valuable."

On if Culliver's suspension and its impact on his contract made it easier to release him:

"It didn't make it easier. Like I said, I respect Chris. And there's a reason why Chris has been a good football player, and that's not going to change. He's a good person. It was just the numbers and what we have going now. Norman came out of nowhere. We didn't know. And – boom – it falls into your lap with Fuller. [Bashaud] Breeland I really respect. So we had the numbers. So that's what I said. The door is not closed. He can go out there and test the market and see what happens and hopefully he gets what he wants. But from my standpoint, I have no problem bringing him back here. No problem whatsoever."

On if a hybrid player like S Su'a Cravens would have been a top pick 10 years ago:

"From the standpoint of a football player, he would have been. But nowadays with these offenses we're facing… and the thing that's really cool about him is the diversity he brings – safety, linebacker, maybe a nickel linebacker, maybe a nickel corner. I mean, the guy is a really good football player. And again I go back to it all the time – 'football player' – but he's smart. Day one he walked in the building [at USC], he started there. Played in a lot of big games and made a lot of big plays."

On how the team will use Cravens:

"We're still figuring that out. We've been talking about it. We're always talking about the first room he walks into – is it DB, is it linebacker? But that's a good problem to have, because again, he's going to be out here making plays for us. He's a young guy that's very energetic, intelligent, and he's tough. I'm OK with those guys."

On QB Nate Sudfeld:

"The thing that intrigued me was that I saw a tape before I went to the East-West game, the all-star game, to see his size and his arm strength and then to sit and talk with him for a long time. Just the maturity and taking a team that's kind of average to better – nothing against Indiana, if anybody went there – but he made them better. Just to see his development and knowing that we have Jay [Gruden], we have Sean [McVay] and we have Matt [Cavanaugh], they're all three in my opinion really great quarterback coaches. We have got to develop. It's nothing against Kirk [Cousins] and nothing against Colt [McCoy], but we have to develop young guys at any position. But I feel really positive about those guys."

On if Matt Ioannidis can help at multiple positions along the defensive line:

"Correct. In base, we're looking at him more at nose, but he can still play the three [technique]. But in sub, which we're in a lot more than base, he can move around the line. The thing about him too, again, he's not the prettiest, he's not the best athlete, but he's a football player. You know what, he's a tough son of a gun that I respect a lot."

On how he approached the trade with Houston with Doctson listed as the highest player on the board:

"I can't tell you [laughter]. We had to figure it out."

On speculation the trade was to buy time for other trades, or if he planned to select a player at No. 22:

"No, we made the trade knowing exactly what we were doing."

On the current roster:

"The thing about it is I was just out there today and we started Phase 2 so that the coaches could be out there and see it. This roster is getting better. The thing that's really cool is that there's a lot more speed, a lot more quickness, a lot more athleticism and that's huge. We're always open for business for any football players that can come in here and help us. I respect the guys you just mentioned as being Redskins and being really good, high-character guys. We're going in the right direction. I like to go young, but also take care of our own. If it's a veteran, we're doing it. We're going to win games, and we're going to win games because of the 53 guys out there and the coaches that coach them."

On if there is a possibility of S Dashon Goldson returning:

"Possibly. The door is always open. It's never closed. I'm never saying no matter what that he can't come back because I respect him as a football player and as a leader and what he brought. Also, you have to keep evolving. It's about the team, it's about being younger, being healthier and going forward. But I respect Goldson. The vets – DY [Darrel Young] – are great, great guys, and good football players and are team guys."

On LB Steven Daniels and RB Keith Marshall:

"Daniels, again [smiling], a 'football player.' Not pretty, not going to run the fastest 40, but really tough. He has [special] teams value and brings the kind of culture I want to keep bringing in, especially late in the draft. He brings in a competitiveness and a toughness that he isn't going to back down from anybody. You're going to have to beat him out to get him out of here, and that's what I want. We could've gone height/weight/speed in the sixth round and say, 'OK, the guy had 15 catches as a receiver, but look, he jumps 40 inches, he runs a 4.2.' I respect the value of an inside linebacker. They have got substance and when they hit you, you go backwards. Running back to quarterback to receiver, whoever he hits goes backwards. That's just a physical strength that you can't develop it. You either have it or you don't have it. He'll knock his own players out if he has to trying to get to the ball. The thing about Marshall is, [he was] highly, highly  recruited coming out. He fell behind [Todd] Gurley and [Nick] Chubb at Georgia, two really good football players. But he can run like the wind and he has got size. He has pretty good ball skills and had some success early in his career there before the other two took over, but it's not like it was a shot in the dark because of the height/weight/speed. He has some tape, and the thing about it is I think he has a chance to be a pretty good special teams player."

On sticking to his decision making process:

"At a time when your roster is really strong and you're a really good team, then you can start worrying about things on the back end. Right now, we're going forward. We're taking the best player and throwing them in there. We're not always going to be 100 percent accurate. It's not an exact science, but we're going to keep going and going and keep adding players."

On Marshall not having a lot of collegiate rushing attempts:

"The thing I like about it, and it was the thing with Matt Jones last year, is the amount of carries he's had. He hasn't been beat up. With running backs, it's so important to have the health. The more hits you take, the worse off it is. Again, we'll see how it shakes out, but all seven guys we drafted I really feel good about the standpoint that first of all, they are good football players, but second of all, they're good people. Third of all, this organization got stronger, and the fans should be happy about that because it's not me, it's everybody in this building. It's really cool how it works out, how everybody comes together, how Jay and I argue and everybody is like, 'Are they going to fight?' [Laughter] It's just passion. It's passion for it, and it's awesome. It's what it's about."

On his level of optimism for a potential long-term deal for QB Kirk Cousins: "The optimism is great because I want him as a part of this organization for a long time. A long-term deal is a two-sided party with the agent and with us. Everybody in this building, if you ask to a man – players, coaches – we all want him here for a long-term deal. I would love to get something done, but you can't force it. They have to agree to what we're looking at, but he's our leader on offense. He's our quarterback. He won the East last year and that's pretty cool because that's what we need here. We need those types of guys, and those are the kinds of guys I'm trying to draft, but also, we can't go crazy because it's about 53, it's not about one. That's what we keep preaching and what we're going to keep preaching, but yes, we want him here."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content