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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden (04-28-16)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On his first impressions of WR Josh Doctson:

"Josh is obviously a very productive receiver out of TCU. Made a lot of big plays in his career. He's got height. He's got the mad leaping skills, which are very appealing, especially in a red zone obviously. He's another guy that is going to bring great athleticism to this offense. We're excited to have him."

On selecting Doctson:

"Well, when you are sitting at 21, there's a lot of scenarios you play out. Scot [McCloughan] and the scouts did an excellent job. There were a lot of guys taken before... It's about taking the best player on the board and Josh was clearly the best player on the board at that time for us. We traded back a spot with Houston, obviously. Still Josh was there and he was clearly the best player. Scot has been preaching that and we went with the board."

On if he was tempted to select a player to help the defense:

"There's arguments there – you could take defense, but, you know, like I said before we took the best player. We addressed defense the other day with Josh Norman. We gave them a first-round pick, so they should be happy [laughter]. It's about building a football team and taking the best players to help us and we thought Josh was a perfect fit."

On if the signing of CB Josh Norman changed their draft plans:

"It played into it a little bit, getting Josh Norman the other day. Obviously it helped with the defensive back depth. I don't know if it would've matter, really, because like I said before we're going to take the best player on the board and he was clearly up there. We're happy to get him."

On if the depth of the draft gives the team flexibility:

"Yeah, you look into all that – depth of other positions on defense. It is a good draft for that. We'll address other positions obviously later, I don't know which ones yet, we'll see who's available. But, it is a very deep draft at a lot of positions for that matter. We feel like we can still add to this roster and get some quality players – second, third, fourth, fifth rounds."

On if he knew Doctson would be available after the trade with Houston or if they were taking a chance:

"It was a chance we were taking. We knew there was a couple really good receivers on the board. We knew teams behind us wanted receivers. We had a couple other guys in mind that we could've taken with that pick also. It worked out in our favor. We made the trade and obviously landed the guy we wanted."

On Doctson's size:

"It's not just height, it's a 41-inch vertical too. He makes quarterbacks right. They had a very good quarterback at TCU, obviously, and Kirk [Cousins] is very accurate also obviously. He'll get plenty of opportunities down there in the red zone. He's got to earn his stripes. We have a very good receiving corps, no question about it. We've got Pierre [Garçon], we've got Ryan Grant, we've got DeSean [Jackson], [Rashad] Ross came on and played big for us, Jamison Crowder's a good player. But adding a guy with his height gives you a little different dimension, and we're excited to work with him."

On trading back one spot:

"There was a lot of phone calls being made and Bruce and Scot were talking to a lot of different teams and a lot of different options. That's the best one that we felt was available to us."

On signing Norman:

"Well, it's one of those things that just fell into our lap, man. It was an unbelievable couple of days. Get him down here, fly his family in here, get a chance to meet him. Then Eric Schaffer battling with the agent trying to get the contract done and keep him in the building. It was an exciting 24 hours there and we're happy as heck to get him. I think he's one of the premier corners in the National Football League. He can matchup with receivers, he can play inside/outside, he's got great ball skills, he's a ball hawk. You can't coach that – you really can't. There's a skillset you have to have as a defensive back that he has all that skillset, but he also has the ability to get the ball back for the offense, and that's the most appealing thing. Plus he's a great guy and we're excited to get him."

On how the selection can affect future contract situations at the position:

"I try not to worry about all that stuff. I'm worried about the next season here coming up. I'm worried about Phase 2 coming up on Monday, when we get on the field with these guys. Then the rookie minicamp and then our OTAs and then we get into training camp, and we're just going to coach our players up, whoever is here, and get them right and get them ready for the Steelers on Monday night."

On if he believes he can rely on Doctson to contribute immediately:

"I think so. He's a great kid, number one. You check all the boxes with him as far as 'person,' off the field. He's a great person. He has got great work ethic, too. We did our due diligence on that. So you're bringing in a receiver with the great skillset that he has and a guy that is willing to get better, learn and work. That's really appealing. I anticipate him challenging for a lot of balls in this offense. I think Jordan Reed will be happy, put another safety over top of him. DeSean [Jackson] will be happy and Pierre [Garçon] too. You only have one ball, but the ability to spread it around like I like to spread it around, will help Kirk out, the offensive line, the running game, all of it."

On safety Kyshoen Jarrett's injury:

"We'll wait and see. He's still seeing some doctors and getting some more opinions on what's going on. We'll get to the bottom of it. We're going to do what's best for Kyshoen and our fingers are crossed. We're going to do what's right by him and he's going to do his best to get ready, whatever happens."

On if his interest in Doctson grew during the evaluation process:

"I think when you put on the tape your interest grows. Ike [Hilliard] met with him at the combine, obviously. We have our scouts that know a great deal about him. Scot knows a great deal about him as a person and as a player obviously based off the tape. Just because we didn't interview him at the combine at a formal interview really doesn't mean anything. A lot of those interviews are trying to get guys that we're not sure about character-wise and all that stuff, trying figure out more about maybe juniors or what have you. But for Josh, we already knew what type of guy he was and what type of guy he is and will be."

On the standout qualities Doctson possessed:

"Well, his big play ability, number one. I think he's the most polished receiver of the group personally. I think he can do a lot of different things across the middle, and when the ball is in the air, he has got the jumping ability and leaping ability. He has great hands. I think he's got the best hands in the draft also. He's a great pure route runner. Ike graded him out very, very high. Our scouts had him graded out very high. Scot loved him. We all loved him obviously based on his production at TCU – his consistent production. Big play after big play after big play, big game after big game. No game is too big for him. He's just a solid all-around football player with that great body control. You can't coach that. If the ball is in the air he can twist all kinds of different directions. Reminded me a lot of  AJ [Green] that we took a couple years ago in Cincinnati. He's six-foot-two, AJ was six-foot-four, but he's got that same type of body control and the ability to high point it which is big time."

On Norman and how much the team game-planned for him last season:

"You know where he is. You game plan for that entire defense at Carolina. They're very good. But he was a main part of it. His side of the field, you have to be aware of if he's in the cloud or if he's playing a third or man-to-man. You've got to know where he eyes are. But Josh is really good because he plays great with his eyes. He's got the ability cover his receiver while looking at the quarterback and having a great feel for route concepts and breaking on the quarterback's throws, which is another thing that's very hard to coach. So he's a dangerous guy and Kirk I know was very aware of him, where he was all the time."

On the team's outlook going into Day 2 and Day 3:

"We'll see. I feel good about it though. I feel good about what Scot has done and what the scouts have done. I've sat in all the meetings and feel very good about where everybody is ranked and the positions that we have available. And there's a lot of very good football players left. We'll see. I know we're going to get a couple really good ones."

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