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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden (07-30-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the benefit for tight ends in this offense:

"Well, when you have good options on the outside, it opens up for things in the middle, you know like Pierre [Garçon] and DeSean [Jackson] and Jamison [Crowder] and Ryan [Grant]. We have good versatility and good weapons across the board and the tight ends can really work good matchups. Tight ends are usually matched up on linebackers or safeties. And if you have an athletic tight end that can get in and out of breaks or can run, you know, it's a matchup nightmare. Flipside of it is they have to be able to block, otherwise you get a lot of nickel, a lot of pass coverage and people won't respect the run. Well, with Vernon [Davis], he's a good blocker and Jordan [Reed] is obviously getting better at blocking and Niles [Paul] is a good blocker, so they have to respect the running game. Play-actions are great off of them. They're good pass blockers, and it opens up a lot of things for us."

On CB Kendall Fuller's progress:

"Yeah, it's weird because, you know, his senior year he didn't play a whole lot at Virginia Tech, so we have to go back to… his freshman year basically and see him play against Jamison [Crowder] at Duke and he did some good things obviously. But I haven't noticed any drop-off as far as his injury is concerned. You know, we held him back just to make sure he was 100 percent for OTAs and he came back a little bit quicker than we anticipated, but his change of direction has been fine. He can run, and he's picking up the defense very well. He's going to be a major player on our defense for a while. We've just got to get him up to speed as far as the calls go and see how he does when the pads get on."

On the playoff loss last year and if he has revisited it with the team yet:

"Well, we learned a lot. We learned that we didn't quite play our best game at a crucial time and it's something we have to try to grow into. We have to mature and get better and better at certain spots, and they were the better team at that time. They were better coached, and they played better. So, our goal is to make sure we continue to get better so when that opportunity comes again, we're ready for it; we take full advantage of it. And that's our intent moving forward. I haven't showed the tape yet. I'm going to wait until we get our cut down, get our 53 guys and that tape might come up somewhere down the line. It's something we all learned from, we're all sick about still. If you're a competitor and you lose at home in the playoffs, it's something that you'll never forget and hopefully all our guys feel the same way as I do and moving forward it's a great motivation for us."

On what he hopes to see from the defensive line in the next few weeks:

"Well, defensive line and offensive line, you want to see that physicality. You know, that's what it's all about. We have a lot of good defensive linemen in-house that is good competition. Young guys, veteran guys, we want to see them make some plays – get off blocks and get to the ball carrier in the running game and obviously convert to a pass rush when need be. You know, third down they've got to get after the passer and we have to find out who our best pass rushers are, who our best run defenders are and hopefully there is a combination there that we feel very strongly about. But we feel like we've got a lot of guys in this building that can compete for the defensive line spots, and it's going to be interesting to watch."

On when he wants to solidify his defensive line rotations:

"I think, defensive lineman, you know, you're not going to have many defensive lineman that are going to play every snap. You are going to have a lot of substitutions in that regard. One series here,  maybe a situational-type guy here and there, but we're going to try to solidify our top five or six guys and then come game day we will figure out which ones and how we want to use them, but it would be nice to have our top guys. We feel pretty good about three or four of them moving forward, but you know, there's another four or five that are competing very seriously for jobs."

On if QB Kirk Cousins' leadership style needs to be more vocal:

"I don't think it's very necessary. I think leadership comes in a lot of different ways. Kirk will find his way, and he will choose the best leader that he sees fit for this offense, for this football team. I think the players respect him. Number one, the players have to respect you and I know they do that, so that's half the battle right there. Now your performance has to back up your play and I think he will be fine. He doesn't have to run around and yell and be a vocal guy. We have coaches that teach the offense and correct people. As long as he does his job and continues to work and get better in the classroom like he will, he will be fine."

On the difficulty of distributing the ball on offense:

"It's one of the greatest challenges an offensive coordinator has – trying to keep everybody happy. Luckily, we feel like we have some unselfish guys around here and the important thing is getting a victory – whether we run the ball 50 times or throw the ball 60 times. DeSean [Jackson] wants his touches and is going to get his touches; Pierre [Garçon], Jamison [Crowder], Ryan Grant, Jordan [Reed] obviously, the backs are going to get their touches, Vernon [Davis] now is vying for them, Niles [Paul], Logan [Paulsen] wants to catch ball every now and then, even Trent Williams is asking for balls [laughter]. Unfortunately there is only one ball, but as long as Kirk plays within the offense and doesn't worry about people asking for the ball, I think the ball will be distributed and people will have big games here and there. But hopefully everybody stays happy and just does their job and Kirk will distribute the ball as necessary." 

On S David Bruton Jr.:

"He's vying for a starting safety job with Duke [Ihenacho]. And [Deshazor] Everett and [Will] Blackmon have moved back there – and D-Hall. He's done a good job. Bruton is a tough guy. He is very knowledgeable of defense. Smart kid, went to Notre Dame and has played a lot of football. Unfortunately he hasn't played the safety position as much as he would like to, but he's dominated special teams and he's going to have that role here also. I've really liked the way he shows up to work every day as a professional as the definition is. He's going to compete. We'll see how it goes. We have a long time until our first regular season game against Pittsburgh, and we're going to let all of these guys compete and battle and we'll try to pick the best ones."

On LB Steven Daniels:

"Steven is just like all of the other rookies, man. There has been a lot thrown at these guys in a short amount of time. He's a bright kid, went to Boston College – their defense was ranked No. 1 in the country – and he was a leader. This is a different style – different game, different pace, different speed all across the board. He's learning just like all of the other rookies and he's going to be fine."

On when he started to see S DeAngelo Hall's explosiveness return after his injury last year:

"I don't know. I think anytime we activate a guy and dress him, we feel like his explosion is back to where it should be. I don't know if he's ever going to be back to when he was 21 years old. He's getting older, had a couple injuries, but he's still explosive enough to play the safety position. He's got great anticipation and instincts. He's the one that's got to tell you how he feels and all that stuff, but I haven't noticed a major drop-off as far as explosion is concerned."

On Hall's explosiveness last season:

"I think once we activated him and let him play again, I think we felt like he was good."

On if he has determined the best use for DL Matt Ioannidis:

"No, we're still working. This will be the best test for these guys when the pads come on. Matt's done good. He's just like Steven. He's learning, trying to get in the right gap and get in the right front and all that stuff. We're putting him at nose guard quite a bit, trying him there. I think that's the starting point, that's where we see him right now. We'll see how he adapts to the speed of the game and the big guys with the pads on coming down on him – the Spencer Longs and the Brandon Scherffs and Kory [Lichtensteiger]. We'll see how he responds but nose guard right now is where I think he's going to be."

On how the players should approach their off day:

"An off day is about rest for them. They've got to get back in the book and review what we've done the last couple days, make sure they're up to speed and maybe look ahead at what's coming in next. But the main thing is to get their bodies, get the treatment necessary, maybe get a lift in. Coach [Mike] Clark will have them get a workout in possibly, but the main thing is rest."

On what he will do on his off day:

"We're going to try to get the next week ready. Sean McVay and I will script the offense a little bit and Joe [Barry] will get ready for the defense. We'll get our schedules set and the periods we want to hit and the situations we want to hit the following week and maybe I'll hit the Richmond town and get a nice dinner somewhere."

On how WR Josh Doctson is progressing:

"I don't know. You know, I think this thing is a sensitive issue for him and he's the one that's got to ultimately say. He feels good. He said he's walking around without the boot right now. I think it's just a matter of as we gradually push him, how he responds, and I think that's the biggest issue we have to deal with. Hopefully this tendonitis or whatever it is doesn't reoccur."

On LB Perry Riley Jr.'s performance in his first day back yesterday:

"I think for the first day back I think he looked fine. He did the individual drills and I'm excited to have him back. I know he's excited. He's been champing at the bit to get back in there and I think we'll see a lot more of him today and next week as he gradually shows us that he's ready to go 100 percent."

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