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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden (08-08-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On if he has decided how much his starters will play on Thursday:

"Not yet. You know, we'll play it by ear, see how we do out at practice today and we'll have a staff meeting tonight and then make a decision."

On if he has ruled any players out for Thursday:

"Well, [Reggie] Diggs will be out for sure. I ruled [Jamison] Crowder out myself today. Obviously [Derek] Carrier, [Josh] Doctson. Those are the four off the top of my head. Probably Trent [Williams]. I'm not sure yet on Trent."

On Trent Murphy working at linebacker after switching to defensive end:

"Once Junior tore his Achilles, we tried him [Murphy] at defensive end a little bit, but we feel like at this point in time, we moved him back to linebacker. The good thing about him, he got some experience at defensive end. So, you know, on game day, if you dress five defensive linemen, four outside backers, he can also be an extra defensive lineman. Or, three outside linebackers, count him as a defensive end, he can be an outside linebacker. His value will be big because he can play both."

On if Murphy will focus primarily on pass rushing instead of coverage:

"Originally that was our plan. We're trying to get him going forward more often. He, Preston [Smith], Ryan [Kerrigan] will be our feature ends – Houston Bates. We'll see what happens with the other guys who are competing for jobs – Willie Jefferson, Lynden Trail, Double E [Ejiro Ederaine] and Shiro Davis, so we'll see what happens there. But we'll try to get him going forward more, yes."

On if there is a better example for young players than LB Ryan Kerrigan:

"Not really, no. He's very humble, number one. Keeps to himself and does exactly what's asked of him in practice. He practices hard; in fact, we have to pull him back a little bit because he practices so hard and we want to keep him healthy for the 16-week grind. He's a top-notch guy, on and off the field, character-wise.. He's what you're looking for."

On if Su'a Cravens will be utilized most at linebacker or safety:

"We're going to try him at linebacker first. He's a 20-year-old kid and coming in here he has got to learn one spot first. He needs to learn the defense, so we figured inside linebacker in nickel and dime situations is the spot to teach him the defense first. From there we can branch off, see his skill set, move on and try him at safety – maybe nickel – whatever it is. Right now we feel like the best place for him learning the defense is at linebacker."

On his thoughts about the Hall of Fame game being canceled:

"I don't know, but I know as a coach if the field wasn't up to par, I wouldn't want my players out there either. That's just the way it is. These preseason games are important to look at the young guys, but it's also important to keep your guys healthy. If there is any thought of it putting your players at risk, then you can't play. It's unfortunate because a lot of people were looking forward to that game, but I think they made the right decision looking out for the players' safety first."

On the impact of players on those two teams missing reps:

"Those two teams – the Packers [and Colts] – they have four other preseason games. They just missed some vacation time [laughter]. I would have been pretty upset if that were the case. We're going to get plenty of looks. Four good preseason games, the first two are what they are – a chance to get our veteran guys and our starters a couple of reps, work up a sweat. It's a chance for some of our young guys to push into the starting role or the backup role. And then the third preseason game, we'll get our starters a lot of reps and then the fourth preseason game, we'll finish it out and compete and see what we have. These games, although they don't count in the win-loss record, they count big-time as far as who your 53 players are. Scoreboard aside, it's a very important time for us."

On Murphy adding weight in the offseason and if it will be an issue in his move back to linebacker:

"I don't think so. He's right around 270 [pounds] right now and I think he can handle it. He looks good. He's stronger. With the more muscle you have, the more weight you're going to gain. He wasn't exactly a speedster to begin with, so I think he'll be fine. He can drop into the flat and the curl zone and do some good things, but also provide us with another rusher, whether it's in three-down fronts with him as a spinner, or four-down fronts with him as an end. Maybe we'll try to put him inside. He's doing a good job out here and once we moved him back, he made some big plays and has done well."

On the safeties communicating with the rest of the defense and how S DeAngelo Hall has handled it since transitioning from cornerback:

"He's been good. You know, all those guys have. David [Bruton Jr.] just coming in here, he's done a nice job. Duke [Ihenacho] has done a fine job. Will Blackmon, moving over from corner/nickel to safety has also done a good job. And you're right, that is one of the most important parts of playing safety, being able to communicate the coverage calls to the other defensive backs. DeAngelo is a smart guy. He's taken this position very seriously and it's a great opportunity for him to still play and make some big plays and help this football team. He's all-in and he's doing a fine job."

On Olympic events in which he could compete and TE Vernon Davis suggesting the backstroke:

"He said I would be good at the backstroke? Vernon, I like him better when he doesn't talk to the media [laughter]. I don't know what my events would be. I like ping pong. Ping pong looks fun. I think that would be a fun event for me, I could try that. Other than that, I really don't know what I'd be good at. Golf, maybe. No, I can't do that either. I stink at everything – I'm old, I'm fat and out of shape [laughter]. That's what you guys say, right?"

On going from the heat to a climate-controlled dome for the first preseason game:

"I don't think there's a lot of preparation needed for that. That's easy. It's a fast track, our receivers will love that. And the air-conditioner… the environment there will be premier for football and for these guys. So, I think the biggest thing to keep an eye on is how they handle their stamina, you know what I mean? When you get out in a game, guys will be playing more than three, four, five, six plays in a row and we'll see how they handle it, the receivers, defensive backs, pass rushers. It will be good to see. It will be good work for us and we'll see where we are exactly from a conditioning standpoint and from a skillset."

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