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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden (08-30-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On how the Tampa Bay game moving to Wednesday affects his preparation:

"Nothing, really. We just had to speed it up a little bit. We didn't plan on doing a lot of Tampa early in the week anyway, but we're going to try to do something today and tomorrow. We just have to speed up our preparation a little bit."

On the releases of DE Stephen Paea and LB Perry Riley Jr.:

"You know, it's what goes into every decision when we release anybody. It takes a lot of thought and a lot of times now when you have the depth that we feel like we have, it's not so much about the player we release, it's about the players that we kept. We'll try to keep it at that. I think we've got some guys at linebacker who have played extremely well and we've got some guys on the defensive line who are competing and doing a good job. Those two guys are excellent football players, I imagine they'll latch on somewhere else and do well. They have a lot of football left in their career. They're both great guys that worked hard, and it's just part of the decision process." 

On the defensive line depth:

"Yeah, we still have Cullen [Jenkins], obviously Ricky [Jean Francois], Chris [Baker], Kendall [Reyes], Matt [Ioannidis], Kedric [Golston]. So we still have a lot of guys. [Jerrell] Powe is competing in there, [Corey] Crawford, obviously, and Anthony Lanier, so we still have a lot of guys in our defensive line competing for six-or-seven spots."

On if WR Reggie Diggs has been released:

"Yeah, I think we're doing something with him today… injured."

On not being able to evaluate Diggs:

"Yeah, it's tough. He had to deal with that injury through the OTAs and we thought he got well, but it took a little bit longer than we anticipated and we obviously needed that spot. I'm not sure how they put him in the waiver wire or how long it is, but, yeah, we just had to make the move. We needed the spot." 

On QB Nate Sudfeld's evolution from the college to pro game including play calls, headsets, etc.:

"Getting the snap from center, which he never did [laughter]. He's progressed extremely well and it's just a long way to go. These kids out of college, no matter which position you play, there's always a lot of learning to do in the National Football League. Especially at the quarterback position, where you're talking about formations, you're talking about snap count, you're talking about concepts, you're talking about runs, your footwork, all that stuff that just takes a long time. He's picked it up very well. Matt Cavanaugh has done a great job with him, and he'll be the first to tell you that he's miles-and-miles away, but he's making great strides and he's great as far as wanting to learn and wanting to do the right thing. It's just hard to get him the reps that he needs, but he's taking advantage of the ones that he gets and he'll get a great opportunity tomorrow."

On if the fourth preseason game is about position battles:

"No question. It's not just about position battles, but it's about special teams battles – who can show up on special teams. I think that's one thing we're really going to keep a close eye on – the special teams, the flyers, the guys who are blocking on punt return and kickoff cover, kickoff return, who's being the most effective. So we'll keep an eye on those battles as well. Maurice Harris has been very impressive all throughout training camp and he's made some plays. He's done good. Kendal [Thompson] obviously has done some good things at wide receiver and that doesn't change. You look at the linebacker spot with [Carlos] Fields, he's done some good things and obviously Terence Garvin. We have got a lot of issues, positive things to look at and tough decisions to make. Hopefully this game will clear it up for us."

On how many roster spots are still up for grabs:

"I don't know. I think realistically about probably about eight or nine maybe. But you can never tell. We will see how we come out of this game health-wise, number one, and somebody might shine who we didn't expect to and somebody might do the opposite who we didn't expect to. We like to let the game on the field speak for the player and we will see how they do and we will make our decision. We try not to go in with any decisions that are already pre-made, we just try to let the guys play and then we'll make decisions afterwards."

On if they have started preparing for Pittsburgh:

"Oh, yeah. We have started our preparation for Pittsburgh. We started meeting on that this past week. There is no question that we have previewed the Pittsburgh Steelers."

On RB Robert Kelley:

"He is one of the guys that – you're right – we didn't know a whole lot about him. He was a free agent from Tulane, didn't have a lot of yards as a halfback and fullback at Tulane. Didn't get a lot of opportunities but really came in here and with the injuries that we had and the lack of players that we had at that back position from time to time, he got the reps. And when you get the reps, [there are] two options – you can take advantage of them or you don't, and he took advantage of them. Made great cuts, had great vision, we could see that on the inside runs and some of the outside runs he had good patience, protected the ball and he's caught the ball well. But the big thing with him is how quickly he picked up the protections. That's not easy for a back. There is so much, they have to listen to the quarterback and the center and we change them at the line often and he's got to be on top of his game and he's been that."

On if RB Matt Jones is still the No. 1 running back if healthy:

"Oh yeah, Matt is our No. 1 back. We fully anticipate him being ready." 

On LB Terence Garvin and the depth at the inside linebacker position:

"Yeah, he's been great on special teams, number one. Number two, when he gets in the game, you feel his presence and he's picked up a new system and done extremely well. He runs around, he's a great athlete, very fast, very physical, and he's fun to watch, he really is. He's showed up a lot, and Su'a [Cravens] has done a nice job. Those two guys… Mason Foster has been very good on first and second down. He's been good blitzing, he's been good in coverage, he's been good in the running game. And then obviously [Martrell] Spaight at the Mike and Carlos Fields, those guys have all shown their worth at the linebacker position. We have good depth there and we have good versatility in what they can do." 

On WR Josh Doctson's "go time" tweet:

"Let's 'go' back to the training room for him [laughter]. No, he's close. He's getting a little antsy. I threw to him again today and he looks better. I don't think he's got his full full-speed burst yet but he's very, very close. He's a very smooth route-runner. He's coming in and out of his breaks, snatching everything. So, he's very, very close. I think we can start him practicing very soon."

On the offensive play call process this season:

"Yeah, Sean [McVay] has got the mic. You know, he's talking to quarterbacks, so he's calling the plays. We have input throughout the week as far as our play sheet and our preparation is concerned, you know, so we have our list ready to roll. So, when the situations arise, we're going right off that list and we're ready to roll based on our preparation of the game. But he's got the mic."

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