Head Coach Jay Gruden
On TE Jordan Reed:
"We just held him out today. Nothing is wrong."
On T Trent Williams:
"Trent is a little under the weather. We've had a couple guys with some strep throat going around, so he's at home eating his chicken soup."
On WR DeSean Jackson:
"He practiced yesterday, had a good day."
On if QB Kirk Cousins' confidence is building upon what he did last year:
"I would think so, yes. He's obviously playing with a lot of confidence, having a lot of fun. He's got great command of the offense, that's the one thing that you notice. He's got great command over the formations. He's got great command on the snap count, and that's something he didn't so much have the first year I was here and even last year in this time of year. But when you get command of the little things, it makes the big things a lot easier and he's seeing things a lot better – concepts versus different coverage – he's doing a good job. You know, we're all just trying to get better out here. He's doing good."
On putting Cousins in more situations in practice:
"I'm trying to challenge him situationally, you know? Backed up, red zone, third down, fourth down, two-point plays, all of it and trying to see how he handles them. Offensive coordinators, defensive coordinators, offensive line, everybody, not just the quarterbacks. We're trying to challenge him and push the envelope a little bit and get as many situational problems as we can, get them on tape and see how they react and coach and correct off of it. He's much more comfortable in all of them."
On if there is disappointment he hasn't had all of the receivers healthy at the same time:
"You want everybody out there obviously, but if not, the good thing is other guys get work and they are getting a lot of work. Ryan Grant's had a great camp, Rashad Ross is taking advantage of some reps and some of the new guys have done a good job. Maurice [Harris] has done a nice job so we're seeing other guys play and take advantage of them, so that's the good thing."
On if this has been a "boring" offseason:
"I don't know what your definition of 'boring' is, but it's never boring coming out here to work and coaching these guys. We've got a great group of guys coming out here and they're all willing to learn and get better and it's our job as coaches. So every day is an adventure getting these guys ready to go and trying to get a practice schedule to challenge them and get them better, so it's far from boring, that's for sure. Maybe for you guys, but not for us."
On RB Matt Jones' progression:
"I think as a running back he's picking up the blitzes fine, he's doing a good job in protection. He's seeing holes, making good cuts, decisive cuts. But once we put the pads on, we'll see how far he's come along. You know, for running backs it's really hard to gauge how well you're doing without pads on and protection and in the running game, finishing runs, capping off runs, all that and protecting the football. But we're obviously happy with his progress. We feel good about where he is as a football player, his knowledge of the game. He's comfortable in the system, very smart for a young player and very confident, so that's a good thing."
On what he expects from Jackson in minicamp:
"We expect him to be here next week… In a perfect world, we know it's not perfect, but it is what it is, man. We are going to coach the guys that are here. It's voluntary for these players to show up here. We'd love for them all to be here, but I trust the fact that if he's not here, he's getting his body ready to go and he proved that the last couple days. He looked as fast as he's ever been, had great stamina, was in good shape, had great knowledge of the game and was a lot stronger than I've seen him before. DeSean is going to be just fine."
On if he has any Muhammad Ali stories from Gruden's time as a student in Louisville, Ali's hometown:
"I was only there for four years and it was such a grind with Howard Schnellenberger that I didn't really watch any other sport. He didn't let us. We were doing football year-round. But obviously he had an impact on everybody in the sporting world and it was a sad day for people in Louisville and the all across the nation for the impact he had in sport."
On what he wants to see from G Brandon Scherff and T Morgan Moses:
"Just progress, just keep getting bigger and stronger in the weight room. Coach [Mike] Clark and Chad [Englehart], they're doing that and [they] continue to progress mentally. Continue to gain confidence over the situations and the looks and the fronts and the movement, and they're doing that. They're getting better. They're an excellent group of young prospects to have in this building. Both are big, strong physical players. They both love football and they both work extremely hard. We have a great coach coaching them. It's a great combination and we feel like they will continue to develop and get better because that's the way their makeup is and they're going to do that."
On if he was making a bet with TE Vernon Davis in practice:
"I'm not much of a gambler… He just has a few things he's been doing his whole career, I'm just trying to get him out of a habit. Every time he did them, he owed me $100, and the first rep he did it, so he owes me $100… It's hard to explain. Let Vernon explain that one. He's got this 'dead leg' thing that he does. No, it was a friendly deal, just trying to get him out of a habit."
On WR Ryan Grant:
"He just has got to keep grinding and wait for his opportunity. He took advantage of some of them last year, but he's a very versatile guy. He can play inside, outside, both sides. He's smart and very detailed in his work. He can come in and block safeties if we need him to. He's played special teams. He's a very valuable player on our team whether he catches 20 balls or 100 balls. He's very valuable because he can provide us with a lot of depth at every position. He's heck of a player and I think once he gets his opportunity to be a full-time starter, he's going to run and take it. Just he's got to wait for his opportunity."
On LB Martrell Spaight:
"I'm very impressed with Spaight. He's picking it up. He's made some mistakes because he missed a lot of time last year, but he plays with great energy. You're really not going to see the impact he has on a football game until he puts the pads on and he can start hitting. That's what he did at Arkansas and that's what he's going to do in the preseason games. In shorts and helmets, you won't see the true Spaight. Same thing with Steven Daniels and a couple of these other linebackers. But I've really been impressed with him, the way he's come back and I can't wait to see him hit."
On if players such as LB Will Compton and DE Chris Baker can help fill some of the defensive leadership lost this offseason:
"Well, we have DeAngelo Hall too. He's a great leader. And Josh Norman comes in with a very successful team and he has come in and been a leader. [David] Bruton can obviously do that too, and Will Compton is emerging as a quality leader for our football team. I think we have a lot of guys that can emerge. Ricky Jean [Francois] has obviously proven to be that. Baker, maybe not so much [laughter], but Baker has been doing a good job, too. [Ryan] Kerrigan, obviously he is one of the quiet leaders that leads by example. We have got a lot of guys on defense that are really good because they are maybe not the vocal-leader types, but the lead-by-example types. And people know when you step on the field on defense what is expected of you and that is the result of great leadership"
On how he has been able to evaluate the safeties without pads:
"It's hard, but the big thing is, are they getting to the right spots? How are they reacting when the ball is in the air? How are filling in the running game? Are they in the right spots, like I said? And so far it has been a good battle. All the safeties have done some good things, quite frankly. Like you said, it will play itself out once we get into the preseason games and the regular season."
On when Will Blackmon will be comfortable at safety:
"I don't know. That's a good question. Some of these position moves are very natural for a lot of people and easy, some of them it's a tough transition. When you've been doing something your whole career and then you have to do something totally different, it might take a little more time even though he is a veteran and been in football for a while. I think it's been a little bit more difficult than he probably expected, but the more reps he gets at it, I think he'll be just fine. You can see him getting better and better at it and more comfortable. I think once training camp rolls around, he'll be ready to roll."
On how he feels he has progressed as a coach:
"I try to progress. I try to make sure I get the most out of them. That's my job is to try and get them better – that's all – and prepare them for situations. So far I think these guys have responded well. We've challenged them with a lot of different situations like I said earlier and they've responded. We kept them out here for a while. We've challenged them in meetings, challenged them in the weight room. We've had great attendance here and they're all willing to work. As long as they're willing to work and they practice hard, my job is pretty easy."
On DeAngelo Hall's transition to safety and if it has been natural or difficult:
"I think with the ball in flight he's proven to be a great player and that's why I think it's a natural transition for him. Still, there are some nuances at safety that he has got to adjust to. He had an opportunity last year to get a taste of it, and this year with the offseason – that's why this time of year is very important to show up, especially if you're playing a new position. There's no substitution for reps and we're getting a lot of quality work for guys like him to see whether he is a pull safety or a Cover 2 safety or if he's down in the box or if he's covering or whatever. All these reps are important for him – what gap he is filling. He's getting more and more comfortable by the minute and I think he's going to be a heck of a player at that position."
Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay
On how the offense is coming along so far:
"I feel good. Nine days through OTAs, we've gotten pretty much the majority of our offense in, gotten a chance to hit a bunch of different situations. The only thing we really haven't hit so far is short-yardage and goal line. And, you know, we've had a bunch of our players here and we've gotten a bunch of good work. We feel really good about where we're at so far."
On if he has seen growth from QB Kirk Cousins:
"Oh, I think you absolutely see growth in him. He's taken command of the offense; you can just see he's got a really good feel for what we're trying to get done. He's truly become an extension of our coaching staff and we've feel really good about what he's shown through these first nine days."
On if Cousins' development is natural:
"I think it's happened with his maturation and the more experience that he's been able to gain through playing last year. And then, with his offseason preparation, the way that he goes about just his everyday routine, he's innately just going to get continuous improvement and that's what we always strive for from him. And I think just the feel for what we're trying to get done, different situations and, kind of, what we want to operate, how we want operate philosophically offensively, and he's got a great feel for that right now."
On QB Nate Sudfeld:
"Well, he has got a lot of the characteristics and traits that you're looking for. You see a natural thrower. He has good size, he plays tall in the pocket. He is still getting comfortable and getting used to taking snaps underneath the center and getting more familiar with our terminology. He has gotten more reps in the last couple weeks and you are seeing that improvement, but basically what you're seeing from him is rookie quarterback that is continuing to grow each day. You see the arm talent, you see the athleticism for a big guy, so you're excited about what he'll be able to do as he continues to develop."
On what WR Josh Doctson can do to improve while he is unable to fully practice:
"The biggest thing he can do right now is make sure he stays up with what we are doing mentally from an installation standpoint so that when he does come out there he's able to hit it full-speed. He's done a great job in the meeting rooms. You can see he's a real conscientious guy. He was able to practice a couple days where you see the flashes of why he was such a special player at TCU and we're looking forward to getting him back on the grass."
On RB Matt Jones' progression:
"You're seeing a much more matured player. I've been extremely encouraged with him – his understanding of where he fits in protections, consistency in his tracks. It is a little bit harder to evaluate that position because you can't tackle guys to the ground and you can't really account for a bigger back like him where it looks like he might be tackled in the hole but he's able to fall forward and get some extra yards. He's done a great job so far and we're very encouraged and I think Randy Jordan's done an excellent job getting him to take steps forward going into year two as our guy."
On if Jones' ball security is progressing as well:
"Absolutely, that's a huge point of emphasis for us. You can see he has done a great job really trying to take that to heart, from drill work to actual team work and we have seen improvements in that area. That's one of those things as well where our guys do a great job stripping at it in practice but you just really can't see until you get into that live game action where you are getting tackled."
On how tight ends Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen and Vernon Davis can help in the run game:
"I think it will definitely help, you know, those guys Niles and Logan especially have an experience with them. Those guys are excellent contributors in the run game. I've been very pleased what they have been able to do so far. And Vernon is a guy that when you watch what he has accomplished over the course of his career, he has competed very well in both phases, so any time you are able to add and have three tight ends that you feel good about running behind at the point of attack… that's something that is comforting for us, especially when you look at what we were dealing with last year and the injuries and I do think that hurt us and our ability to run the ball."
On how WR DeSean Jackson looked earlier this week:
"Yeah, he looks very healthy. He was here yesterday and did a great job, made some big plays. You can see DeSean is a really smart player, so he is able to pick up where he left off. He was with us a couple of weeks in the earlier phases of the offseason program and he is a guy that has natural awareness and instincts. Obviously the big play ability gives us a different dynamic and dimension offensively."
On G Brandon Scherff and T Morgan Moses:
"Well, the thing that's encouraging about Brandon is when you look at what he was able to accomplish last year, first time transitioning inside to playing guard, and I thought he showed continuous improvement throughout the course of the year. He's a conscientious guy – really tough. I think he competes well in both phases – excellent athleticism. And then Morgan, same type of deal. I think he's excellent in pass protection. Bill [Callahan] has done a couple things to adjust the techniques and the nuances and some of the things we're doing in the run game that I think have helped him. Those are two guys that we're very excited about and we feel good about with our right side of the line for many years to come."
On the footballs being used to help Matt Jones and the other running backs with ball security:
"Yeah, Randy Jordan found a specific football where you have got to have the five points of pressure and it makes a specific beep, and if it's not beeping, he's yelling at Matt all the time. So you're always hearing him beep in those individual drills. And I think that's the thing that we've tried to implement to make that point of emphasis and always making sure that you're keeping that constant pressure especially in those contact areas once you get into the hole in traffic."
On seeing WR DeSean Jackson match up against CB Josh Norman:
"Yeah, it's exciting. You know, Josh is a great player. You can see why he's had the success that he had in Carolina. You feel him as an offensive coach, defensively, every single day. I'm glad that we don't have to go against him in the regular season, but seeing two elite players go at it is exciting and knowing that they're both Redskins."
On his own personal growth and how he feels compared to previous years:
"Well, I think when you look at last year, you're able to learn from some of the good and the bad that we were able to accomplish offensively and what I was able to do within the framework of my role. I feel much more comfortable as you continue to gain experience, but that's because I have great people around me. Starting with Coach [Jay] Gruden, Bill Callahan, Matt Cavanaugh, those have been great resources to kind of help me learn and grow in this role. You feel very fortunate to have those guys around you."
On the challenges Spencer Long faces while learning the center position:
"Well, the challenge is just getting comfortable with the communication. He did a great job playing left guard, got a bunch of snaps last year. But once you move inside and you're responsible for making all of those line calls and the communication up front, Coach Callahan puts a lot on those guys. That's going to be the biggest transition for him in addition to just getting comfortable snapping the football, whether it be from underneath the center or in the shotgun. That's where you see the biggest transition for those guys that bump inside from playing that guard position."
On if G Arie Kouandjio can compete for the left guard position:
"Yeah, Bill does a great job mixing those guys in there. Kind of what I was mentioning about Morgan [Moses] earlier, we've adjusted a couple of the techniques that we're utilizing in the run game and I think you've really seen it benefit Arie. I've been really impressed and pleased with what he's done so far. He's always been a very powerful, stout guy in pass protection and I think you're seeing some improvements in his production in the run game. So we're excited with what Arie's shown through these first nine."
On TE Jordan Reed's progress:
"You look at the way that he ended last year, I thought that you saw an extremely confident player. I want to say the last four games of the year he had 31 targets and he caught 29 of those balls and there was a stretch where he caught like 24-25 straight. He's – you can see it – a very confident player. I think he's one of the best separators in the game. You can see he's taken a real conscientious effort to be a complete player, both in the run and the pass game. But what he's been able to do, where you can kind of move him all over the formation, is very exciting for us offensively. I think he's a special player."