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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden and Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson (08-04-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On why WR Jamison Crowder was effective as a rookie last season:

"I don't know, first of all he came from a good program, Duke. They threw the ball a lot with very good concepts over there. But he is just a very mature kid for his age. That's the only way I can explain it. Can handle the workload both on the field and in the classroom, very smart. Obviously knew how to run a lot of different routes because of where he came from, which helped and he just picked it up and adapted quickly."

On emergency quarterbacks:

"We are talking about that right now. We will put a package together for somebody. It's either going to be Jordan Reed or Crowder, most likely. Jordan Reed played a little quarterback in college and Crowder is a good enough athlete. He can throw both hands, so we might have to let him do it."

On his expectations for WR Reggie Diggs:

"Well, he practiced the other day, so he's just got to show that he's healthy. number one, which I believe he is. He wouldn't be practicing if he wasn't. And he's got to play big, play to his size. He's a big physical receiver, we need him to play big and physical."

On WR DeSean Jackson joking that he doesn't know how Gruden is related to his brother, Jon, and saying that he hasn't seen Jon's "Chucky" alter ego come out in Jay:

"Chucky's been out a few times [laughter]. DeSean was lying. He's seen me come out a few times, but I don't know. Jon and I are quite different, but we're both very intense and very passionate about winning football games."

On balancing being fun and commanding respect from players:

"That's the most important part is commanding the respect and getting the most out of them. That's my whole goal is to get the most out of each individual player. That's the only thing I really care about. Obviously you want their respect, but my ultimate job is to get the most out of each guy and win as many games as possible. Actually, I like a lot of their personalities. I get along great with all of them. They all bring something different to the table. They're fun to be around, and we've got a great group of guys and it's fun to coach them."

On DE Stephen Paea:

"Stephen's showed up a lot lately, the last couple days. He's showing his strength. He's a very, very strong human and he's showing that power once we put the pads on. He's one of those guys that will really show up when you put the pads on, not so much when you don't have the pads on because he can really use his strength and his power, and he's shown up. So he feels good. I know he's looking good, and we're hoping he has a good year."

On where he stands after yesterday's accuracy competition with the quarterbacks and Quarterbacks Coach Matt Cavanaugh:

"I'm last on the totem pole right now. I had a rough day [laughter]. I need to get loose. I will get my chance at redemption here shortly."

On G Shawn Lauvao:

"Shawn is doing good. He had his first couple days here and it looked like he never left, really. As far as how he's feeling, I think he's still a little rusty a little bit, I think you can tell. He's got to gain full confidence back in his strength on both feet. Once he does that, he'll be fine. But as far as mentally, he is zoned in and knows exactly where to go and how to do it. He's just got to physically know that he is healthy and then react a little bit quicker. He looked good to me. He's a big, strong kid and in one-on-ones he doesn't give up any pressure, as usual. And in team work, he is doing good."

On if Lauvao will play in Atlanta:

"We'll have to wait and see. I wouldn't mind getting him in there a little bit. We'll see how he's doing. I think after a couple days of work here… these two days and then Saturday is a day off, so we will see how he's doing. And then if we can gradually increase his workload on Monday; obviously Tuesday we'll taper off a little bit and see how he's doing Wednesday when we travel and then we'll make a determination. I'd like to get him up as soon as possible, see where he's at."

On if he's seen Paea's strength in camp and if he saw it last season:

"I think so. I think there were some times where we saw it, and I think for whatever reason over the last couple days, it's like 'Wow, he is really strong.' He's showing up a little bit more. Maybe it's a little bit of confidence. He's playing with a little chip on his shoulder, I'm sure. Production wasn't where he quite wanted it to be I'm sure last year so he's got a lot to prove himself and he's out to do that. He works extremely hard. He's more comfortable in the defense. I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. So hopefully all of that combined will make him a force to be reckoned with."

On DE Corey Crawford:

"We have a logjam at defensive line and he's one of the guys and in the few reps that he gets from time-to-time, he's done some good things. The one-on-one pass rush, he shows great athletic ability. Just get a consistent pad-level, sometimes he plays a little too high. But for the most part, he's coming along like a lot of our second-year guys are. I just wish we could get him more and more reps, but we have so many bodies in there it's hard to get them all reps. But he's getting some and he's just got to take advantage of them. The preseason games are going to be huge for Corey."

On how his players have responded to walkthroughs and practices:

"The response has been great. I think the mental approach has been outstanding, and I think every time that they've come out here, they've given solid effort. And that's all I'm looking for really for them to come out here. Defense, you want to see consistent pursuit and effort, and offensively, you want to make sure they're on their assignments and doing everything full-speed. When we're going full-speed, they're going full-speed, they're doing a good job. I'm impressed with them. We're having our share of mistakes on both sides of the ball; we're getting them corrected and coached up and the following day you don't see many of the same mistakes twice, which is exciting. But, they're doing well."

On the inside linebackers:

"Yeah, it's a pretty good group really. It's interesting. [Martrell] Spaight is having one heck of a camp so far. He's turned a lot of heads. [Su'a] Cravens is doing well obviously. Perry Riley is coming off his injury. Perry is an excellent linebacker. Steven Daniels is banged up a little bit right now. So it's a really, really good group. Carlos Fields is doing a very good job. He's come a long way from last year. The consistent production we're looking for, and obviously when you put the pads on in the game and how they react and how they make their calls, and how they pursue to the football and forced fumbles, getting in passing lanes, all that stuff will be the determination at that position."

On how much influence he has in selecting pre-practice music:

"Not as much as I should. I take that for granted. I'm not a big fan right now. I've heard a couple good songs, but we should probably change it up. That's part of the reason why I don't let it play during practice, because the music is so bad – the choice [laughter]. So I cut it off. Coach [Bill] Callahan is old school. He hates music during practice, so he likes to yell at his guys and make sure he's heard. So we can't have it during practice."

On G Nila Kasitati's rookie show performance:

"Very good. It was excellent. You know, he even got the flashlights or whatever it was with the camera phones. He was good because we've had some pretty poor performances up to that point. I think Nate Sudfeld, he didn't get on TV because he was so bad as a singer he got booed off the stage. [Josh] Doctson got booed off the stage. We've had a couple guys get booed off the stage, so it's been a tough crowd."

On Friday's practice:

"Well, tomorrow I just pushed everything back a little bit just to give them another hour of sleep, basically, and then we're going to have one practice. It'll be a padded practice. It'll be a good practice, good tempo. I just eliminated the walkthrough. We've got a lot of reps in the walkthrough. We probably get more reps – I can't speak for other teams – but we get a lot of reps in our walkthrough. We have two fields going at one time. These guys are getting a ton of reps, so I wanted to let them sleep an extra hour and have a good practice Friday. They're off Saturday and then Sunday we're just going to have just one practice at 1:00 also. That'll be a good one, a lot of situational work."

On any improvements he'd make to training camp in Richmond:

"I don't really have any complaints, really. The only thing that I worry about down here is not having a bubble and luckily we haven't had any issues. It's been excellent. The accommodations are first-class. The facility – all I care about is to be sure the players get the right treatment, and they've got a great treatment facility in here and good fields that are good for our players. They can run on them and not worry about any injuries. Fields are in great shape, we've got a great treatment facility, we've got a good weight room, so really that's all I can ask for."

Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson

On how he feels about the progress of the offense:

"It felt good. Like you said, we're a week in. We've been out here. It's hot weather in this heat, really been putting in work and doing everything we need to do to better ourselves and take steps to get to where we get to from last year. We felt like we built. We made it playoffs and had to stretch towards the end of the season but just want to be able to build off of that, understand that we have a lot to work for and a lot to accomplish".

On his relationship with CB Josh Norman:

"My relationship with Josh is a very friendly, very competitive relationship we have. Him being an addition to our team this year and coming over, we really have been able to get some good work and some competitive nature out there, and really just compete. He's known to be one of the top corners in this league and things like that. For us receivers on the squad to have a chance to go against him and really just get that work to help us, when the season comes, that's what we're doing. We're partaking in that and really just challenging each other at the same time – it being friendly competition but we're still working, challenging each other to get better every day, really just expecting when you come out there to work. Nothing is going to be given to you, nothing is going to be easy. As long as you do that throughout training camp, I think going into the season everybody will be at least in that mode to know when it's time to go out there you've got to take it to the next level."

On this group of pass catchers:

"Well, I think with me and Pierre [Garçon] being like the veterans of the group, he's had some great success in this league and I've had some great success in this league too. We try to set the bar high. We try to let these young guys know the grind – the Jamison Crowders, the Rashad Rosses. Jordan Reed will have some success in this league too. We just really try to set the bar high. By putting in work on the field, practice hours and things like that is where you get your results from. Nothing is going to be handed to you, nothing is going to be easy but really just challenging ourselves, just expecting us to get out there and make each other better. If Pierre goes out there and makes a great catch or does something interesting, I'm going to try to go out there to match that. I think throughout the whole offense, bringing Vernon Davis in here, you know he's coming from San Francisco and obviously Denver last year. He's been around some great teams as well, too. It's really just triggering the mindset – the mentality – of working for what you want and hopefully you get the results when the season comes."

On maintaining his quickness while trying to add muscle:

"I think the physical part, first off, being able to add six pounds to me and not lose the speed… Just this offseason, I kind of triggered me being in the weight room, just working as far as getting stronger, eating a little more and things like that. But still not, not only just doing that and not sitting around, not triggering my speed and not working on my speed, I've stayed on the track. I stayed doing my cone drills and things like that, things that I've been doing since I've been young. That's the challenge about being 29 now, going on my ninth year. People might be like, 'He's almost thirty, he's getting old.' But, I still feel like my speed is a great threat that I use to my ability. So, I'm just excited about the year in front of us. I'm excited about the work that all the guys are putting in now and challenging ourselves. Kirk's doing a good job of expecting everybody to be at a spot or break at a certain yardage. Everyone is taking their own responsibility to going out there and being where you need to be at the right time so when he's coming out to throw the ball everything looks the same."

On the growth of TE Jordan Reed:

"I think Jordan Reed – that's an interesting story. When I first got here, my first year here was 2013 – no, 2014 – he suffered an injury so he wasn't really fully out there through the whole season. Me and him had plenty of talks – numerous talks – on just what it takes. He was always one of them guys that asked questions. He was always one of them guys that wanted to know how can he be better, how can he work on anything. I used to just tell him work on his breaks – coming out of breaks, staying low. One thing he has an advantage on is going against guys that are not as talented as him. He's going against linebackers and safeties. I look at Jordan Reed, he could be a wide receiver in this league. So, a lot of times he's on guys that's a mismatch to him and I just challenged him to go out there and just try to stay healthy, which he did last year, and really just take advantage of the opportunity. He's being put on these mismatches and he did a great job. He's still learning, he's still one of those guys that wants to work. He wants to get better. I just was messing with him earlier and I've been messing with him since I been here; like in walkthroughs, he's still running at full-speed, and I'm like, 'Man, slow down, it's walkthrough,' and he's like, 'Man, this is all I know.' So, it's just little things like that."

On the changes to the athletic program at Long Beach Poly:

"Yeah, I'm not too familiar with the changes. I don't know, I haven't heard about that, but as far as my involvement in Long Beach Poly, I do a lot. Going back in the offseason training there, still keeping in contact with the youth – guys that [have] come out. Jack [Jones] – Jack's one of the guys who just went to USC so I've been training with him. You know, JuJu [Smith-Schuster] is another guy who's a receiver at SC, things like that. Just really being around and kind of letting them know whatever it is they need to know to help them get to the next level."

On the progress of WR Jamison Crowder:

"Jamison Crowder, he had a great year last year. To come in as a rookie and put up the numbers and be one of them receivers that we can count on in the slot, third downs, things like that is what you ask of any young player coming into the NFL. This year, he's coming out, he's hungry and he wants to work hard. He has all the intangibles that – being a little guy in this league like myself – but still being able to create mismatches in running routes by creating separation and things like that. We're very excited about this group we have here we're putting in the work needed to take every step to where we want to be."

On comments by Arizona CB Patrick Peterson:

"I can't really speak with him and Josh going at it or whatever he's speaking on, but I just happened to see something where he said that out of three games, that was the only time I beat him was on that touchdown that I got him on. It was just like it was common to say, 'Why are you speaking on me? I have nothing to do [with this]. I'm not bringing you up; I'm not talking about you. Keep me out of it.' He just replied with how he respects me and things like that, so it wasn't no big deal. I'm just wondering why this dude was speaking on me and bringing me up in conversation. He said that he was replaying and answering to a fan or something like that so I don't know. Both of them guys are two of the great corners in this league and they've definitely earned the respect or doing whatever it is, but just try to keep guy's names out of your mouth and do things like that. Just go out there and play ball – that's really all you have got to do. What you do on the field definitely shows everything."

On players using social media to trash talk:

"I've never really been one of them guys that tries to do that type of stuff. You don't really have to do that. Like I said, what you do on the field and your stats – whatever you call how people judge you, rank you or whatever the case may be – that's what your talking is supposed to be done by. That's how I've always been taught that it's all right to talk, but if you're going to talk, you better back it up on the field. I've been one of them guys that if I'm going to talk, I'm going to talk on the field and my play is going to show."

On the next step for QB Kirk Cousins:

"I think you said it, just really being consistent. Taking the next step and being consistent. Repetitively doing it year in and year out. Last year was his first year starting and having a full year under his belt and not really having to be behind RGIII like he was for the first couple years. Him being able to get that spot and get the starting position was huge for him. I really think last year helped him gain his confidence. Towards the end of the season is really what he has to build off of because towards the end of the season is when I think he led the completion percentage or yardage or whatever the case... Really just coming back this year and repeating that. He has the weapons around him, guys that are willing to put it on the line for him and go out and make it easier for him so it really can't get no better. We just wish or hope for the best of the best. We all want to do good, we all want to have the most stats, but at the same time we all want to win. As long as all that stuff comes together, I think everybody would be happy at the end of the year."

On why he thought it was important to add weight:

"I think really, adding it or not adding it, I can still manage. I've been in this league eight years and played eight years besides maybe one or two years getting hurt here and there with small, little injuries and things like that. Nothing – knock on wood – nothing too drastic. I just felt I'm 29 now, getting up there a little bit but at the same time just wanted to have a little more physicality to me and just really go out there and be that guy that plays throughout the whole season. Just expect nothing but greatness from me. I'm trying to push myself, trying to challenge myself to go out there and do things like that. That's kind of really what it was, nothing else behind it."

On facing Norman in one-on-one drills:

"You know, it's practice. That's what we're out here for, to get better and to challenge each other. It's not like he's going against a guy that's not capable of winning matchups and one-on-ones. I really look at it as for wide receivers, it's really for a wide receiver to win. But I mean, of course, he's getting paid. He's known to be a top corner in this league, so everybody is supposedly like, 'He's supposed to stop whoever it is that's coming out there,' but it's challenging on both sides. But as far as his intangibles, his length, his arms, he's got some great intangibles with his game. I think, right now, it's just only helping him. He's in a new environment, he's trying to figure out what it is, how he's going to play certain things so it's just part of practice, part of training camp. But I definitely think going into season, going against me and Pierre, I think he will be ready for the season. He will be ready go versus whoever he has to match up against."

On going into a contract year:

"It's not the first time that I've been playing and it's been a contract year for me, so I'm just really keeping it real right here, keeping it real simple. I don't want to put no extra pressure on anybody, on myself, on the team, nobody. I'm just here to work and be rewarded for whatever it is. Whatever that turns out to be at the end of the year, so be it. But this year I'm going to do everything I need to do to be that guy to be there for my teammates, be there for my quarterback, organization, whatever it is. I'm going to put it on the line for them. When seasons come, be the one that's making the plays, doing all that stuff that I always do. We're just expecting a lot of great things this year and hopefully we can make that stretch and get back to where we feel we are comfortable and confident in doing it. I don't know how many people probably believe in us or doubt us or whatever, but inside this locker room we know we are capable of doing it and we are ready for it."

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