Head Coach Jay Gruden
On WR Jamison Crowder:
"It's part of the process. He has a little sore knee and he's just going through the rehab. We'll see if he's ready for Friday or not. I don't know yet."
On when his injury occurred:
"He hurt it during the game."
On where LB Martrell Spaight can fit in the defense:
"Well, I think that you have to have depth at the linebacker position. It's such a physical position. Those guys are doing a lot. To have two good inside linebackers that can make the calls and get the players in the right spot is very important. How much he's going to play on game day – Monday night – I don't know yet, but I think throughout the course of a 16-game season, he's going to get plenty of playing time."
On how G Brandon Scherff has built on his rookie season:
"I think that's exactly what we expect; we expect him to build on a solid rookie season. I think he played extremely well. He learned a lot, his technique is better, he's got more familiarity with the offense, he's strong at the point of attack, he can run, he can get out in space and do some things. It's just a matter of putting it all together and continuing to improve and I think he's got the mindset that you want in a right guard. He's tough, he's physical and he wants to be great."
On where Spaight would have fit in prior to his injury last season:
"Yeah, when we drafted him, we had expectations that he would be a solid inside linebacker for us. He was very productive his senior year at Arkansas. He had like 140 tackles, he was all over the place. He's always around the ball and then he had that unfortunate injury where we just couldn't project how long he was going to be out. He had some serious issues there early, and we didn't really have a roster spot to keep him on the 53 [man roster]. So we had to make a decision and we thought we'd want to play it safe with him because we weren't sure about the concussion. We played it safe with him. He's recovered totally from it, as you can see with him running around and flying around. Now he's just fitting in. He's getting back into the groove and playing well and communicating well. We feel really good about that linebacker spot having two of them that can make the calls."
On WR Josh Doctson and if he could start the season on the PUP list:
"I don't think so. I don't know yet. This is an injury, like I've said before, it's a unique deal. I think it's just something that he's going to have to work through. He's going to have to be honest with the trainers, honest with the coaching staff. We're going to try and push him when we can push him. I think it's just a matter of him getting out there… He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he's not running full-speed but he's doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us. I have total expectation that he's going to be ready Week 1, possibly the fourth preseason game, but we'll still see. Like I said, it's a new injury to me."
On the depth of the defensive line:
"I think the depth there is pretty good. I think so. And they are big. The addition of Ziggy Hood has been great. Kendall Reyes has been outstanding. Obviously Ricky [Jean Francois] coming back, [Chris] Baker coming back, [Kedric] Golston coming back, drafting Matt [Ioannidis] has been very good. We feel good about where we are with the numbers and now it is a matter of getting the right five guys on game day to play and that is going to be the tricky one. Whether it is five or six, we don't know yet. And then obviously the final cutdown is going to be tricky also. We have got some young guys that are performing well. Anthony Lanier is doing some good things, so we have a lot of guys in there to choose from that have all shown the ability to play at the defensive line position but now putting them in the right spots, putting them in the spots where they can be successful, that's where we're still working through that right now as a staff. The third preseason game will be important, the fourth one, and then obviously we will have to make a decision before Pittsburgh."
On if his decision to potentially keep three quarterbacks will "depend on the bottom roster spots":
"I think it depends on the bottom spots, but I think you can never have too many good quarterbacks in the building. You want to develop somebody that's a young quarterback and Nate [Sudfeld] has done an excellent job so we'll have to wait and see. That'll be talks between myself and Scot [McCloughan] and obviously Matt Cavanaugh and Sean [McVay] and Bruce [Allen] and we'll make a Redskin decision on that one. But we are happy with the progress Nate has made so far and if we keep him as a third quarterback on our 53-man roster, then obviously it will be a good sign for him that we think he's got enough traits that we can develop here in-house. So I think it will be a decision to be made later."
On how limited Doctson would be mentally at the start of the season:
"I think he's in good shape right now mentally. He's getting all of the mental reps he can. He's been working in the meeting rooms and he is studying the game and he is a very bright kid. He understands football, which is good. Now, the difficult thing is getting that rapport with the quarterback – you know, the timing and the routes and the definition and the depths and all of that where you have to actually run them with your footwork. That's the one thing that we have to work through, so how much he plays early in the season, I don't know yet but I do know that the little bit we did see of him in the OTAs and rookie minicamp, I think that he's got the ability to do whatever we ask him to do. Obviously, we wouldn't take him in the first round if he didn't have the skillset that we could find something for him to do somewhere on the field."
On the depth on the roster and the difficulty of the first cut:
"Yeah, it is always hard to cut people. These guys have worked hard. We have them from OTAs, minicamps obviously, then training camp, and you get to know these guys, you work with them, you see their improvement and then to have to let them go, it is very tough. But you're right, we have great competition at a lot of spots. The numbers are what they are and we have to just be selective and it has to be done. Every team has to go through it and every team is probably saying the same thing about right now. It is going to be difficult but we have to do it and we'll figure it out."
On juggling between developing younger players and keeping veterans:
"It is one of the most difficult things there is. It really is. It's not easy. You see potential in these young kids but you can only keep so many. The running backs, the defensive linemen, wide receivers, it's no different. Cornerbacks, safeties, it is going to be difficult. Anytime you let go of a young player with some talent and a skillset that you like, they wouldn't be here if they didn't have talented skillset that you like and you can work with and build upon. However, the numbers are what they are. You can only keep 53 and 10 guys on the practice squad – hopefully we will get some of these guys back on the practice squad – but we'll have to just wait and see. That is something that Scot McCloughan, the scouting staff and Bruce and the coaching staff, we are meeting about and talking about every day."
Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry
On LB Martrell Spaight's performance as a starter against the Jets:
"You know what? I was proud of him. It's really amazing when you get an opportunity to be around players as rookies and then kind of see the whole growth, you know, and especially with Spaight's situation with getting hurt and missing the whole year. I'm proud of him with what he's… now he's still got a million miles to go, but the difference between Martrell Spaight year one and year two, he's building blocks, which is good. And to be able to go start a game, run the huddle, run the defense, play the entire half, play like he did, kind of drive the bus, I was very happy."
On the difference between Spaight's rookie season and now:
"Well, I think just with any rookie it's everything – I mean, the speed of the game, the playbook, the schedule, the demands of being a professional athlete. I think it's everything, you know? And he's a great kid, he works his butt off. So it's good when… because, shoot, 10 months ago we didn't know what was going to happen with him. So for him to recover like he did and have an offseason like he did, have a training camp like he did, and then be able to be put in that situation and respond the way he did, that was great to see."
On DE Matt Ioannidis' progress:
"All those kids – I think the exciting this is we've still got… in my mentality we're still in training camp. As long as you're still playing preseason games, you're still in training camp mentality. So, he's got two more opportunities to go play, as does Corey Crawford, as does Anthony Lanier. We've got a bunch of young kids that are champing at the bit just to go play and make plays. But, Matt specifically, again I think the key thing when you're a young player like that is to just make progress. Make progress every week, every day, obviously every opportunity you get a chance to play in a preseason game. So, you know, he just has to keep cashing in on his opportunities."
On if he knows how S Su'a Cravens will be used:
"Oh, yeah. I think Su'a is getting more and more comfortable. Again, you've heard me say all the time with young players – you know, we talked about it with Preston [Smith] last year – it's a lot when you're a young player coming into a new system. I don't care what position you play. The verbiage, the terminology, as I mentioned before with Spaight, the speed, it's completely different than anything. No matter how much football that he's played in college – and you know he was a full-time starter all three years in college – it's different. It's at a different tempo, and again he was a little bit better in OTAs than he was in rookie minicamp, he's getting better every single day since we've been in training camp. So, yes, I feel very comfortable and I think he's getting more and more comfortable every single day which is good."
On Cravens' versatility:
"I wanted to put him as an 'H' for hybrid, but they didn't let us do that [laughter]."
On the team's depth and the difficulty of first cuts:
"Well, I think, I'll answer that really two ways, it's exciting when you get to a point where if we knew exactly who our 53-man roster was going to be right now, it'd be like… I think it's good when you're like, 'Man, gosh, we've got 70 good players. We've got 80 good players.' We're going to have to make some tough decisions –both sides of the ball, every position. Specifically on defense, that's exciting, because we've got a bunch of guys that have worked their butt off, that have proven they can play in this league. That is a good problem to have. As far as specifics, I want guys that love football. I want playmakers. I want guys that want to go out and get coached and work and hustle and fly around – not when things are going easy but the National Football League, the season, it's a roller coaster. There's ups and downs. Those are all things that you try to figure out through the course of an offseason, through the course of a training camp. Then the dust settles, the chips fall and you have 53 men."
On the outside linebacker position beyond Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith:
"Yeah, it'll be close with Kerrigan. I hope he can make it [laughter]. No, those guys – Trent [Murphy] and Preston and Ryan – I think all three of those guys… We moved Trent back to outside linebacker, but I think those three guys had great camps, they had great offseasons, they had great camps. I think Ryan, compared to last year, is healthy and feeling good. We've obviously been smart with him in the games, but out here on the practice field every day, he's rolling, so that's good to see. Again, Preston, I think from year one to year two, even though I think it's scary to think how good he's going to get and continue to get, but he's made huge strides from year one to year two. So I'm excited about those guys. Now, we've got a stable of guys behind them. Again, kind of like what I talked about with [Matt] Ioannidis, we've got two more preseason games to play. We've got two more weeks of practice out here to evaluate out on the practice field, so a lot is going to shake out and happen in the next 12 days."
On DeAngelo Hall and Will Blackmon transitioning to safety:
"I think obviously it's a little bit simpler for those guys just in the sense that they're veteran guys. They've played so much football. They've been in this league 10-plus years, both of them. But it's still, when you play a completely different position, there's a huge difference between playing corner on the outside and playing safety on the inside. The main thing is just from a communication standpoint. The way secondary play works is that most communication is from the inside out. As a corner, you're usually told what to do; you're communicated to by your safeties. That was the biggest thing I know for D-Hall, especially a year ago when we moved him because he was like, 'Wow, I have got to tell everyone what to do instead of receiving information and being told what to do.' And Will echoed the same thing. But the good thing is that we made the move. It wasn't like we made the move halfway through training camp. We made this decision in the offseason, so they got a full entire offseason, they got a full entire training camp, they are going to have four preseason games under their belt because every day is, 'Ooh, I learned something new today. Ooh, I saw something new today.' But I couldn't be happier with where they're at right now."
On simplifying calls for Hall last season:
"We kind of spoon-fed him along last year and had a specific package with specific calls for him. This offseason, obviously we unleashed the whole playbook at him. I think in the long run, it actually worked out great for him because we didn't overload him last year, as I said. We kept it pretty simple on him and he was able to make that transition a lot smoother."