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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden, Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry (10-13-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"Did not participate: [Josh] Doctson, Achilles; and [Jordan] Reed, concussion. Limited: [Chris] Baker; [Bashaud] Breeland, ankle; [Su'a] Cravens, concussion; [Trent] Murphy, shoulder; [Trent] Williams, knee; [Josh] Norman, wrist; [Dashaun] Phillips, hamstring."

On if TE Jordan Reed has been formally diagnosed with a concussion:

"Yes, he has, so he's officially in the concussion protocol."

On his general philosophy on players losing their job to injury when backups play well:

"I think it's on a case-by-case basis, really. You know, you try to do the best you can as far as playing the best player. And that's the most important thing, trying to play the best player. Sometimes it's tougher, easier said than done when a player misses a couple of weeks and the guy who steps in for him plays extremely well but the guy who comes back is a very good player, you know with a case like [Bashaud] Breeland. So each case is different and we'll handle that as a staff and make that decision come game-time."

On if Reed is ruled out for Sunday:

"No, not yet. No."

On if Reed could come back tomorrow:

"He'll see the independent doctor again tomorrow. They'll see where he's at tomorrow."

On if there is worry about Reed's future based on his concussion history:

"I don't know. I think that's a little bit out of my league. We have to just take each individual injury for what they are. We let the independent doctor and our doctors decide on how severe they are. That's all I can say. We obviously want him to get well. He's a very important part of our offense, but we also want him to get better from a personal standpoint."

On if there is a gray area where concussions can be missed:

"I don't think so. I think they have the people upstairs looking and we're looking. We're always monitoring them, too – the assistant coaches, position coaches are making sure they're OK. The trainers are all over the place asking if they're OK. Sometimes they don't get symptoms until a day or two later – with the case of Jordan. These things are weird how they hit sometimes. They're not always plain to see to the human eye. We have to just take the symptoms for what they are, get them treated, and go from there."

On if there were signs of a concussion for Reed during the game on Sunday:

"No, we didn't even think about it, actually, until Tuesday morning when he came in and said he had some symptoms. He took a couple shots, but none that were alarming as far as we were concerned, as far as keeping him out of the game, no."

On if S Su'a Cravens had increased activity in practice:

"He did the same thing as yesterday. He just did a little individual and came back in."

On if there were any setbacks for Cravens:

"No, no."

On how the offense would change without Reed:

"We'll see. I think we have Vernon Davis and Niles Paul ready to roll. Those two guys are very good tight ends. We have good depth at that position with those two. Now we're a little worried about our depth at that position now. We had three good ones, now we have two, so that's why we have the other receivers and the backs, you know. So, I think we'll be OK. Obviously we want him back.* *He's a big part of our offense and a great player, but the other guys are ready to step up. [Jamison] Crowder will get more looks, DeSean [Jackson], Pierre [Garçon], Vernon, Chris [Thompson], so we have good enough players."

On potentially adding another tight end:

"We'll see. You know, we're not counting Jordan out yet. You know, we're still waiting to see, so it's a tricky situation but, Wes [Saxton] is the only other tight end here on the practice squad and we'd have to make a roster move and all that, so we're not sure where we are as far as roster spots are concerned."

On CB Josh Norman's availability for Sunday:

"He'll be ready. He's wearing a protective cast-type thing right now. It's just preventative so he doesn't bang it in practice."

On potentially using T Ty Nsekhe at tight end:

"That's something we'll look at for sure. Yeah, he's done a little bit of it so far this year and his role could expand. If the two tight ends we have stay healthy we probably won't need it, but we'll have a backup plan just in case."

On CB Bashaud Breeland's progress:

"Very good, he had a very good day today. He looks good, he feels good. Have another good day tomorrow, make sure there's no setbacks, but we feel good about where he is." 

* *

Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry

On if he expects CB Bashaud Breeland to play Sunday:

"He practiced yesterday. Actually, we bring the players in on Tuesdays and their day off is Monday. Had a walkthrough on Tuesday that he participated in. He practiced yesterday, not only in individual but in [team]. So every day we take it day-by-day and obviously Jay [Gruden] and Larry [Hess] will make a decision. But it was good to have him back out there yesterday."

On if he knows more about S Su'a Cravens' availability:

"No, I really don't know. He didn't practice, but he's in meetings, he's around, but he did not practice yesterday. He was at the walkthrough today, so I'll wait and see just like you guys to see what his availability is at practice today."

On the differences he saw last Sunday and how the defense can build on them:

"Well, obviously going to Baltimore and winning… Anytime you win in the National Football League on the road, it's big. It's hard to win in this league. It's really hard to win on the road, especially there. They have an unbelievable history the last x amount of years in that stadium. So to be able to go up there and win in any fashion is huge. It was a fun defensive game. As defensive players, those are games – defensive coaches – those are games that you love playing in. They're close, they're tight. Obviously our main goal every week, we don't care about anything except getting out of the stadium – whether it's home or away – with a W. But to go there and win in the fashion in which we did, in that stadium, was pretty sweet."

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz:

"I think he's athletic, can make all the throws, can create things and win. When things break down around him, he's athletic enough to create. They do a great job of really calling the game for him. It just seems sometimes it's really hard to tell until you're face-to-face with a guy on game day, but from what you can see on film, he doesn't seem fazed by much. It doesn't seem really too big for him. Number one, he's a rookie. Number two, he's a rookie coming from the program that he came from – a I-AA school. It's just a great example, you don't need to be from one of the top five programs in the country to come in and play in this league. He's got all the tools, he's got the skillset, and they're doing a great job coaching him and calling plays for him."

On if added urgency contributed to the improvement on third downs last week:

"Yeah, Liz, I don't want this to come across rude, but I don't buy into that. We put great emphasis on third down and situational football every week. It wasn't like last week we were like, 'OK guys, we really have got to play better – we really have really got to pay attention to third down now.' We take great pride both as a coaching staff and our players of daily improvement. And daily improvement, on Wednesdays we focus on first and second down. On Thursdays we focus on third downs. Tomorrow we'll focus on red zone. But that's our approach and our mentality every single day. We as coaches, especially on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, we're in this building for 20 hours a day. Our players are with us for 10 of those hours. We're talking about game planning, and strategizing, and winning every and each situation. So to say why last week, we just went out and executed. We played well, we tackled well, we hustled well. But I think from a preparation standpoint, we prepared like we always did last week, just like we're going to do today, just like we did yesterday."

On his general philosophy on players losing their job to injury when backups play well:

"That's ultimately Jay's decision obviously as the Head Coach. But it's a good problem to have. But Bashaud Breeland is a heck of a football player, and when he gets healthy, he is going to be out on the field. Like we said, he had a good day yesterday – didn't do a ton with him – but gave him some reps. The thing when a guy's hurt, especially with a defensive back, is always seeing how he feels the next day after he got some work. He feels good today, felt good this morning, felt good in the walkthrough. So [we'll] take him out and today's a new day, see how he feels today."

On the nickel position:

"Well, I think that's the nice thing with our nickel position. It's good when you have guys – multiple guys – that can play that position. But right now Kendall Fuller is playing really good at our nickel position. I don't see a change there at all. He's played very well, especially the last two weeks. We're very happy with his play."

On DL Matt Ioannidis:

"You know, I think that the arrow is definitely going up. I think Matt played 28 or 29 plays and it was great to have him out there, great to see him not only be out there but, you know, somewhat affect the game and play well, impact the game, make some plays. So, yeah, I was very happy with Matt."

On Ioannidis' play allowing DL Ziggy Hood to move around the defensive line:

"Well, I mean obviously when you have a player in that role that can play that position, it allows Ziggy to kind of be out on the edge and do what he does best whether it is a 3-technique or a 5-technique. You know, I think my mindset is with the defensive line, those guys have got be able to fluctuate at different positions. Any one of them can play a 1-technique, a 3-technique or a 5. But obviously they have roles and they are better suited at certain positions. When we have Matt playing the nose guard position that allows Ziggy, it allows Bake [Chris Baker], it allows Ricky [Jean Francois], even Cullen [Jenkins] to play on the outside and get on the edge of a guard or get on the edge of a tackle."

On Will Blackmon adjusting to the safety position:

"You know what? I think Will – and I don't want to speak out of turn for Will, I think he would say the same thing – at times he's kind of like a 31-year-old rookie because he's playing a brand new position, you know? And just like I tell you guys all the time with rookies, they get better every single day. They get better every single week because they experience things. They see things that they've never experienced before. Will is a great, veteran football player. He's been around, he's seen a lot, played in a ton of games but at that position, it's new for him. So, he experiences and sees things every single time he gets a snap whether it's on the practice field or on the game field. He's getting better and better. The thing that sometimes I have to be careful with because Will is so experienced and he is so football savvy and he's very aware and really understands football, I've got to be careful with overloading him and not playing him in too many different spots because he is playing a new position full-time for the first time. But, as far as his progression, I am happy with where he is at, he's getting better every single day, every single week."

On comparing Wentz to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott:

"I think if you just look at those two statistically, you know, he [Wentz] just threw his first pick on the very last play of the fourth game. The other kid still hasn't thrown a pick. So, I think and it's obviously a huge statistic, I don't think quarterbacks are purely 100 percent completely measured on turnovers, but that's a pretty important one and to be able to not turn the ball over, I think that's probably the most impressive thing he's done. And then as the things I mentioned before, he's… As a defense coach, when you have a quarterback that can… when you have the perfect defense called, when you have it stopped and then the guy can create with his legs, you know, that's the thing that this kid can do and when quarterbacks can create when things around them break down, that's where it's difficult. And he does those two things: him being able to create, him simply not turning the ball over. I think it has been huge for their team."

On why Wentz has been effective against five-man rushes:

"Well, I don't know why. I think he's done a lot of things well. I've seen him succeed versus a three-man rush, a four-man rush, an all-out pressure, so I don't know if I can necessarily answer that. I think based upon the course of games, based on the flow of games, we are always going to try and mix it both in coverage and what we do upfront. But he has been impressive, he really has. And, again, I think their coaching staff should be given a gold star because they've done a great job of managing him, they really have from what they do, what they give to him, what they present to him and simply the play calling." 

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