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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden, Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay (09-23-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"Questionable: Baker, rib, elbow, hip, toe, knee, finger, eye – no, just rib, elbow, toe, and knee. [Josh] Doctson questionable with his Achilles; [Martrell] Spaight, he was full practice today – concussion; [Su'a] Cravens, hip, he'll be questionable; [Kory] Lichtensteiger, back spasms, he'll be questionable; [Ty] Nsekhe, foot, he'll be questionable. Everybody else will be ready to go."

On WR DeSean Jackson:

"He had a good practice today and based on the injury report he'll be ready to roll."

On balancing going with what he believes in against potential changes:

"Yeah, it's something that you really have to look at – what needs to be changed and what needs to be addressed and you have to address them. And that could be game plan specific on who we're playing, it could be roster, who's playing personnel-wise. It could be how we're doing stuff in practice and all that good stuff. So, we have to address everything and we try to, and hopefully the changes that we made and will make will pay off."

On if the offense will focus more on running or passing on Sunday:

"I think still the objective is to get the ball in the end zone. And we want to run the ball, we want to be balanced there's no question about that, I think every team does. But, really at the end of the day, the best way we think to attack will be shown on Sunday, and it could be running the ball 30 times, it could be throwing it 50. We'll wait and see what our game plan is, what the weather is like, how we're feeling on the offensive line, how the quarterback's feeling, how the backs are doing. But, we have a plan in place and we're going to try to execute it and that could be 50/50, it could be whatever."

On where WR Josh Doctson is with the offense:

"Mentally he's in a good spot, I think. He's still been hampered a little bit by these Achilles deals. The reps that he's getting are few and far between, but when he does get them, he knows what to do. That's a good thing for a first-year guy. [He's] very intelligent, just these nagging things have been a problem. Hopefully they'll stop nagging him and he'll be able to play more."

On if CB Kendall Fuller is pushing for playing time:

"He is, he is. He's doing a good job. The reps that he gets on scout team right now and some of the reps he gets with the ones -- he's doing an excellent job. We have a logjam back there. I feel like we have seven really good corners that are up. Right now he's just the odd man out, but that doesn't mean it's going to be forever. It could be just for this week, might be next week – he'll be up and ready to roll. He's mentally getting himself there. Physically, I think he's starting to feel really, really good. I think it's just a matter of time before he gets up."

On if the players are staying together and striving toward a common goal:

"I hope so. That's important for them to know that everything is still in reach. All of our goals are still there, but we do have to play better. We have to coach better, without a doubt. We can't listen to outside noise and all that stuff and read the papers about how bad we are, how stupid we are, and all that good stuff. We just have to go out and continue doing what we're doing. These guys are working extremely hard. They're paying attention to meetings and nobody wants more to win than these guys and the staff, so we're doing everything possible that we can do it. Now we just have got to go out and execute and continue to get better and I think our guys are in that frame of mind."

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On improving red zone efficiency:

"Yeah, I think you make an extra emphasis on the things we are not doing a very good job with collectively as an offense and it starts with me. And I've got to do a better job of putting our players in good situations and then if we get the looks – or if we have answers versus the looks that Coach [Steve] Spagnuolo will present – and we've got to be ready to execute. So, we did put a little extra emphasis specifically on some of those things, on third downs, and that's going to be a big point of emphasis for us moving forward for the rest of the season."

On QB Kirk Cousins taking accountability for changing plays at the line in the red zone:

"The one thing that you love about Kirk and it's why he's such a great leader, he's always going to take accountability and probably take more blame than he should. Ultimately, what our job is as coaches and it starts with me, is when we send in a play, if we do have some of those run-pass options, make sure that it is very clear and understood with what we are expecting in those looks that we want to run or that we want to pass it on, and it's why you appreciate him because he'll take some accountability even when it's not his fault. And ultimately, that's something that you look at yourself as a coach and you say, 'OK, let's make sure. Am I really giving him the information necessary to make the decisions that we are asking him to?' so we're not coaching in hindsight and that's something I've got to do a better job with moving forward."

On balancing making changes in the red zone against just executing better:

"Yeah, I think that is a great question... And when you really look at it, each play is its own entity like we continue to talk about and I think what we have got to do a great job [of] is being detailed. We talk about everything happens a little bit quicker in the red zone and holes close a little bit faster. It's why the precision in terms of the accuracy, the anticipation, and being able to distribute the  field accordingly is very important and it takes all 11 to be able to do that."

On the run/pass balance:

"I think what really it's ultimately about, like we talk about, is being able to move the football efficiently and certainly when I look at some of the decisions that I've made, I think there definitely needs to be a little bit more balance. But also, when you really look at it, I think our line is doing such a great job in protection for the amount of times that we've dropped back and thrown the football to really the line only being responsible for giving up one sack in all of those and that was at the end of the game in the Dallas in the two-minute situation, I think they've done such a great job. And when you do have the weapons that we do have, with the ability to spread the field and do some different things and Kirk's ability and the confidence we have in him to be able to recognize and work through a progression, you feel comfortable being able to do that but I think there is a fine line to where we've got to legitimize some of things that we are doing in the run game, and when we've been able to run it, I think guys have done a good job executing. I've just got to give them some more opportunities to be able to do that." 

On if he pinpoints how many touches players like TE Jordan Reed and WR DeSean Jackson should get:

"Certainly, any time that you go into a game plan with some of your special dynamic players like those two, you always want to find creative ways to be able to get them involved. You know, at the same time, you're trying to anticipate some of the looks you're getting. You never are always exactly right, but you try to put them in some of the spots where if you're hoping for this coverage, they're the primary target. Ultimately, the way that we're predicated offensively and with the skill players that we do have, we ask the quarterback to be able to recognize the coverage and then let his decision dictate whatever that concept is based on the coverage the defense presents."

On how he tracks the run/pass balance during game:

"Sure, you know, during the game we've got our coaches up top. Shane Waldron does a great job for us during the game of kind of charting, 'OK, hey, P and 10, first and 10, what do we run-to-pass, making sure that you're balanced. But, at the same time, if you're able to move the football efficiently, whatever you're doing and you feel like you still kind of have that good dynamic in terms of the way you're moving the football, even if you are a little bit more pass heavy, it's ultimately about what we feel like gives us the best chance to move the ball down the field and then score points. And I think for us right now we're definitely striving to be able to improve on that balance but the big point of emphasis that we've made when you really look at these first two games that we've had that probably makes us feel a little bit different about how efficient we are overall offensively, are those critical downs in the red zone. You know, because from a positive standpoint, we're getting down there. You know, I want to say we've got seven possessions in the first couple games. Now it's about when we get to those critical times, being able to execute, me making good decisions when we're sending in specific plays. And I think collectively if we can all start to execute better in those areas, it will lead to improvement and a better feeling overall."

On how he will vary play calling in the red zone:

"I think with anything, it's about execution. It's about us as coaches doing a great job putting the players in positions to be able to have success and then those guys going out and translating it. One thing that you appreciate is those players that we do have are special players, and they make it right, and we've got guys that we feel can win some individual matchups when those looks in the red zone present themselves. And we've got to do a good job [of] executing with detail and precision down there."

On changes in the Giants' defense with their offseason additions:

"That's a great question. I think it's easy to see in the first two games how improved they are. I think they do a great job. They have got two great players coming off the edge. I think [Jason] Pierre-Paul being another year removed from that accident that happened, you can see why he's such a special player. I think Olivier Vernon from Miami has done an excellent job for them and they have got two big inside guys that will be able to clog it up, but they also have some rush ability. I think the secondary, adding [Janoris] Jenkins to the puzzle – he's a great player. I think a lot of those players that they've brought in, or you're looking at some of the guys that they've had in place there in the past, they're playing at a high level. Coach [Steve] Spagnuolo does a great job mixing it up, so it's a great challenge for us and we're looking forward to it on Sunday."

On if Cousins thinks too much in games:

"I think ultimately what it boils down to is one of the things that's made Kirk a successful, special quarterback is that he is so conscientious with his preparation, with his detail. I think you always want to make sure that when you're going through your preparation that then you just trust that process. I think the one thing that Kirk will be the first to tell you is, we have a lot of expectations and belief and confidence in what he's been able to accomplish. He's done some really good things through these first two games. It's because of the way he's played at such a high level, especially towards the end of the last year, where, hey, on some of these critical downs, we know you're going to make those plays more times than not and we learn from them and we move forward collectively as an offense. I think that's one of his strengths, definitely not a weakness in terms of his preparation and being conscientious."

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