Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden, Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay (10-07-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"Out will be [Bashaud] Breeland, ankle; [Su'a] Cravens, concussion; [Josh] Doctson, Achilles; [Dashaun] Phillips, hamstring. Questionable will be [Ryan] Kerrigan, elbow; and [Shawn] Lauvao, ankle."

On if S Donte Whitner Sr. will play:

"We've gotten him ready. We'll still see. We still have a little bit of time to decide on our 46-man roster, but he's learning fast. He's a fast learner, has been playing the position his whole life. He's picked it up quickly."

On staying committed to the run against a tough Baltimore front seven:

"Yeah, we'll see how it goes. You don't want to be forcing the run and be stuck in a lot of third-and-eights, third-and-nines. We'll see how it goes. We'll mix it up like we always do. So it will be important to try to get Matt [Jones] some touches early so he can wear down the defense late, hopefully. If it's not working, it's not working. We're not going to force it, but we intend on having good balance."

On if WR Josh Doctson is visiting specialists:

"Yes, I think he has been to a few specialists. Maybe another one is in order, but we feel confident that the guys he's seeing know what they're doing. So I think now it's just a matter of waiting and hoping this thing gets better. That's all we can do."

On if there is a possibility of placing Doctson on the Reserve/Injured list:

"Not right now just because the results on the MRIs and stuff haven't been that bad. We're just hoping that the pain subsides and he feels comfortable in pushing off. He's just having a little pain from when he pushes off, so, you know, that might come up later on if the results change, but right now there's no thought."

On how much longer they will wait to determine Doctson's status:

"That's a good question. I don't know. We'll have to wait and see if this thing gets any better the next week or so and go from there. But, I hate to put him on IR and then he's better tomorrow, you know what I mean, because he's such a valuable, big play type guy so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and see what happens."

On if this game is an opportunity to show the team is better than last year:

"A little bit, I think so. There's some of that, especially playing at Baltimore which is obviously, I mentioned before, a very good franchise and a consistent franchise for a long time. They are very tough football team. They've been tough for a long time and very competitive so it's a chance for us to get on a three-game win streak, which is important, and put a good word out for how much we've progressed over the last couple weeks." 

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On the challenges of running the ball against Baltimore's defense:

"Yeah, I mean, this is an excellent defense. They're No. 1 in the league for a reason. They're excellent at defending the run and the pass. So it's a great challenge for us. I think the key over the last couple of weeks, which is why we've been able to be a little bit more successful, a little bit more balanced on some of those early down and distances, is because we've been able to be efficient on first down, both running and throwing the football. And that's obviously a key for success for us and we want to be able to continue to do that."

On what he needs to do to ensure RB Matt Jones continues to run like he has in the past two games:

"Yeah, I think the key thing that we always talk about with the run game is it's a collective effort. It takes all 11. Starting with Kirk being able to make sure that we're in the right runs versus some looks that we want to be able to run the ball against, then the line being able to block it up – perimeter blocking, and then the back reading it out, and pressing it downhill. And I think that's what you've seen Matt do over the last couple of weeks, specifically like you mentioned the second half of the Giants game and then the entirety of the last game. So that's the key for him. I think being able to stay healthy, I think those other backs when we bring them in are a nice change of pace for him when he does have a bunch of work like that. So I've been really pleased with what he's done over the last game and a half and we're expecting the same from him on Sunday."

On the run/pass balance:

"I think it's a key for our players doing a great job, you know. I think they've done a nice job being able to be effective when we have run the football and anytime you do that you feel comfortable calling some consecutive runs and different things like that. But I think our players have done a great job executing the last couple weeks and we've been able to be more balanced, which has helped us."

On if he speaks with QB Kirk Cousins about not telegraphing his throws, particularly against the Ravens' defense:

"That's a good question. I think the Ravens are an excellent defense, especially with their linebackers and their secondary. They do a great job of keying the quarterback's eyes. I think it's predicated on the type of play that you run. On certain plays where the ball is coming out a little bit quicker, you've got to be able to see that area and you're hoping that you can kind of beat defenders to the spot, whereas some of those longer developing plays you want to be able to hold your eyes down the middle and then be able to get your focus and feel to where it is at the top of your drop. Each play kind of dictates a different eye progression for Kirk and that's definitely something that we want to be aware of because of how instinctual they are in their back end and with their linebackers."

On Spencer Long first start at center:

"I thought he did a great job. I think Coach [Bill] Callahan prepares those guys as well as anybody. There's a lot of communication that takes place specifically from that center position. He handled the calls. I thought it was good that we were able to stay kind of out of a lot of those third down situations, which does alleviate some of the exotic looks that those defensive coordinators can present. Overall, very pleased with his first start at center and looking forward to seeing the improvement against Baltimore on Sunday."

On G Arie Kouandjio's first start:

"Well, I thought he did an excellent job as well. I thought him being able to get his first start, get that live game experience was very beneficial for him where it is different than some of the things that you're seeing in preseason games. You can't always emulate those looks in practice, so I think for him, as a confidence builder, knowing 'Hey, I can come in, play at a high level, I can fill in when Shawn [Lauvao] goes down or if I need to fill in for him based upon whatever happens around him,' that was a very good confidence builder for him and for us to see that he is capable of doing it."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.