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Quotes: Head Coach Jay Gruden, Running Back Derrius Guice And Tackle Geron Christian 04-27-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On how happy he was to move to No. 59 overall and select RB Derrius Guice: 

"Yeah, we looked at the reports and talked to Derrius and Derrius's agent and got a pretty good indication that we felt good about taking Derrius at that position and we're lucky to get him, man. This is a hard-nosed runner, plays hard, he can catch a football, he can pass protect, he's got good vision and [he's] a guy we really liked in the early rounds. And to add the third-round pick and get Geron [Christian] was a great benefit for us. We had second-round grades, high first-round for Derrius on both of those cats and we're lucky to get them both." 

On reports about Guice's visit to Philadelphia:

"Yeah, we don't know anything about that, quite honestly. These reports that come out after the pick, unfortunately we don't get access to every report on the player so we'll wait and see and talk to Derrius, but he's assured us there was no altercation there at all."

On if they considered selecting Guice prior to trading down:

"We did, but we thought the trade was needed. We thought we could add a third-round pick, which was very critical for us. You know, losing that third round pick in the Alex Smith trade, we thought we could get another player to help us along our offensive line or wherever we decided to go. We went with Geron [Christian]* *obviously and we hoped that we would get a good player if we moved down and we did. And Derrius fell right to us." 

On the pre-draft process with Guice:

"We saw his pro day. We had him for a '30' visit and we had him at the Combine, so we got to know Derrius quite well. He's quite the character. He's got a great personality. He loves football and he's going to a be a great competitor for this football team, we know that."

On if Geron Christian will be a swing tackle:

"We will keep him at the swing tackle. You know, what we went through at tackle last year was catastrophic with all the injuries and still a lot of these guys are recovering from their injuries. Trent [Williams] is recovering still, Morgan [Moses] is still recovering, Ty [Nsekhe] is still recovering, we have TJ [Clemmings] still recovering. So we need depth at tackle. He's a great, young tackle. He's one of the best pass blocking tackles in this draft in my opinion. He plays left and right side and will provide ample depth for that position, a position that you can never have too many of."

On if Christian's addition could allow T Ty Nsekhe to potentially try to move inside:

"Yeah, we've got to get him healthy first, get all these guys on the field, get them out here at OTAs and we will put them out there and let them compete and then make the necessary adjustments once we start training camp. So, you can never have too many big bodies. I believe that, and it's about protecting the passer, running the football and stopping the run, so we added obviously [Da'Ron] Payne in the first round, we've got Guice to run the football to compete with Rob [Kelley] and Samaje [Perine] and obviously Byron [Marshall] and Kapri [Bibbs], so we'll go from there."

On how he evaluates Guice in the pass game:

"I think he has some improvement to do in the pass pro, without a doubt, and I think he'll be the first one to tell you. That's something that sometimes in college with only 20 hours of practice a week – whatever hours they have with their coaches – some of the fundamentals as far as pass blocking sometimes gets swept by. You don't have time to do all of that. He's more of a first-, second-down banger. They take him out on third down, occasionally. But I've seen him at his pro day catch the football. I think he can catch the football fine, but really, our role for him is quite easy to see. It's first, second down. We have a third-down back. He's not going to play on third down anyway. Chris [Thompson] is going to be out there, and Chris will be in there a lot, so I think the rotation that we will come up with will be quite beneficial to all the backs. Keep them fresh, keep them healthy and then use their skill set accordingly."

On if they met with Guice more than they typically would in the pre-draft process:

"Well, he's such a good player and in a position that you need, there's a lot a running back has to understand in pro football with the running lanes, pass blocking and routes and all that stuff. You just want to get to know the person. We tried to get to know as many of those backs as we could in the 15-minute interview, in the visits and in some of the pro days. Our scouts went to all of the pro days. We feel quite confident. We got a good gauge on all those guys, Derrius especially because we had some extra time with him. But it wasn't because we had concerns. We just chose to bring him in a few extra times and meet with him, or one extra time, I guess."

On what the pre-draft discussions about Guice were like:

"I think when we're talking about pre-draft visits, what we're trying to accomplish here is how they can learn the game and how he would fit with our football team. Get to know him as a kid, number one. See how he can learn, number two. We feel confident that he can learn our stuff. We'll keep a close eye on him like we do with all our players, without a doubt. He's a young kid, but he's a physical runner and I think he's a very good football player, and at the end of the day, it's our job to surround him with good people. We have great leaders in place here. I think he'll fit right in." 

On what makes Guice a character:

"He got some energy, now. He's got some energy. Just bottle that up and let that unleash on Sundays, not so much on Thursdays and Fridays. But he's a fun guy to be around and I enjoyed the small time that we had with him, but we'll wait and see. I can't wait to get him here and spend more time with him, teach him the playbook and let him get out there and see what he can do."

On how he'll handle the number of running backs on the roster:

"We'll see. You know, I'm a firm believer in letting the best player play. You know, I don't think anybody will discount that. If you deserve a chance to play for us on Sundays, you'll get an opportunity and you have to earn that right whether you're a second rounder, free agent, whether you've started before or not. You've got to earn your right every day. And it's about weight room, it's about meetings, it's about practice habits, off the field, all that stuff. So if you want it, you'll get an opportunity, and it's your job to keep it, and hopefully the best man will win, which he will."

On if there was any second guessing when other teams opted against selecting Guice:

"Not really. A lot of backs went. A lot of good backs, you know? A lot of people had these guys graded very similarly in my opinion. You talk about Kerryon Johnson, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel. There's four or five or six of them that were clumped in the same group and we figured one or two of them might fall to us if we chose to go that route. But there are other good players we were looking at too – some really good safeties, some good corners, obviously Geron, some good linebackers. So we had to make a decision where we wanted to go. We felt Derrius had the highest grade at that time so we went with Derrius." 

On if he was concerned that he would lose Guice by trading down:

"That was a concern there, but we had a few other guys on our board when we traded down. We had some other positions that we felt good about that would be there, not just Derrius, but some other guys there. But to add the third-round pick and to get a guy like Geron was very important. I think we did a great thing getting that extra body in here, big body, big tackle to compete, add Derrius and fortunately it worked out."

On draft picks continually mentioning the "family vibe" and if that's something the team tries hard to foster:

"I don't know. I think we got along very well with Derrius and we're excited to coach him. We don't try to do anything special. We try to get to know them as a kid/person and see how they'd fit in. We felt like he'll fit in just fine. I love his talent. At the end of the day, it's all about the skill set that he has and he has got one, without a doubt. What he's done at LSU when he backed up Leonard Fournette that year was unbelievable. He had played though some injuries this year so his production went down a little bit. We feel like he is in great shape. He passed all the physical tests we put him through with the doctors. He is going to be a weapon for us".

RB Derrius Guice

On receiving the call from the Redskins:

"These last two days have been really nerve-wracking and just has been a lot of family time, a lot of emotion, and just not knowing what's going on and, you know, how this whole process works. Just knowing it's really all over the place. I'm grateful to be a part of this organization."

On if was he surprised by the way things unfolded:

"It did surprise me because a lot of things came out of nowhere and weren't true, and I just didn't understand 'Why me?' out of all people because I'm great to everybody, I have a great personality and I just cannot understand why everything gets so hard with me out of everybody. Like I said again, I'm just thankful that this whole process is over with, that an organization believed in me and trusted in me. I'm just ready to get to work."

On his style of play:

"I'm a very physical, powerful runner that doesn't shy away from contact. I like to compare my game to Marshawn Lynch a lot. That's the big bro. I talk to him a lot and have gotten a lot of advice from him throughout this process as well. That's who I put my running style towards."

On if he had a visit with the Redskins:

"I did. I actually went with that first-round pick, Da'Ron Payne. Me and him had a great visit. It was really fun. It felt like home, and I just loved the vibes and the atmosphere and I can't wait to get there."

On reports about his trip to Philadelphia:

"My trip to the Eagles was great. There wasn't an altercation when I went. It was great. They were also like family. And me and Duce [Staley] have a great relationship".

On if his agent discussed his draft position with him:

"Well, I've been talking to them the whole time either and this is all new to them as well. It's all hitting him and me off-guard and out of nowhere and we just don't know where it's coming from or how it happens. It just kind of happened."

On rumors about him tonight:

"I have no idea what's going on, what story is coming out. I have no idea what's going on."

On how much his draft position will motivate him:

"It makes it 10 times worse. It's just a feeling that I have inside of me that I've already ran with since being little and I just feel like it's gotten 10 times worse now. I can't wait to be unleashed on the field."

On his contributions in the passing game:

"I'm a great receiver out the backfield and I can block as well, so I'll be able to protect the quarterback as well. My will to hit really separates from anyone else, I'm very willing to hit and do what I have to do to stay on the field."

On his visit with Running Backs Coach Randy Jordan:

"We had a great time. We spent a lot of time watching film. We ate lunch with each other and stuff. It was great, man. He was telling me what type of coach he is on and off the field. He's like a big brother."

On his health: 

"I feel great, man. I'm ready to go."

On sharing a running backs room with Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette in college: 

"Leonard Fournette is one of the best backs in the league and he's a guy that I learned a lot from. Obviously I watched him a lot. His rookie year, he did great, so he represented LSU and his family very well and I plan on doing the same." 

On if he knows Redskins RBs Samaje Perine or Chris Thompson:

"I know [Samaje] Perine. I know he's a very big and strong back from Oklahoma. I watched him a lot as well – him and Joe Mixon." 

T Geron Christian

On his excitement to learn from players like Trent Williams and Morgan Moses:

"I'm very excited, ready to get there and just helping out a little."

On what the draft process was like and where he thought he would be drafted:

"I'm excited. I'm excited about coming to Washington. The whole process was just busy. I really had no idea. I talked to a lot of teams at the combine and had quite a few visits. I think I had seven visits, five workouts and had a whole lot of meetings, so really I had just had interaction with a lot of teams so I really didn't have any idea where I would have been or when I would have gotten picked honestly."

On how he would describe his game:

"I think I'm a smart, athletic player who works hard."

On when in college he believed he could play in the NFL:

"I mean, I've always believed in myself. I've always pretty much kind of knew I would be in this position as far as going to the league. Even coming out of high school I had a good idea and then went in my position as a freshman and getting all of those starts under my belt and just playing a lot. Then going into this season, I had a good idea of what I needed to do to put myself in a position to obtain those goals. So, I mean, I've always had a good idea of it and then it started coming through during my time at Louisville."

On what he has been doing since the draft began:

"I've been watching. Actually my family and friends, everybody came over last night. We just all hung out, watched last night, no calls and everybody's heading out. So a lot of my family came from out of town just to watch the whole draft with me, wherever I fell. We're just celebrating, honestly."

On his impressions of Head Coach Jay Gruden:

"Really good guy. Absolutely. Yes, sir, a really good guy."

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