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Quotes: Jay Gruden 05-11-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On evaluating tryout players and their chances of making the roster:

"You know, we've got two days to look at them really. We're trying to throw some stuff mentally at them to see how they can learn and get them out there on the field. A lot of individual work, so we can see how they move around, see what kind of speed, obviously they have quickness. We can't do any live contact, so it's hard to see their physicality, but we can see a lot with their movement skills and all that stuff and how they learn, how they process information. So, you know, it's tough to get a good evaluation on all of them. But with two days of work, the coaches will get a good chance to know some of these guys and hopefully we will find a few."

On the large number of wide receivers participating today:

"I think that's an important process these next two days - see how they learn 'cause we're throwing quite a few plays at them, number one. And then, get a chance to see how they run around and catch the ball. Then we do some one-one-one drills against defensive backs, see if they can separate. For the most part, we just need to see which guys we are going to bring to camp – which we have a pretty good idea – but we're hoping that some of these tryout guys might sneak in the mix also. But I like what I saw from a lot of different guys. Tomorrow will be a good test for us to see how they improve in their performance. "               

On DL Daron Payne:

"He put himself through individual [drills]. He looked good. Big, strong. Kind of what we thought."

On the importance of the team's three most recent first-round picks in WR Josh Doctson, DL Jonathan Allen and DL Daron Payne:

"I think it's very important. You know, it's a critical process as far as building football teams. Your first rounders are critical in that process. We expect a lot of things from Josh Doctson and obviously Jonathan Allen coming back from injury. But Daron Payne, throwing him in there with Jonathan will be a big plus for both those guys. They've played together. They know each other. They both have a similar skill set and I think they will be productive side-by-side. Obviously, keeping them healthy, we can never predict that. Josh had an unfortunate Achilles deal and then obviously Jonathan'sfoot last year. Knock on wood, hopefully we get all three of those guys healthy and they will be major contributors. "

On RB Derrius Guice:

"He looked fine. Nobody tackled him, so that was a good thing [laughter]. He's just a ball of energy. He's really excited to be here. He's willing to learn. He's first in the meeting, got his playbook open and just soaking in all the knowledge. We sent him in here a little bit early to get with Chad [Englehart] and our strength staff to get him a couple good days of weightlifting and try to get on par with the rest of the guys so when we start OTAs he'll have his feet under him. A lot of these guys who have been – these draft picks – they've been traveling around so much, we don't want to overload them out there and have them pull something. So, we got them some good individual work, sent Daron [Payne], Shaun Dion Hamilton, and obviously Derrius in the weight room to get the with the strength staff."   

On S Fish Smithson's presence at rookie minicamp:

"I think it's a chance for him to just get some more reps and go through the process again. These young guys who get an opportunity to go through this, it's not a punishment for them, it's actually an opportunity for them to get on the field, listen to the coverages again and go through it and perform and separate themselves from the rest of the guys. Fish showed up, and obviously [Ondre] Pipkins did a great job today. All those guys that were invited to come back to the rookie minicamp all looked well."

On the players from Alabama and why they work well with the Redskins:

"Well, they have a lot of good players. I think they've had 18 or 20 of them drafted in the last few years. They get the top high school guys, and they turn into top pro guys a lot of the time. They've been to three national championship games and won two, so that's not all coaching, that's some playing. They have very skilled players on their team across the board – offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, secondary. They're well-coached. So when they come from Alabama, usually they're ready to roll from a mental standpoint. They know how to work. They know the grind of long seasons because they usually play two playoff games. I know Coach [Nick] Saban and those coaches up there work them hard throughout the year. They have a good understanding of what football is all about. Great passion for the game and that's been the case so far with the Alabama guys we've brought in here."

On if he was surprised S Quin Blanding was available following the draft:

"Absolutely. We were glad he was there. We ended up getting [Troy] Apke in the fourth round so we kind of were done with the safety position in the draft, but we knew we had to bring a couple more in for free agency and we're glad that he was there. I thought he had a draftable grade on him for sure. He was very productive at Virginia and showed up in the Senior Bowl. So he's got a great chance to stick around."

On if there is an update on G Arie Kouandjio:

"There's not really an update. We're going to get a second opinion on him, check out his quad, his quad tendon, see what happened."

On reports that Kouandjio suffered a torn quad:

"That's the first report. You know, we haven't got the official MRIs back and all that stuff. That was the fear. But anytime you have an injury like that, we've got to get it all checked out and make sure that what you think it is is actually a fact. Right now we don't know for sure."

On if G Shawn Lauvao signed prior to Kouandjio's injury:


On if he recalls undrafted players that stood out in previous rookie minicamps:

"We've had a few, you know? Rob Kelley and Maurice Harris, we've had a few guys that have come through these workouts. You're just looking for guys that obviously produce with the opportunities that they have. You're looking for a skillset that you think would fit in well with what you're trying to do offensively, defensively, or even special teams. You know, if you see a big receiver that can run, put him in some special teams drills. If we think he has a chance to be a flyer or something like that, bring him to camp and then see if they produce throughout training camp. This is just step one in the process. A very important process to try to make sure we're bringing the right guys to training camp, get them through OTAs first and then to get them to training camp for the competition because competition is king. We're looking for the right guys to push the guys already on our roster and make a battle out of it."

On if he would like CB Greg Stroman to take pressure off of WR Jamison Crowder as a punt returner:

"I think it's important to have another guy that can do it. Last year, we kind of did a poor job of having a guy who could do it, and that's my fault. DeAngelo Hall did one game, but we need another guy that can do it. Having Trey Quinn and Greg will be a big benefit. There's some other guys out here we're going to look at as far as opportunity to return some kicks, so we'll see. But Greg will get an opportunity to do that and take some pressure off of Jamison, but still, we anticipate Jamison being the return guy."

On when Kouandjio is getting his second opinion:

"He should be doing it now, I hope. Yeah."

On if tryout players are considered after the coaches discuss which players caught their attention:

"That's exactly how it comes about, quite frankly. We study the film today and then obviously tomorrow we'll go through it, and all the position coaches and coordinators, we'll get together. And the scouting staff, they'll evaluate also. We'll all get together and go through each individual player and see if they have a chance to come in here and compete."