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Quotes: Jay Gruden (08-16-2017)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Su'a [Cravens] had a knee scope and it went well. I'm not going to guess how long it's going to be, but they just went in and cleaned it out a little bit. Once the swelling went down, they re-checked it and he felt a little pain, so they just cleaned it up a little bit – the meniscus – and he'll be fine. Obviously [Trent] Murphy had his ACL/MCL surgery. [Kevin] Bowen had his labrum surgery and then [Josh] Doctson went out and did some individuals today and he's getting better day to day."

On his expectations for Doctson's return:

"My plan is to listen to the trainers and Josh and find out when he can go full-speed. Tomorrow we're going to try to see how much more he can do and then we'll make a decision on Saturday whether or not we can put him in or not." 

On the play in which Cravens was injured:

"Third play of the game, he jumped over the pile and landed it on it funny."

On the depth battle at guard:

"That's what it is, a battle. Arie [Kouandjio] has been here and done a nice job. He played last year and did some good things when he did play. [Tyler] Catalina we got as a free agent from Georgia and he's done some good things and obviously [Kyle] Kalis is from Michigan. Catalina's played a little bit of left guard, right guard and tackle. We're trying to find out if he's versatile enough to do that, which is important, and then Kalis has played both guards and obviously so has Arie. Arie's mixed in a little bit of tackle, so at the end of the day we're just going to have to let these guys play and make a decision."

On if he would be comfortable with starting Deshazor Everett at strong safety:

"Yeah, we'll see. Deshazor did some good things today. He had a better practice today. It's going to come down to the fact that he's going to get more and more reps and he's going to show us if he can handle it or not, which I think he can. He got some great reps and looks last year, carried it over to this year. Obviously he's been a core special-teamer for us but I think playing safety he's a lot more comfortable and he's doing some good things. Will Blackmon's over there and obviously Montae Nicholson, so we have some other guys that are trying to battle – [Stefan] McClure and some other guys." 

On the importance of having a player like D.J Swearinger at safety:

"Yeah, safety is very, very important and that's why we went out there and targeted D.J. His experience, both good and bad, I think has made him what he is right now. He's got great confidence and he's playing very well. He's a great communicator. But the big thing is he brings great energy to the defense, which is, at the end of the day, what you want. You want great energy, guys flying to the football, having some fun and that's what D.J brings."

On the inside linebackers:

"Obviously Will Compton's very smart and has been a great leader for us. He's a great communicator, which you have to have at Mike linebacker. I think Mason Foster can play both positons equally as well – Mike and what we call Mo – and he's a good communicator. Obviously Zach Brown has a great skill set for playing linebacker. He can go sideline to sideline probably athletically faster than majority of the linebackers we have. So I think the three of them all have the qualities to play, so it's just a matter of finding the right match, and who that's going to be will be determined here in the next couple of weeks."

On what they wanted to see from Everett last year for him to earn more reps:

"He was a corner; he converted to safety and he really wasn't very comfortable playing safety yet. It's a major adjustment period. As an offensive guy, I think a DB's a DB right? 'It's a DB, just go back there and play safety.' But it's a lot harder than you think – angles, positions,  communication, run fits, finishing plays, all that stuff. I think he's becoming more and more comfortable playing a middle third, playing a half, playing quarters. His run fit responsibilities – when they shift out to empty, when they go unbalanced – I mean there's a lot of things a safety has to communicate and I think he's learning more and more and feeling more comfortable."

On if they knew Everett's transition would be a process:

"Deshazor's competing. It wasn't like the safety spots were set in stone. We have our starters that go out there with the ones, but at the end of the day, everybody's competing for the first-string job. Deshazor's no different, Blackmon's no different, and they're all competing. Obviously now Montae's back in the mix. He's flying around and doing some good things, he's in the mix. So it will be interesting to see. These next three games are going to be very important to see who that other safety is."

On the "wakeup call" last week and if he has changed anything about how the team will prepare for Week 1:

"We're still preparing. We're still preparing the same way. We're going to get these guys prepared. I just think when you talk about 'wakeup call,' I just think everybody has to come out and understand the other team has an agenda also. We didn't match the same agenda, and that's probably my fault. You know, six plays, two three-and-outs for the No. 1 offense wasn't what we expected, but we expect our offense  to come out and play a little bit better, more physical, try to get the running game going a little bit. Two-point-two yards per carry is what I was most disappointed in the whole game. For us to be a physical football team, we have to be able to run the ball better."

On how DL Phil Taylor Sr. has been able to return to the NFL so effectively:

"I don't know. I think it all comes down to his body and how he feels. When you have an injured knee like he had and some of the injuries he had, I think that takes a toll on a big, giant man, and he's a big man. I think his weight is where he likes it, but I think he feels confident in his legs and his strength, where he can go out and do his job successfully. People handle injuries differently. Some people take longer to recover. They recover, but then they've got to get their bodies back into playing shape. I think          he's in great shape right now. I think he's got great confidence in his recovered injuries and he's in a good spot, mentally and physically."

On how RB Samaje Perine has improved in protection since the Baltimore game:

"We'll see. I think out in practice is a little bit different. The thing about playing another team is the Green Bay Packers are going to have a totally different blitz package than the Baltimore Ravens. The Cincinnati Bengals will possess a whole new package the following week. How we adjust, how we plan and how he adjusts to each different protection is going to be how successful he can be as a running back in the NFL. Chris Thompson obviously is as good as anybody, but we've got to get another guy to be able to step up and do that. And that's hard. We change protections at the line of scrimmage like that. You have to block that guy from that guy to that guy to you over there, and they have to adjust – not only adjust to the right person, but adjust and get their body in the right spot and then finish the block."

On if what he sees in preseason games will help determine the 53-man roster:

"Well, that's a major part of it, obviously, but we're also not going to discount what we've done in OTAs and training camp. We're not just going to throw that away and say that doesn't mean anything. It's all an evaluation process and they have to understand that these games – playing in these games – is not a punishment, it's a platform for them to do well. We're excited to see them take advantage of the reps with the crowd and the fans and the pressure and all that stuff. That's important."

On reassuming play-calling duties:

"You guys are making a bigger deal about it than I am. I'm fine with it. I have a call sheet, I've got all the plays broken down in certain categories and some of them I call by gut feel, some of them I call based on what we game planned. Some game plans will be more extensive than the ones we have in the preseason, but the big thing is I want to call plays that the quarterbacks are comfortable with and the players are comfortable with and the plays that we've repped out here so they got out there and execute and play at a fast, high level. And then it's up to them to how they execute it. No play is going to be perfect. We're not going to get somebody wide open every play. The holes aren't going to be gaping on every play. But it's a matter of guys making plays, off-schedule perhaps, or running through a tackle or beating man-to-man coverage or what have you. So that's at the end of the day what I want to see."

On how much game-planning the team does in the second week of the preseason:

"The big thing is when you talk about game planning in the preseason, I think game one you want to make sure the quarterback is protected, you know what I mean? You're not going to just go out there and just go out there blind where we have no idea what they're going to do. We blew some protections, not because we didn't game plan, just because we blew some protections which were uncharacteristic of certain people. Game two, we're going to study Green Bay, obviously their defense from an offensive perspective, what they do, what their fronts are, what runs we like, obviously pass protections. We're going to make sure the quarterbacks are protected and the quarterbacks know how to protect themselves. And then defensively, put our guys in a good position to stop what they do best and let them play."

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