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Quotes: Jay Gruden (10-03-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"Injuries of the game, as stated last night: [Su'a] Cravens and [David] Bruton are in the concussion protocol. They will see the independent doctor over the next day or two. [Ryan] Kerrigan's elbow, his hyper extension sprain, he'll be day-to-day. Updates: [Bashaud] Breeland and [Shawn] Lauvao, they are both going to be day-to-day. We expect them for mid-week participation, see where they're at. [Dashaun] Phillips, hamstring, day-to-day, we'll also evaluate him middle of the week. [Josh] Doctson is just going to continue his gradual progression of rehab. And then DeAngelo [Hall] had surgery by Dr. [James] Andrews."

On if they will bring in more people on defense because of injuries and his message to the defensive players that have had to step up in their absence:

"They're playing hard, that's for sure. You know, it's tough, these injuries are tough because they could be OK. We're not sure yet. You hate to bring in a bunch of new people and have to make roster changes when these guys might be OK to play. That's the biggest problem with them right now. I think in-house we're OK right now without having to bring anybody else in unless we get worse news on some of these injuries."

On the challenge for players having to play expanded roles on defense on top of their special teams duties:

"Yeah, that's hard, it's hard. [Quinton] Dunbar same thing. Those guys are running around on special teams. [Will] Compton had to cover a punt. When you get some injuries, guys have got to play a lot of plays and those guys did. [Trent] Murphy did an excellent job with the amount of plays that he played, as did Will Blackmon."

On if he is surprised by the amount of impact CB Josh Norman has had:

"That was the reason we brought him in because he's always around the ball. He makes plays. He's forced fumbles, he's recovered fumbles, and he's got a big interception so far in four games. He makes his presence felt, presence known. That's why we went out and got him. He was like that at Carolina when we played against him and we scouted him and he's always around the ball and he's proven that to be a good pick-up so far."

On his assessment of the game after watching film:

"Well, we accomplished our goal and that was to win the game, that's number one. So we're happy about that. That's the only thing we're looking to do is win the game. Now, when you assess the film, there's some things we have to clean up. Our tackling was poor. We were poor on third down on defense, and not good enough in the red zone on defense. Offensively, obviously the turnover hurt us but we did some good things on offense. The sack wasn't very good, but there's some things to clean up. But, the ultimate goal is to win the game and I'm happy we did that."

On changes they can make to improve the third down defense:

"We've done a little bit of everything. We've played zone and got beat. We played man-to-man yesterday and guys won the one-on-one matchups for Cleveland, some good throws, some good catches. So we've tried everything. We're just going to continue to mix it up and do some things and hopefully get more pressure on the quarterback and cover better. That's all we can do."

On if he is surprised by the struggles of the run defense:

"Yeah, I am. You know, we've had some plays that we should make quite frankly and for whatever reason we're missing tackles. You know, I think we missed 11 tackles yesterday so that's something we have to fix. That's something we have to clean up. You're responsible for a gap and then you're sitting right there and the guy makes you miss, it's going to be a long run. So we have to make sure we clean up the tackling, get off the blocks. But hats off to Cleveland, they're a good running team – two Pro Bowl offensive linemen possibly and a heck of a running back."

On cleaning up yards after contact:

"We have to continue to watch the tape and figure out how to tackle better that's for sure. Keep our head up. I don't know if we're ducking our head or what have you, but we just have to do a better job with the tackling, without a doubt. I have faith in the guys we'll do that. We just have got to continue to pursue to the football and wrap up. Simple as that."

On if expectations are getting too high for QB Kirk Cousins:

"I don't know about that. There are always going to be high expectation for the quarterback, but he was 21-for-27 with three touchdowns and got a victory, so he did some good things. If I sat up here and talked about all the good things he did, I'd be up here for a while. If I talk about the bad things, it's only going to be a couple, which is good. So expectations are going to be high for him. This offense has very high expectations we have on each other and it's never going to change. But I think he played pretty well, good enough to get the win, but there are some things that we have to fix with Kirk."

On if there is a target percentage for his third down defense:

"Yeah, we want to be around 35 percent quite frankly, and we're not even close right now. It's an issue. We have to get better on third down. These teams that we play are very good coming up. Baltimore is an excellent team – [Joe] Flacco – and we're going to have to get better on third down."

On Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay calling plays from the booth:

"It's been good, doesn't really change anything. He can talk to the quarterback from up there and doesn't change anything. He just has his notes out in front of him in the air conditioning box, but it doesn't really change anything. Eats a hot dog, I guess, I have no idea [laughter]."

On if being in the booth helps with play calling:

"I think the big thing being up in the box, you can have all of your notes out in front of you. You're not scrambling, walking around. He can make notes and be a little bit more organized up there and he can see better. I think he can see better from up there. So there are pros to being up there. The negative is he can't be down there talking to Kirk face-to-face or talking to the offensive line if need be. But, I think he is more comfortable right now being up there and that's where we'll keep him as long as he likes it."

On if it helps the play caller to be away from the emotions of the sideline:

"That might be. It leaves me to deal with it, thanks [laughter]. But, yeah, that's a good point too. He can stay calm up there and really preview the next series and get his thoughts together and get ready to go. He was quick to call in the plays and did a nice job last night, yesterday."

On the defensive struggles going into a game against a veteran quarterback:

"Yeah, we're just now getting into Baltimore. We're fixing the things that we have to fix from yesterday. Each game is going to be a different challenge. Everybody has good football players on their team. Cleveland proved that. Their quarterback played well, obviously… No. 11, he's a heck of a player – Pryor – and obviously the running back [Isaiah] Crowell did a nice job. So, they have good players. Baltimore is going to have good players, the following week they are going to have good players. We've just got to play better, we've got to tackle better and cover better."

On the run/pass balance in the last two weeks:

"It's been good. You know, balance is good. It's able to… We were able to manufacture some drives with the ground game working, which is good, it opens up the play-pass. Obviously when you can get some first downs with the run, the clock is running and your defense is staying a little bit fresher over there on the sideline. But, we're going to be diverse in what we do. But having a run game, a good, strong running game, Matt Jones ran the ball extremely well yesterday and the line blocked for him good. Arie [Kouandjio] played well, Spencer [Long] played well, those guys did a nice job and it's only going to help us the more you can do."

On Cleveland's reaction to the run/pass balance:

"It was dependent on the down and distance and what have you. They might've put an extra guy in the box from time to time. For the most part they played their style. They were playing I think pass-first a little bit more until the end of the game, they started to load it up a little bit. We were able to get some runs because they were playing a little bit deeper with the safeties so we were able to hit some runs."

On the Baltimore Ravens:

"Well, I haven't watched a whole lot of them yet. It's been really working on our game from yesterday and talking with the trainers and all of that. Again, coming from the AFC North, I know all about Baltimore. They're a good football team, they're well coached again. [Terrell] Suggs, [Elvis] Dumervil, those two guys are explosive guys off the edge and problems. And offensively, [Joe] Flacco, we've already talked about him, quality quarterback. So, it'll be a heck of a game."

On the balance of targeting TE Jordan Reed and targeting other options:

"Well, that's what happens. If they start to double him, another guy has got to win. We have plays if it is man-to-man with him on a safety or a linebacker, we have plays that he might be the first look, but for the most part, we have plays that he'll be part of the progression and depending on what the coverage is will dictate where the ball goes. It could go to the back like Chris Thompson yesterday, it could go to Jordan, it could go to DeSean [Jackson] or Pierre [Garçon] or Jamison [Crowder]. It just depends on each given play."

On the importance of being 2-2:

"I think the players did a nice job of keeping faith and working hard and digging ourselves out of that early hole. We're still battling here in last place in the NFC East. We talked about our division and how bad it was, we're 2-2 and in last place. We still have a lot of work to do but I'm proud of the fact that we did come back after an 0-2 start, showed some grit, overcome some adversity, some injuries. And now we have the rest of the season to look forward to. The second quarter starts Sunday and should be an exciting one."

On the importance of Cousins extending plays:

"Yeah, we like to… You just can't predetermine that stuff, you know what I mean? That's something that has to come naturally and he did a nice job of that. Two hands on the ball, stepped around him, and Jordan did a nice job of getting open for him, and that's half the battle right there. So, the line gave him great time to be able to step up, find another window and Jordan did a nice job moving for him. So, a good, all-around football play. A lot of times in the red zone that has to happen. They dropped eight guys in the coverage. There's not a lot of holes out there so you've got to move around and find second, third, fourth windows and we did that. That's good to see."

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