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Quotes: Jay Gruden (10-10-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injury updates from Sunday:

"No real injuries to report. Su'a [Cravens] is going to see the independent doctor on Tuesday. Everybody else has minor bumps and bruises really."

On CB Josh Norman:

"I don't think he's going to miss time. I think he just aggravated it a little bit. We're going to monitor it, limit his contact during the week – maybe put a brace on it – but I think he finished the game OK."

On CBs Bashaud Breeland and Dashaun Phillips potentially returning from injury:

"We're just going to increase their workload this week and see how they do. We're confident that they have a chance to be ready to go, especially Breeland, but we'll wait and see."

On how the special teams unit has transformed from recent years:

"I think it's players, number one. Players are making plays. They're buying into what they're supposed to do. The leader of that room, Niles Paul, is doing a good job of holding everybody accountable. Jamison Crowder obviously has been a dynamic guy back there as a punt returner and he has confidence that guys are going to get blocks for him. They're not going to block everybody, but he can make a couple people miss and he feels good about catching the ball and having room to work. Obviously the coaching staff has done an excellent job with Coach [Ben] Kotwica, [Bradford] Banta and [Bret] Munsey giving good looks and being sound in what we do. Guys are making plays."

On bringing in players for workouts:

"I think we bring people in often during the season on Mondays and Tuesdays and take a look at a lot of different people. If you have injuries creep up, then you have people in your system that you know – how much they weigh, what they look like, how they work out, what their injuries are like – they get cleared with a doctor. So there's a lot of reasons for bringing people in. We're not going to sign everybody that we bring in, but it's good to have a list of emergency-type guys in case we need them."

On the defensive line's performance on Sunday:

"I feel like they did good. There's improvements there. I think the combination, Ziggy [Hood], [Chris] Baker played a lot of snaps. Again, he did a nice job. I think Matt [Ioannidis] played his best game at nose. He played about 28 plays. Cullen [Jenkins] played about 23 plays, did a nice job. Overall I think the defensive linemen – Ricky [Jean Francois] – they were more disruptive and played a lot better, which enabled the linebackers to make plays and very few missed tackles. We had a couple but they're going to happen from time to time. But I was happy the way we tackled, happy the way our defensive line was getting off blocks."

On the defense's performance in the second half in recent weeks:

"Yeah, it's been nice. Second half, yeah. It's been very good. You know, the first drive was a little scary obviously, but they all settled in and then got a little bit of momentum and made it hard on the Ravens' offense. The wind, we needed a strong defensive effort, you know, especially with defense like Baltimore had. We knew it wouldn't be easy sledding for the offense so we had to have a good, strong defensive showing. It's good to be able to rely on the defense when we have to, and the defense can rely on the offense from time to time, and special teams obviously plays a big part. But it was great to see for their confidence, to let them know that they can do it if they do what they're supposed to do – play hard and make plays – and they did that."

On deciding to pass frequently on third and short against Baltimore:

"We had a couple good looks in the passing game. You know, the first one, we had Matt [Jones] in the flat and Kirk [Cousins] opted to throw it to Jordan Reed and we missed him. And then the second one we had Jordan on a little roll right pass and Kirk missed the throw and usually makes that throw. We tried a fourth-and-one run with Matt, we didn't get it. We got a fourth-and-one run that he did get it. So, it's a very big, strong defensive front. We thought that we could outflank them to the flat a couple of times. We had the looks that we wanted; we just didn't execute properly."

On improvements in tackling last week:

"I mean, compared to Cleveland I thought it was a major improvement [laughter], that's for sure. So, I'm happy. I think they took it all upon themselves to make sure they were more sound in their fundamentals as far as tackling is concerned. I got tired of hearing about it, man. And they all stepped up. You know, linebackers had a great day. [Will] Compton, Mason Foster making open-field tackles was very good to see. The safeties when they had to step up and fill a gap made tackles. So I think overall I was happy with the tackling."

On if the players were tired of hearing about tackling from the coaches:

"Yeah, maybe [laughter]. Yeah."

On RB Robert Kelley's role moving forward:

"I think you'll see more of Robert. I think Robert shows that he's deserving of some carries. You know, we like Matt Jones, but I think there's a good combination there where the both of them can get the ball. And we'll have to monitor that, and Randy Jordan's going to look at that. We're going to, you know, depending on how many carries Matt gets, Robert obviously we want to mix him in there to keep Matt fresh and keep Robert fresh and get a different look from time to time. Robert had a couple of good hits, he really did. So I think he deserves a couple more shots."

On new defensive looks on third down:

"I think we could be evolving into that a little bit. I think we're trying to get our best pass rushers on the field to get our best cover guys on the field. We mixed in some man and some zone which is good. Some two-man, some single-high man, and some lurk. Did a good job, Joe [Barry] really did a good job of mixing up the coverages, also the fronts. Just a little bit, getting people on the field and subbing, we were able to do that. Guys were able to make some plays. We got just enough pressure on Joe [Flacco] where he had to throw it when he didn't want to from time to time or check it down because the coverage was very good. And when he did check it down, the most important thing, we made tackles. Right when they caught the ball, we were right there to make a good sound tackle. [Had] very few broken tackles in the game, especially when they checked it down, so that was good to see."

On the play of S Donte Whitner Sr. and if his role will expand in the coming weeks:

"Yeah, I think it will expand a little bit. You know, we'll see how he does. I think coming in here, short notice, learning as much as he learned, we're happy that he did that. He could've played more but Duke [Ihenacho] was playing pretty good so we let Duke roll. .But, I think moving forward, I think you'll see more of Donte."

On the play of CB Kendall Fuller:

"Very good. I think he's going to be a nickel here for a long time. Yes, we loved the way he plays. I love his work ethic. I like the way….He loves football. He studies and he's a football player. He just has great natural instincts for the position and the more he sees, the more reps he gets, the better he is going to get and the more of an impact he is going to have."

On the fumble by RB Matt Jones:

"It was a bang-bang play. It was a good play by their linebacker. We couldn't quite get up to him or their little trap play called and couldn't quite get up to the linebacker. We got held up a little bit, so you can't really fault him but you'd like to see him secure it a little bit better but it was a great play by their linebacker and unfortunately he couldn't secure it."

On if Jones had time to secure the ball:

"I don't really think he had time. I think right when he got the ball it was a hit so it was a bang-bang play. You know, just one of those things."

On QB Kirk Cousins being able to retrieve and throw away a fumbled snap:

"Yeah, it was just something… you can't really coach that one. You just hope that they make the best football play possible and luckily for us, that worked out in our favor. You know, all I could think of was Garo Yepremian on that field goal when he… That's all I could think of, 'Just throw it away or fall on it.' But you're helpless over there. You just count on the players to make sound decisions and that was one of his best plays of the day quite frankly."

On if the wind influenced his decision making on fourth downs:

"A little bit. I think the first one when we had a 1:28 to go in the half I thought we had plenty of time to get a touchdown. It was fourth-and-not very long and we didn't make it, dang it. But we could have easily kicked that one. That's a decision that was a gut-decision by me and it didn't work out. Then we tried the 55-yarder I think into the wind and I asked him [K Dustin Hopkins] point blank, 'It's either a Hail Mary or can you make this field goal?' He felt good he could make it, so I let him try and he darn-near made it. But the other fourth down-and-one that I went for – wind had a little bit to do with it, but I thought we could get it and I had faith in our offense that we could get it."

On TE Niles Paul's block on WR Jamison Crowder's punt return touchdown:

"Flying, leaving his feet? Yeah, we want to make sure we don't block anybody in the back, but I love his effort. Rob Kelley had a great block on that one, too. Couple other guys -- [Terence] Garvin had an unbelievable block – so it was great to see those guys playing with great effort. We just have got to make sure that we're smart where we're blocking people. But it was all-around a great play by a lot of guys."

On if Paul's block was close to a block in the back:

"It was close. Yeah, it was close. I don't think he really did enough to really impact the play. I don't think he really hit him, I think it was… [he] nudged him a little bit."

On WR Pierre Garçon and DE Ricky Jean Francois traveling to Haiti today to deliver medical supplies:

"First class, first class. You know, a lot of guys want to stay home and play video games or what have you and spend time with their families, but to go to help others in need is big time. Talks about their character and I'm proud to be their coach when you see guys do things like that that don't get publicized a whole lot, but in-house we are very happy for those guys." 

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