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Quotes: Jay Gruden (10.12.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:"Matt Jones, great toe sprain, he'll be day to day. [Bashaud] Breeland came in with a rotator cuff contusion. We're going to have to monitor that pretty closely — [he's] pretty sore. Trent Williams has a neck strain, he'll be day to day, and he didn't feel well after the game and he needed to be getting checked out. We have a bunch of other bumps and bruises we'll update you on Wednesday. Chris Culliver update – his knee's improved. We'll increase work this week. DeSean Jackson, his hamstring, we'll continue to increase his reps. Same thing with DeAngelo Hall. Jordan Reed is still undergoing the independent testing but he has improved."

On reviewing the final interception:

"You know, it was a tough deal. We were in a scat protection — five guys rushing. They brought one more than… we slid the protection one way and they brought a guy off the left side so Kirk [Cousins] had to get rid of the ball quickly. He threw the ball before Ryan Grant turned around and when Ryan Grant was about to turn around, he stumbled. Whether it would have been complete or whether it would still have been intercepted, we don't know. I know that Ryan just got a turf monster and fell down. Kirk felt the need to get rid of it — you don't want to take a sack there in a big situation, so that's what happened. It was just an unfortunate play."

On evaluating the running game over the last few weeks and where they need to improve:

"Well, it's a combination. Sometimes, it's an individual breakdown. Sometimes, it's them getting off blocks or really doing a nice job of pursuing to the football or sometimes it's a back missing a hole. There's a lot of… The thing about the running game, everybody has to be in concert — the linemen, the back side, the front side, the backs — we all have to be in concert together. You have to stay on your blocks; you have to get up to the next level. Sometimes you leave your blocks too soon to go up to the next level, somebody frees up. Sometimes a tight end gets beat at the point of attack. Sometimes a back makes a bad cut. There are so many things that go into a good running play or a bad running play that it's hard to just put your finger on it, but I know that our blocking in the running game was not up to our standards. It wasn't winning football for us and we have to do better. Our line knows that, our tight ends know that, our fullback — if he was in the game — knows that and our backs know that. We're going to continue to work on it, that's for sure. It's going to be a major part of our success. If we don't have that part of our offense going, you see what kind of troubles we have – we're not very good. So we have to figure out a way to get it going and I think we will."

On if WR Ryan Grant was supposed to break off his route as a hot receiver:

"No, it really should have been hot, but he was just running an eight- [or] nine-yard stop route and stumbled, so no."

On Grant's overall performance on Sunday:

"He didn't have many opportunities. He did stumble a couple times. He caught the one pass and stumbled after he caught it, did OK in the running game blocking, did some good things. I think Ryan is a developing football player. He's filled in for DeSean Jackson in a positive way and he's going to get better and better through these experiences, both good and bad. I know he's got great hands. He's a great route runner. It's just unfortunate he got a turf monster at the wrong time. We're not down on Ryan at all. He's going to continue to get better and be a good player for us for a long time."

On RB Alfred Morris' 'diminished role' late in the game:

"Yeah, they did a nice job of taking away our running game, number one. We averaged I guess two yards a carry and then the in third quarter we got the ball and we had some specialty runs designed for Chris Thompson – some outside runs, some tosses and some misdirection runs – trying get to the outside with his speed and then we had [Matt] Jones in there a little bit. You know, we're going to alternate those guys. But like I said before, when our running game's going, he's going to get his carries, and when it's not going, nobody is going to get enough carries. That's just the way it was. We were stuck in a lot of second-and-eights, a lot of second-and-nines. And when that's the case, we're not going to be too good with the running game and Alfred is not going to get that many touches. Hopefully in the future next week and the week after that we'll get him more involved."

On if there is any thought of giving WR Rashad Ross more chances:"Yeah, there is a thought. It's just who do you take out? Pierre [Garçon] or you take out [Jamison] Crowder or do you take out Ryan [Grant] and DeSean [Jackson] will be back here pretty soon I hope. But yeah, he's slowly starting to emerge as a deep threat and a good, solid receiver. But there's more to being a receiver than just running a deep ball. You know, he's got to get better at the little things – the blocking, where to line up and all those things – and he is. It's a good luxury to have, another receiver that can really run and go get it. He's got that extra gear that probably nobody else has other than DeSean. So, we probably should use him a little bit more in the deep stuff."

On CB Bashaud Breeland's performance:"I think he played very well. He's a great competitor. You see it out there. He did some really good things. He competed, tackled well, covered well, made some good pass breaks, had a big interception for us. So, we're really happy with the way he's playing and the way he competes."

On Breeland's injury:"As far as the injury is concerned, we're going to have to monitor it pretty close. He's pretty sore. He could barely lift his hand up over past his shoulder, so he's sore, but hopefully with some good treatment he'll be OK."

On if he is concerned TE Jordan Reed's concussion could keep him out for several more weeks:"Well, there's always a concern when you're talking about the concussion protocol because you're really in the dark as far as how they're feeling. We have no idea. It's up to him. He's with the independent doctor right now and we don't really have a lot of contact. He's getting everything diagnosed through that guy and then when he feels like he's clear to go then he'll send him back to us. We'll slowly get him back in meetings and when he's cleared, he's cleared. The whole concussion protocol thing is something we have to take very seriously for each individual player. Each individual instance is its own entity and we'll have to go from there. But we are optimistic that from what I'm hearing that he's feeling better, which is a good thing. But he still has to pass all the tests."

On if he was pleased with the run/pass balance:"Not really. I mean, when it's all said and done, the success we had on offense wasn't a lot. So, there's a lot of things we can do different. I think we can play-action a little bit more on first down, maybe run something else on second down. There's a whole lot of things. Every time you come out with a loss and you don't have a lot of production in the running game, you second guess all your calls. That's what we're doing. It's our job as coaches to put our players in the best position possible. Obviously we feel like we didn't do that. We let our team down a little bit. We've got to do better job of getting them in better looks, better situations and call a better game for them."

On if the playbook changes with WR DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed out:

"It depends on the team you're playing, number one, and then, number two, there are some things that are taken out without DeSean. He is a different guy. And Jordan Reed, obviously such a big third down contributor, then some of the two-tight end set things that you like to do and some of the three-receiver sets with him split out, there's a lot of things that get taken out of the playbook, things that were very effective for us the first four weeks. It has a major effect when Jordan doesn't play and obviously DeSean. We feel like we have enough things that we can do to still be effective. We just weren't very effective yesterday at a consistent basis."

On WR Jamison Crowder's ability in space:

"He gets the ball in space and he's very dangerous. He's quick. He's decisive with when he makes his cuts and his breaks. He's got great hands. Like I said, he's just going to get better and better and better. When Jordan comes back and when DeSean comes back, how that's going to affect his numbers, we don't know yet. It could be a little bit, it could be not much at all. It'll be a good problem to have. When you have Jordan, DeSean, Pierre [Garçon], Jamison, obviously Ryan [Grant] still and the running game, it should help us out."

On if he was pleased with the play call on a screen on third-and-goal:

"No. No. That was awful."

On the evolving culture change:

"Yeah, I said yesterday, we're not into moral victories. This is pro football. We have enough good players on our football team to win games on the road against good teams and good opponents. They were a good team and a good opponent and well-coached. We just didn't get it done. They made a few more plays than we did in crucial situations. We had opportunities on both sides of the ball to change the outcome of the game. We had the bubble screen on third down and goal down there that we didn't execute very well or a very bad call. We had a couple fourth downs on defense - we didn't get off the field. There were some other plays that quite frankly we didn't make. We didn't coach good enough, but we're right there. You can see the improvement. I think everybody can. We consistently have to do a better job of putting games back-to-back-to-back somehow."

On if QB Kirk Cousins is showing week-to-week improvement:

"I think he is. There are some plays that I'm sure he wished he had back yesterday. I think he is improving. He's going to have his ups and downs, every quarterback does. Heck, Matt Ryan was 50-some percent and threw two picks yesterday and he's been a hell of a player for a long time. You're going to have some plays in a game or games that you're not perfect. It's a matter of keeping your team in the game, making good decisions and giving your team a chance to win at the end. He did that again. We just had the slip and fall and pick-six. Overall, I think he's showing enough to where we can work with him. People around him are getting better. The running game has got to continue to get better. We can be a very good, solid offense with him at the helm."

On his unhappiness with the screen call:

"Yeah, probably too conservative. We thought we could flat out the area, four strong. We got it earlier in the game on the third down and 15, I think it was. Crowder broke it and almost scored. We thought we'd get the same look. Really their safety bossed over a little bit wider this time and our tight end couldn't quite get out there and get him. He made a good play. But we had a lot of other good plays we could have gone to in that situation. It's one of those things, if it worked we're all high fiving on the sidelines, but it didn't work and we're all very upset at the call. You'd just like to have, instead of a one-man show, you'd like to give the quarterback a few more options. Didn't work out."

On if the new veterans in the locker room are contributing to the culture change in the locker room:

"I hope so. You should never, ever get used to losing. It should hurt every time and it should hurt more the next time than it did the last time. I think our guys are starting to feel that. They understand the work that they're putting in here and the effort that they're giving on the field. When you give maximum effort on the field and you don't get rewarded with a victory, it hurts. It does. Our guys were hurt afterwards. I don't think there was any laughing or joking in the locker room. I think they're all disappointed. That's a good thing. I think some of the veteran guys, that helps. But I think some of the guys that have been here, they see how we've started to turn a corner and how disappointed they were we didn't get a big win yesterday against a good football team. Moving forward there's a lot of positives to build off again. Hate to keep saying that, but there are. We'll get some guys healthy I hope for next week against the Jets. Play another good opponent and go from there."

On his frustration about not turning takeaways into points:

"Yeah, it's deflating. The good teams that are 4-0 or 5-0 right now, they're doing that. They're converting turnovers into points and they're protecting the football. You see Arizona, Cincinnati and the teams that are playing well, New England, they're doing that. We have to do a better job of once we get a big play like that, we've got to put our foot on their throat and make it a bigger play. And vice versa, if we do give up a big play, we've got to try to stop the bleeding somehow. We did that. We had a sudden change yesterday, our defense did a nice job of getting a stop and they missed a field goal. There are some good things but we do need to do a better job of converting, making big plays bigger."

On if the team has to do a better job in the third quarter:

"Yeah, no question. We only had — I think — nine or 10 snaps. The drive we had in the third quarter was actually pretty good. We drove down there. We had third down-and-eight — I think — at the 30-yard line and we saw zone. We called a screen pass and their defensive tackle read out of it and made a heck of a play and we end up missing a field goal. We got the ball back and I think we had two plays and the quarter was over. So they did a nice job of controlling the clock in the third quarter, didn't give us ,any opportunities, but our opening drive in the third quarter was decent. It wasn't good enough obviously, but it wasn't bad."

On if switching to K Dustin Hopkins after Week 1 has worked out so far:

"It has, and like I said, I've got nothing to say about Kai [Forbath]. He was a good kicker for us for a long time, but you're talking about the total package of being a kicker — the long field goals and the kickoffs — and I think he [Hopkins] has proven that he's pretty good. He made a huge kick yesterday. He missed one, a long one, but he made one [in] clutch, crunch time, which we were all curious – will he make that kick in a big-time situation, big-time game? He knocked it through there, so that's exciting — exciting for him and exciting for us moving forward knowing that he's got that experience in him now and he can make it."

On if the play-calling was too conservative and if it was a function of missing injured players:

"A little bit of both. I think when you want to commit to the run sometimes and the run doesn't work, it really looks like you're being conservative. You know, if you want to air it out and they don't work, then you're not sticking to the run, and then you're not doing what you're good at. You know, there's got to be a happy medium there. We got out of rhythm because our running game wasn't working. You know, when you're in second-and-fours and fives as opposed to second-and-eights and nines, you can really get into a rhythm calling plays. Second-and-eight, your playbook shrinks a little bit; Third-and-eight, it shrinks a lot more. That's what we were in last night. We do need to do a better job of probably mixing it up and letting our guys run and try to take some more shots down the field and I think that will open our running game once we get DeSean [Jackson] back and take some more shots. So hopefully we'll get all our horses back, we'll be able to air some things out and take some shots."

On when T Trent Williams' neck discomfort started:

"I have no idea. He just came into the locker room and he was feeling sick a little bit and they checked him and they said it was a neck strain and he was just feeling a little sick, so he's getting his treatment. I think he'll be OK, but we'll see."

On if Williams' illness was related to the neck strain:

"I don't know."

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