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Quotes: Jay Gruden (10-24-2016)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"I've got… five injures to report. Trent Williams, knee. He got the MRI. It's already out there. He's structurally OK. That's good news, but we have to still monitor him during the week and see how he does. He's a little sore. [Josh] Norman, he's in the concussion protocol. That's all we can say right now. [Brandon] Scherff had an AC sprain, he's sore. He's a tough sucker though, but he is sore. We'll have to monitor him throughout the week. [Bashaud] Breeland, ankle, it's his left ankle, his other one. He's got a sprained ankle and same thing; he's going to be sore. And Jordan Reed, he's cleared to practice on Wednesday and we'll go from there."

On if TE Jordan Reed will be active Sunday after being cleared to practice:

"No, not necessarily. He's just cleared to practice and he still has to do all the tests and still have to get cleared by the independent doctor – who gets a lot of airtime [laughter]."

On if the "unusual" travel this week will affect CB Josh Norman's progress in the concussion protocol:

"That's a good question. We just have to wait and see. I think he'll have to see the doctor again tomorrow and take the necessary steps and hopefully Thursday will be the last time he sees him and we'll have to get an answer before obviously we leave Thursday night. Usually Thursday is the time we see him anyway. So hopefully by then we'll have a good answer. We'll have to have one by then, without a doubt."

On what he would do differently defensively on the last drive against the Lions:

"We had a couple of opportunities to make some plays and hats off to Matthew [Stafford] – the Detroit Lions – for making them. We had a nice stunt called and unfortunately we couldn't get the… Kerrigan just missed the sack by a little bit. He stepped up and ran for a bunch of yards, and a great play by Matthew. There were some plays that he made, you know, he's an eight-year pro and he's a very good quarterback obviously. But, we dropped coverage once. Andre Roberts had a nice catch across the middle. Matthew had the big scramble and then the touchdown was just thrown in a very, very tight window. Kendall Fuller did a great job of rerouting [Anquan] Boldin. [Will] Compton was right there in the hook zone and just missed the throw by a fraction of an inch. And he drove it in there. As far as what we could've done different, there's a lot of things, coverage-wise, rush-wise. But, the coverage that we called, we were pretty good. Just they made the play and we didn't."

On RB Matt Jones keeping his confidence and the difficulty of making corrections during the season:

"Yeah, that's a tough deal, it's a tough deal. You can't put the ball on the ground as a running back. That's just rule number one. So, that's something we have to address and look at as a staff. And as far as his confidence, we're more worried about the team success than somebody's confidence. We've got to make sure we protect the ball, and that's everybody. He understands the magnitude of fumbling the football. If he doesn't, he does now. I mean, he should know it by now. But unfortunately he was trying to get an extra yard there at the goal line, he took his eyes off the exchange on another time, tried to make the cut before he got the ball, we fumbled again. So, something that has to be addressed."

On changes that can be made to address the fumbles:

"A little bit of everything. It could be that [reducing opportunities]. I don't know. But we'll have to take a look at it as a staff and go from there."

On if RB Chris Thompson can carry a weekly workload similar to the one on Sunday:

"I think that's a great number for him. We don't want to overdo it with him – he's still not a very big guy. We're not going to give up on Matt [Jones]. We just have got to make sure that he protects the dang football. Obviously Rob [Kelley] is doing a nice job with the limited time that he gets. Maybe it's just expand Rob's role a little bit, expand Chris' role a little bit. But you get all three of those guys active and just continue to stress the importance of ball security – that's not just the running backs, that's everybody."

On if he would have liked to see more deep throws:

"I think once [Darius] Slay got hurt they played a little bit more of a zone-type deal – a little two-deep zone, match-type deal – so it was hard to get down the field. Plus, they were rushing the quarterback pretty well. When [Brandon] Scherff went down, they had some good internal rushes on us where we didn't have a lot of time to work the double moves or get to the second level and really set our feet and launch. We had to take what was given to us – work the underneath stuff – and that was pretty effective for the most part. We just shot ourselves in the foot with the turnovers of course couple times, missed a field goal. I think from a game plan standpoint, you always want to try and take a shot, but you don't want to force the issue. I think Kirk [Cousins] did a good job of not forcing the issue."

On if he regrets rushing three linemen on the final touchdown:

"I think when you look back at the call, you'd like to get more people around Matthew. He does a great job of buying time and then finding seams and holes in the zone. He almost threw a touchdown earlier scrambling out to his right because we didn't get a lot of pressure on him. But at that time we were playing against the clock, obviously. We didn't want to stop a check down, so we decided to drop eight – we still had a three-man rush. If you second-guess every call that didn't go our way, I'd go crazy. I pretty much do that on the sideline all the time. Our coaches hate me for it. But it's just something where we have to play the call [and] we have to do our best to execute. After the game we'll address why we call it and if it's not good enough, we won't call it again. It's easy to second-guess, but we have to execute the call, no matter what it is."

On if he has any concerns about players second-guessing calls:

"No, I think if you're a pass rusher, if you're a defensive lineman, you don't want to drop into coverage. I respect their problem with dropping into a hook instead of rushing the quarterback because they really get paid to rush the quarterback. They don't get paid to backpedal."

On WR Ryan Grant:

"Yeah, that was tough when he covered up… [Ty] Nsekhe was in the game and I think he thought Nsekhe was a lineman – he didn't realize he had reported as a tackle – so he saw the other tight end was off the ball so he got on. That's a mistake that obviously is frustrating and we can't have, but I can see where that could've messed him up a little bit. The referee was trying to get him back and he just didn't see it. Luckily we scored on that drive. The other one was a quick hand signal and he didn't get it. It's just something we have to work on – our communication – the ball was snapped quickly. But, yeah, you're right. I think Ryan wishes he has those two back. There's nobody in this building that works harder than Ryan. He does a lot of the dirty work for us. He gets in there and digs out safeties for us in the running game. He's a very important part of this offense and he'll still get better."

On why TE Vernon Davis has been able to be effective at this point of his career:

"Because he can run very fast. He's big, powerful and he gets down the field in a hurry and he's been a very good blocker again for us. He graded out extremely well. He had a very good game and we're happy as heck to have him because he's been a major factor for us and will continue to be."

On the play of QB Kirk Cousins against the Lions:

"Yeah, I believe he was 30-for-39 and threw a couple away that was very good. I think he dropped some in the bucket which is excellent – second-level throws. I thought he handled the game very well and, like you said, despite having some pressure. When you play on the road the defense is getting off on the snap count pretty effectively, there's going to be games like that where you're going to have to step up, move around, throw the ball away and I think he did a great job. You know, he put us in position to win, scored a touchdown with about a minute to go. Unfortunately it wasn't enough but I think he had a very good, solid outing."

On the sideline reaction to Cousins' rushing touchdown:

"It was a good reaction. We were happy obviously. We knew that the other team has four excellent wide receivers and a heck of a quarterback so we knew the game wasn't over. We had a lot of work to do and we had to get our pass rushers ready to go and get our corners and safeties ready to go and get off the field. So, excited to get the lead for the first time in that ballgame, but obviously, we still knew we had a lot of work to do."

On the decision to leave for London on Thursday night rather than earlier in the week:

"Well, we wanted to get a couple good days of practice here first and get our guys honed in on the Bengals before we left without the travel, without the time change. I think the most important days of the week are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of your preparation, so if we could knock those out here, fly out there Thursday night, get there Friday morning, have a walkthrough, practice, a little bit of meeting time, get them some rest, Saturday have another walkthrough in the stadium, get them some rest and then play Sunday… I thought that was the best way to go."

On if Friday's practice in London will be lighter than a normal Friday practice:

"Yeah, I think we'll probably taper off a little bit there just because of the time change. We're flying. We'll still practice. We'll do more like a jog-through, do some red zone stuff, try to get a good, little sweat in but not overwork them. But it'll be a good practice." 

On if he has talked to the team about acclimating to the time change:

"No, that's something that we'll have to look at here. We'll have our people… No, I don't have a sleep doctor, I'll have to hire one… I think the guys will understand that they have got to get some rest this week, early in the week, get to bed a little bit earlier, but I think we'll have time to adjust. We get there Friday morning. We'll have Friday night to adjust, all day Saturday. We'll get back on London time. I think they'll be fine. We've talked to some other teams that have done it that way and they said that's the best way to go." 

On if he's looking forward to playing in London:

"I'm excited, man [laughter]. I mean, I can't wait. Really, it sounds funny, it's such a big game for us, really. I really don't care where we play them. I just can't wait to play the game. We've got to get this taste out of our mouth and get ready to strap it up and play against a team that's been in the playoffs five years in a row that I know extremely well. It's going to be fun to play against them, no matter where it is, when it is. We look forward to the challenge."

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