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Quotes: Jay Gruden (10-24-2017)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

* The following is a transcript of a conference call with local reporters this afternoon.*

On injuries:

"Spencer Long has knee/quad tendinitis. He is pretty sore. Stefan McClure has a hamstring strain. He will be questionable, day-to-day. Preston Smith has a groin [injury]. He will be questionable, day-to-day. Trent Williams aggravated his knee. He will be questionable, day-to-day. Fabian Moreau has a hamstring [injury]. He will be day-to-day. [Brandon] Scherff we got better news on. Scherff, he got hurt on his lower back when he got speared and then he also has a MCL Grade 2 [sprain] so there is a chance – with treatment and all that stuff –there is a chance we can brace it up. We will see how he does during the week. And [Morgan] Moses has both ankle sprains. He will be day-to-day also. [Josh] Norman should get back to practice with his rib. [Deshazor] Everett should get back to practice with his hamstring and [Tyler] Catalina with his concussion."

On the plan for the depth at tackle:

"We just got this information five minutes ago. Treatment was at 2:00. The MRIs just got back so we will have to address that in a personnel meeting here in about an hour."

On potentially resting T Trent Williams:

"It's a possibility. We will have to see how he does during the week. He won't practice during the week probably. We will have to wait and see. It would be a possibly if Ty Nsekhe was up and ready to go, but Ty is not ready to go. We have got T.J. [Clemmings] ready to roll if need be, but I think we will just have to gauge Trent and see how he is feeling early in the week."

On his level of concern for Williams being able to finish the season:

"Well, there is a level of concern, without a doubt. That's something that I have to rely on the trainers to make that call and Trent to make that call. First off, we have to do right by Trent. And then the big thing is finding out from a longevity standpoint, how much this could affect him if it does or not. That's something we have to take into account and then make a good decision."

On if struggles in the running game against the Eagles this season are matchup-related:

"I don't know. I think it wasn't so much a matchup thing. [It's] just that we didn't get it going. We had a couple opportunities to run it on third-and-short – like you mentioned yesterday – and tried to get a couple passes going on third-and-a-long-one and thought we had good plays called but they didn't work out. Then a drive stalled and we didn't really get anything going. We got Rob [Kelley] a couple carries, Chris [Thompson] a couple carries and unfortunately we just couldn't get it going. I think we just probably have to call more runs, I guess. But they do a good job against the run. They have those wide-nine techniques and force everything inside to Fletcher Cox and [Tim] Jernigan and their linebackers. It's not an easy team to run against based on their stats throughout seven games of the season. I think they're No. 1 in the league. That's no excuse. We should do a better job. We should've done a better job, and part of it is my fault for not calling more."

On if he'll change his approach to practice this week given the team's injuries:

"I'll have to make some changes. I don't have any linemen, so there will have to be some changes made. Maybe even more seven-on-seven, a little bit more individual [drills] for the offensive line to make sure we're getting…maybe more walkthroughs, but I'll make that adjustment without a doubt."

On the role of WR Terrelle Pryor Sr. moving forward:

"We'll see how it goes moving forward. Right now I think we wanted to get Josh [Doctson] in there a little bit more and see how he did. Josh did some good things, some things we need to clean up, same with Terrelle every week. Just going to continue to coach those guys up, try to play the hot hand, play the guys who are fresh and go from there."

On what the receivers need to clean up:

"We just need to clean up some of the details in the routes, some of the blocking, some things we just need to clean up."

On if TE Jordan Reed's success yesterday was just a function of his health:

"I think health had a lot to do with it, health had a lot to do with it. I think he's feeling good. He was able to get more reps and got some more opportunities with the ball and coverages dictated him getting the ball a little bit more and he took advantage of them like he usually does when the coverage allows. He did a great job running routes and catching, running after the catch, so it was good to get him back involved in the game, get a couple touchdowns for him, get his confidence rolling because he's obviously a main part of our offense."

On how injuries along the offensive line changed play calling:

"I think it part of the reason we tried to do some more quick game, some more rollouts, boots and things of that nature was to try to help the offensive line. Chase [Roullier] really played center, he played guard. T.J. Clemmings played both tackles, so it was really hard to really get a feel for what we could do there. I think the guys still came in and competed, did some good things, but it did have an impact on some of the play calling."

On if he was pleased with the way Pryor and WR Josh Doctson handled their roles yesterday:

"I think at the end of the day, it's about the team, number one, and they have to control what they can control. If they're in there for 10 plays, 30 plays or 60 plays, they have to play their best football and we'll adjust as a team and try to get the best players out there. That's always the case at every position. Outside linebackers, they're subbing. Defensive linemen, they're subbing all the time, so it's just important for us to try to play the best players, the guys who give us the best chance to win. We have faith. It's not like we're losing faith in anybody. We have faith in all our receivers to win one-on-one matchups and run the right coverage, run the right routes and all that stuff and make plays when the ball is distributed to them. It's just a matter of trying to get everybody happy here. It's hard. They're all worthy of playing, but they all have to wait their turn and be patient and when their number is called, produce."

On the lack of touches for RB Samaje Perine yesterday:

"I've got nothing against Samaje. It's not like we're punishing him or anything like that. First half, we tried to get Rob [Kelley] going. In some of our other packages, Chris [Thompson] is our main guy and in the second half we're in a lot of three-receiver sets and Chris is the main guy for pass protection and routes out of the backfield. Unfortunately in the second half, we were 10-10 with three minutes to go in the half and, really, I think that drive was the one that really hurt us the most. We had second-down-and-four, I tried a little one-back power, we got stopped for a two-yard gain, then we had third-down-and-two and failed to convert and we punted. The next time we got the ball to start the third quarter, we're down 24-10 and that kind of took us out of our game plan a little bit and we had to play catch-up. That was a little hard. We'd like to have the half end with possession of the ball. Unfortunately we didn't get it done and we gave up back-to-back touchdowns on a two-minute drive and to start the third quarter. Unfortunately we couldn't get Samaje going or the running game in general."

On trying to get the running game going:

"We intend on changing up to try to get the run game going, very similar to the wide receiver position. I really, personally have faith in all these guys. I know it doesn't seem like that sometimes, but whoever's out there, I trust the fact that we're going to sub them in and keep them all fresh, and when they're out there, I feel like they can all produce and make some plays. We can't have everybody out there all the time, we can only have 11 out there. Really, some of our best offensive stuff comes out of two-tight-end sets and one back. Three-tight-end sets and one back, we're very successful. Last night we didn't use it enough because we got behind in the second half. It's going to be hard to get everybody the ball and get everybody happy, but these guys are all on the team and when they're asked to play, they'll play, and if not, they'll wait their turn."

On the use of man coverage last night:

"We mixed it up a little bit. I think Carson does a good job of, you know, picking apart some of the zones. He has a good idea of where to go with the ball in the zone and we thought we could play some man and try to get some pressure on the quarterback with some blitzes and try to get up in his face a little bit. And some of those were successful and obviously some of them they hit us on. Actually the long touchdown was a zone coverage they hit us on. You know, I think the long one to Zach Ertz was man-ish type thing but it had some zone principles to it and we got Mason Foster down the middle against Ertz and we blew the coverage on the backside there. We did try some zone principles he hit us on and we tried some man principles he hit us on. But we've just got to do a better job in critical situations. You know, third downs obviously we talked about and when we do play man-to-man we have got to do a better job of getting around the quarterback and getting him on the ground and making him throw it off-rhythm so our corners can make plays. But, you know, he was able to escape some rushes that I don't know how he escaped on and he made some throws that were very, very good, so hats off to him, but we have got to do a better job of containing the quarterback in those situations and obviously do a better job two minutes at the end of the half and starting. To end the half the way we did and starting the third quarter the way we did was probably the most disappointing thing of the game. I think our guys competed, they played hard. We just didn't finish a couple key plays on both sides of the ball."

On how many quarterbacks could make the throw Carson Wentz made to Mack Hollins last night:

"Yeah, that's part of it, you know? And I'll tell you what, that was a heck of a throw. He launched it and normally D.J. [Swearinger] makes that play, but I think you're right, I think he might have just taken that play for granted because he was so far down the field. He didn't think the ball would get thrown, but it did get thrown. He has a cannon of an arm and made a great throw. That was one big play and there was a couple of other big plays that the kid made that you've got to tip your hat to him. But when it's all said and done, you look at the tape, there's four or five plays in that game that he made that we didn't make that were the difference, defensively anyway. Offensively, we had our own issues, but he's just a great player with a great arm."

On if C Spencer Long could be available on Sunday:

"I think there's…I don't know. It's really hard for me to say on any of these guys. You know, I think Spencer, McClure, Preston, Trent, Fabian, Brandon… Morgan probably has the best chance to play, but we'll have to wait and see, you know? I'm hoping… usually the day after a game people are really, really sore and less optimistic than they are two and three days after the game. So we gave them another day off, just a walkthrough and meetings tomorrow. I gave them a little extra day to try to recover, and then Thursday I think will be a telling tale as far as optimism is concerned with a lot of these guys. So hopefully time will heal all wounds, but if they don't, we'll have to get some other guys ready. T.J. will have to get ready to go, obviously Chase will have to get ready to go and Catalina might have to get ready to go, so we just have got to continue to coach the guys who are not playing right now and prepare them to get ready to play."

On how he can help the team prepare for a short week:

"Yeah, I think that the one thing that I'm pretty decent at is trying to get a gauge for how our team is feeling, physically, number one, and that's my job to make sure that… The majority of these guys will run through a brick wall for the Washington Redskins, that's for sure, that's why I love this group. But I also have to be smart and make sure I understand that this is a long year and I've got to make sure that these guys are healthy. And there are some things we can do as far as more walkthroughs are concerned, more meeting time, and less pounding and running and physical contact, which, really about Week 6 or 7 it isn't the end of the world. But we do need it for some of these younger guys who haven't played. I'll try to get those guys the work but the guys who are a little bit banged up obviously I'll taper off of them."

On if he is hesitating to have Pryor and Doctson on the field at the same time:

"No, it's just the way we do it. We have had Terrelle Pryor, since he walked in the door, he's been playing one position. When you have a receiver that hasn't been playing receiver a whole lot in his career, you don't want him bouncing around playing three positons. And Josh, very similar. He didn't practice a whole lot last year, he's only in his second year here so we wanted him to really learn one position and they happen to both be at X. [Jamison] Crowder, [Ryan] Grant we felt good about at Z, [Brian] Quick can play some Z and then obviously Crowder plays inside. Maybe in the future, maybe we can move Josh over to Z and I'm sure Josh could play some Z if need be, but we like Crowder out there, we like Grant out there and we like where we're at there."

On QB Kirk Cousins' interception:

"We had Jamison Crowder on the high cross right behind that player. Chris Thompson couldn't quite get out as fast as he was supposed to. He was supposed to track that player who got the pick, but Chris kind of helped with the offensive linemen a little bit longer than we would have liked, but still, I would like it better safe than sorry. So, Chris, I'm not faulting Chris at all. He did was he was supposed to do. If he feels like there's pressure, he's going to help with the offensive line and make sure there's no pressure. But the player that was covering Chris was just standing there. Kirk was I think trying to drop it over that player's head to get it to Jamison and I think his arm got hit and it went right to the player."

On the team's performance on third-and-short:

"We have not been faring well. We've tried to smash it up the gut a couple times and got rejected. We tried a couple bootlegs that have been successful. Last night, we had like one and a half. It was my first one. Third-and-one-and-a-half, closer to two. They were packed in there pretty good. They do a really good job with their safety play. Malcolm Jenkins does a good job setting the edge along with the defensive ends. They force everything and they pinch the defensive ends and the three-technique is a hell of a player – [Fletcher] Cox – so it's hard to just say, 'OK, let's run it up the middle.' It's easier said than done. So we thought we had a nice little pick play to Jordan. Unfortunately, didn't quite get the depth we were looking for and the pick we were looking for. Didn't work out. The second one, had a chance to maybe run it, had another play we had a busted route on it and lost a part of the pick play and failed to convert. You've got your runs, you've got your play passes, you've got your boots, you've got your pick plays for man-to-man and we went with the pick plays and we felt strongly we were going to get man-to-man and neither one of them we got the picks necessary to make the play work."

On the function of a lighter Wednesday:

"Normally Wednesday is one of our heavier days, but since we played on a Monday, physical game like it was with as many injuries as we have, I made Wednesday like a Tuesday. So we'll have a walkthrough and meeting and introduce the Cowboys. We'll put this tape to bed. We'll get our corrections made on Philadelphia, we'll introduce the Cowboys, have a walkthrough. Then Thursday we'll have probably more of a walkthrough and try to get out there and practice a little bit, give them the looks necessary and then Friday we'll get some red zone and some more third downs and try to get some more looks and Saturday might have to do a little bit more on Saturday to make up for losing Wednesday. But we'll get our work in. I think right now it's most important to let them know who we're playing, obviously, let them know what they're doing defensively, what our plan of attack is on both sides of the ball and then trying to get the reps the best way we can with the amount of bodies we have available."

On WR Jamison Crowder's fumble on a punt return:

"Well, he didn't drop it; he just fumbled it. I promised he wouldn't drop another punt. I think the ball just got hit. It was just one of those things, we've just got to make sure we just take care of the ball. Jamison is a sure-handed guy. It's just very uncharacteristic of him having three balls put on the ground as a punt returner. We'll have to keep studying the tape, where he's holding the ball, how he's holding the ball, and Randy [Jordan] will work with him and hopefully we'll get it fixed because we need to take care of the dang ball, that's for sure."

On if he still has faith in Crowder at punt returner:

"We don't have any other returners right now, so he is our returner. It's not like we have punt returners coming out of the woodwork. We have him and Kendall Fuller, who really didn't even do it in college. That's kind of where we are right now with the punt returner position. He's our guy, and I have faith that he'll get it right."

On if T Ty Nsekhe's injury has taken longer than expected:

"We were told three to six weeks. So we took the optimistic approach with him because he is such an important key player as far as our depth of our offensive line. We were hoping it would be closer to three [weeks]. But we didn't know – it could be closer to six. It depends. He's such a big guy that it's just taking a little bit longer. It's not anything he is doing wrong, it's just a tough injury for him. He will, I'm sure, do the best he can do get ready as fast as he can. He's that type of guy. It's just taking a little bit longer than we anticipated."

On Nsekhe's workload this week:

"We're going to try increase his workload a little bit, try to get him a little bit of work in individual and we'll see where he is. But it will probably be a long shot for him to play this week."  

On special teams:

"You would like to have some momentum-changing-type plays on special teams. I think Tress has had a good year. We've had some good punt coverage except for the return last week. For the most part, I feel pretty good about our punt coverage. And again, when Fabian [Moreau] goes down with his hamstring and Dunny [Quinton Dunbar] is thrust into the starting lineup, you lose two key, integral parts of your punt coverage team. You know, we've had to mix and match there. And some other key players get knocked out a little bit and obviously Mason Foster with his injury, he's been taking off some of the special teams. It's been tough. We have been trying to get some people out there to play. They've been doing a pretty good job. Kickoff return – we only had one opportunity and didn't get much done there. For the most part, it's been a wash, I think. I don't think we're giving up any momentum-type-changing plays but we're not getting any. So, that's something we have to figure out how to do."  

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