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Quotes: Jay Gruden (11.23.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:

"Trent Williams has a knee – patella – contusion; he'll be day-to-day. Alfred Morris aggravated his rib; he'll be day-to-day. Deshazor Everett has a hamstring strain. Chris Thompson is OK. He was put in the concussion protocol, but he's OK — did not have one. Jordan Reed had a knee – MCL – sprain but came back in and played."

On if RB Alfred Morris' injury is to the same rib:

"It's the same one, yeah."

On how much it hurt not having Morris available for most of yesterday's game:

"Yeah, it hurt, but we were prepared. We dressed three backs — three halfbacks. We still had obviously Matt [Jones] and Chris [Thompson] and just still failed to get anything going."

On if the team would make a roster move if Morris isn't available Sunday:

"Possibly, but, you know, we'll have to wait and see. I think he's going to be OK, based on what I'm hearing, but that's an option. We have a couple moves we could make but we'll wait and see Wednesday how he's doing."

On the snaps from center:

"The snaps have been a little bit of an issue. They weren't the downfall of our offense by any stretch. We had one that — was a very big [one] — he snapped it when he wasn't supposed to and nobody was ready. We gave up a sack on that one, but the snaps have been getting a little bit better and Josh [LeRibeus] has continued to work on them. That's what we have to do — just continue to work on them. Josh is playing OK, but we have got to work on the location of the snaps and when to snap them."

On why C Josh LeRibeus has struggled with the snap count at times:

"Well it hasn't happened too often. We have a lot of snaps in a football game. It should never happen, just like our defensive line should never jump offsides and we should never jump offsides on offense. The advantage is we see the ball on the defensive line, we don't move until it moves. On offense, we have the advantage of the snap count and we need to utilize that. We haven't been. Sometimes we've had false starts. Sometimes it's the center, sometimes it's the guard or whoever. When it's the center, it's very magnified because nobody else is ready. Unfortunately we've had two or three too many. I don't know why, no."

On RB Matt Jones' fumbles this season:

"He's a talented kid, man. Like I said, a lot of them -- I think like three of them -- were non-contact fumbles. He's trying to gain the extra yard, stick the ball out. Yesterday he was hurdling the pile and it just barely got poked out. I think it's just a matter of him continuing to focus more on the ball pre-contact, also when there is contact. That's something Randy Jordan does every day in individual. He spends the first part of individual every day working on ball security drills and we'll continue to work on it. He's got to understand as a running back in the National Football League, once you have this M.O. [modus operandi], the only way to shake it is to protect the ball. If you don't protect the ball then you won't be a running back in the NFL for very long. We have total faith in him that he's going to fix this but he has to himself make sure he understands the importance of the ball. All running backs do."

On if he shares DE Jason Hatcher's concerns about officiating:

"No, I think everybody was a little frustrated after the game and what he said is what he said. It's already in the newspaper. You go back and watch the tape, we've been pretty good as far as penalties are concerned. I think we're in the bottom third or bottom fourth of the league as far as penalties against us. So we've been pretty good as far as that is concerned. It just seemed yesterday, two major, major penalties went against us and people are frustrated by that. But we have to recover from those things. They happen. Calls that go against you happen in a course of a football game and the course of a season. We have to rebound from them like every other team in the NFL does."

On if he concerned by the players' voicing their disagreement on social media:

"Well, with Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, they have their way to voice their opinion. We try to keep everything in-house as far as our opinions are concerned. I'll make sure we address that as far as a team meeting is concerned. These officials are human beings and they do the best they can just like we are as players and coaches. To point the finger at an official for our loss yesterday probably isn't right because we lost by 30. Those two calls did make a big difference in the football game but there's a lot of things that we did as a coaching staff and as a team that weren't good enough to win in Carolina against an undefeated team."

On his message to the team this week:

"Well, we have to search for consistency, really. There's a lot to look forward to in this season. However, the one thing we want to focus in on is ourselves and our fundamentals, how we prepare and all that stuff. When we turn the ball over five times, have nine or 10 penalties, miss tackles, there's no point in looking forward, you know what I mean? We have to look at ourselves very closely, X's and O's wise, as coaches and as players individually from a fundamental standpoint, do what we can do to get better and protect our football team and eliminate the self-inflicted wounds. If we can do that, we've shown that we can be pretty good. We've shown that we can be pretty bad. It's unreal how good we've been and how bad we've been all in the same season within a week of each other. We know the capabilities that this team has, but we have to make sure that we continue to focus in on the fundamentals of football – protecting the football, penalties and obviously tackling."

On how the team can put Sunday's loss behind it:

"You have to. Just like when you beat New Orleans, you have to put that game behind you. You can't be too high otherwise you come into a situation like where we're at. It's very important. We have a six-game stretch here where we have everything we want to accomplish still available to us. It's something that hasn't happened around here for some time. We're excited about the opportunity but we also understand, 'Hey, we've got play better, dig down deeper and coach better.' I think everybody's going to be excited about the chance to be tied for first after this game on Sunday, a home game against the New York Giants. We also have to understand that we've got to do a lot of things better and more consistent."

On if he has a clear understanding of the rule that negated the touchdown by CB Chris Culliver:

"It's very confusing. Jordan Reed caught an out route early in the game and got hit right on his head and there was no call. Then the ball is right in front of Chris Culliver and he goes for the ball, hits him with his forearm. It's just unfortunate. You feel helpless as coach that you can't even challenge that. I think those plays - that was a touchdown play, too - we still couldn't challenge it unfortunately. Hopefully something happens where a play of that magnitude is challengeable. We understand the way we're trying to keep player safety alive and it's a very important part of this game now – player safety and where to hit people. When calls are made that may not be called, should've been called, those are the ones that are the most frustrating and the ones you don't understand, especially when you can't challenge them. It is what it is now. We just have got to continue to preach to our players where the target area is. But I didn't see anything wrong with what Chris did, where his body position was, where he hit the player. He went for the ball and his forearm hit the receiver. But it was called and we have got to deal with it."

On if they sent the play into the league for review:

"We sent it in, yes. But we haven't gotten a result yet."

On if DeAngelo Hall could still contribute at cornerback while he also learns the safety position:

"Yeah, we're thinking about it. You know, we're trying to get DeAngelo 100 percent healthy, number one. I think he's still dealing with a little bit of the injury from his turf toe and he's not quite 100 percent. We're also trying to implement him a little bit more at safety position. We're trying to get our best players on the field. We really like [Bashaud] Breeland and [Chris] Culliver. We like D-Hall at corner, but there's three, you only need two corners. We've got to figure out what to do — either move [Bashaud] Breeland back to nickel and put D-Hall out there, but [Will] Blackmon is playing pretty good at nickel. Then, you've got Kyhsoen [Jarrett] who's playing pretty good. We're trying to find, mix-and-match a way to get all those guys on the field but in the meantime, I think it's important for D-Hall, number one, to get 100 percent healthy, number two, to learn the safety position so he can get himself on the field more. He will be utilized. We still like D-Hall a lot."

On how long it will take Hall to learn the safety position:

"I don't know. You know, that's a good question. I think we just continue to practice and see how much we can throw at him and how much he retains and go from there.  You know, there's more to it than just playing a middle third or a deep half. You know, it's about run fits and some of the man-protection calls and all that stuff — the man-to-man, pass-off calls and all that stuff. It's a process that he's going to have to deal with but I think he's smart enough where he can pick it up sooner than later."

On missed tackles:

"A lot of missed tackles, and hats off to their backs. I mean, they ran hard, you know? [Jonathan] Stewart and [Mike] Tolbert — very good running backs — but there's no excuse. I mean, we've just got to continue to wrap up. They bounced off tackles. They ran through tackles. Tough to bring down, but A) we have to wrap up, at least slow them down, and then B) we have to bring more people, pursuit — faster pursuit angles — and get ourselves in position to help our teammates out. But, you know, like I said, it's a combination of us missing tackles but also them running very well and very hard with the ball."

On if he is concerned about how officials will perceive his players following their comments on social media:

"I don't think they're reading it. I don't want us to be perceived as a team that is looking for excuses to why we lost. The referees are not an excuse for us as to why we lost that football game. The missed tackles, the five sacks, the five turnovers, we can point directly to that – and, obviously myself, not getting our team ready. We're not looking for excuses. We're not looking to lay the blame on anybody. We need to point to ourselves as to why we failed in that game and point to Carolina, they played a great game. Teach and learn from that experience and move forward and get ready for a great New York Giant football team."

On the defensive backs playing with a cushion:

"Yeah, there's no question we're a little bit soft in a couple of instances. Like you said, one time we got a little bit too tight on the third-and-long and they ran a double move on us. You know, for the most part, the calls are the calls. If we play man-to-man, a lot of times the corner has his option whether to press him or not, but we always are aware of down-and-distance. We work very hard at down-and-distance, knowing the down-and-distance and studying the concepts that the opposing offense likes to run on those down-and-distances. Whether you're off on third-and-five, you can still play off and set your feet. You don't have to backpedal like crazy. A lot of people do that. If you're bump-and-run, you can press bail. There are a lot of different techniques you can use as a corner. Experienced corners like Chris, he uses a lot of them. Just yesterday we got caught on a third-and-three and I think they caught a four-yard hitch in front of him. It's uncharacteristic, but it doesn't happen very often to Chris that's for sure."

On the progress of the special teams unit:

"Yeah, I think they're doing well. They're working hard. It's good to see some production. We've had two kickoff returns now, a blocked punt for a touchdown and they're doing well. They're some things we can improve on, but for the most part our kicker [Dustin Hopkins] is doing well, Tress Way had a good day yesterday. So we've just got to keep working. You know special teams is going to be a pivotal part of our game in these close games coming up the next six weeks. We have four division games. Obviously the [New York] Giants and the [Dallas] Cowboys back-to-back, and special teams are going to play a pivotal role in these close games."

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