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Quotes: Jay Gruden 12-10-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Injuries last night, Jordan Reed has a great toe/muscle strain; [Shaun] Dion Hamilton, Shaun has a shoulder sprain contusion and [Josh] Doctson is in concussion protocol."

On when WR Josh Doctson got injured:

"I don't know. He checked in this morning with symptoms and we're just checking them out."

On if TE Jordan Reed's injury is a new injury:

"Yeah, all that's safe. This is a new one."

On the level of concern with Reed playing:

"Yeah, there's a level of concern. It's a pretty good strain on your toe, big toe. Obviously with the amount of cutting he does, we'll see if it's one week, two weeks or the rest of the year. We're not sure yet."

On when Reed got injured:

"I think he hurt it on the first throw. It was a little bit high and then he came down on it, landed on it and the guy stepped on him I believe."

On if LB Zach Brown will start vs Jacksonville:

"Yeah, we'll see. I think we need a good week of practice from him. He missed a couple days last week and we had him in the sub package. Then when Shaun Dion [Hamilton] went down, he played a lot. It's a decent group. We just have to get more out of them."

On if Brown not starting was performance-related or related to him missing practice:

"He missed. Shaun Dion [Hamilton] took the reps and was ready to go."

On if there is a lack of trust with Brown:

"No, we had him up and like I said, in the sub package. We were just going to start Shaun Dion [Hamilton] in base just to get it started. Then as the game went on, we were going to see how Shaun Dion did and then move on from there."

On the defensive struggles:

"Well, we're trying to put our finger on it and we're trying to put guys in the right spots. At the end of the day, it's about getting off blocks, it's about pursuit angles, it's about tackling. We did a good job of that for some of the time, but the glaring plays were the long runs. He [Giants RB Saquon Barkley] had an 80-yard run I believe, a 50-yard run and another 30-yard run. Those things we just got out of gaps and then we took poor angles at the second level. He's a great back without a doubt, but we made it easy on him on a couple of those long runs for sure."

On if the defense is fatigued:

"I don't think so. I think the young guys are holding up pretty good on the inside. I think [Daron] Payne had a very good game and Jonathan Allen held up on the inside. On the outside, [Ryan] Kerrigan and Preston [Smith] did what they could. Then the linebackers, we just for whatever reason, I think it's a combination really. I've said it many, many times in the run game on defense, it's such a gap controlled game that if one guy gets out of the gap or one guy misses the tackle, it's a big play potentially, especially against a good back like Saquon [Barkley]. He made us pay a couple times with some good cut backs and some missed tackles."

On the penalties:

"Yeah, I mean throw a flag, there's a couple of them that I have really major questions on. At the end of the day, it's kind of like that every week. You could probably watch the film and go back and rewind it ten times and you'd find a holding call on every play or not a holding call on any play that they called, so no matter how you look at it I guess. It is an issue that has haunted us all year. We lead the league in penalties and it continues to get worse. I think when you have a league lead in penalties, I think it alerts the referees before the game and they might watch us a little more closely, I told our guys today. With that being said, obviously, we have to do a better job of getting our hands out and get our hands off the facemask. But, 14 penalties to two penalties, a little odd but we have to deal with it and we have to overcome them."

On the mental space of the players:

"Well, mental space is very important. We have to get in the right frame of mind. We can't lose any confidence, but we have to understand we've got to work. We have to work harder than our opponent. We have to practice harder, we have to be up on our fundamentals, we have to be up on our assignments, we have to be focused in on every play. When you're playing against very talented players on the other side of the field, no matter who you play, they're going to have players that if you lack in focus for one snap, it's going to cost you. We played good. I can put a highlight reel together of the last four weeks on defense where we looked pretty darn good, but I can put a highlight reel together that looks pretty poor. Obviously, we have to get rid of those poor plays, those big plays that are killing us. Offensively, we have to find a way to make some big plays, not until the end of the game when we finally manufacture some chunk yards. Chunk yards is a huge part of pro football, something we have to avoid on defense, something we have to get to on offense."

On how he measures QB Josh Johnson's performance relative to the deficit when he entered:

"Well, I think they were playing the same coverage. They didn't change up their game plan when Josh came in. I think Josh came in and provided a spark with his legs a little bit, avoided some pressure, moved around, got to the second, third progressions on a few throws, despite just getting here. So, I was impressed with his poise mostly and his ability to maneuver in the pocket with the offensive line in flux the way that it is, new right guard, Ty [Nsekhe] playing left guard for the first time, Chase [Roullier] coming off the injury. We had some push up the middle, so I thought it was necessary to try and get somebody who can move around a little bit better and Josh did that. He's always been a guy in the pocket who is pretty dangerous when he moves around, gets outside and he was familiar with the system and handled [it]. For the most part, he did a pretty good job with the snap count and formations and plays, so I think there is an upside there that we can build off of."

On why it's been hard for Johnson to stick with a quarterback job:

"Yeah, you know when you watch Josh play, he can be hot and cold throwing the ball. He can throw a great ball and then throw one in the dirt then throw a great ball. The consistency probably is what people see. Now his age, he's a little bit older, guys want to go younger, try and go younger, try to get a younger guy in here. But, he's been on 11 or 12 teams. You can look at it as a negative or you look at it as a positive that he does have a skill set that's intriguing and when he gets an opportunity, like he did yesterday, he does pretty well. So, he'll get another big one on Sunday."

On his evaluation of S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix:

"Yeah, Ha Ha has done some good things without a doubt. There's some things that we've got to clean up for sure, but like I said before, I like his professionalism, I like the way he works and I like the way he plays consistently. Overall, I think everybody on defense, I think there is a play or two they wish they had back without a doubt, there's a play call we wish we had back – a couple of them, but it's something that we've got to get our guys to play fast and play furious and understand where they're supposed to be and how they're supposed to get there."

On if Clinton-Dix has made the impact he envisioned when trading for him:

"I think he's finding his way, really. Getting to know the guys, getting to know the scheme a little bit. It's not easy, but he's a veteran guy and understands different core concepts and coverages, but a lot of the things we do, we have different checks here and there and it's just something where we get the communication right with D.J. [Swearinger Sr.]. D.J. has had to do some different things, being down in the box a little bit more. I think just from a communication issue, it's getting better and better but it needs to get a lot better next week."

On if he considers switching Clinton-Dix with S Montae Nicholson:

"Yeah, we have to look at Montae again. I think nobody gave up on Montae, we traded for a good player, a Pro-Bowl type player in Ha Ha and we wanted to give him every opportunity to come in and play. It wasn't that we were down on Montae at all, we just needed depth at that position, got him in here and we liked what we saw, so we put him out there early. But, Montae does have a chance to play in the next three weeks quite a bit if we choose to that route because he is a good player with great speed."

On if there is a specific technique that is forcing penalties on the offensive line:

"You know, I don't think it's a technique we're teaching that's getting called. We're getting called all different kinds of ways. We get called on the wrap-around every once in a while, we get called on the takedown, we get called on hands to the face. We got called on something, I watched the play back 30 times and was trying to figure out which player held and still don't know. I think they called it on our right guard and I don't know what he did. But, I don't know, we just have to get it cleaned up, whatever it is."

On if he can confirm reports on QB Alex Smith:

"I cannot confirm anything right now. I told you I was going to be hush-hush on this deal until Alex was ready to talk about it."

On if OL Tony Bergstrom could possibly play this week:

"He was in his boot, boot, boot yesterday. I think he took the boot off today, walked around a little bit. Probably will be a long shot to get him ready this week and hopefully he'll be back next week."