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Quotes: Jay Gruden (12.17.14)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"[Jason] Hatcher, knee. did not participate. [Gabe] Miller, ankle, did not participate. Trent Williams, shoulder, did not participate. Limited was [Brandon] Meriweather with his toe and Keenan Robinson with his knee. Full was [Kory] Lichtensteiger with his knee, [Will] Compton with his shoulder, [Chris] Baker with his chest and toe, and [Roy] Helu with his toe."

On tight end Jordan Reed:

"He I think was having his first baby today. Congratulations to Jordan."

On if defensive end Jason Hatcher will participate this week:

"I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see. It's given him some problems here, and we're trying to do everything we can to speed up the process. He can only do what he can do. We're just trying to get him right for this week or maybe next week. Only time will tell with that."

On how to correct a player's tendency to draw penalties:

"Oh, we haven't had really the same guy do it over and over again. [Bashaud] Breeland had a couple in the game that were debatable early – the PI (pass interference), even the personal foul. Both of them were jawing and I don't know why they picked on Bashaud. Overall it's a combination of a lot of guys. It's a lot of focus that just goes on during the course of the game. Sometimes it's a tight end, sometimes a tackle, sometimes it's a defensive end, sometimes it's a nose guard – whatever. It's just something we have to continue coach and preach of how accountability and dependability is very important. Penalties are a major issue with us this year – special teams, offense, defense, all of them. We have done the best we can as far as helping them understand the importance of self-inflicted wounds, but sometimes they happen and unfortunately happen more often than not last week. But the same guy hasn't really been doing them as far as I'm concerned."

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On Senior Executive A.J. Smith:

"I had lunch with him just now. Personnel and all that stuff, we're going to finish the season out with the players we have and get them coached up, then evaluate everybody after the season. Then we'll go into the draft process obviously and free agency, and all that will come later. Right now, it's more about the players that we have, coaching the guys that we have and trying to get them to finish strong and finish on a high note. Then, all the evaluation process with Bruce [Allen] and A.J., that'll happen when the season is over."

On if he has players on whom he can depend moving forward:

"I think so. I think our core nucleus of guys we have here is pretty competitive, really. We haven't produced very well, obviously. That's an issue that we have to deal with as a staff, getting the most out of our players. The players that are here right now, they have all shown promise of being good, solid core NFL football  players. We just have got to get more out of them. I think they are working hard. A lot of guys have stepped up in a situation they were not expected to step up in with the injuries. But, some of them have produced, some of them need to do better. But, overall, I think there's a group of guys in here that are very good for the future."

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On how to game plan for rematches:

"There's a fine line in that. They've changed up some of their defensive schemes also, a little bit. It's a matter of doing what we do and what Robert [Griffin III] is comfortable with, what our offense is comfortable with and trying to attack what they do. Some of it will be what we did against them last time, some of it will be what we've infused in our offense in the last few weeks. It's a combination of things. The big thing is getting our guys comfortable and doing what we know how to do and playing good, sound football."

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On wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson:

"They're great competitors. They want to help this football team in the worst way. When they don't feel like their number's called, obviously they feel like they're underutilized. Both of them are great players. We want to try and get them the ball as much as possible. Sometimes you do, sometimes it just doesn't work out that way based on pressure, coverage or what have you. We're going to continue to call the game that we think is the best for everybody involved and hopefully they'll all get involved. Running game, you want to get involved, you want to get the tight ends involved, you want to get the backs involved in the passing game, and obviously you want to try to get your best players the ball and they are two of our best. So, we've got to do a good job in trying to get them more balls."

On pass protection and the progression of the offensive line:

"We've all had our issues offensively. Obviously, a production standpoint, we scored six against Houston, we got shutout against St. Louis, we didn't do very well against Tampa, we only scored 13 against the Giants. We've had some issues and a lot of people want to pin it on the line, some people want to pin it on the quarterback, the offensive coordinator, the head coach, whatever. But it's a combination of things, but the big thing for the offensive line; you know we've put them in some tough situations along with the quarterbacks being behind in the sticks, third down and longs and then of course being behind in games in the fourth quarter where these quality pass rushers on other teams get a chance to tee off and run every stunt known to man and we have to take five- and seven-step drops and read concepts out and it's hard trying to catch up. So I think they have competed. I think the line has done some good things. I think too much of the blame goes on the offensive line. I think we're all in this together. But, overall, I think Kory Lichtensteiger's had a solid year, I think Chris Chester  has played very well at right guard, I think Trent [Williams] is Trent, he has had some injury issues and [Shawn] Lauvao's done some good things at left guard and of course we have been battling at right tackle. [Tom] Compton's showing some improvement as the season goes on and then Spencer [Long] in practice is getting quality work and I think he is ready to go and [Josh] LeRibeus when he played did some decent things. You know, when you look at the course of a game, you break them down and you grade them, 'He's 82 percent. He's 86 percent.' It's the plays that they don't grade out well that really become glaring, but overall as a unit they've done some good things, I think."

On how quarterback Robert Griffin III can show progress in the next two weeks:

"I just want Robert to go out there and play, and one thing about Robert, I know he's going to give it his best shot; really as a coach, that's all you want. We'll do all the coaching after the game and during the game and try to put him in great situations, but Robert just needs to go out there and play and do as best he can, which I know he will and that will be good enough I think. All the coaching and teaching will take place afterwards but if everybody gives us their best shot then I think we will have good chance on Saturday."

On if cornerback Bashaud Breeland's breathing issues will be less of a concern moving forward:

"Yeah, we hope so. I think that now that we know what type of issue it is, I think it has a bigger impact when it was a little bit colder outside and the colder it gets maybe we have to take more of a precautionary measure with breathing machines and all that stuff to make sure he is OK and have his… inhaler out there for him ready to go. And now that we know the issues, I think he will be better prepared because of it."

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On how hard it is to maintain cohesion on offense with changes at quarterback:

"It's difficult, you know? You have – timing is very, very important. Timing and precision is very important in any offense and when you change quarterbacks – even as little as the snap count, you know that's important. Everybody is different with the snap count. We try to keep everybody the same but that's different. Ball-handling is different with all three guys. So cohesion is very important. You'd love to have one guy there all the time. Unfortunately we haven't had that luxury. The good thing is that Robert has taken the bulk of the snaps in training camp and OTAs and he's played a lot of football with these guys before, so I feel pretty good about it. But you know DeSean [Jackson] just got here and Andre Roberts just got here, so there are some new targets that he's still working through and they're working through together as far as timing and accuracy goes, but that comes with time."

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On what he has learned as a coach while working through those changes:

"Every quarterback is different and every system is different. You try to cater to the players that you have but you also try to attack defenses the best way you can with the system in place. So I think the big thing is just for me getting to know these three quarterbacks, it's been great for me to see all three quarterbacks play and get to know them and see what their strengths and weaknesses are and try to work through the weaknesses and try to cater to their strengths, that's the big thing that I am trying to work on now. Bu I think all three of them have shown promise, it's just a matter of me calling plays that are conducive to their strengths and try to do a better job of protecting them."

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:

"I think he's got to be reckoned with every week. I know that when teams play us, I think he is probably the first guy they think of as far as rushing the passer. You know, he is a guy that is relentless with his approach to every pass rush and 12-and-a-half is a great number. I think he can get more, and hopefully he'll finish up strong and be recognized as one of the top pass rushers in the league. And he's doing it right now with a young guy on the other side and without Jason Hatcher, so he really stepped up his game. He is a great kid, great player and great competitor and he's one of those guys that just fits in a great core of guys that we'd like to have here for a long time."

On if he has any concerns about the outside perception of his relationship with Griffin III:

"You know what, I don't have much of a concern really. I know that no matter what I say about Robert, it's going to get twisted one way or the other. If I say he is doing great, it's going to be I am too easy on him. If I say he needs to work harder, it means I said he's lazy. If I said he needs to work on his fundamentals, it means I don't like him. I've got a ton of respect for Robert, man, and for what he goes through at the quarterback position, what he has already accomplished as a young quarterback and what he is going to accomplish in the future. How we coach them in here is how we coach him, but we can't let the outside world affect what we do in here. And the whole idea of coach/player relationship is to get better every day and work on our game, work on what I do, work on what I can do to make him better and that's the bottom line that's all we can do, that's all we want to do."

On how tough it is to evaluate the defense because of the frequent change in personnel:

"Yeah, it's tough, but we have to expect guys to be ready and if there's a chance for somebody to play, then we have got to make sure they are ready to go and know exactly what to do and how to do it. You know, that's just part of the deal, man. A lot of teams are going through it. Injuries happen and guys come in off practice squads, guys come in off the streets and have to come in on a short period of time and learn a lot of information in a short period of time. But we have got to do a good job as coaches to make sure these players are comfortable when they do have to go in and that's just part of the business, man. That's why it's not easy coaching."

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