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Quotes: Jay Gruden (5.10.14)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On if the team accomplished what they wanted in this year's draft:

"Yeah, I think we did. We addressed some positions that we needed to address with depth and some good solid character guys and some good solid football players. We're happy with where we ended with the draft; we got some good draft picks. Moving forward with this football team, we feel like we have good, strong competition at every spot and we'll add some free agents also and fill out our 90-man roster and go from there."

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On if there is one player in particular he is anxious to see:

"Obviously, Lache Seastrunk is an interesting guy because of his speed. He was sitting there later on in the draft, I think he was in the sixth round, and we had him ranked a little bit higher than that and obviously [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] knows him very well, and so we know a little bit about him. So he's an interesting guy, I want to see him compete. The only weird thing about him is he didn't catch any balls at Baylor, but they just don't throw to their backs. We feel like he can catch the ball good enough."

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On RB Lache Seastrunk's ability to catch the ball:

"We saw him at the pro days, obviously, and at the combine. He caught the ball fine and obviously Robert knows him and we did our work on him. It works out what he brings. Obviously, all the draft picks that we pick we feel like will come into camp and compete at their position, but also at special teams, which obviously is something that we need to fix. Bashaud Breeland, for instance, is a heck of a corner, very technically sound, but also we think he's going to be a very good special teams football player."

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On the linebacker and safety positions:

"After the three-day camp that we had, we felt really good about our linebacker position with Keenan Robinson coming back, he did well. And we obviously got Adam Hayward and the other linebackers we signed, Akeem Jordan did well, Sharp [Darryl Sharpton] did good too, so we feel good about that position. [Tom] Compton did well also. At safety, signing Ryan Clark, getting [Brandon] Meriweather back is good and we also have Phillip Thomas coming back from the injury, which we feel good about his progression."

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On what he liked about K Zach Hocker in the seventh round:

"[I] liked strength – very good. He's a very productive kicker at Arkansas. His kickoffs, I think he was ranked ninth or 10th in the nation as far as touchbacks, which is excellent. He was a productive kicker, obviously, all throughout college. He'll come in and compete for the kicking spot, obviously."

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On the dynamic of this year's draft process:

"It was great. [Director of Player Personnel] Scott Campbell did a great job, [Executive Vice President/General Manager] Bruce Allen, the rest of the scouting department, area scouts did a phenomenal job with our write ups and the organization of it all was very smooth and the rankings kind of fell into place. We didn't have to reach for a lot of guys, so we feel good about the process, the way it went. It was a heck of a deal."

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On if he felt a twinge at not taking a defensive lineman in the draft:

"A little bit. I think we'll hopefully address that tonight in free agency with some of these college free agents, but we do have a number of guys that have played. We signed Kedric Golston as a free agent. We obviously signed Jason Hatcher as a free agent. We re-signed Chris Baker, so we have some guys here in place already, [Barry] Cofield [is] coming back, so we have a lot of defensive line but we could use a couple more for training camp.

On the similarities between Seastrunk and Cincinnati RB Giovanni Bernard:

"Well, Gio had a lot more experience out of the backfield catching the ball, you know what I mean? So this guy's kind of a… If there's a reach about him, it's projecting him to be a third down guy who's catching the ball. What we're envisioning for him early on is not so much a third down guy but a guy that can spell [running back] Alfred [Morris] and hit the home run. He's got the breakaway speed and hopefully in time he will be able develop into a pass blocker/receiver."

On if he feels better coming into this year from the record of last year:

"Well, there's no question about it. I think with what Bruce and we did in the free agency, I think really helped jumpstart us and put us in a great position for the draft where we weren't drafting for need like I said were yesterday. I think with what the guys we added in the draft and the free agency, I see us being competitive in every single game that we play. We're really excited – champing at the bit to get into training camp and get started. We had a great three-day minicamp. The energy level was outstanding, the tempo. I think everybody's feeling pretty good right now. We just got to carry that over into our OTAs and then into training camp, and obviously into preseason games. From a talent standpoint, I don't think anybody can question that we have significantly upgraded our football team."

On if he envisions bringing in kickoff specialists:

"That's not out of the question, no. We'll see in training camp if Kai [Forbath] needs to kickoff better. That's a fact that he's obviously a very good field goal kicker, which is important. We have a lot of respect for his talent as a kicker, but we also feel like we needed to bring in another kicker in here and compete and look at for the kickoff specialist type thing and compete with Kai. Every other position on the football team has competition and the kicker should be no different."

On what jumped out at him about WR Ryan Grant:

"He's great hands catcher. He's a good route runner. He can play inside and outside. We're surprised that he was there. We had a little bit higher of a grade on him, obviously, and he was sitting there and we took him. We were impressed with him at the combine interview we had with him and his production at Tulane has been excellent, and like I said, his flexibility as far as where to line up. He knows the position. He knows the passing game concepts. He had a very sophisticated offense at Tulane and we feel like he's going to come in and compete right away."

On where he feels CB Bashaud Breeland would be if he finished his senior year:

"Well, that's a projection, but we felt like he was… I think the coaches we talked with today felt like he'd be late first, second round pick. I heard today…I think [analyst] Mike Mayock said he was projected first rounder if he stayed another year. We are very excited about that pick up, not only for special teams but we feel like he's a technician at corner. We knocked him down to our rounds because he probably didn't run the greatest 40 time at combine, but he's a heck of a football player and I like guys that are physical tackling machines and that's what he is."

On the development timeline he envisions for Breeland:

"He's going to come down here and compete, but we feel great about him. Obviously, D-Hall [cornerback DeAngelo Hall] and [David] Amerson had a great three days and we've got [Tracy] Porter coming off the injury, but he's going to come in here and compete. We have some other corners in-house that will be in good competition. For him to come in here, the way  he plays and the style he plays really fits what any defense does because he's physical. He can tackle and, obviously, he can play press with the best of them."

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On Breeland's versatility as a safety:

"Yeah, that's something else that came up. The coaches at Clemson said that he's a possible safety. Also, you know he can play safety. He has played safety, so you know we talk about position flexibility all the time, and that's another thing that drew us to him. Not only corner, [he can play] safety [and] special teams. You will find use for him because he's such a good football player and he's physical."

On if he would use two roster spots for kickers:

"Obviously you prefer not to, but that is a possibility and we will see how it goes in training camp and see how they compete and we will go from there. You know, that is to be determined."

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On if there were any discussions about drafting LB Michael Sam:

"We drafted Trent Murphy, obviously. We still have Brandon Jenkins here and Rob Jackson here at that spot, so we feel pretty good about that spot. [Adrian] Robinson came on and had a good three days also so we have some guys at that spot that we feel good about."

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On if there was any back and forth about drafting a kicker:

"No question, and we got that extra pick in the seventh round and we had the extra pick and we felt good about the players that we drafted and we were wanting to bring in a kicker to training camp to compete with Kai. And instead of getting into the bidding process with every team come free agency, we thought we'd just go ahead and take one, the pick of the litter, so to speak. Coach [Ben] Kotwica did a lot of research on all the kickers and Zach is the one he wanted."

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On his analysis of TE Ted Bolser:

"He is a solid tight end, got good hands. He's played outside, he's played fullback, he has played tight end in the core. He has been very productive at Indiana. Obviously I think he is the leading tight end in the history of Indiana football or right up there. So I like his position flexibility, being able move around, but really what kind of stuck out, he runs down on kickoff like a war daddy. He is a fun guy to watch running down on kicks and obviously I've mentioned special teams on here a lot. We were the 32nd ranked team in every special team category and it was a major item for us in the draft and Ted is a good special team player as well as a tight end."

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On if Bolser is a better pass catcher or blocker:

"Pass catcher, probably. He is split out a lot, I think he is probably known for his pass catching skills. Talking to their coaches, they feel like he could be an inline blocker, they just didn't do it a whole lot but they did it. He has done it. He's got good size. He is 6-foot, 5-and-a-half, 258-plus pounds. So he has got the frame to do it. We just have to coach him up to do it."

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On if size at tight end makes up for lack of size at wide receiver:

"It really does. The way Jordan [Reed] can move around outside, inside, it creates mismatches for you against corners, safeties and linebackers. There is different ways to get bigger guys matched up on smaller guys, and with Jordan's flexibility and Teddy's flexibility, it will help."

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On Jordan Reed's health:

"He has been great. He's had a great OTA session. He is working out. He is in great shape, probably need to gain a little weight. I think he's thinking he is a wide receiver now. We've got to remind him he is a tight end, but he has done some great things and his health is excellent and he had a great three days of the little minicamp."

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