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Quotes: Jay Gruden (5.17.14)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On what he saw from the rookies and if he accomplished what he wanted with rookie minicamp:

"Yeah, I think we did. You know, we had a good four practices. We had two practices yesterday, two today and the big thing was to try to get these guys looks so they could showcase their skills and ability. Then, we can make a decision on them moving forward – whether to bring them to camp or sign them or what have you. So I think we got accomplished what needed to get accomplished. We got to see our draft picks for the first time and we're excited about what they did and what they bring to the team."

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On how difficult it is to evaluate a rookie's potential in just four days:

"It's a little difficult, but it is good to just give them some general information moving forward so the first time they step out on the field it's not overwhelming to them. Now is a good chance for them to learn a system – just bits and pieces of it moving forward so they have a good general knowledge of it so when they do come to training camp this experience will help them moving forward. That's all we wanted to get accomplished. We wanted to see them out on the hoof just running around playing [and] competing and then figure out where we need to go and where we need to help them improve [and] in what areas."

On the matchup between linebacker Trent Murphy and tackle Morgan Moses:

"It was good. You know, [Morgan] is a big, big tackle. Trent is a big defensive end/outside linebacker. Both of them did a nice job coming in here. We're very excited to have Trent. He is another element out of the pass rush that we very drastically need and  he did some good things coming around the corner. He's got good inside moves. He's got a good spin move. Everything we saw on tape he demonstrated out here in just four practices. He's only going to get better. The ability to move him around and do some things we can do with him defensively I think is exciting. Morgan… He's got a ways to go. He's a right tackle. He's moving over to right tackle and we're introducing him to the outside zone the way we want it, the protections the way we want it and it's going to take him some time, but we're happy with his progress. He's got a major, major upside with his size."

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On guard Spencer Long's performance in practice:

"He did a great job. From the first day to the fourth day of practice, you can see how effective he's going to be – how smart he is No 1, [and] how physical he can be. He's athletic enough to do whatever we want in the zone game. He is smart enough to pick up the blitzes and the line stunts. He's going to be competitive right away."

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On wide receiver Ryan Grant's performance:

"He plays like a 10-year veteran already. He's very smooth. He understands route concepts. He understand depths and how important they are and how to set people up… Easy in and out of breaks, effortlessly. He had a couple drops, [but he was] a little nervous I'm sure. Very, very excited to have Ryan [with] that ability, and like I said, when we drafted him, the ability to be able move him around outside and inside I think is a huge benefit for us and him. He's going to be a very good football player."

On if there were any surprises in kicker Zach Hocker's performance:

"No, he is everything we expected. He's a very good kicker – very good college kicker. The rookie kickers in the NFL, not many of them have had a lot of success but we have high hopes for him. He is going to come in here and compete. We have a good field-goal kicker here [in Kai Forbath], but the ability he has with that strong leg is an added dimension for kick-offs, and touchbacks are very, very important. We will see moving forward. We're going to have competition, like I said, at every position and kicker is no different, so we will see how things go and how things transpire in the preseason, how he handles the pressure and only time will tell in that regard."

On if any undrafted players stood out to him:

"There has been a few and we're going to go over them right now. We're not going to name names right now – who we're going to sign, who we're not going to sign – but these guys came out here, we didn't know a lot about them, like you said, and we threw a lot of things at them. We want to see how they can handle, not only what they can do at their skill level but what they can do mentally as far as what they can handle. And I think for the most part they came here and competed. Hats off to every one of those guys. We love coaching guys like that. They came out here, practiced hard, played hard, were attentive in meetings and did everything they could do to try to get their foot in the door. How many of them will get their foot in the door, we'll decide that here in the next couple weeks."

On if any of the college free agents stood out to him:

"Oh yeah, there's a few of them that jumped out. I don't want to single anybody out right now. We're just going to try and get to our 90-man roster moving forward to training camp, but there's definitely some skill that's going to come in here and compete with the rest of our guys that are here already."

On the difficulty of getting rookies up to speed because of the draft being pushed back:

"Yeah, that is an issue and that's a negative of moving it back. There's no doubt about it. Some teams didn't even have this rookie camp. They're just right into phase two and they'll go into OTAs in the next couple weeks. But we wanted to have a rookie camp so we could see our draft picks and we could bring in some undrafted guys and let them compete and hopefully find a sleeper or two that we didn't know about  to come in and compete for the roster. But there is concern, but part of the reason we drafted who we drafted, we drafted smart guys. We try to draft smart guys that are football smart and played in good systems and hopefully they'll be able to learn fast. But, earlier, what we did in free agency, we're not necessarily having to draft guys that come in and play 70 snaps a game right away. They can come in and be a backup and play situationally and then learn and learn and develop, and that's the beauty of what we did in the free agent market this year. So they're going to come in and compete, and how much they can handle will be determined after training camp and preseason."

On cornerback Bashaud Breeland's aggressiveness:

"Well, as an offensive coach, we think its holding/interference, but as a defensive coach, that's a hell of a job – he's physical. So there is a fine line there, and we're going to have referees out here throughout  training camp and they're going to police it and we'll continue to coach him up. But when he's at the line of scrimmage, one of his strengths is playing bump and run. He's got the long arms. He's very physical. That's his strength. We've just got to make sure he just watches the holding and all that, but I'm very impressed with the way he handled the mental aspect of the game, the coverages and also the physical obviously with his technique."

On Tracy Porter's injury:

"He just had surgery after the season. He's just recovering. He's going to be fine for training camp. It's just a thing that happened after the Raiders season. He had, I think, a shoulder surgery – a torn labrum, I believe. He'll talk to [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess] about it, but it's a minor deal. He's recovering. He'll be fully recovered by training camp."

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On if Porter is practicing:

"Not participating right now. He is in the training room working out with Larry right now, doing all those things. And he can run."

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On if Trent Murphy is better with his hand down or standing up:

"I've seen him just out here for four practices and [with] what I saw on college tape, he's effective both standing up and with his hand down. You don't lead the nation in sacks unless you're versatile in what you do and how you line up and how you rush. You know, the knock on him is maybe he's not the greatest athlete, but I see a guy who, as far as the defensive end and outside backers are concerned, ran as good or even better short shuttle as anybody. The long shuttle he ran as good or even better as everybody else. He's great off the snap and if you have quickness off the snap and you have great length, you make up for a lot of your speed deficiency so to speak. He's got a wide variety of moves and Coach [Brian] Baker's only going to make him better and better. He's got a long way to go, obviously, but we're excited to work with a guy that's 6-foot-5-and-a-half and with room to get bigger and stronger and has the arsenal of moves that he has. He can countermove. He doesn't predetermine his moves when he rushes. He's got a good spin move, he's got an inside move, he's got an outside. He uses his hands, he can get down – works his leverage. He's got all the skill you want already, now it's just a matter of keep developing, keep working on his get-offs and just keep developing him. We're happy with that pick, there's no doubt"

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On Lache Seastrunk learning pass catching:

"Well, Lache… It's brand new to him. No knock against Baylor. Baylor has one of the greatest offenses in college football, but they didn't do anything as far as protections and routing running. He didn't catch any balls, like I said, so the major reach for him was going to be picking up blitzes and running routes out of the back field. It's brand new to him. It's no knock on him. It might just take him a little bit more time, but he'll get it. Coach [Randy] Jordan is going to get after him quite a lot and it's going to take him some time and it's not going to happen overnight with Lache. He's got a long way to go, but he'll get there. He's 22, 23 years old. Some of these guys coming out of college, when they have to see all the different fronts, all the different blitzes and all the different  coverages and all the routes and all the protections, it's a lot to handle for a young kid and it's going to take him some time."

On his approach to being a head coach at practice:

"I have always been, I don't know what my approach is, I just try to be myself out there. I try to have some fun. I want to make sure the energy level is high out there and guys are enjoying what they're doing. But in the meantime, we have got to stay on them and make sure they're disciplined and not jumping offsides and running to the ball on defense and offensively finishing blocks and finishing runs and running the routes at the right depth. There's a lot of coaching going on in there – doesn't mean I have to be a hard-ass on every snap and yelling at people. I like to have fun, keep things loose and just coach the game of football that we all love to play and coach. I wanted them to have fun when they come out here but also want to be very competitive and do their work."

On he learned from his first rookie minicamp:

"Everybody's different and I've already known that. Coaching different people and different positions, you have to handle it differently. Some guys learn visually, some guys learn out on the field, some guys need to visually see it on the film, and that's just more of the reason why we hired such a good staff. I have to understand that each day I don't ever want to put  this on myself, this is about us an organization, as a staff, working together and making sure we stay organized and on top of everybody and coach everybody equally. Overall, what I've learned is just the short time I've been here, just what great fan support we have and what it means to be a Redskin. It's very important to a lot of people and we have a lot to live up to, no question."

On what he looks for from tryout players:

"We saw a lot of good things from a lot of different people. Unfortunately we only have 90 guys that we can bring to camp. These guys did the best they could and that's all we could ask for. Come out here, play hard, showcase your skill to the best of your abilities and after that, that's all you can do. Try to do the best you can. The spots are very limited in the National Football League. It's very, very difficult to make an NFL roster. I don't think anybody really understands how fortunate people are when they do make a roster and when you see guys like this there are 10, 15, 20 guys I'd love to pull from here to bring training camp, we just don't have the spots. I was very impressed with the way these guys came in and played, and unfortunately we only have 90 spots, but hopefully they get on somewhere else."

On his brother Jon calling Jay the better coach:

"He's won a Super Bowl right? He's a little better [laughter]."

On wide receiver Cody Hoffman:

"Cody's a good-sized kid and that's one thing in our receiving corps, you like those guys – we have a couple of guys that are 6-2, 6-3, he's 6-3-and-a-half, I think. He's a very smooth route runner with great natural hands and can pluck it. He doesn't have the great vertical speed. You'd love to be a guy that's 6-foot-3 and runs a 4.3 40, but he's 6-foot-3, but he doesn't run the 4.3. But he's got good natural hands. He'll come into training camp and compete with the rest of the guys. Special teams will be important for him as far as making the roster. We'll see how he does in that area of the game, but we're happy with what we saw from Cody and a lot of the other receivers also."

On learning how to delegate more as a head coach:

"I've always tried to delegate. Even when I was a coordinator, I tried to let the line coach the line and the running backs coach and the receivers coach, and I try to delegate responsibilities of certain areas of the game and that's no different here. Coach [Jim] Haslett's going to have a major responsibility on defense, obviously. Coach [Ben] Kotwica, I'm never going to overstep my boundaries with Coach Kotwica [laughter]. Hell, he intimates me, I'm going to leave him alone. And of course our line coach [Chris Foerster] does a great job, Sean [McVay] does a great job. That's the whole thing – you've got to have faith in the people around you, and I do. I feel like I've hired a great staff. Scouting staff, everybody up here, we have a good foundation right here and moving forward I feel confident about everybody's ability to coach and to play."

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On the rookies' biggest adjustment:
"Probably the learning. I told somebody it's like these poor guys, we've got two or three days they're trying to learn a brand new language and they're not going to be able to move to a different country and speak it fluently, you know what I mean? So they've just got to learn bits and pieces and try to master what we're teaching them. They're trying to learn everything and that's the hardest thing to translate mentally into out on the field and playing fast. They've got to break the huddle and they've got to know exactly their split, their route, the concept, the depth of the route, everything. Protection for the offensive line. Defensive line, am I a four-eye? Am I a three? Am I slanting inside? Am I looping? Is it a Rip call? Is it a Liz call? Is it Cover-3? Cover-4? Cover-2 Buster? There's a lot of these guys and it's a little bit overwhelming for them, and then we say, 'Play fast. OK, let's go! Break.' And then they have about 18 seconds to decipher the front. They have to decipher the coverage. On offense and defensively, they've got to see the formation. They've got to see the back. They've got to see the quarterback, read run or pass, so I think all that is a major adjustment with coaches in their ear barking at them all the time. And then the tempo of it is also obviously different. But for the most part, I think hats off to our coaches for getting it done so we looked halfway organized out there and hats off to our players for coming in and learning and battling, both mentally and physically."

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