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Quotes: Jay Gruden (7.24.14)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On having to adjust the schedule on the first day:

"Yeah, it's rough, but we're going to go inside to the convention center for the walkthrough. Expecting a big rainstorm here, maybe some lightning. Being that it's just a walkthrough, I think we can get enough done."

On if he had to adjust the morning practice because of the weather:

"No, we were real fortunate. Other than the wet ball drill – you know, dropping some balls and fumbling a couple snaps – we were able to get all the reps in, so we had a lot of learning that we could get accomplished on tape. So we were very fortunate to get every play in."

On what he would like cornerback DeAngelo Hall to do as he steps into a larger leadership role:

"Well, he's one of the veterans we're going to count on, one of the backbones of this defense. He's been here for a long time. He knows what good defense is all about and he's going to lead by example like he has. I thought last year he had a fine year tackling and covering. He's just got to carry that over. People respect DeAngelo Hall around the league. I know coming from another team I had a lot of respect for him as a player. With that respect I think will carry over into him being a leader."

On what he heard about Hall's reputation and if he was surprised by Hall when he began working with him:

"I did hear about DeAngelo Hall a little bit, some of the reputation, some of the things that happened, the attitude that he has. But as a cornerback, you kind of want some of that attitude, that cockiness, that confident air about you as long as it doesn't affect your play. He's proven the last few years that it doesn't affect his play and I think he's calmed down a little bit. He knows what being a pro is all about. He knows that he's got to take care of his body, take care of himself off the field if he wants to play a longer career. He's done everything in the right way in the last few years. He's done everything the right way in OTAs. He's been to every OTA except for one or two – he had to go home. So we're happy where DeAngelo is. We're happy with his leadership role and his accountability right now."

On how much wide receiver DeSean Jackson can challenge the secondary and make them better:

"We're hoping that this defense is going to make this offense better and our offense is going to make our defense better… Obviously the speed we have with DeSean and obviously the ability that Pierre [Garçon] has at receiver – Andre Roberts did some great things today already, Aldrick Robinson can run, you know we have Ryan Grant we drafted, and he have another four or five receivers that are competing and making these guys work. Down-the-field throws, short throws, runs after catches – that's what it's all about, [what] training camp is all about. It's about offense making the defense better, defense making the offense better and so on and so forth."

On the performance of the rookies after a break:

"I thought they did OK. We had a few mentals here and there, but that's to be expected on Day 1. Wasn't as crisp as I would like with the tempo and all that stuff. I thought overall after watching the tape, when I initially felt it out here watching practice I was a little disappointed in the whole thing, but when I went back and watched it on tape, there were some good things that everybody did. Obviously some things we need to improve on, and I'll say that after every practice that we need to improve on certain things. But the rookies did a fine job with the reps they had. We've just got to continue to harp – you know, some of these guys aren't going to get many reps. And when they do get a rep, they've got to take advantage of it and show up. That's what they have to do in order to catch our eye and make this football team."

On how much he uses the battle between the offense and defense as a measuring stick:

"We put a lot of emphasis on it. We had some struggles today in the running game and some protection and we dropped some balls and missed some throws. We had a couple big plays out there, some good things that we did on offense also. Running the football against this defense with these guys in here, it's difficult. But we still have to keep pounding the rock and get more physical and keep coaching them up. We didn't expect to come out here and score a touchdown every play. I wouldn't be very happy with that either. I am happy with the effort. I'm happy with the way our defense was in their gaps and played sound football. And, you know, they still have to tackle. Sometimes in these drills you don't get to see Alfred Morris breaking a tackle or Andre Roberts breaking a tackle after the catch, you know what I mean? I thought overall for the first day the guys did a good job."

On the performance of quarterback Robert Griffin III this morning:

"It was a little erratic. I think the wet balls – the balls were really wet early on. Didn't come out of his hands right a couple of times. But I think he'll be the first to tell you he needs to improve and I'll be the second to tell you he needs to improve. That's going to be the case every day, I'm sure of that."

On linebacker Trent Murphy:

"I thought Trent had a great OTA session. Trent's long and has the ability to bend, and that's very exciting. We can move him around. But, you know, he lost contain on one play today which cost us a 70-yard touchdown scramble throw, so there's some things that he has to improve on himself. But the progress that he's made from the OTAs, his strength is getting better, the knowledge of the game. He's going to work at it. He's a true football-playing grinding machine. He loves the game. He loves to play. He loves to work. He loves to study. He's just going to continue to get better."

On what he has seen from Jackson away from the field:

"I don't have anything negative to say about DeSean. Really, I think he's been a fine teammate. He's been to the OTAs, he's practiced, he's worked hard. I think the only negative I would say – if I had one – is sometimes he looks too cool for school when he runs some routes, but he is running fast. We've just got to keep working with him on his get-offs and making sure all his routes look the same. But overall, as far as teammate goes, he's very coachable and I think he wants to be here and he wants to do well."

On if he has to grade tackle Morgan Moses on a curve because he has switched sides:

"You do, you really do. When you're moving them around from the left side to right side, it's not easy for a tackle. It doesn't sound like much to us in here, but it's a totally different technique from time to time, a different stance. You do have to give him a little leeway from time to time, but he's done a good job. I think he still has a long way to go with his aiming points and some of the protections, but we love his length. We love the fact that he's in the meetings and working and studying like all the rookies are."

On the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center:

"I think it's awesome. It's everything we need. It's everything we want. We have great practice fields. They held up excellent today, despite the wet grounds. Every player has a locker in here. It's first class. The fans are right there on top of us. So we're very fortunate to have this facility and we're glad to be here."

On what someone with Jackson's effortless speed can do for an offense:

"We had a play today that he's running a little skinny post and Robert saw him running, he just floated it up there and DeSean outran it. It was 10 yards underthrown, but he couldn't tell he was running that fast. But once the ball is in the air and he takes off, he's gone. They just have to keep working together, working on their chemistry and getting to know each other and Robert needs to get to know his speed and how he runs these routes because you're right – he's dynamite. He's definitely a force to be reckoned with. You have to maybe roll over the top of him or play softer coverage and [it] opens up some underneath stuff, it opens up the running game. So having a guy like DeSean is obviously a great benefit... And Jordan Reed in the middle, yes, of course, and Pierre [Garçon] on the other side and the running game."

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