News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: Jay Gruden 8-11-2018

On reaction to RB Derrius Guice's injury:

"Well we are obviously very upset for Derrius. You know, he's put a lot of work in and had a very promising rookie season ahead of him, but unfortunately these injuries happen. He's a great kid, he's going to work hard, he'll recover and - so there's no problem there. You know, we are disappointed for Derrius. You know we had high hopes for him and what he could do for this football team and what he would accomplish in his rookie year as a person and all that good stuff. But I know that knowing him and knowing the doctors we have and the rehab that we are going to give him, provide for him, he will be 100 percent in no time."

On replacing Guice on the roster:

"Woah okay, he was sixth string on the [unofficial] depth chart, you know (laughter). We have guys in here [that can] play you know, we drafted Derrius because he's the best player we thought at the time of the Draft. We thought he could really help our football team not because we weren't satisfied with the backs we had. We thought he would be a heck of a player for us. So, with Rob [Kelley] and Samaje [Perine], and what Byron [Marshall] did the other night, the flashes he showed off and obviously Chris Thompson, Kapri Bibbs had a couple big hits. I think we are pretty good at the running back spot."

On the benefits and risks of playing four preseason games and would like to see fewer preseason games:

"Probably it could. You know, I think preseason games are still beneficial in a lot of ways, situational work, going against different people, looking at young players who don't get a lot of opportunities throughout practice. We only practice for about an hour and 45 minutes or two hours a day. That's not a lot of reps, we have individuals, special teams and all of that in there so there are going to be guys who don't get a lot of reps. So, it's a great opportunity for those guys to show what they can do and four games gives them that opportunity. So, yes there is a risk involved, but you know the way we play our starters, or our big time players are probably going to play a little bit maybe close to half the third game and maybe a series or two in the second game. So there's not that much rest just try to get them in a groove. You probably could get away with three games and a couple of inter-squad things, but it is what it is right now. Four games is what we have to deal with and we'll make it work."

On Guice's importance to the offense:

"Well, he is an explosive player, you know, he brought what we didn't really know about him because he didn't do it a lot at LSU was his hands, his catching ability, his pass blocking skills were pretty darn good. He picked up a safety blitz in the game the other night. So we were impressed with his total package, not just his running skills but we will continue to be impressed, he will be stronger when he comes back than he is now. And we'll move on with Samaje [Perine], Rob [Kelley], and Chris [Thompson], and Byron [Marshall], and Kapri [Bibbs]."

On New York Jets and WR Terrelle Pryor coming to practice:

"Yeah we'll have a meeting tonight and go over our expectations for the practice session against the Jets. I think it's going to be a great work and you know, Terrelle, you know, I think everybody had high expectations for Terrelle and then didn't work out, his injury cut his season short. I don't have any ill-will towards Terrelle. I have a lot of respect for Terrelle as a player and as a person. I'm sure that there's some Twitter battles going on, I hear it's with Zach [Brown] or whatever but, there won't be an issue."

On the value of joint-practices with the New York Jets:

"Yeah the running backs and the offensive-line, it's good for the offensive liners, young center you know, Chase [Roullier] to make some calls against different looks and go against different type of players. The Jets have a great run defense, they always have, Coach [Todd] Bowles is one of the best defensive coaches in football and you know it will be a great challenge for us. So, just to get a different look, different perspective on how they do things, different speed at linebacker, safeties are very, very good over there so, we have to account for them. I mean there's a lot of things that they do differently that we'll have to account for and it'll be interesting to see how we adjust. So, running backs, offensive linemen, tight ends in the running game, receivers in the running game. So, I think everybody will get a good-great challenge against these guys."

On if RB Chris Thompson and DL Daron Payne will play versus the New York Jets:

"Yeah, I don't know yet. We'll see how it goes this week with the Jets and practice to see where Chris is at. I think this is really a good session this bonus couple of days with the Jets will really provide us for another type game for us you know what I mean. So, we'll see where he is for the Jets. As far as Payne, Payne is going to practice today. As far as the game, I don't know yet."

On the join practice with the Jets:

"Yeah, we're going to have a more situational. Like we'll have a 9-on-7 period runs, you know, bang it up in the middle there, and then we'll have a lot of 7-on-7 periods to see different coverages. They'll see different coverages, we'll see different coverages—the quarterbacks will. Then some situational work, you know, third-down, red zone the next day, two-minute [drill] - some really good situational work. That's what it's really all about more situational-type stuff, going against different opponents than live. You know, we might do a session live with twos or threes maybe, but I'll talk to Coach Bowles about that. That's not for sure yet."

On health of DL Matt Ioannidis:

"Yeah, he's got a sprained ankle and a slight knee strain. He will be week-to-week. As far as the MRI goes I think he got one."

On Ioannidis timeline for return holding him out until regular season Week 1:

"No, I think Matt's is a tough guy he will probably get back here tomorrow; you know he's a nut job. So, I would think he'll probably be out for the Jets practices and the game. I think we will reevaluate him before whoever we play in the third game, I can't remember."

On health of WR Trey Quinn:

"Trey Quinn got checked out and he's cleared, he is OK. They checked out his vitals and he is good to go."

On if Quinn will practice today:

"We're going to see what he can do, depends on how much pain he can deal with. I don't know I haven't talked to him yet."

On teams hosting joint practices:

"Yeah, [New England Patriots] just started doing it this year. I think, for us, it just depends on if we can get someone to come down here, you know. We stay here obviously and we can't go anywhere else so, we need somebody to come here, and we were fortunate to get the Patriots the first year, and then Houston [Texans], and now the Jets came. It's not a do or die situation to make or break your season, but it is a benefit, I think, to break up the monotony of training camp to get somebody else in here and go against somebody different, instead of doing: 'ok, it's 1st-and-10 again, ok, let's go third down' you know what I mean? Against the same people, so, it's a great chance to see different looks, different fronts, different coverages and go against different people to see how they do things."

On how he selects the team for joint practices during training camp:

"Usually, once the schedule comes out, our preseason schedule, we look and see who we have our home games; and then, we try to set it up with one of those two opponents for our home games."

On the final diagnosis of Guice's injury:

"Well we knew we had an injury the doctors do all their tests on the sideline and what was said on the sideline to the doctors between us, was between us and we had a general-pretty good idea that you know this thing had to be checked out. There's – could be some damage in there and we didn't want to comment on anything until we got the results. I don't know who the - who said he had a sprain or whatever, but it didn't come from us so we had to – we like to wait until we actually do the MRI before we announce that he has a sprain or anything."

On CB Josh Holsey's return this season:

"He's on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] right now so I imagine he'll miss the first necessary what is it eight games, I think six games. So after that we can activate him off that. That could be a possibility for sure, yeah."

On differences seen by RB Semaje Perine and RB Rob Kelley:

"I've been impressed with both those guys. You know, a lot of talk has been on Derrius [Guice] and deservingly so. He's had a great camp and OTA's, but Rob Kelley has lost a little bit of weight. He looks quicker in the hole to me, and Semaje [Perine] just looks more comfortable to me. You know, he had a couple of nice hits in the game the other night, powerful, low to the ground runner. I think those guys are good backs we just got to figure out, you know, if we are going to use both of them on game day If Byron Marshall is going to be up, Chris Thompson. We have a lot of work to do before we decide who's going to be our number one back, or our feature back, or who's dressing on game day. We'll just let it play out and see what happens."

On if he takes a different approach addressing the team regarding injuries depending on the player:

"That's understood. I think a lot of people are disappointed. Derrius [Guice] is a great personality and showed flashes of, you know, what kind of special back he is gonna be-he will be. He's still gonna be that guy once he rehabs it and gets better. He'll be one hundred percent and then-some when he gets back. However, I don't think anybody's gonna blink now that he's out. Obviously, we do have that next man up mentality and that next man up or men up; we can do it by committee. Rob Kelley, Semaje [Perine]-we feel great about Semaje. [He] had a couple back to back hundred-or back to back [100] hundred yard games last year. Rob Kelley had a hundred yards at halftime against the [Los Angeles] Rams before he got injured. So, and obviously, we know what Chris Thompson is all about. So, we'll have it covered no problem, but we are disappointed."

On challenging other running backs:

"You know what, no. Those guys don't need challenging. Rob [Kelley] and Samaje [Perine] and those guys--these guys are pros and they have worked extremely hard and they are battling for the starting spot. Even when we drafted Derrius [Guice], nobody had given anybody a starting spot yet. You know, we're all competing and that will never change. They are competitive guys, they want to be great and Randy [Jordan, Running Backs Coach] is going to coach them up and then I'll decide who the guys are on game day."

On LB Shaun Dion Hamilton:

"He's a little sore, he's a little sore. He might sit out today, but I was impressed with Shaun Dion. He had a couple alignment mistakes here and there, but for the most part I like the way he's moved around and ran. I think he's going to be an excellent player for us, you know. Once he gets his legs back under him 100 percent instinctually. You know, you can see he's got the natural instincts you need at linebacker, so he's an impressive kid. He's just got to get his legs under him and that will happen soon."