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Quotes: Jay Gruden (8.26.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Corey Crawford has an Achilles strain. Akeem Davis, hamstring; Frank Kearse, shoulder. They will be held out of the game. We're checking Junior Galette for a left ankle issue. And Jordan Reed has progressed very well. He had two good days back-to-back and he looks like he is ready to go."

On what happened with LB Junior Galette:

"We're checking for ankle."

On if the injury to Galette will keep him out of the game against Baltimore on Saturday:

"Yes, big chance."

On if the added responsibility of kick returner and punt returner is too much for a rookie like WR Jamison Crowder:

"We'll see. We haven't seen him out in a game yet. We'll see if it's too big for him, but based on everything we've seen out here of him understanding the offense and the special teams role, we don't think it is. But that's something that preseason games are for, to throw some things at them and see how they react and how they handle them."

On if either QB Kirk Cousins or QB Colt McCoy has created separation for the No. 2 role:

"I said I wouldn't make that judgment until after the fourth preseason game, so it's still working. I think they're both doing some very good things. I've been impressed with both of them very much. Kirk has had two excellent preseason games. Colt, he played well in the first game and then in the second game, he did a good job, also. These next two games will be very important, but we're not only judging their performance in the games but thinking about how they did last year, their preseason, their OTAs, all that, and we'll make a final judgment."

On Cousins' interceptions last year and how he can show he's improved in that area:

"He hasn't thrown many this camp. He's improved on the turnover issue very much so through OTAs and training camp and preseason games. We're impressed with the progress that Kirk has made very much. He's done a great job."

On how difficult it is to simulate the kick and punt returns in practice:

"Every phase of the game is hard to simulate game speed. We're competing out here every day, but kickoff, kickoff coverage, all that stuff is very difficult to simulate game-speed-wise. That's why it'll be a great test for Jamison [Crowder], Chris Thompson, whoever is returning kicks. Nowadays, you don't get to return many kicks because there are so many touchbacks, but hopefully, we'll get a crack at a couple."

On what qualities make S Dashon Goldson a leader on the defense:

"Well, he's accountable for what he does, obviously, but he also takes players underneath his wing and he helps them out and talks them through some situations. Out here at practice, you see him taking control of the secondary, talking, communicating, and it's not so much yelling at a guy or any of that stuff, but it's a matter of coaching them up and telling them how to work and showing them how to work based on what he does. As far as being attentive in the meetings and then transferring what he knows out here to not only to himself, doing it out here himself, but also helping the other kids, the young guys, you can just see he's a natural born leader, and we're lucky to get him."

On Goldson's strengths as a player:

"Well, obviously he's a striker. We know that. He can tackle. And everything else, I think he's a smart football player he can tackle. That's what you need at safety. You need a guy that's very smart and that's not afraid to come up in the box, a guy that can cover some ground at the safety spot. I think he can do it all at safety or whatever we ask him to do. That's the good thing about him. He's smart. He can lineup and play the hole, he can play the half, and he can play in the box. He can do pretty much anything we ask."

On the input Offensive Line Coach Bill Callahan has in play calling:

"It's been good. It's not so much before a play happens. We're not like, 'OK, you call this, you call that.' We preview the next series before the series takes place. So, if there's a run that he wants to look at we'll make sure we get it called the next series. When we call it, we don't know, but obviously he puts together a good solid run list. He and Shane Day and Sean [McVay] and myself, we have input in the run game, but on game day it's about previewing the next series and what we want to get to. If it's third-and-one, we'll have our featured plays. So, he's very involved in that part of the game, no question."

On if pressure to succeed on Saturday to avoid media scrutiny places a premium on the team's performance in the third preseason game:

"It doesn't really. We're going to go about our business the way we are going to go about it. The questions are going to arise from y'all. We're going to answer our questions in house and make sure we take care of what we need to take care of. Hopefully we have some positive energy coming out of this game. That's what we all want. We want some good things to happen, but if it doesn't happen, we wouldn't be the first team in America to be stifled by the Baltimore Ravens. We're not going to lose sleep. We're just going to continue to work, continue to progress and get ready for the Miami Dolphins. But obviously we've done some good things on offense now. Kirk [Cousins] and Colt [McCoy] have put together some excellent drives. There's been a lot of positives. We've rushed for almost 320 yards offensively in two weeks. There has been a lot of good things done on offense, but we are all pointing to the negative four series that Robert played – that the No. 1 offense played – last week. But I think no matter what happens in this game, we're going to be able to draw enough positives through training camp, through OTAs, through our preseason games that we can build off of and get ready for Miami."

On if he needs to see production from Griffin:

"We have got to get production by everybody. You know, we were 4-12 this year and 3-13 the year before. We won seven games in the last two years. So there's so much put on the quarterback position and deservedly so, but this whole team has got to rally and do better. Our defense has got to play better. We have got to create more turnovers. We have got to get better field position. Our special teams has got to play better to create better field position for our offense. So, there's a lot of things we can do to help out our offense or quarterback. Our running game, like I've said many, many times before, we can do a lot of things. So, that's our goal, man, to improve the football team and go from there."

On G Brandon Scherff's progress and how Gruden anticipates Scherff will respond this Saturday:

"I like it. All young players have their bumps along the way. That's just the way it is. That's the way pro football is. Not many rookies are going to come in the National Football League and change positions from left tackle to right guard and be a dominant player from the word 'go.' I think given time and the work that he puts in with Coach Callahan, he's going to be a fine lineman. No question about it. But, we can't panic and get in a tizzy because he lost on a bull rush third play of the game. He's going to learn from every mistake that he makes and he will make some, but I have total faith that Coach Callahan will get him corrected and Brandon will put in the work to become a great lineman."

On if QB Robert Griffin III could have done more to help the offensive line against Detroit:

"Well, there's always an element of 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' by everybody. We can look at the tape and speed it up, slow it down, rewind it, fast forward, and say, 'Hey, step up over here. Slide over here. Do this.' But come game time, it's important for us to continue to work on our protection, no question about it. But Robert hopefully will continue to work on his progressions as far as finding lanes, stepping up, moving over, whatever he can do, maybe aborting, getting out of the pocket if need be. That's just something he has to go through. Unfortunately in the game, the bull rush hit him right now and he got kind of grabbed by the 3-technique and the other one, he didn't see the backside bull rush on Willie [Smith], but the third one he just stepped up, had a lot of time and he dropped the ball. That sack, that was not on the line. It really works hand-in-hand. The backs are involved. The tight ends are involved. So many people want to just say our line is terrible, but it's not always about the line. One time we called the protection wrong. It really is a total team effort when you're talking about giving up pressure by the quarterback. It's never on just the line. Tight ends, running backs, quarterbacks — receivers sometimes take blame — offensive coordinators, head coaches, we're all in it."

On how Galette's injury happened and if it could be a long-term injury:

"It was just at the end of practice. He was running around the corner and went down. He's not the type of guy that would lay down if there was nothing, so I'm very concerned."

On the specifics of the injury:

"I don't know yet. It just happened, two seconds ago."

On what he wants the offense's identity to be this season:

"I want to be physical. Period. We want to be a physical football team. We've got all these bells and whistles, man, outside with DeSean [Jackson] and Pierre [Garçon] and Jordan Reed and all that stuff, but for us to get to where we want to get, we have to be a physical football team and be able to win the line of scrimmage. That'll open up our play-actions and everything else. But if we're not physical, we're not going to have much of a chance."

On LB Ryan Kerrigan's status for Saturday:

"We'll see. He's had a couple really good days of practice. I think he could have probably played last week and he probably definitely could play this week. I know he wants to play, but it's going to be a trainer's decision. It's going to be my decision ultimately on Ryan and see where he's at but I'm very excited about Ryan Kerrigan and his progress from his injury. He looks outstanding right now."

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