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Quotes: Jay Gruden, Alex Smith 11-7-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Alrighty, did not participate [Jamison] Crowder, ankle; [Chris] Thompson, rib; [Trent] Williams, thumb; [Quinton] Dunbar, shin; [Morgan] Moses, knee. Limited were [Adrian] Peterson, shoulder; Jordan Reed, back. And then everybody else was full."

On T Morgan Moses playing Sunday:

"He worked on the side today with the trainers, so we'll see."

On if it is too early to anticipate a starting offensive lineup for Sunday:

"Yes, it is. It's quite early so we'll see. The big thing is how Morgan [Moses] does and if he can practice tomorrow gives a better indication."

On T Geron Christian Sr.:

"Yeah, he did some good things for his first time out there, you know, kind of threw him out there in the lineup and moved Ty [Nsekhe] inside to guard. But he did some good things. He had some issues from time to time. But for his first game ever in pro football, I think he faired pretty well. Ideally, I'd like to keep Morgan [Moses] at tackle and Ty at tackle but if need be I can play Christian at right tackle and Ty at left tackle or vice versa."

On if he has hope WR Jamison Crowder will practice tomorrow:

"Do I have any hope? No. I just wait on the trainer's word and Jamison. I gave up the hope business a long time ago when it comes to injuries."

On if he expects Crowder to practice tomorrow:

"I don't know. I just wait until they tell me and Jamison. If they say he's going to practice, then I'll throw him out there."

On G Luke Bowanko and G Jonathan Cooper:

"We have to work them both in there and see. Right now, Cooper is a solid left guard option for us. Obviously, Bowanko's played a little bit also – center and guard. So, they have some experience, which is important. Now, it's just getting them used to our terminology and the adjustments that we make and our run schemes and the pass protection. Whoever can handle it the best will likely play."

On RB Adrian Peterson practicing today:

"Today we mainly did individual. We did a bunch of walkthrough today, so he was able to do the walkthrough stuff."

On Peterson getting acclimated to the new players on the offensive line:

"He just goes through his reads like he normally would. It doesn't matter who's blocking for him – at guard, center, tackle, tight end, fullback – if we had one – or receiver. He's just going to go through his progressions and make his cuts and do what he does. It doesn't matter."

On Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR DeSean Jackson:

"Well I think the big play ability that he has is well documented. I think he's number one or two in NFL history as far as plays over 40 yards or 50 yards or what have you. That's where you have to really worry about DeSean. But, Mike Evans is a very good player. [Chris] Godwin is an excellent player. O.J. Howard is an excellent tight end. They're leading the league in yardage for a reason. They have great weapons and it's hard to contain all of them. We have to do a good job of getting pressure on the quarterback, which we didn't do a great job last week against Matt [Ryan]. So, it's critical that we improve in that area this week."

On CB Quinton Dunbar:

"Yeah, I think he's still having some issues with that nerve. It's not firing for whatever reason so he can't really get the full speed. If you're covering the likes of Julio Jones or DeSean Jackson this week, you have to be able to run full speed. We just have to closely monitor it. Hopefully that thing fires and he feels comfortable by Friday and we'll let him go. But otherwise, we'll get obviously [Greg] Stroman or Danny Johnson ready to roll."

On why CB Danny Johnson replaced CB Greg Stroman in last week's game:

"No, no. It was Stroman had hurt his hip a little bit and felt like he couldn't run full speed either, so we put Danny in there as a good option. Obviously if [Quinton] Dunbar can't go, we'll get Adonis [Alexander] up to be another corner option for us. Young secondary back there with some guys but they are getting more and more experience."

On the challenge of incorporating new offensive linemen:

"I think the mental part of it; we have to get them right. I think that's why I did what I did today as far as the walkthrough we did. We want to make sure we got more reps as opposed to like a normal Wednesday you probably get 35 reps on offense, today we got about 80, going through all our run game, our pass protections our play actions, just to get them used to it. Snap counts, I mean you forget about that. We've got 18 different snap counts for goodness sake. So, tempos, snap counts, terminology all that is very critical. They've got to know what to do to have a chance. Then physically, they've done it before. We don't know what kind of shape they're in. It's going to be 82, 83 degrees in Tampa, Florida. That will be an issue possibly. We're trying to teach them OTA's, training camp, seven weeks, eight weeks of football in a day or two. Phil [Rauscher] and Coach [Bill] Callahan have got their hands full, but I think they'll get it done. These guys are veteran guys and are smart guys."

On his impression of S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix:

"I think he did some good things. I think for only practicing a couple of days, getting here as late as he did, I think he handed it quite well and that's what we are hoping [Jonathan] Cooper and Luke [Bowanko] can do also. These guys who've played a lot of football can come into a new organization and learn terminology fairly easily and Ha Ha did that and he'll get more and more reps."

On why the team has struggled to comeback from deficits:

"Yeah, you can probably count on one hand how many comeback wins we've had since I've been here and that's something that we have to do a better job of and just keep grinding. We tried to get in the game last week but the penalties and some of those things hurt us pretty bad. It's just a mindset really. You are never out of it until the final gun and we've just got to keep playing. I don't think guys played less hard because we got down, we just didn't make enough plays to come back and that's something we have to figure out a way to put our players in position to – A – get the ball back when we're on defense and B – get the ball in the end zone at a decent rate on offense and that's something we've got to continue to work on."

On how QB Alex Smith has improved:

"Oh yeah, I mean he's getting closer probably and nobody is going to be perfect at that position, but he's learning, getting to know our guys and Jordan [Reed] went out for a little while and obviously there is no Jamison [Crowder] or Chris Thompson and we're working with some other guys. I think from a system standpoint, I think he's feeling more comfortable with the plays and the concepts that we're running and getting the ball out of his hands and scrambling when he has to scramble. He had a big scramble in the game last week, so I think he's getting to where we want him."

On the hit on QB Alex Smith against Atlanta:

"Maybe step out of bounds next time. That would be beneficial."

On T Trent Williams:

"We just had a walkthrough today so we didn't do anything. Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a look at him possibly if we start his clock, we'll see if he's ready to go. He had his hat on today, looked like he was ready, so I don't know."

On TE Jordan Reed's production:

"Probably in our three game win streak, we didn't throw, our balance was probably [more] run oriented than pass so he wasn't getting as many opportunities. There are a lot of factors involved in that. It's not because he's not playing well, it's not because the quarterback is not looking for him, it's just the opportunities probably haven't presented themselves and when they have, we didn't connect for whatever reason. If it was a protection issue or an errant throw or maybe a route issue, so the numbers will come. We're not worried about fantasy football stats, we're trying to go through our progressions and if Maurice Harris is the guy open on that play, we'll throw it to him. If Michael Floyd or whoever it is, we've just got to get the ball to the right guy."

QB Alex Smith

On if the offense will change with three players going on IR:

"I don't know about change. Certainly, I think you're smart. You're on a shorter week as we go. I think moving forward though, you hope to obviously, yeah, operate similarly. I think as an offense collectively, yeah. I don't think you look to all of the sudden become something different. The goal I think is next guys up. They have to roll. We all have to step up, not just on that person. I think that's more the mentality."

On if there is a fine line between stepping up and forcing chemistry:

"Yeah, of course, I think a lot of it just comes in your preparation, the attention-to-detail. Some of that stuff is on the coaches as they put the plan together. I think you're smart. Those things will change week to week as they always do based on matchups and who we're going against and schemes and things. I think based off last week anyway and just where we're at, I don't think things would have changed anyway. There still is that attention-to-detail. There still is trying to get to where we want to be collectively as a group. And I still think it's about, like I said, stacking a great week of preparation this week, days together and then obviously going out on Sunday and executing at a high level."

On challenges of getting the new players on the same page as the rest of the offense:

"Yeah, the big thing I think is on the road, crowd noise, against a good D-line. I think those things, all the calls, all the communication that has to take place – run, pass, third down. All the different looks, the thousands and thousands of reps that we've had, you try to condense into a few days to get ready. I think communication is a key. There's going to be a lot of times its nonverbal communication there on the road, loud. You have to be able to…everybody be on the same page, locked in, even though you can't hear. So, I think that kind of makes it even tougher, then once again, going against a good D-line [there is] even more of an emphasis on it."

On if he feels he is improving week to week:

"Yeah, it's a fine line because you do live so week to week in this business that sometimes it's hard to see trends overall. I do think definitely from looking back to the start of the season, where we are, just the things we've been through situationally, I think that we have grown a ton in a good way. But like I said, week to week the highs and lows are so big. I think you do the best you can not to ride that roller coaster so to speak, try not to. Try to come in even-keeled – go about your business every day – continue working for that end goal obviously with the focus weekly on winning."

On if he thinks he played his best game as a Redskin last Sunday:

"I think there were some good things to definitely build on that we did in the pass game. I certainly felt really comfortable back there with a lot of things that we were doing. I think, yeah, there are some things to take from that, that hopefully we can build moving forward. I think that's what you try to do with that. Certainly, you learn from the mistakes and things you did wrong individually and as a group. But yeah, I do think there was plenty to build on for sure."

On judging the offenses progression week to week:

"Yeah, it's tough because scheme-wise or the team you're playing, they can be so different week to week. Some weeks you play teams that play nothing but zone and three deep. Then the next week, you play a man team. They could be built completely different from a personnel standpoint whether it be, back end, front end, things like that. I think those things are obviously all fluid and that's the chess match every week that we're trying to win but I just think all those things make up our offense. All those tools you have make up our offense and they all are a part of this as we move through the season, because obviously you want to be playing your best ball come the end of the year and you want to be able to perform in all those areas. You want to be able to execute versus everything. You don't want to ever be one-dimensional, let a defense take away something. You want to be, I think, really balanced, be able to counter everything you're getting."

On if he feels extra pressure as quarterback:

"No. I think if anything there's more of an emphasis on just doing your job. I think that's what this is about. I have to be accountable. I have to hold up my end. There's certainly no making up for anything. I think you can get into trouble trying to do that. No, I mean I have to do my job better, a little better. I think if everybody kind of takes that mentality, we'll be alright."

On if there are more opportunities for big plays:

"Yeah, I mean I think you'd love to… I think you look at percentages; this is across the NFL, I think historically to march it… without chunks your scoring probably goes down. I think any time you add a chunk play into a drive; your chances of scoring greatly increase. It's tough against any defense in this league to march it. I mean I think we had some great examples of that in the last few weeks. I think anytime we've gotten off schedule with a penalty, with a sack, with a negative play, those are things that are hard to overcome. I think chunk plays allow you to sometimes bypass that a little bit. All the sudden you add a chunk play and depending on where you started, all the sudden you're on the edge of field goal, you're in the red zone – you're in striking distance. That mentality definitely changes. So, you'd love to have that. They come in a lot of different ways. Like you said, sometimes you actually have to chunk it down field, sometimes they are catch and runs, sometimes it's a blocking on the second level in run plays breaking open, so, a lot of ways to get those. "

On staying ahead against a team that starts fast:

"I think so, yeah. Not to dwell on the last game… I mean we have learned our lessons with that as a team, especially offensively. We've got to go out and do our job and execute and we can't have the negative plays. You just can't. It's too hard to overcome against good football teams, so it's important to go out and get in a rhythm early."

On if he feels the team is in danger experiencing an early deficit:

"No, I don't think so. It's not something, I think that stat you got, I think you guys are more aware of those probably than us. I don't think we are probably even aware, certainly I mean we realize the games we've gotten down a few scores and those are a tall task in this league anyway. But, certainly we have been in a lot of games that have been back and forth and come down to the wire so I think those are almost even more beneficial. I think being in those big situations, finding a way to win, whatever side of it you are on, whether it is offense four minute, whether it be two minute situations when you have to score to take a lead, whether it be defense out there in either of those situations. I think those are things you continue to bank and we've been in those situations and they'll only help us moving forward."

On how speed in skill positions changes an offense and a quarterback's job:

"Not only is there a chess matchup of scheme and how those matchup and certainly from a personnel standpoint as well. Speed is a factor in that and in any matchup, especially on the edge at the skill positions. Speed is a factor, whether it is running across the field, whether it is running down the field. It's always a factor in any offense as far as a matchup goes for sure."

On changing strategy with guys who can create separation versus those who have to fight for it:

"I think that just changes in your week to prep based off all those matchups as you analyze them. If they're doing this against this guy, how does this matchup work? If maybe this guy changes a little bit your thought process and those changes on different routes. For something down the field, something that maybe lends itself to a bigger, physical guy. Those things all change depending on the route and the matchup."

On his emotional response to losing three offensive starters:

"I thought that maybe was one of the things that we could build off coming out of that game. I didn't think anybody blinked twice. You certainly hate to see those guys go down with injuries and during the game you are hoping for the best. But I thought guys, as far as young bucks stepping up, guys moving around, and the shuffle that has to take place up front, really a credit to those guys up front. Being prepared as a unit to be able to handle that, I thought to be able to handle all that stuff, the plays that we continue to play, to be able to have virtually all the game plan still at our disposal despite those injuries is really a credit to those guys up front."