Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: Jay Gruden And Greg Manusky (10-20-2017)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Did not participate were Ty Nsekhe; Trent Williams, knee; [Tyler] Catalina did have a concussion; and D.J. Swearinger was rest. Limited: [Bashaud] Breeland, [Deshazor] Everett, [Rob] Kelley, [Stefan] McClure, [Josh] Norman, [Mason] Foster. Full was [Ryan] Anderson. If you guys need the injury, I can tell you. Otherwise, you should probably know."

On if CBs Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman participated beyond individual drills today:

"They did. Both of them did a little bit more team and did better."

On if he can trust Breeland and Norman to play even if they aren't able to practice:

"I think with the majority of these guys I can do that. D.J. obviously, Trent [Williams], Breeland, Rob, Norman, Mason – so, yeah. I think all of them have been here a while. They have a great idea. You'd love them to practice to get the looks and the reps, but this time of year, you're not always going to have that luxury. So you have to trust the fact that they're paying attention in meetings and can go out and execute the plan despite not getting the reps."

On giving S D.J. Swearinger a rest day:

"I think D.J. needed the rest a little bit. He's been a little bit sore as of late the last couple weeks and I just think from a mental standpoint, he wanted to rest a little bit. A lot of times he likes to take a step back and just kind of see the big picture back there with Torrian Gray and watch and do all the communication things with him, so it was good."

On how the step back benefits Swearinger:

"He's like a coach back there so he can kind of talk through the coverages and the adjustments and all that good stuff. He gets the work in, he just didn't actively participate, so I feel fine with him doing that."

On if RB Rob Kelley could return to the starting role:

"Yeah, he's doing good. If he plays, then yes, he will probably be back at number one. We'll use all three of them, like we always do."

On if he expects Kelley to play Monday night:

"I expect him to play, yes. I hope so. We'll see. If not, then we'll get Mack Brown ready and Samaje [Perine] and Chris [Thompson]."

On why the Eagles are successful against the run:

"Well, they do a lot of things really. They're very strong up front. They have very good players up front. To be good against the run, you have to have good players and they have good players across the board. And it's not just their first four – they're bringing backups and they're just as good. Their linebacker play has been outstanding. [Nigel] Bradham has played extremely well. Obviously [Jordan] Hicks has been very good against the run. All around they've been playing good. They've been tackling well."

On if the Eagles have become more disciplined against the run:

"I think what they've done – if you look at the tape – they've taken away a majority of the running games. They force teams into a lot of third-and-longs, which really plays into their hands. If you're going to run the ball and be committed to it, great. You've just got to be ready to convert on some third-down-and-longs because they've been effective. We've got to make sure that when we do run the ball, we try to make positive yards even if it's three yards, four yards – that's a good run for us to keep us in positive down-and-distances. To get in third-down-and-long like we did a couple times last week or last time we played them, and like a lot of teams have done against them, it's been not a win situation for the offense against them because their pass rush is so good."

On how he's seen QB Kirk Cousins improve since Week 1:

"Well, he's done good. We've been fortunate to be in games and have leads and we'll be able to manage the game a little bit more against Philadelphia. We had a lot of pass rush and made a few mistakes here and there – didn't play as well as we'd liked – but he has improved as everybody has on offense. You know, not just him. The offensive line's played better, the tight ends have played better, the receivers have played a lot better offensively. I think that's the case around the league, really. I don't think anybody peaks out Week 1. I think you're going to see steady improvement and the teams that improve the most and limit the mistakes are the teams that are going to keep advancing."

On Cousins' decision-making on third down:

"His decision-making has been good. We were 7-for-14 last week. He missed a couple of other opportunities but I think he's gotten better. It's such a big money down. I think we're in the 30 percent [range], now we're up to 40 percent. I think part of the reason why Philadelphia is 5-1 is because they're converting 51 percent on third down offensively. Carson [Wentz] is doing a great job. We understand that any time you want to run the ball and be balanced, you're going to have to convert third-down-and-sevens, third-down-and-sixes, third-down-and-fives in order to keep drives going. The better we get at that, the better we'll be throughout the year. And he's getting better."

Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky

On Eagles QB Carson Wentz's ability on third down:

"I think overall from a passer rating he does a great job of scanning the field. He does a great job of getting out of some pressure situations. I mean, we had him a couple times harassed in the backfield and he got out of there and all of the sudden he made some big plays. He does a great job of keeping his eyes up the field. He feels pressure and he knows exactly where it's coming and he scoots through the lanes and he extends the play. So we can't let him do that."

On if the scheme changes without DL Jonathan Allen and what he has seen from DL Anthony Lanier II:

"Anthony, he is playing real good. We were very pleased with what he was doing every week. It's bad that we had to lose [Allen], but we have got a lot of guys on the roster that are going to fill that spot. It is not going to fill it totally like Allen would, but Anthony has been doing a pretty good job. We are going to mix in and out different guys to see what those guys have. But Lanier has been improving each and every week and we are looking forward to him getting on the field and playing the game."

On preparing for Eagles RB LeGarrette Blount:

"Just make sure we are sound in our run fits across the board. He does a great job of making people miss at the hole, in the hole. So we have got to make sure we get in his face and be able to get him down. He is a big-body guy. I remember playing him when he was up in New England - the same thing - he has always had positive yards because of his girth and his size, and he has a good, little wiggle when he gets through the hole. He's a good football player. He has got good sight lines and vision and we have got to stop him of course."

On trying to slow Eagles TE Zach Ertz:

"Well, I think we will try to slow him down. He is a good football player. We know that Carson likes him, of course. He is a good football player when he gets into space and Carson kind of trusts him a little bit with his hands. We just have got to make sure that we have tight coverage on the guy, make sure that [we] just keep on focusing on what we have to do within the scheme to take away certain individuals."

On what he has seen from CBs Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman this week:

"I think we will see what's going on with the medical department. I don't know exactly, but I know they practiced a little bit today, which was great. But we are looking forward to having both guys be there on Monday. So right now with the guys getting banged up, it is part of football. That's why we have backup players and they will do a good job when they step in there on Monday."

On if injuries or something else contributed to the change from the first half to the second half last week:

"I think it was both. A little bit of the injuries, but I think just from our standpoint, we had a couple blown coverages that we have to take advantage of and they took advantage of us. It's those situations where we can't put ourselves in. Each and every week I always tell them that – and I told you guys – it doesn't matter what the call exactly is, as long as we are playing on the same page we will have success and we didn't. We didn't do that."

On S Montae Nicholson taking advantage of opportunities:

"He's doing a great job, seriously. Across the board, I think all the young bucks – we had [Joshua] Holsey playing, we had Fabian [Moreau] playing and Nicholson. So we had those three rookies in there that played where I thought they would be as a rookie. But I think, overall, I think as a unit it's exciting to see these young players get in the game and participate and then participate at a high fashion."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.