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Quotes: Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins (11-8-2017)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Did not participate: Trent Williams, knee; Arthur Jones, shoulder; Matt Ioannidis, hand. Limited: Spencer Long; Ty Nsekhe; [Brian] Quick, concussion; Niles Paul, concussion; [Jamison] Crowder, hamstring; [Vernon] Davis, both hands… Shawn Lauvao, stinger; [Morgan] Moses, ankles; [Montae] Nicholson, shoulder; [Jordan] Reed, hamstring; [Brandon] Scherff, knee. Full were Fabian Moreau, ankle and [Bashaud] Breeland, shoulder."

On if it feels like the wave of injuries is "bottoming out":

"I don't want to jinx myself, but yes, it feels that way. Just seeing guys with their helmets – at least they're wearing helmets out at practice today, which is good. Slowly but surely, certain guys are getting back into the flow. Now it's a matter of getting them back up to speed and making sure we get them mentally right as well as physically, but it is looking a little bit better."

On how surprised he was with the way S DeAngelo Hall played Sunday:

"I wouldn't say I was surprised. I was glad to see it. I think he's put in the work and that's the good thing about DeAngelo. A lot of veterans could have taken time off in OTAs and not come in and when he wasn't able to participate in training camp, maybe sat out some, but he was participating in all of them. He was like a coach out there. So from a mental standpoint, he was getting all the work in which is very important, so when he was asked to play, he was ready and it showed on game day. He was making plays and was in the right spot and really did a good job, so I'm happy we kept him and got him up."

On if he was surprised that Hall wanted to come back after all of the injuries in recent years:

"No, I think just talking to him I think he wanted to come back. That's all we needed to hear and we wanted to get him ready and try to get him healthy and get him back as soon as we could and give him an opportunity. He's earned that right to have a chance if he wanted to keep playing and we're glad he did."

On if he has a better  feel for DL Arthur Jones' injury timeline:

"Arthur? No. I think we'll get a better idea probably today. I think the doctors are coming over."

On DL Matt Ioannidis' timeline:

"Matt? No, I don't have… Really, I think it's going to be a matter of he has a cast on right now and then it'll be up to the doctors when he can actually use his hand in a way that defensive linemen use it, in an effective way, without the pain and all that stuff. So it could be another week, it could be this week, I don't know. We'll see."

On LB Zach Brown's speed:

"I just think his athleticism makes up for anything he might do wrong with his eyes. Certain linebackers, if they're wrong with their eyes and they get out of position, they're out of the play. Zach Brown, he can be looking over here and the ball's over here and he still has time to react. He's very fast and his speed just shows on tape every time we play. Certain plays, tracking down Russell Wilson from behind and chasing down the tight end when he's 30 yards in front of him, I mean, it shows up and I think the more comfortable he gets with the system and all that stuff, the better he's going to continue to get. We're tickled to have him and he's making a major impact on our team. Speed kills."

On if C Chase Roullier's play impacts the timeline for C Spencer Long's return:

"It could. We'll see how Spencer is and we'll just have to wait. Spencer did a little bit more today and Chase has done great in his absence, so it's a great dilemma to have. We'll have to wait and see. First things first, let's get Spencer healthy and then we'll worry about everything else later."

On if he would consider Long moving to guard if another guard isn't able to play:

"The good thing is they've all been schooled at center/guard. All those guys, Chase and Spencer. It looks like Lauvao had a decent day today. He's on the upswing and Brandon's on the upswing, so hopefully we'll get a couple of those guys back. We'll wait and see."

On how unique Seattle's plan for RB Chris Thompson was:

"Yeah, I think he had some opportunities to make some plays. We missed him on a couple of throws and then he was open on a couple others that we weren't able to find him – pressure was a little bit great. I think being in a lot of those second-and-longs and third-and-longs really hurt our entire offense, not just Chris. But they do have Wright and obviously Wagner are very fast and they did a nice job of one of them had him and the other was spying in the middle a lot of times. So they were able to play outside leverage with the free linebacker waiting on him for in-breaking routes so it was important for other guys to get open down the field. We just didn't have time to hit a lot of guys unfortunately. They have a very good scheme over there, did a good job but Chris will get more touches hopefully this week."

On if he has thought about putting a WR like Josh Doctson on the field to defend a Hail Mary:

"Yeah, I've thought about it. It might happen in weeks to come, but D-Hall's got great ball skills. Josh Norman has second-to-none ball skills and Breeland obviously has great ball skills, so we didn't feel the need and they're both taller-type guys also. You know, if we had 5-foot-10 corners we might do that, but those guys are all pretty good size and obviously Zach Brown was back there, he just got pushed in the back. He would have made that play too."

On if he expects WR Jamison Crowder and TE Jordan Reed to return Sunday:

"Both of them, they are dealing with hamstring issues and they both did just a little bit in individual today and that's just something where we'll have to wait and see."

On if he expects G Arie Kouandjio to start at guard even if Lauvao returns:

"Arie did good, but Lauvao is our starting guard if he does come back. When he feels healthy and he's got his strength back in his left arm, he'll be our starter."

On DL Anthony Lanier II:

"He's still a young, developing player. He's got great size, plays with great energy. He's still learning the position. I think Coach [Jim] Tomsula's doing a great job with him. We were slowly bringing him along but with the injuries to Matt [Ioannidis] and to Jonathan Allen, we've had to thrust him in the lineup, play him some reps. He's doing a good job. Like I said, he's just young and he's learning, but he's long, he's got great length, and he's got a good motor."

On determining playing time between S DeAngelo Hall and S Montae Nicholson:

"I think a lot will have to do with when he's healthy. We're going to have a lot of those issues moving forward. When some of these guys get healthy, what do we do with them? We'll worry about that. The good thing about our safety play is we will utilize three safeties – we usually do anyway – four sometimes, with [Deshazor] Everett. Those guys will all get a chance to play. Same thing with linebackers, outside backers, they're all playing. Just a matter of who starts, we'll decide that."

On CB Bashaud Breeland's absence in the first quarter against Seattle:

"He's banged up. He had a hurt knee, hurt thigh, hurt groin. He had a little bit of a trifecta there going on with his body. He went through warmups. We thought [Quinton] Dunbar was healthy, and we started with Dunbar. Breeland, we put in there a little bit to get him in the flow, see how he's feeling. He wasn't quite 100 percent so we started Dunbar."

On free agent Keenan Reynolds and if he could potentially return kicks:

"Yeah, we worked him out today. He's getting a physical and if everything passes, there's a chance we bring him in on the practice squad. But, yeah, to take a look at a returner in the future possibly."

On WR Josh Doctson:

"He is a confident, young player. He is just waiting for an opportunity to break out. He is doing a lot of good things. We just are very excited to have him. He works hard. He's quiet. He does exactly what you ask him to do. He is just waiting for more opportunities to come and if they come, great, and if not and everybody else is scoring, we are happy about that also. But he is not a selfish guy. He is just a quiet guy and just goes about his business just waiting to perform at a real high level. As a starting receiver in the NFL, I think he is pretty high. I think from a statistical standpoint people are waiting for him to have the 10-catch for 200-yard performance and three touchdowns and I think those days are coming."

On QB Kirk Cousins' situational awareness against Seattle:

"That was impressive because he was getting hit quite often. It was a great job by their defense and I think when plays break down, you have got three options as a quarterback: 1) you throw it away, 2) you take a sack or 3) you scramble and try and make something happen. At the end of the day there is going to be five or six of those plays that make or break your season or your game. He is getting better and better at those. But understanding situational football, he's got a great grasp on it. I think the whole total package of playing the quarterback position, he is getting better and better every day and more confident and more comfortable. I think everybody can see him when the game is on the line, you feel the poise, and despite getting hit and hit and hit, he stepped in to a great throw to [Brian] Quick with two guys bearing down on him. And of course he stepped into a throw to Josh Doctson to get us down there. Not easy to do, you know? 'Hey, stand back there and throw a stomp to Brian Quick. I don't care if two guys hit you in the mouth. That's just what you've got to do.' He did it in the face of the rush and in a crunch-time situation on the road. You just take those games and you build off of them and it just gives you confidence when that situation comes up again. They will come up. We are going to be in a lot of close games. We've got Minnesota this week, New Orleans, we still have got to play Dallas. The list goes on and on. We are going to be in a lot of those tight battles and it's good to have a quarterback with that confidence and an offense with that confidence that Kirk can do it."

QB Kirk Cousins

On comparing the win at Seattle to the win vs. Oakland:

"I'll take a win. I don't know how to compare them. I think that when you play really well and win in the Raider game, I don't know why you'd want anything else, but if you can find a way to win in a tough match that is a bit of a grind, that there's a lot of enjoyment there too. It's hard to compare them. I just want to win and that feeling in the locker room, whether you win by a last-second play or in a blowout, it's a beautiful thing."

On what Sunday's performance does for his familiarity with new receivers who are integrating themselves in the offense:

"We're going to improve every single game, win or lose. Every time we step out there and go through the grind of a game, we're going to get better and we're going to fine tune our passing game. Fortunately, we came out on top and the result was what we wanted, but whether the result had gone our way or not, we took steps forward as an offense and that's no different in any game. It'll always be a work in progress. We're always looking to get better and improve and there are a ton of details from this past game that weren't good enough and we have to go back and be critical about and fix. Just because we won the game doesn't that mean we suddenly look at it differently and gloss over the mistakes or ignore them. We have to take those very seriously, regardless of the outcome."

On how he's feeling after all of the hits he took in Sunday's game:

"I'm feeling good, Craig. I appreciate you thinking of me [laughter] and concerned about me, but I'm feeling good. I've always felt like the 16-game season is a grind and I don't know that I've ever gone through one where I'm feeling great every single week, but you also understand that that's a part of the NFL season. You expect it, and so when it does happen and you do get a little worn down, you're not caught off-guard. For Week 10, I'm feeling good."

On progression he's seen from WR Josh Doctson in the last several weeks:

"Well, I go back to the fact that it's hard to develop him as a wide receiver if he's not practicing. So, just being on the field making mistakes is better than not practicing and I think that's been the biggest help has been to have plays where we go out there and we run routes and we talk about the coverage and what I need from him and what I want his route to look like. And then he can tell me the same thing and we can talk about it. It's a work in progress and every time I throw him the ball, I learn more about how to be more consistent with him, play-in and play-out and how to get him more and more involved. And he learns how to get the ball in this offense and what he needs to do to keep showing up. I think it's a work in progress, I think that as we continue to play, I'd like to think that we'll keep getting better and better. But, I don't, by any means, feel like, 'Oh, now we've got it figured out.'"

On where Doctson has improved:

"I don't think it's anything specific. I don't think it's any one route. I think that even in the run game, knowing who to block, knowing how I want a motion to look like, there are little things right I've noticed that he's just more perceptive, more adept at understanding, 'OK, this motion has to fit in the B gap instead of the D gap.' All those little things that just, you've got to be out there, you've got to be practicing, you've got to do it, and sometimes you have to fail. I'll be the first one to say that sometimes failing, for me in my career, has been the greatest teacher. I'm excited about getting through those stages such that you then can really take some big steps in production hopefully going forward."

On the game-winning drive against Seattle:

"I think this is a great case study in the way that the outside thinks versus the way that I think. And I totally understand from covering the team, fan base perspective, the emotional rollercoaster, I understand that a two-minute drill on the road against a good football team, finding a way to win – it's exciting and it's fun and it gets the juices going. I'm a little bit more process-oriented and there have been games where I've thrown for a lot of yards and felt like I played nearly flawlessly but we lost. And I walk away saying, 'I'm getting better, I'm doing really good things, I'm about the process, and my process was really good today. I can't control the outcome but the process was really good.' But the noise on the outside is, 'He's got to get better, he's not doing enough, we didn't come away with the win.' So I've learned to ignore outcomes at times, I've learned to ignore the noise on the outside and just focus on the process. And I'll be the first one to say that the process against Seattle by no means was perfect. I felt like there were a lot of mistakes. Maybe it never had to come down to a two-minute drill if we had been better through the first three-and-a-half quarters. Was it a great finish? Yes. Did we show a lot of character? Yes. Did I love the resiliency? Is that a game I'll remember? Yes. But, I don't like to get too outcome-focused and I feel, on the outside, I feel that happening after this game and that's OK, on the outside. My concern is in the locker room, in our organization, making sure that we don't allow that to creep in."

On how long he celebrates a win like that:

"I think we've played long enough and had big wins and mountain-top moments that you learn how to come down from it and get back to work. However long you celebrate, I believe that by Tuesday's meetings and walkthrough, you're onto Minnesota and ready to go. I think we've learned how to ride that rollercoaster or not ride it, if you will, as you go through the season."

On how satisfied he is halfway through the season:

"At the halfway point, I think when you look at the challenging schedule we've played, I don't know that even as we played that schedule people realized how challenging it was. And now with the benefit of hindsight, you see we've played some good opponents, we've played them tough, we've got some good wins, had a couple games that we feel like we probably could have, should have, won, which every team has at this juncture. We've also won some games that you could've, should've lost, potentially. So when everything is right in front of you and you have a chance and you're playing for something with eight games to go, I think that's a starting point. As long as we can control our destiny with the games left to play, there's not a whole lot more you can ask for."

On a pass to Doctson that was tipped by Seahawks CB Richard Sherman:

"Good perception there. There were a lot of things going on. Certainly the weather isn't perfect but Josh was getting wider to the sideline. If I lead him to where he is kind of on his track to go, the ball is going to be out of bounds. I'm also throwing it pretty early so there is a little bit of anticipation of a guess of trying to put it out there for him. Richard Sherman is a good corner so when you start talking about opportunity balls or trying to back shoulder it, maybe that's not the guy to do it on. Then you also say, 'All right, it's man coverage, if everybody is locked down, either you throw it away and play for the next play or maybe you take off and run because you say everybody is in man coverage so as long as I could get through the rushers and maybe the plugger, I can get us some yards.' Those are all the things that happens in a split-second decision and in the split-second decision that I made I said that I'm going to put it up to him, try and lead him up the field as opposed as towards the sideline and with the angle he took it ended up being a scary play, if you will because then Sherman had the inside track to the ball. Those are the kinds of plays where you go back, talk about, get better at, try not to repeat and hopefully can come away with completions or better results or decisions in the future when you get a similar look."

On the throw to WR Brian Quick at the end of the game:

"It was man coverage and when you have man coverage, you can put it out there and hopefully trust your receiver to create some separation and know that there is not going to be another zoning defender falling off of his area and intercepting it. You really have three decisions when protection is loose. I can just take the sack. I can leave the pocket and give up on the play and basically force just an off-schedule play or I can throw it blind or force it when I don't really know because I don't have enough time to trust it. All game long, it's really trying to decide between those three every single time the protection is loose. I would argue that if you were to say how I have gotten better as a quarterback in the league, it's I've been better at picking which one of those three it is going to be play in and play out than maybe I was in year one and year two. That one I threw blind. That one I'm saying I'm going to throw it to a spot with a lot of anticipation and hope for the best. At that point in the game, taking a sack is going to kill us. The clock is going to run and we have got to burn a timeout. Situational awareness, you can't take a sack there. First quarter, I'm not throwing that ball probably. I'm probably going to take a sack and give us a chance. I'm not going to force the ball down the field and risk an interception. So those are the kinds of things you're trying to process as you play."

On who Doctson really is:

"I'm still getting to know him. He's a good person. He's an intelligent person. I like him as a teammate. He isn't as aloof as he comes across when you get to know him. He is a student of the game on the field. He asks questions. He wants to do it right. He is not a know-it-all. He is not a guy who goes out there and has all the answers, so he is a joy to work with. I told him after he scored, 'Let's make sure this isn't a one-and-done thing. Let's make sure this is a repeatable thing and something that people expect to have happen not just next week, not just this season, but hopefully for seasons to come.' That's where the vision needs to be and then we have got to work in a way where that can become a reality."

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