Head Coach Jay Gruden
On if the approach of using defensive linemen interchangeably will change once the preseason begins:
"Well, I think that's probably the approach, but, you know, hopefully some people step up in that role as starter. But obviously when you have five defensive lineman up on game day, they all play a lot – significant. So at the end of the day it doesn't matter, but it matters to some of the guys who maybe have outplayed the other ones. They want to run out of the tunnel first. I think they all know that defensive line nowadays, it's about substitution, staying fresh, playing hard and doing the best you can."
On when the NFL began to shift to using defensive line rotations extensively:
"I think it's become more specialized a lot. You know, you've got first and second down. You've got base, you've got nickel, you've got dime, and you've got all these sub packages now that people have to run in and out. You know, we might only have one defensive lineman on the field at one time. Sometimes we'll have two, sometimes we'll have four, and sometimes we'll have five. So, you know, it's a very specialized group now and it calls for a lot of substitution."
On the alpha mentalities of LB Ryan Anderson and LB Junior Galette:
"Yeah, that's what drew us to Ryan in the draft. He is definitely an alpha, which you guys say he is. He's a leader, plays hard. Same with Junior. That's the mentality you want your defense to have and the more of those guys the better. Josh Norman is definitely one. D.J. Swearinger, for sure. So we have a lot of guys that are like that. We have some quiet killers too like Ryan Kerrigan. He's not a real talkative guy but he's a really good football player and plays extremely hard and plays tough around the football that you like. So that defense, that type of personality is contagious and that's what we want."
On what it's like talking to Anderson and Galette compared to other players:
"Well, Ryan Anderson is finding his way right now. Junior is trying to find his way back. So, both of them aren't quite as vocal as they probably will be in the future if they're starting to perform very well and play to the level that they think they can. You know, Junior's trying to get himself back in shape and Ryan's trying to learn the system and find a way to fit in. So, D.J. [Swearinger], Josh [Norman], those guys, they're talking."
On what he saw in RB Chris Thompson when Gruden joined the team in 2014:
"I think in this day and age, what I see, when I was in Cincinnati where I came from, we had Giovani Bernard my last year there as a rookie, and I knew what type of impact he had on third downs and pass protection and getting open on linebackers – especially in the red zone, also. I needed that role here, and Chris Thompson fit the bill. He's fast, can catch the ball extremely well, and I thought he was tough enough in pass protection. So, it was a matter of keeping him healthy and see how he can handle that role, and he's been perfect for it. You know, it's a huge role for us. In the red zone, they double cover the tight end, they double cover receivers, but the backs are usually one-on-one and it's a great matchup. Out in the field he's got to pick up these backers in the A-gaps, and he does a great job of that and picking up safeties on blitzes. Then he can also get open and catch a checkdown and turn it in to a big play or a screen – and he's running the ball very well. And that's what you're looking for, a guy with that type of stature who can catch, block and then run when he has to."
On if S Su'a Cravens is in the same situation of finding his role and niche:
"Yeah, same thing, actually. Like I said, we drafted him last year and he played a 3-4 outside backer, nickel-type thing at USC. He didn't really play in the whole or the half at USC, it was mainly around the football. We drafted him and we had visions of him being a safety, but he had never done it really. We put him at the linebacker spot and tried to blitz him, tried to use him around the football, and then this year we wanted to branch him off and play safety once he learned the system and how the NFL works. So far, it's been a good project but we'll see. He's got a ways to go but I like his progress. I think he's just going to get better and better."
On how RB Rob Kelley has improved:
"I just think his confidence in what we're doing. You know, I think his first year he was probably overwhelmed a little bit. He got very few reps, and, you know, he [was] probably pushing himself very hard to take advantage of those reps, which he did. Then he earned more reps and obviously became the starter. And now his second year, he's had a year in the weight room, another offseason in the weight room and the playbook, same terminology, same tracks, same runs, same protections, and [he's] just more confident. He's bigger, he's faster, and he's more confident."
On Anderson and DL Jonathan Allen's 'pro-readiness' coming out of Alabama:
"They played in a lot of huge games. The SEC, you can argue all you want, is the best conference in football and they played great competition week in and week out. Every game was a huge game for them, not to mention their record was what it was. Their defense was as stellar as it was. They got tons of turnovers. I think they scored a touchdown in like 10 straight games on defense, and they just had that mentality of running to the ball. They had other players on their defense that were very good also, but Jonathan was consistent in the middle. His junior year, he was a great pass rusher. He transformed his game to become a better run player. And then Ryan was just all around the football all the time. He was just a productive football player with sacks, takeaways, was good against the run, and both of them are very smart players, very attractive to us and luckily we got them both."
On if he sees his brother, Jon, returning to coaching at some point:
"It wouldn't shock me, no. I don't know why he would want to do that, he's got a pretty good job. But, I think Jon's got a passion for the game. There's no doubt about it, the way he talks and the way he prepares for the job that he has is second-to-none. He loves coaching, he loves preparing, and it shows in the job that he does. He does a great job. I don't know if he'll come back or not. That's a tough one."
On the ceiling for WR Jamison Crowder and if more will be asked of him this season:
"We don't like to put a ceiling anywhere on any of these guys. I think he's got great potential. He's already played great for us and he is going to get better and better. I just think the sky is the limit for him. And the absence of Pierre [Garçon] and DeSean [Jackson] obviously has opened the door for a lot of guys – Josh [Doctson] and now Terrelle [Pryor Sr.] and Ryan Grant and Mo [Maurice] Harris when he gets back on the field. And then some of these rookies – Robert Davis is doing a good job, Zach Pascal. They're showing up. Great opportunities for a lot of guys and hopefully they take advantage of them, but Jamison I think is a phenomenal talent both inside and outside and a punt returner, very valuable for us."
On his impression of Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula's energy:
"Well, you got me again, Chick, with another dazzling question [laughter]… Oh, yes, yes, give me a little hint here. 'Well, he's great energy, man. He's sweating. He's getting into it, man. He's boxing with his guys. Man, it's awesome. I love it!' Is that what you wanted to hear? [Laughter]"
On the difference in WR Josh Doctson between his rookie year and this year:
"He's practicing, that's good. I think we saw the talent last year in spurts, but he didn't get a lot of chance to really practice. He had that Achilles deal. We were trying to limit him, trying to get him on the field, it just never really worked out. He finally played against Dallas a little bit. We saw him [in] flashes, saw the talent, there's no doubt about it, but we just could never really get over the hump as far as that injury to both his Achilles. I think he's over that hump now, he's doing a good job and now it's just a matter of the rest of his body getting in shape and then playing. You've seen flashes of him out here already as everybody has. We just have got to keep him healthy and keep him working with Kirk [Cousins] and getting used to each other because that's going to be the important thing, especially in the red zone. There's a lot of throws that Josh can come down with that Kirk has got to understand that. He has got to trust the fact that Josh can make unbelievable catches and plays just if he's given the opportunity. That's something that Kirk has to have the belief in, and Josh has to make the plays and show him that he can do it."
On roster moves with defensive backs:
"We'll announce that afterwards… We're just making sure they pass the physicals and all that stuff."
On T Trent Williams diet:
"I think he's talking to our nutritionist, Jake [Sankal], who is our guy. I'm sure they have had conversations. but Trent is a big boy and this is something that he wanted to do. I'm sure they've had discussions to make sure it doesn't influence his weight too much on the negative side where he's down to 280 or anything like that. I think he's in a good spot weight-wise, as good a weight as he's ever had around here, so we will see how it goes, but he's in contact with Jake."
On Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday:
"It's a big day. We're going to do a lot of situational work. It is going to be a big practice day for us and obviously when we have a big crowd around here, it's more exciting for the players. But it's a big day for everybody involved. It's a chance for the fans to see where we are and how far we've come. It's a chance for us to enjoy the fans afterwards, take some pictures and give our thanks to them. So it will be fun."
LB Ryan Anderson
On his transition to the NFL:
"I'd say it's been pretty smooth so far, man. The guys I'm around – I'm fortunate to be around a great group of guys, helping me get acclimated, teaching me the ropes. So it's been pretty smooth so far."
On if Alabama helped him prepare for the NFL:
"It did. Practices there are a little bit rougher than here. We do a lot of banging around there, so it definitely prepared me physically and mentally for this grind I'm doing now."
On his level of admiration for LB Junior Galette and when it started:
"I've been watching Junior since I was in like ninth, 10th grade, man. Just to be out there with him picking his brain every day, it's been good. You know, hopefully I can learn a bunch from him, Trent [Murphy], Preston [Smith], Ryan [Kerrigan], all those guys. It's going to help me down the road."
On what he appreciated about Galette's game growing up:
"You know, he was an undrafted guy. He worked his way up to the top. He's an effort guy, you know, he plays hard. He doesn't take many plays off so I respect that about his game."
On if LB Ryan Kerrigan and other veterans have shown him the ropes:
"Well, those guys, they do a lot of leading by example, you know what I mean. So, it's easy for a guy like me. I just watch them and I can pick up on a lot of the things they do. Like I said, they're great guys, great leaders and great people."
On the toughest part about his on-field transition to the NFL:
"The competition level. I'm not taking no reps against no freshman that are just coming in from high school. All these guys are good and they've got families to feed, man. So, you have to go hard every play out there. You just try to get your foot in the door and get your feet wet, but you're going to have to earn it."
On areas of his game in which he's trying to improve:
"All of it, I mean, all of it. It's going to come with time. Just have got to keep repping it and keep getting better every day at something new. "
On college teammate DL Jonathan Allen:
"Jon, he's a guy that doesn't talk much. He don't like messing up, he don't like getting beat. That bothers him when stuff like that happens to him. He comes out every day and he just competes, man. He's the type of guy that you want on your team. He's one of my favorite guys on my team back then. He's one of the guys that always got me going. Comes out there when I'm not feeling it some days, he's the guy that always [said], 'What you got for me today? What are we going to do today?' So it's good to have him out there doing it again."
On if it helps having Allen around:
On if he'll share specific goals for what would constitute a successful rookie year for him:
"No, I won't share any of my goals, but I definitely have goals and the ultimate goal is just to win, you know what I mean? Just come in and find a role on the team and play my role to help this team win."
On what he'd be doing at this time of year if he was still playing at Alabama:
"We probably would have just finished doing our conditioning test, getting ready for camp, getting ready to start camp today or tomorrow."
On if there was more hitting and banging in Alabama practices than in the NFL:
"Yeah, I mean, at this level it's all about protecting the players. At that level you're developing players still. You're bringing players out of high school, and you have got to see if they're tough. You're going to make them tough if they're not. We do a lot of team run, a lot of blitz periods. It's a lot of banging going on down there."
On if he has thought about being a week away from the first preseason game:
"I try not to think about it. I try not to. I just take it day by day; I don't want to get myself too excited or anything that would cause me to have any anxiety when I go out there."
On how much pride the defensive rookies take in the Redskins going defense-heavy in the draft:
"They took us. Of course, they need us to come in and play. We're just going to come in and do what we've got to do, man. We are going to follow the lead of the older guys and we are going to set the tone."
On what he said to LB Mason Foster about the College Football Playoff semifinal between Alabama and Washington:
"There wasn't much to say, man. Y'all saw the game [laughter]."