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Quotes: Jay Gruden And Sean McVay (01.01.16)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:

"[Quinton] Dunbar, quad, will be out. [Dashon] Goldson, shoulder, will be out. Doubtful will be Matt Jones with his hip, Perry Riley with his foot. Questionable will be D-Hall with his calf; Jason Hatcher, neck/knee; Trent Williams, knee/foot; DeSean Jackson, knee; Pierre Thomas, knee."

On if T Trent Williams did not practice today:


On the benefit for Williams playing Sunday if he is available:

"There's probably not a lot. We'll have to wait and see how he does in pre-game warmup if we dress him, but there's a chance he won't dress. We just wanted to keep him off today. We were on the turf. We didn't want to get some unnecessary pounding on it [Williams' knee] and we'll see how he's doing."

On the offensive line's performance in the preseason when Williams was unavailable:

"I think we've come a long way. I think [Ty] Nsekhe has played well in his subs in the time he's had to play. He's a big man and he's going to have to come in there and compete if Trent can't play. You know, injuries do happen. Like I said yesterday, guys have stepped up. Worst-case scenarios have happened and we've overcome a lot of them. Nsekhe's got to get himself ready and he's done that. He's practiced well throughout the season. He's spelled Morgan Moses a few times and done well."

On CB Quinton Dunbar:

"He's improving every day which is a good sign. I see him out there doing some more drill work on the side with the trainers. He's got a little bit more mobility. He had a much better day today than he did yesterday so I'm hoping with a few more extra days of rest and all that stuff, he'll be ready to roll next week. It is a concern because it is a pulled muscle. We've had some tough deals with those. "

On if QB Kirk Cousins' number of pass attempts against Philadelphia was game planned or a function of the team's desire to have the ball in his hands:

"A little bit of both. We felt very good about our protection plan against Philadelphia. Obviously, Fletcher Cox is a good player but some of our play actions on early downs we thought we had good protection and could take some shots down the field against their young secondary — really was the plan going in. And also, you have confidence in Kirk, obviously, making good sound decisions on first downs — not taking sacks, getting the ball out of his hands — and letting the playmakers play."

On if the lack of playoff implications affects how the staff would game plan for a normal week:

"Not really. We're trying to game plan for the Cowboys. This is another week where you're game planning against an opponent. You have these subtle changes to running game or your pass game or pass concepts. It's good for everybody just to go at it with that frame of mind and understand that we have to get ourselves mentally ready to play every week. Everybody is getting ready to play but we're not going to go out there and run one formation and one play because it doesn't mean anything. We're going to try to score — running and throwing — different types of runs, different personnel groupings, play actions. We're going to do a lot of stuff that we've normally done. I'm not concerned about showing our next opponent too much. Like I said the other day, we have 15 games of tape, four preseason games that they can study."

On QB Colt McCoy's desire to play:

"He's dying to play. All of these guys who haven't gotten a lot of reps are dying for an opportunity to play and Colt's no different. I think if he gets an opportunity to play, he'll be ready to go. He's been preparing himself, doing a great job but he definitely wants to play. He played well last year at Dallas."

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On RB Pierre Thomas:

"The first thing that comes to mind is he's a pro's pro. You look at him, it's definitely not a hobby; it's a job for him. He goes about his business in a very serious manner. You can see that he's a guy that's played in a lot of big-time games. He did a great job coming in right away, picking up things and he was a key part of that win last week. We've been really pleased and we're fortunate to have him."

On the little things Thomas does well:

"I think it's just his preparation. You watch the way he handles himself in the meeting room, he asks great questions. He's able to draw on a lot of the experiences that he's had in New Orleans and even offer some good feedback to us as coaches. You watch the way that he prepares on the practice field, he goes about his business. You can just see that this is a guy that's played a lot of football. He's a pro's pro and I think it's why he's able to step in a short amount of time being here and play such an integral role in that win last week."

On RB Chris Thompson potentially earning a bigger role this week:

"Chris has done a great job with everything that we've asked him throughout the course of the year. Certainly, he's maximized his opportunities. You know, it'll be a situation where we'll see how Matt [Jones] feels on Sunday and if he's able to go, then, he'll go and if not, then, it'll mean that those guys will play a bigger role outside of him. With Chris Thompson, he's done an excellent job in those third-down roles but then when he has gotten carries like you mentioned, he offers a little bit different element with some of the speed and the things he can do with our wide-zone game. When he's gotten those opportunities, he's definitely produced."

On Dallas' defense:

"Well, I think the first thing you notice is they're very fast overall. They've got great team speed. I think Coach Marinelli [Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli] does an excellent job. You turn on the tape, you talk about everybody playing with effort and pursuing to the football, I thought he did a great job mixing up a couple things that he hadn't done prior to that game that we really hadn't seen. They've got speed on all levels like I was mentioning. They're good on the back end. I think Sean Lee is one of the better players in the league and you can really feel his presence. We know it's going to be a great challenge but I think our guys will be ready to go on Sunday."

On his level of confidence in the younger wide receivers:

"Very confident. The guys there going to be up and active that have been active throughout the course of the year, we feel very confident in them. You look at an example a couple weeks ago in Chicago, we get into a third-and-long situation, Pierre [Garçon] takes a breather because he was running down the field and Rashad Ross comes in on the first drive of the game and makes a big conversion on third and 13. The expectation is for those guys to come in and fill in and do a great job and we have a lot of confidence in all those wide receivers."

On QB Kirk Cousins' growth in the offense:

" I think you're seeing a guy that's making great decisions. I think Kirk's doing an excellent job seeing the field well and being a great distributor. You know, he's got great weapons around him. I think he's seeing coverages and understanding where the ball should go based on whatever concept we're running and how that coverage dictates his progression. When you've got a guy that you trust that's seeing the field making those good decisions, you feel comfortable being able to throw the football a little bit more on some of those early downs where you're probably more inclined to run it. He's done an excellent job with that."

On if Cousins' recent success makes run/pass balance less of an issue:

"I think ultimately our goal as coaches when we turn on the tape and we collaborate and put together a game plan, we look at what's the best way to move the football. Some defenses might dictate a little bit more heavy run, some might pass and where it might dictate a little bit more where you want to throw the football a little bit more. Ultimately our job is to score as many points as we can and move the football. You know, each week kind of presents a different approach. For the last couple of weeks, we've thrown it a little bit more than we had leading up to those games and I think Kirk's done a job putting us in great situations."

On celebrating the division title with the coaching staff:

"Anytime that you start out a season your first goal is to win the division and that gives you an opportunity to play past the regular season. I can't say enough about how much I've enjoyed working with the coaching staff, starting with getting an opportunity to work for Coach Gruden. He's been outstanding to me. I've always looked up to him and he's really taken me under his wing. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to work for him. Then bringing in some coaches like [Offensive Line Coach] Bill Callahan, [Quarterbacks Coach] Matt Cavanaugh, continuing to work with [Wide Receivers Coach] Ike Hilliard, [Running Backs Coach] Randy Jordan, [Tight Ends Coach] Wes Phillips, even [Offensive Quality Control Coaches] Dave Ragone and Shane Day. Those guys have all been instrumental. Really feel fortunate to work with a great group of guys, especially on our offensive staff."

On if he rewinds and replays video of TE Jordan Reed separating from defenders:

"Oh, absolutely. He's special. His ability to separate… And when he has a two-way go on some of those option routes and what he can do to defenders, that's fun to see. He's just kind of always had a natural feel for how to separate and work edges on guys. I think he's as special of a tight end in the league in terms of his ability in man-to-man situations. He's gotten the opportunity to be available and I think everybody's seen what type of player he's capable of becoming."

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