News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: Jay Gruden And Sean McVay (10.09.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:

"Chris Culliver did not participate, he'll be out. DeAngelo Hall will be out, he did not participate. Jordan Reed did not participate, he'll be out. DeSean Jackson did not participate, he'll be out. Limited was Perry Riley [Jr.], he's questionable. And, probables – Pierre [Garçon], Kedric [Golston], Ryan Kerrigan, Josh LeRibeus, Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long and Trent Murphy."

On if WR DeSean Jackson just needs to recover for another week:

"That's it — recover — we need some recovery time for him. We thought it would be in his best interest, in our best interest, to give him a little bit more time."

On if one week is enough for CB Chris Culliver to return:

"That's what we're hoping. He's going to get some solid treatment here — get some more today, get some tomorrow, get some Sunday while we're gone. He's got a place and get another good week — Monday, Tuesday. Hopefully he'll be out practicing on Wednesday."

On who will fill in for Culliver:

"Well, we have got the guys we have dressed. We have Will [Blackmon], we have [Quinton] Dunbar and let them roll."

On how much it helps that CB Will Blackmon is in his ninth NFL season:

"It helps a lot. He's a smart guy, number one, knows where to line up. He's new to the system obviously, but he's played a lot of football and he's a veteran guy. You know, when the lights cut on, it won't be too big for him because he's been there and done that."

On Culliver's injury:

"He had surgery on that knee before and he's just got some cartilage issues. It's just a little sore which is making his quad a little bit weaker and everything like that. His leg, in general, hasn't felt right in a little bit of time. We think it's important for him to really rehab it, try to get the strength back so he feels good when he goes out there."

On if CB Quinton Dunbar's size can be an advantage:

"Yeah, could be. That's what drew us to him, his ability, his size and his length. He's got really long arms. He's really made the transition from receiver to corner pretty well. It's just a matter of him going out and doing it on game day. It'd be a new thing for him, but you know we'll have to see. He's done a good job at practice. He's picked it up. You know, hopefully he'll get a couple of opportunities to make some plays."

On if the plan is to play with two tight ends:

"Right now we'll go with the two that we have. We have personnel groupings to handle it, so we'll go from there. But obviously, we have [Anthony] McCoy and Derek [Carrier] and we'll roll with them."

 Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On performing better in third quarters:

"Anytime that you've been able to start the games the way we have in the first half, you want to try to carry that over into the second half. Credit to some of the defenses that we played. Last week against Philadelphia, we come out with two runs. They stop us in a short-yardage situation. They did a nice job there, but we've got to figure out a way to, you know, create some momentum coming out of the half, whether that be creating some explosive plays or just being more efficient on first and second down so that we can move the chains and come away with points. And obviously we'd like to come away with touchdowns. That's something that each game is its own entity. We've had four games and I feel like, you really look at the Giants game, we were able to move the football down the field the first drive we had in the second half and unfortunately we turn it over. I want to say we were around like the 35-yard line with the tipped pick. Then, some of those other situations, there's always a little bit of an individual thing and circumstance that comes up, but that's certainly a point of emphasis for us is coming out of that half with a little bit better momentum."

On the challenge of not having WR DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed:

"It's a big challenge. Anytime that you're trying to replace two great players like them, guys need to step up. That's a common theme around this league. There is a bunch of great players and unfortunately, injuries are something that occur. We're expecting these guys that will be filling those roles to step up and deliver when their number is called."

On the ability of Jackson and Reed to draw the defense's attention away from other players:

"Well, certainly anytime that you have elite players like those two, it makes your job a lot easier as a coach. Sometimes, they will dictate specific coverages and things based on whatever the situation might be. So, you know, we've just got to do a good job of executing versus the looks that we get and we're confident that Kirk [Cousins] will make good decisions and our skill players will make those plays when they're asked."

On if he feels any more urgency to score points because of Atlanta's offense:

"Sure, they are a great offense. You know, I think our focus offensively is to try to play the best, efficient football that we can. That's sustaining drives. That's when you get into the red zone coming away with touchdowns. You always take into account what's going to be our overall approach and team philosophy for what's going to give us the best chance to win, and for us, it's playing efficient football, offensively, taking care of the football and being able to sustain some drives and keep them off the field."

On what distinguishes TE Derek Carrier from other tight ends:

"I think he's a very athletic tight end. He moves around well. I think he competes well in both phases. He obviously hasn't had a lot of opportunities in the pass game, but you see when he does, he has the ability to get up the field. He caught a stick route last week on a second-and-16 situation, gets us into a third-and-one, so he is somebody that can do some things with the football in his hands once he gets it there because he is athletic. And I think [Tight Ends Coach] Wes [Phillips] is doing a great job as he continues to get more and more comfortable with some of the scheme things that we're doing technique-wise in the run game and he's a guy that has a lot of upside that gets better each and every week."

On how much RB Chris Thompson has evolved since last season:

"Yeah, really, really happy for Chris in the way that he has matured and, you know, being able to stay healthy. He's always been a guy that's had a bunch of talent, real conscientious, smart, aware football player. He's been crucial for us. He had two huge third-down conversions for us on that drive. The run on the draw was outstanding. It was our longest play of the year at that point, and then he comes back on a third-and-short where they're in man coverage and we hit him on a screen, so very pleased with him. He's an important part of what we're trying to do. I think [Running Backs] Coach [Randy] Jordan does an excellent job with all those backs and kind of having them understand what their role is within the framework of our offense and how they can maximize that."

On if he has stayed in contact former Redskins coaches now in Atlanta:

"Oh, sure. Those are some of my best friends. I have a lot of respect for those guys. Really happy to see how well they've done, actually. I told them, 'Hey, there's nothing wrong with going 15-1, guys.' I'm happy for them but I keep in regular touch with them. They're close friends of mine. Unless we're playing them, I'm always rooting for those guys to do well."

On if he is impressed with what WRs Leonard Hankerson and Nick Williams are doing in Atlanta:

"I'm really happy for those guys. They've always been good, productive football players. You know, when you look at the success that those guys have had offensively, I think it's a credit to their coaching staff. I have a lot of respect for Kyle [Shanahan], a lot of the things that I've been able to learn in the short time I've been coaching is a credit to him. I think he sees the game well. I think he's an excellent communicator and he does a great job of putting players in positions to have success. You know, seeing the Chris Chesters, the Nick Williams and Leonard Hankersons do as well as they are, it doesn't surprise me one bit. I think it's a credit to the players and the coaching staff."

On how the offensive line has played through the first four games:

"I think they've been outstanding. They've protected the quarterback well. I think we've been able to run the football efficiently. So, they're playing at a high level right now. And I thought it was really encouraging to see – missing Shawn Lauvao last week – the way that Spencer Long stepped in in his real, first, big-time action in a game that really mattered. I thought he responded to the challenge and I think Coach [Bill] Callahan does an excellent job with those guys. We've got some veteran leadership upfront with guys like Kory [Lichtensteiger], Trent [Williams] that do an excellent job keeping everybody in line and then the young three guys that are playing for us are continuing to get better each and every week."

On how QB Kirk Cousins has improved over the past four games:"Well, he's such a conscientious guy that he's going to do everything he can to continue to improve as he plays that position, and as he gains experience I think you'll only see him get better. He's a guy that wants to be coached, wants to be coached hard. You talk about the footwork, the feel, pocket presence, I think all those things are improving. You're able to recognize coverages better, understand where based on whatever concept is called, the progression is going to take me, and I think those are things he'll only continue to get better and better at because he's such a conscientious guy and he's so coachable."

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.