Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Quotes: Jay Gruden And Sean McVay (12.11.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:

"We've placed Stephen Paea on Injured Reserve. Perry Riley is going to be out with his foot. Chris Thompson will be out with his shoulder. Jeron Johnson will be out with hamstring. Questionable will be Jason Hatcher; Andre Roberts with his knee; Keenan Robinson with his shoulder; Derek Carrier with his ankle. Then, probables will be Compton — Will Compton — D-Gold [Dashon Goldson], [Quinton] Dunbar, [Deshazor] Everett and D-Hall [DeAngelo Hall]."

On if signing RB Pierre Thomas is related to concern for RB Chris Thompson's injury:

"It has a lot to do with it. Pierre is an established third-down back in this league and a very good pass protector and good out of the backfield. We thought moving forward the last four games of the season it'd be good to get a veteran in here who's played a significant amount of football and understands the game and he's a good football player." 

On how quickly Thomas can be 'coached up' to where Gruden would feel comfortable playing him:

"Very quickly. He's a very bright guy, and obviously with the Saints and some of the protections, the terminology with him… But we're not going to make him learn everything — just a few things if he does play this week. But the main thing is to get him ready for the last three games."

On if he would feel comfortable playing Thomas this Sunday:

"Oh, yeah. We'll see though. We haven't made that decision who our 46 men are going to be yet. A lot depends on the defensive line — who's up — and [Derek] Carrier and, you know, we'll go from there."

On Thompson's availability for the rest of the season:

"That's a concern. We don't know. He's made a lot of progress already which is very, very good and that's a good sign. But we'll see how it goes early into next week and go from there and see where we stand with the running back situation."

On if TE Derek Carrier participated fully today:

"He was full today, yes, and he had a good day. You know, just a matter of — with the injury that he has — making sure nothing happened out there today and he'll get some more treatment and see how he's feeling looking tomorrow. But I think it's looking positive for Derek."

On DE Jason Hatcher:

"He was limited today. That's still a question mark."

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On how RB Pierre Thomas looked in practice and how soon he can be integrated into the offense:

"He looked good. You know, he's very familiar with a couple things that we'll ask our running backs to do and he's obviously had a lot of success throughout the course of his career. He did a good job picking up a couple little things that we did with him. We're looking forward to seeing if he's going to be ready to go on Sunday."

On getting Thomas ready to play on Sunday:

"I think it'd be more a question of getting familiar with some of the things that we'll ask him to do, assignment-wise, which he showed he's capable of picking it up very quickly. If that's the case, then he'll be ready to roll."

On Bears CB Tracy Porter and DE Jarvis Jenkins:

"Two players that I have a lot of respect for. Talking about Tracy, he's definitely done a great job. Excellent ball skills. You could always feel his presence at practice. Thought he was always a really good, instinctual player, recognizes route concepts, and he's doing a lot of really nice things for them. Jarvis has been really active on their front. He's been a key contributor for what they've been able to do defensively. I have a ton of respect for Coach Fangio [Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio] and I think they're an excellent defense."

On looking for WR DeSean Jackson in the short and intermediate game last week:

"They played a little bit more zone than we expected so they were kind of playing things deep to short. We did have a couple opportunities where we had some downfield throws that we didn't get a chance to get to those, but they did play a little bit more zone than we expected so it kind of limited those shot plays that we were trying to get to. They did a nice job."

On how much it helps to use Jackson in the intermediate passing game:

"It's very important. Any time that you have the ability to go short, intermediate and take the top off a coverage, it makes you extremely versatile and we feel like that's the type of player that he is. We'll continue to try to use him in all those ways."

On RB Pierre Thomas' ability to catch the ball out of the backfield:

"Yeah, it's a huge asset. Any time that you have a back that can be a weapon coming out of the backfield or be utilized in the pass game and some empty formations, you feel really good about some of the matchups that you're able to create and put the defense in some tough spots. You can see that was a guy to do that for New Orleans for a bunch of years."

On how he decides which running back to use during games:

"Well, [Running Backs] Coach [Randy] Jordan ultimately decides that. He gets a feel for kind of the flow of the game. These guys are both rhythm runners. I feel like sometimes if you feel like you've got a guy who's got the hot hand, you let him continue to go. But like we've said earlier in the year, when you're able to get a whole bunch of carries, you're able to be efficient with your runs, you'd like them to be able to split the carries and utilize them both. It's just kind of a feel game based on the way the flow of the game is going."

On offensive pass interference calls:

"It's definitely tough. Those are drive killers. It definitely does make you a little bit more hesitant or reluctant to get to some of those plays that you feel like looked good going into the week. You know, it's one of those deals where those blockers have to be nice and patient. Before that ball is completed, they can't be engaged and that's something that they've made a point of emphasis and you see it get called. We've got to do a good job that when we do get to those plays being patient on the perimeter and making sure that's completed before they're engaged with those defenders."

On balancing QB Kirk Cousins' approach:

"Well, each situation, we talk about the defense dictates the decision-making process as far as whatever concept is called and then you progress accordingly. There were opportunities where, you know, we felt like we may have been able to go down the field a little bit but I think he's done a nice job making good decisions, taking what the defense gives him. That's going to be a continued point of emphasis for him as just staying within each play at a time. That one-play-at-a-time mindset is what I think allowed him to play at a high level and certainly you want to be able to create some of those big plays. We've got to do a good job of putting our players in those positions to have those opportunities."

On if the offense has 'gotten the most out of' Jackson's abilities this season:

"Well, to answer your first part, I think DeSean is an excellent player. As a coach, you always to strive to try to be perfect and try to figure out ways you can best utilize your weapons. That's something that I'll probably never be content with. You want to be able to use him in a variety of ways and he is a versatile receiver, so we're always looking for ways — and I'm always looking for ways — to try to improve and put him in great situations where we can utilize his full arsenal of talent."

On if he senses Jackson's 'frustration' when he is not getting the ball frequently:

"As far as the 'frustration,' he's a great competitor that wants to be involved and wants to make plays to affect the outcome of the game. You know, I have no problem with that. I think it all comes from a good place because he's such a competitive guy that just wants to help out in any way that he can."

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.