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Quotes: Quarterback Kirk Cousins and Head Coach Jay Gruden (05-25-2016)

Quarterback Kirk Cousins

On practicing with more intensity and working faster this off-season:

"I don't know if it's more or less. I know I've always tried to practice with a lot of intensity. I think it's always been intense in the spring, so for me it's probably the same as it's always been. We definitely play at a high-level and have a high sense of urgency because that's what game day feels like and we need to mirror game day as much as possible."

On if he is personally involved in contract negotiations:

"I've basically got those two questions 47 times this off-season. I appreciate the question, it's a good question. Really, I think everything I could possibly say on the matter of the contract has already been said. I'm positive, very confident, that when or if something gets done you guys will be notified, by the Redskins or by my agent. So stay tuned, but I really don't have anything to add to what's already been said."

On planning approach for off-season:

"Basically I'm trying to figure that out still. I feel like I'm still in process. I've called a few of the starting quarterbacks around the league, a few of the retired guys who had great careers, and just asked them what worked for them in the off-season. What was their rhythm in January, February, March, when they went back in April, May, June, what's their rhythm? What's their rhythm in the summer, how do they handle family, how do they balance travel and opportunities? I'm still figuring that out, so I don't know that I have a great answer. I'm trying to get to a routine that works for me and my wife and our family. Once we start in mid-April and go 'til mid-June, football's a huge priority and I'm trying to get as much done here as I can."

On the potential of the receiving core:

"Potential doesn't mean a whole lot, we want results. You can't play until the fall, all you can do now is prepare. And it's really exciting when you look at the list of guys, I know it's been well documented how much talent there is. I'll be the first one to say, we have a lot of talent, the receiver position, the tight end position, the running back position. It's my job, and the quarterback's job, to just get them the football and let them do the work, you know. Get the ball out of my hand and let them go make plays. It's exciting to have that many talented players on your offense."

On CB Josh Norman:

"Very talented player, I had more experience with him last year at the Carolina [Panthers] game then I did with two days of practice. I was able to train in the same place as him before the draft back in the spring of 2012. We would go out and do one-on-one's with several really good receivers who are higher NFL draft picks and had great careers. He would lock a lot of them up in one-on-one's back then. So, you could see his ability four years ago, and obviously he's proven that through his time with the [Carolina] Panthers and hopefully continues that with us. But, it's exciting to have a player of that caliber to go against every day."

On value of OTA's developing receiving core and the effect of the absence of WR DeSean Jackson:

"I think we're growing as an offense it a lot of different ways. We're getting more confident with our reads, our protection, audibles, with recognizing different defensive coverages and blitzes and trying to get on the same page as receivers and little nuances with routes. Also with your offensive coordinator where you can communicate with him continually so you can be an extension of the coaching staff on the field. And all of those different areas you take a step forward when you go out and practice and have these days of OTA's and eventually mini-camp. DeSean will get here. He was here the last few weeks and was able to work with us, and he knows what's best for him and what he's got to do to be ready this fall. And I'm excited for whenever he does get here and I expect to get a lot of work in."

On being the starting quarterback going into OTAs:

"Well you have permission now to take ownership. You know, as a backup or a guy competing for the spot, it doesn't get received real well to try and take ownership. It looks like you are trying to jockey for the position and be one of those guys. So, you just try to you know, handle it the right way and now as a starter you really can take ownership and it feels like it did back in college when you were the starting quarterback and had the chance to really assert yourself so I enjoy being able to do that and I think it helps me as a quarterback to have ownership because at the end of the day, I am the one holding the football in my hands."

On crossing paths with QB Nate Sudfeld in college:

"Yeah, Nate (Sudefld) and I really hadn't although, we were both Big Ten guys. From what I understand, my last season there at Michigan State, I don't even know if he was at Indiana yet but, you know what you really want when you hear a quarterback is new coming in is you want him to fit well into the room and to be an asset to the room and Nate absolutely is that. I mean he is a great teammate. Already, he wants to learn, he's passionate about the game, he's inquisitive and I love all of that so I think he's really adding to our meetings, adding to the experience at practice and that's a great blessing to me and Colt (McCoy) so, we are excited to have him and hopefully we can provide the same for him."

On being excited about the addition of TE Vernon Davis to the tight end group:

"Absolutely, you know the tight end position is a place of a lot of depth. I mean we look at Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen and the list goes on and on about the guys that can play and have played well for us. So, it's very exciting and the key is as a quarterback, as a distributor, how do I get the ball to them, how do I spread it around, how do I make sure that they all get touches the best way possible but, I am gonna throw to the open guy. So, the best way for them to get the ball is to get open and I'll never pass them up so that's what we are working on just trying to be as efficient as we can at getting the ball to the open man."

On WR Jamison Crowder:

"I think it's a little bit of confidence and common sense but when it's your second year and you caught as many passes in your first year you come in a little more confident and sure of yourself and you know what it means to be a pro now. So, all of that lends itself well to taking another step forward although he did so many good things for us last year he is another guy that I get really excited to talk about. Great teammate, smart player, natural sense of how to get open, how to run different option routes and choice routes, great natural hands and is really good after the catch pulling away from people so, just add it to the list of guys who we are excited about being able to throw to."

On WR Josh Doctson:

"Sure, I went back and watched some of his highlights from TCU and he is a special player. Looks like he can make the contested catch, very natural for him to go up and catch that type of pass. He can run well, he has got great size. I almost thought he was a tight end when he showed up because of his size and again just excited to have a weapon like that and I think we go back to the red zone and talk about the tight ends having a guy like Josh (Doctson) could also be a great weapon in the red zone. So, we will continue to try build that chemistry as he is here and work together and learn what he does well and what fits him, what he is natural at and try to get him the football and you know we certainly its get better around this year with all of the talent at the outside positions."

On what he has learned from veteran quarterbacks and changes in TE Jordan Reed:

"Well with Jordan Reed, you know he was so talented last year I mean how do you build on a season where you were as successful as he was? I think he may have set the Redskins' record for receptions by a tight end so it is hard to build on that but, I think what we are talking about a little bit is sustained success. I think the last time the Redskins won back to back division titles was the early to mid-80s so we would love to be able to develop sustained success where it is not just a one year flash in the pan and I think that is the challenge and message not just to Jordan (Reed) but a lot of people. We had a great year, can you be a pro where you do it again and then again and then again and again and again and that's what the great players do in this league and that's what the great organizations are expected to do and that's what we are trying to work towards and are by no means there yet but, that's the goal. Does he have to improve a lot? He was pretty good last year. I think the goal is to do it consistently, year in year out and then what I learned from those guys I mean, I would be here a while talking about what I learned from them but it was a wide array of topics and you know I valued their input and I tried to implement as best I could as far as scheduling and you know hopefully the results work out this fall."

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injury update:

"[Junior] Galette we're going to hold off until training camp. [Josh] Doctson, just a little sore Achilles. We're just trying to be smart with him. Make sure he's 100 percent because we don't want that to reoccur. He should be back next week. A lot of the other guys - Fuller is limited. Were just taking it slow with them…Niles Paul same thing. And then, who else do you want to know about? Yeah, Perry [Riley, Jr.] he's getting rechecked. He has some issues with his foot, a little soreness. We're keeping him in a boot to protect it, and then we'll consult a doctor and then hopefully get him back soon. They just started at the bottom a little bit more. He's been down there getting treated on, so we just want to keep him in a boot protected until we get him checked out and get the final report on it." 

On his impressions of the team at OTAs:

"Yeah, it's been aggressive you know. It's been two days of practice, but really you know all the other stuff when they weren't in practice and the weight room or the meeting, they've all been very attentive. They work extremely hard in the weight room, and the last two days of practice have been very good, spirited. You know what; we've got a lot to prove still. You know, the guys trying to make the roster, number one trying to learn a system, trying to establish themselves, trying to be a consistent team. We've got some new players trying to get gelled together. We're at the beginning stages of next season, but it's fun to watch those guys compete and play."

On RB Matt Jones' potential:

"Yeah, we have every intention of Matt being number one, and we're excited about it. You know, he's a big guy and I think he can handle it. But, there will be other running backs you know worth mentioning. You know, we're going to have three maybe four running backs up on game day and they're going to get some reps. He'll be the number one, but we will also utilize other players like Mack Brown, it could be Keith Marshall, it could be whoever else is here. So, still have Chris Thompson obviously. We're still trying to figure that out."

On the running game:

"Yeah it's hard to emphasize. You know you always…everybody wants to talk about the running game being physical but when you're at OTAs the rules state that you can't be physical. You know, so we're in shorts right now. We're just going through our fundamentals and who we're blocking. Basically as far as coming off the ball, low pad level, and you know pushing people around, that's not going to happen out here. That'll be an emphasis when we get the pads on at training camp and obviously throughout the season. Coach Callahan is obviously going to preach, Sean [McVay] will, I will. You know, tight ends, linemen, backs, receivers, you know they're all involved in it."

On the competition for first team safeties:

"Yeah, you know, I always say that's the beauty of the pencil you know. You got an eraser, so we have to start somewhere. [David] Bruton is doing a good job. Duke's [Ihenacho] in that mention. We moved Will Blackmon back to safety, he's learning. He's feeling his way through there. [Deshazor] Everett's doing a good job. You know we got Geno [Matias]-Smith from Alabama. He's learning it. So, we're going to have some people out there to keep. But, right now there's a starting point D-Hall [DeAngelo Hall], [David] Bruton slash Nacho [Duke Ihenacho] are doing fine."

On TE Niles Paul and TE Logan Paulsen missing last season and help improving the run:

"You know, it was a big issue. You now, you want to have a tight end that can block the point of attack and losing Logan and Niles and obviously [Derrick] Carrier, it was tough. It's a very important position when you're talking about running the football. So, having them back is nice to see. You know, the competition of Vernon [Davis] is very strong at the point of attack, he didn't go today. He has a little tweaked groin, but you know I think we have some wide tight ends…core blocking tight ends that can compete: Logan, Vernon, Niles. They can all do it. Jordan [Reed] can still block at the point of attack. He's getting better at it. He can be more of a move guy. Niles can be a move guy, so we have a lot of versatility at tight end which is exciting."

On G Spencer Long working in at center:

"Yeah we just want to get him accumulated to center and see how he does, see how he picks it up. Kory [Lichtensteiger] is doing an excellent job so far for the first two days and obviously [Josh] LeRibues got his experience last year, but, we don't want to run into a situation again where we lose somebody and something happens to the next guy and then we can't even function. So, we want to make sure we have players in-house that know how to player the position, because you can tick without it but Spencer [Long] is doing well."

On DE Trent Murphy's transition from linebacker to defensive end:

"I have been very impressed with the way he works out and that's never going to be an issue with Trent. He's a hard working guy and [he's] still a developing player and young kid. I'm always impressed with Trent and works extremely hard and the transition from base outside linebacker to base defensive end is something he is going to have to deal with. You know but when we get into a nickel he is still going to be a defensive end it will be easy for him. But his versatility is good he can play end and he can three-technique maybe in some of the nickel stuff and move around. This is the beginning stages for him and this is new to him but I think he will be fine."

On WR DeSean Jackson's participation at OTAs and his return:

"Yeah you know he has been here, he has popped in had a cup of coffee. Last time I looked up the word voluntarily that is his choose and he has been in the league nine years I believe it is. He knows what type of shape he has to come in. Obviously, last year he pulled his hamstring and some people say it was because he was out of shape but he wasn't really but he will be ready to go and probably show up next week or it could be whenever."

On LB Junior Galette being ready to play:

"So anxious, he is like a kid at Christmas and he is sitting up waiting on Santa Clause every day and he hasn't come yet. He can't wait to put on the pads and practice. He is working so hard with the trainers and on the sidelines listening to every call, he is into it. It's going to be fun watching him getting back on the field, he's very excited, and he's doing everything he can to get out there. He probably could go right now but we are being extra cautious with him to make sure he is a hundred percent ready for training camp. It's going to be an explosion when he comes back and that's for sure."

On adding TE Vernon Davis during free agency:

"Well that's good he has been on a couple of teams not many, but he is a great guy number one. When you keep adding high character guys like Vernon Davis as if you are going to go out and sign somebody as free agents and veteran type guys. You want to have character guys like Vernon he is a great example of it and we have been fortunate to not dip into that too much but the guys that we do get as free agents they are good people and we have been lucky with the draft. The last three year I have been here we had very good draft and good people and the guys we kept over. The guys are working hard and Scott has done a great job of bring the right people in and the players are doing a good job of working on being leaders and doing the right thing."

On the defensive line:

"Yeah, I think you talk about a big splash and a high-paid free agent but I think we made some splashes. We added Ziggy Hood and Kendall Reyes you know these are guys we are going to add to the mix. We have Stpehen Paea coming off of injury, you know, we have [Chris] Baker coming back, Ricky [Jean Francois] and Matt Ioannidis coming back as well. We got some players on defense and we are moving Trent Murphy in there, so we got some big players in there that can compete and play. There's no question about it that I'm not too worried about that. Now we add Junior Galette at defensive end, we got [Ryan] Kerrigan, we got Preston Smith who you watch him out there he looks pretty dang good. And some of the young guys, Houston Bates looks very good, so I'm not too worried about it. We don't have a big named pro bowler at defensive tackle in the interior and that's fine, but we are going to have four, five, or six of these guys that are going to play compete and play well."

On updates on DB Kyshoen Jarrett injury:

"No, he is in Denver I believe right now. Hopefully that will be soon."

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