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Quotes: Jay Gruden 10-15-18

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"Injury update. [Jamison] Crowder, ankle; [we will] keep checking him out. [Chris] Thompson, knee-chest; he'll be day-to-day. [Shawn] Lauvao, calf; he'll be day-to-day. [Troy] Apke, hamstring; he'll be day-to-day. The game injuries, [Brandon] Scherff had a MCL aggravation, he finished the game. [Adrian] Peterson came out pretty good, just a little sore. Danny Johnson fractured his forearm. Chance we can cast it up and play though. "

On confirmation that CB Danny Johnson will possibly play with an arm cast:

"Yeah."

On G Shawn Lauvao playing this week:

"I don't know. We'll check him out. He had some fluid drained. Hopefully that will give him some relief. We'll see how he does on Wednesday. "

On the status of WR Paul Richardson Jr.:

"Paul is doing OK. He's doing OK."

On if he will have to manage Richardson to avoid further injury on his knee:

"Probably. Yes. I think he's getting better. The shoulder is going to be the shoulder. But the knee, he's had some problems with. Hopefully he gets some relief as the season goes on."

On WR Jamison Crowder and their plans with him this week:

"He won't do anything probably Wednesday and Thursday for sure and then we will see how he is doing on Friday. It could be… well we'll see."

On his appreciation for TE Vernon Davis:

"He's a phenomenal player, athlete, guy, all that. He brings a lot to the table, not only as a football player, but as a person. He's still very fast, very productive, good in the running game, good all-around tight end still. We are fortunate to have those three guys, Jordan [Reed]; they complement each other very well. [Jeremy] Sprinkle, Jordan and Vernon are three very good tight ends. We use them a lot at the same time last week or yesterday, which helped us a lot. Vernon just keeps on going and doesn't slow down."

On what has allowed Davis to keep going at his age:

"I think his diet and his work ethic. He takes great care of his body. He's never missed a practice, a rep, he just continues to grind it out. In the offseason, you never have to worry about him. He comes in better shape than when he left. Amazing worker off the field takes great care of his body."

On the similarities between Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton and Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and if that helps the defense prepare:

"Yeah, I think it's very similar actually. They are very effective in what they do. They can hit you in the pocket and they can get outside the pocket and they have all the zone reads. They are both very good, so it's good we had some experience with that. We got a little bit of the wildcat against New Orleans but these guys can actually throw the ball very effectively, Prescott and Cam Newton, so it will be another test for us."

On QB Alex Smith's vision on the field:

"I think the critical side of me, the coaching side of me, there are some things we've got to clean up. Get his eyes in certain progressions a little bit quicker and maybe get off some a little bit quicker. Sometimes he hangs on too long giving guys too much of a chance where he needs get off of them, get to the next guy. But for the most part, I thought he improved from last week to this week and there is still some improvement to do for everybody across the board. I like where he's at. I like that he's buying in and he's learning."

On what the discussions were like about the final drive of half:

"They were frustrating, really, that was a golden opportunity to kick at least three points on the board. Our defense put us in a prime situation there. We used our two timeouts. They threw an incompletion, so we had plenty of time to possibly get six or seven but took a bad sack. We had somebody open there that the ball should have gone to but he was trying to look off the safety a little bit too long and that's kind of what we are talking about. Sometimes he gets stuck on a guy a little bit too long right now. Overall, I think he made some great plays in the game to help us win the football game, which is the most important thing."

On breaking the win-loss pattern:

"Well, that's what we are trying to do. We've been hovering around .500 the last three years here, or four years, I guess it is. That's something we have to do, we have to handle success equally as well as we handle adversity. These guys have to come in and prepare and understand what's at stake here every week. Every team is a different opponent with great challenges and Dallas is no different. We know what type of rivalry it is, what type of big game it is for everybody, but they key is to just keep your preparation up and continue to focus, even after a big win, you've got to work harder the next week. The better you are, the harder you've got to work."

On the team talking about consistency:

"Like I said, hopefully it doesn't take us to get our teeth kicked in like it did on Monday night for us to pick up the tempo in our focus and preparation. I feel like we have good preparation. I feel like our guy's work extremely hard throughout the week but for whatever reason we've had a tendency to have flat game after a big win, for whatever reason. That is something that we have to talk about and make sure we guard against, whatever we have to do."

On CB Josh Norman calling a meeting with the defensive backs and his response this week:

"They have to play together. They have to be on the same page and they have to want each other to succeed. It's very important. Communication in the secondary is crucial, critical, to the success of the defense. Linebackers have to be a part of it also. Anything they can do to get together off the field to have that comradery gel and stick is important to the success of the football team. I think they are a close group already but anytime you get together like that to make sure everybody understands that you have your best intentions as far as trying to do the best you can for your buddy next to you, I think is important."

On how Norman prepared this week:

"I think he prepared very well last week. I think he's always been a good preparer but sometimes people put him out in his own world sometimes and I think it is important for him to make sure everybody feels a part of the group together. I think that was important for him to do, let them know he is with them, working together with them and he needs all those guys to succeed just like they need him. So, it was a good gesture by him, it worked and hopefully it continues to pay off."

On the rivalry game against the Dallas Cowboys:

"A couple things; a division game, we were 1-5 last year in the division, we got swept by the Cowboys last year. We know how important division games are [and] we know how important the Cowboys game is to a lot of people in this area. It's a game that everybody circles on their calendar. It's going to be a packed house and we have to use that emotion to our benefit. We have to get the crowd involved. We have to get out to a fast start because once FedEx Field starts rocking; it's a great benefit to us. It is going to be critical for us to get out and use the home field to our advantage. Players all know, they all know what the rivalry means. We haven't fared too well the last couple of times we played them, so it's going to be important for us to come out of the gate, come out of the tunnel, and play fast."

On what he likes from his three tight end sets:

"Well, it regulates the defense quite a bit. There are only so many things you can do out of those three tight end sets. You've got to play the run; I think they played nickel one time against them and that was the third and four, but for the most part, you get base defense, not a lot of creativity as far as blitz packages are concerned because of the threat of the run. We can pound the ball out of those sets or we can open up the formations and throw it out of those sets. The negative is that if you put too much of it in, you lose one tight end and you are out of the whole package. We'll have a limited package every week, but love the formations, love the way we can attack defenses a lot of different ways."

On what has caused the defense problems against the Cowboys:

"Defensively, the movement, we haven't handled the movement very similar to Indianapolis. We didn't handle the stunts, the line stunts, and the pirate so to speak, the defensive end spike and the three technique spike and those wrapping around or what have you, a lot of moving parts that we haven't handled very well, and then defensively, we've got to stop the run. I think that is an Achilles heel, that's part of the reason we drafted Daron Payne, for games like this, for Zeke Elliott and the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants, Saquon [Barkley]. I think stopping the run; we have had marginal success but not good enough against the Cowboys and obviously blocking their line stunts, both in the running game and the passing game."

On his impressions of the run defense:

"I like it. I think there's… we are a work in progress. We are still working to improve every area of our defense. Pass coverage, still, we have to clean some things up. Run defense, same thing. Pass protection, run-blocking, running routes; we're still cleaning up a lot of things. I like the fact that we're still cleaning up and we are three and two and in the lead of our division but we have a long way to go."

On what will make the run game productive:

"I think executing the plan and the blocks. It's a little easier said than done sometimes and plus they have very good personnel. Their defensive line is very athletic and strong. Their linebackers, Jalen Smith – and I don't know if [Sean] Lee is going to play or not – very, very, good. They have a big long corner, so they are very effective. They're fast and physical and they play [until] whistle and they pursue extremely well."

On RB Chris Thompson update:

"He'll be day-to-day. We'll see what he can do on Wednesday."

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