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Quotes: Jay Gruden (8.25.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On quarterback Robert Griffin III:

"He practiced, did everything as usual today, non-contact. He's OK, no problems. He'll see the neurologist Thursday. If he gets clearance there, then he will be ready to go."

On tight end Jordan Reed and wide receiver DeSean Jackson:

"Jordan did everything today, he looked good today. That's exciting, great progress by him. DeSean did individual, the likelihood of him playing is pretty slim. Really the only two guys for sure that I know are going to be out are Akeem Davis and Frank Kearse. Other than that we will take them on a daily basis and make a judgement at the end of the week."

On if there is a probability of linebacker Junior Galette playing on Saturday:

"Probability, I would say a probability."

On if holding Jackson out is a function of his comfort level:

"It's pretty much that. He's got full range of motion it looks like out there doing individual drills. It's another thing if we just don't want to get it hit again on game day. I think doing the non-contact stuff he looks pretty good. But with shoulder pads on, we're not going to do that until we feel like he's 100 percent. He's not quite there yet. But that 1-2 weeks is obviously to go full-go possibly but then we'll make a decision. But it's a little bit longer than we thought."

On safety Akeem Davis' injury:


On the extent of Davis' injury:

"Yeah, it was a Grade 2."

On what he'd like to see from Griffin if he is cleared to play:

"You know, first of all, it's not about him. It's about that unit, the first team unit. We've got to have better protection out of all of them. As soon as we start to make it about one guy, that's not what we're trying to do. We're trying to make this about the first unit. Against Cleveland they did OK. We got a field goal and missed a big play. Obviously against Detroit we ran into our fair share of problems. So we'd like to get something positive going with the first unit, period. With Robert in general, same thing, just get the ball out of his hands, move the ball and make good, sound decisions. Everything else, let the players around him help him."

On why he didn't have the first unit play another series with a new quarterback following Griffin's injury:

"I don't know, that's just how we decided to do it. I think with Kory Lichtensteiger and Shawn Lauvao, I think they were on the same pitch count as our starting quarterback was, that's why."

On the quarterbacks:

"We just have to make sure we do our best to put Robert in a good place with the play calls and try to get something going offensively. Hats off to Kirk [Cousins] and Colt [McCoy], they've taken advantage of their opportunities in the second, third and fourth quarter and done some great things out here at practice every day. Robert has done some good things out here at practice. We're judging not just the performance on three drives in the preseason game but the performance through OTAs and training camp. That's why we're going the way we're going. Moving forward, we'd love to have our one unit get some good work in and some positive play. That's not to say we're not pulling for Kirk and Colt to continue their progress and the second offensive line, second group of wide receivers to push for all roster spots."

On who will be the second quarterback to play this week against Baltimore and how long he will play:

"That'll be Kirk this week. We'll make a determination there on game day, probably third quarter. Colt will finish the fourth, most likely."

On when the quarterback depth chart will be finalized:

"We have a great opportunity in the fourth preseason game, we'll get obviously four good quarters there. We'll make a decision after that. That decision might not come until Sunday at noon when we have to turn the roster in, the sheet in. Those two guys, I can't speak highly enough of both of them, their competition and their willingness to get better and their professionalism as far as doing what they're supposed to do and learning and getting better."

On how different the first unit is without Jackson:

"It's different. We feel like we have a good group of wideouts. [Jamison] Crowder hadn't played either. Obviously Trent [Williams] didn't play left tackle the other day. Same thing with the defense, [Ryan] Kerrigan, [Junior] Galette hasn't played. [Bashaud] Breeland hasn't played. D-Hall didn't play. We've had our share, so does everybody right now this time of the year. They're holding people out or keeping people out of games. But it's important – that happens throughout the regular season. We've got to get other guys ready to play. DeSean got banged up one game last year, Trent missed a couple games last year, so other guys have to play in those spots. We can't just sit out the whole offense because a guy is hurt. So we have to continue with our process as building a football team. I feel really good about our backups the way they're coming on, all of them, offense, defense, but DeSean does make a difference."

On how Griffin can help himself:

"It's hard to say. Every play is its own entity. You'd like to say, 'He could've done this, could've done that.' I think, like I said, from a play-calling standpoint and from a quarterback standpoint, we've just got to stay out of the negative plays. We had a couple negative runs, we're stuck in third and long a lot. We had a couple sacks that were unfortunate that put us in backed up situations. Any defense that you play in the NFL, third down and 8 to 12 to 13, it's a nightmare. It's our job to keep us in positive down and distances. It's his job, the line's job, to protect him and not give up those sacks. We had way too many. I think we were second in the league in giving up sacks last year. We gave up way too many sacks last year and it's something we addressed in the offseason, something we're going to continue to address and continue to work. Our offensive line, they work their tails off every day. I have total faith that they're going to come out of this and be a great unit when it's all said and done."

On the greatest value of the preseason:

"I think getting people some quality reps against great opponents. Finding out how they play in game situations without a coach in their ear helping them out at practice, 'Hey, line up in the A-gap. Hey, do this.' They don't have the coaches on the sideline helping them. You get to see what they know, how they translate what they know onto the field, how fast they play, what kind of effort they play with and what kind of production they play with. It's pretty evident when you put on the tape who's ready and who's not. It's important for us to make sure we make good, sound decisions with our 53-man roster moving forward and our practice squad guys. That's the most value we get."

On if he has an ideal or preferred format for the preseason:

"No. I think they're necessary. I just wish the first cut wouldn't have to be until after the fourth preseason game obviously because we've got a lot of guys out here that have been busting their tails since OTAs and then to tell 15 of them… The fourth preseason game is a great opportunity for them to show what they've got. Whether we keep them or not, other teams can look at them and that's unfortunate. That would be the only thing I'd change. I think the games are necessary. You hate to see any injury whatsoever to any player on any team, but we also need the work. You can't get that out here blowing a whistle quick. You have got to see who can tackle, who can break tackles, who can protect the ball, who can react and read. I don't know how else to do that unless you're playing."

On tight end Derek Carrier's progress and if Carrier could play on Saturday:

"We hope so. Hopefully we'll get a package together where he is comfortable with so when he is in the game we know he knows what to do. He's a bright kid. I think he'll pick it up quick… It won't take a long time, I should say. Wes [Phillips] is working really hard with him. We have a big group in that tight end room. As far as how many reps he'll get, I'm sure he'll get some, I just don't know how many yet and how comfortable he is. But he's picking it up good so far."

On Galette:

"He looks great. I tell you, if we played tomorrow I think he would be out there ready to roll. He's playing fast and he's got his strength back. I think they took their time with him, which is very smart. I think he could've probably practiced a little bit sooner than he did but we just wanted to make sure he had that full range of motion and full strength back. He does and he looks outstanding so he'll help us whenever he can."

On if there is any possibility the first-team offense could play in the fourth preseason game:

"It depends. It depends. I think, most likely, that fourth preseason game is for key role players, backup-type players. It's a chance for them to start a game and see how they do. So obviously you'd love to have some positive energy going into the regular season with your ones, but I think the fourth preseason game is for the role guys."

On what he likes about the offensive line and what obstacles he sees with the young players in the group:

"I like how they're progressing every day. I understand that they're young and they haven't played together. That's an issue. Brandon [Scherff] has made the switch to right guard obviously and he's got some learning to do, but I think he's working his tail off. I see him improving every day and that's positive. I see him get beat from time-to-time every day, too, but I also see him improving and working to get better. Same thing with Morgan Moses. They're not a finished product by any stretch, but I know that both of them are putting the work in and the time in. When it's all said and done, they've got the size, they've got the strength, they've got the footwork to be great offensive linemen. Just a matter of continuing to get that repetition and going through the calls and going through the process."

On the challenges of calling plays with a developing group on one side of the offensive line:

"It's a challenge a little bit. We tried to protect the quarterback last week. We did three-step drops. We did max play-action. We chipped the ends. Unfortunately, we still didn't have the results we were looking for. It's just a matter of – like I said – trying to keep defenses off-balance, number one, having a good strong running game, number two, and then not trying to force the issue at the quarterback. If it's not there, get the ball out of your hands or run and slide. And that's a decision that he [the quarterback] is going to have to make on every play when he goes back to pass. But there are a lot of things that we can do to help, like I said – the running game, quick passes, screens, all that stuff."

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