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Quotes: Jay Gruden (9.21.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On if the team has to make roster moves to make room for CB Chris Culliver:

"We will, yes. Don't have to do it today though. That'll be tomorrow."

On if the team waived CB David Amerson:

"Yeah. We did Amerson, yes."

On waiving Amerson:

"Well, we had to get a roster spot. We had [DE Frank] Kearse also. We had some roster spots we needed to take care of. With the guys that we brought in with D-Hall playing well and obviously Culliver, Amerson was just the odd man out unfortunately. He had some good moments here as a Washington Redskin but we thought it was time to make a move and part ways."

On what he didn't see from Amerson:

"I think it's more about the other guys that are here doing well. We like what Chris Culliver brings to the table. Like I said, we feel like D-Hall is going to continue to get better and better. With his coming back off his injury, I think he is going to get stronger and stronger. It's not so much what he didn't do, it's just the other guys are playing better, to be honest with you."

On the disappointment of parting ways with a second-round pick:

"It hurts, you want all your draft picks obviously. You want to build your team within the draft obviously. Unfortunately not all of them are going to hit. Who's to say that he won't, he might be a great player somewhere else in the next year or so. His career is not over by a long shot. He's going to go somewhere else and play and probably play well. It's just we felt like it was time to move on from him. But we do want to develop our draft picks obviously and that's the goal and the intent. I think we have five from my first year and I think seven right now from this past year, so we are doing that right now."

On upon what parts of his game Amerson could improve:

"I just think he just needs to work on his consistency. He does show flashes of being an excellent corner. He's got the size, he's got all the measurables that you want as a good cornerback. It's just for whatever reason they don't always show on a consistent basis when he is out there. Like I said before, we feel really good about the corner spot and the depth that we have. We had to use that roster spot. I would love to keep him but we just had to do what we had to do. With the injuries to Spaight and now Perry Riley and obviously DeSean Jackson, we have some guys on our 53-man roster that aren't helping us so we had to unfortunately make a move."

On the status of LB Perry Riley, Jr.:

"He didn't go today, he's got a calf injury. Obviously it was a walkthrough today. He did not participate today. He is up in the air."

On other injuries:

"DeSean, he also did not practice. Justin Rogers, [Martrell] Spaight [did not practice]. [Chris] Baker was not here today on a non-football-related deal. Limited was Tom Compton and Morgan Moses with his knee. Full were Terrance Knighton, D-Hall, Kory Lichtensteiger and then Shaun Lauvao with his calf."

On if he will keep LB Terrance Plummer on the roster a little while longer:

"Oh, yeah, no question."

On Plummer's performance on special teams:

"I thought he did good. It's his first action. I think he did a good job. Right now if Perry can't go Thursday night, we'll only have three inside backers up so he's going to be a major part in the depth obviously and special teams."

On if there are any lingering concerns with T Morgan Moses:

"No, he came back in the game and he looked OK today. It was just a walkthrough but he's a little sore but I think he'll be OK."

On QB Kirk Cousins' efficiency on third down:

"Yes, that's something we definitely stressed, and Kirk does an excellent job of getting the ball out on time. Those are tightly contested plays, tight windows. Some of them are tight man-to-man coverages. Some of them are in tight holes in zone and there's usually somebody creating some kind of pressure. He does a great job with his feet, getting the ball out of his hands and reading the coverage and making accurate throws. Those are huge plays for us. Like I said after the game, the third-and-eight to Chris Thompson on the check-down and then the next third-and-five on the option route to Jordan Reed enabled us to keep that drive alive and put some more plays on them and wear the defense down. You know, if you're going to be a running team, like I said, like our team is where we are going to have a lot of these third-down-and-fives. It's going to be huge for us to convert on those, and we are right now at a good rate. That's why we're having success or we had success yesterday."

On RB Matt Jones' nine-yard run on third-and-eight:

"There's a couple of things there. We were working the clock also. We were playing the clock and a field goal there would've given us a 10-point lead, two-possession game. We were having success running the ball, so we didn't want to risk putting the ball up in the air – interception, tipped ball, sack-fumble, something like that. We wanted to run the ball, keep them in bounds and eat another 45 seconds off the clock. Worst case scenario, we kick a field goal, go up 10 and that's two possessions and that's tough to overcome with three or four minutes to go and a couple timeouts. That was our thinking there and we had some runs that we liked and Matt Jones got a big first down on it."

On the importance of scoring points on that drive:

"It was a big drive because they had some momentum. They cut it to 17-10. The game was still very much up in the air, and like I said, first we had third-down-and-13 and the false start, we used a snap count. Kirk did a great job using the snap count and that goes unnoticed, but it going from third-and-13 to third-and-eight was huge. And then we got the first down on the check-down. We were able to run a lot of clock. The offense and the O-Line are playing with a lot of confidence. Tight ends Jordan Reed and Derek [Carrier], they did an excellent job in the running game also. So, very impressive all the way around with the offensive line, tight ends, backs able to eat some clock and wear a defense down like that, control the clock, but it's only made possible if you convert those third downs. Those were huge and it was a huge confidence builder for our team. Huge momentum swing and it took whatever momentum they had out because we kept their offense on the sideline and kept our defense fresh. Obviously you got a two-score lead, which put the game away."

On S Kyshoen Jarrett:

"He played nickel. He did a good job. He's a tough kid. In training camp, he was playing free safety. He was playing a little strong safety and then he asked to play some nickel when had some injuries to our secondary and he did a good job in there. Obviously he was asked to do so in the game yesterday and he did some good things, man. Jarrett, he is a tough kid. He flies around, good sound tackler, knows the position and he's a guy that's going to really develop into a solid defensive back, and I say 'defensive back' because he's versatile. He can play in the box, he play free safety and he can play nickel. Those guys are valuable to have on your football team and not to mention he's good on special teams. That was a great pick up for us and he's going to a guy that's going to be here for a long time."

On the play of the defensive backs last Sunday:

"I thought they did great. They were sound in what they did. We gave up the one big play over the top to [WR Kenny] Britt but overall we kept things underneath us. I think he [Nick Foles] had only 150 yards passing. We were breaking on the ball and when they did throw completions short we had everybody rallying to the ball, making good sound tackles. That's what our defense is all about. It was a very sound defensive game plan and those guys executed it very well. Very happy so far with our defense. I think we're first in the league, if you're a stat guy. I think we're No. 1 in yards allowed. Yards per rush is excellent; third down conversions are excellent. We're obviously on the right track. We're going to have a different challenge every week. This week we have [Giants QB] Eli Manning and [Giants WR] Odell Beckham  [Jr.]. It'll be a great challenge for us but we are on the right track."

On the commitment to the run game in second-and-long and third-and-long:

"I think you're right – it does open up a lot of things for us. I think it'll continue to open up things in the future if we can continue to stick to it. Every defense will give us different problems. New York Giants are a good sound defensive front led by Cullen Jenkins. It's never going to be easy but we have to stick to it. It does a couple things. Obviously it runs clock, our linemen love it and it takes a little bit of pressure off the quarterback, which is very, very important. It's been good for us, it's been a good recipe for us so far."

On if it is hard as a play caller to stay committed to the run in those situations:

"Sometimes. We have a lot of good pass concepts that you like as a coordinator. You draw them up on the chalk board and you like to try to attack certain coverages with the skill guys that we have. So sometimes it is hard to call another run play when you've got Pierre [Garçon] and Ryan Grant, Jordan Reed and all that stuff. I think the guys are welcoming the fact that we are sticking to the running game. You saw Jordan Reed I think had his best game as a tight end as a blocker by far that I've been with him. He's starting to buy in obviously which is huge. They understand that it's going to open up everything else down the road for us. So far everything has been positive."

On Jones' performance on special teams:

"He had a couple FUBARs on special teams [laughter]. Nobody is perfect. We'll get him coached up though, that's just the way it is. We've got to congratulate him on his tough running style. We've got to coach him up on the fumble obviously and some of his punt protection issues that were well-seen by everybody."

On if Jones was supposed to be on the field when the team called timeout with 10 players on the field prior to a punt:

"Yeah, he was supposed to be in there. Yeah, he just forgot."

On other special teams issues for Jones:

"He let a guy go inside of him, almost got a punt blocked, too. We've got to coach him up on special teams and understanding the importance of that role I think is something that he just has to buy into. I don't think he necessarily is complaining about it. He's just got to get reps at it. You know, it's new to him."

On if they started game-planning for the Giants in the offseason:

"The defense did because the same offensive coordinator is there. But as an offense, we couldn't do it because they have a new defensive coordinator so we had to wait. We've got a couple games on them now, so it's kind of we're pushing it through right now as an offensive staff but defensively they did a lot of it in the offseason."

On if having Defensive Backs Coach Perry Fewell – a former Giants coordinator – on staff helps:

"Oh, no question. We're going to be picking Perry Fewell's brain quite a bit this week. He knows his players very well. I know he's a well-respected guy over there. Any information that he can give us will help, but obviously, they do have a different scheme, so we'll take it for a grain of salt but we will definitely use Perry's input."

On if the team has advance scouts:

"Oh, yeah. We have advance scouts that went to the game last week and give us a full report of what they see at the game — good information."

On if there is a difference in how the team uses that same information on a short week:

"No. Same stuff, same information. Basically how much no-huddle they're doing, all this stuff advance scouts give you — personnel-wise, injury reports — all that is very beneficial to us."

On having success against Tavon Austin and if it helps the team looking forward to Odell Beckham, Jr.:

"Well, Odell Beckham, he's a heck of a player, obviously. Hurt us really bad the second time we played him. The first time it was a tight end that got us and then the second time, we put so much… we had so much focus on the tight end, Odell Beckham killed us. They have a couple guys that are really, really good obviously. Odell is in a class by himself, dang-near, in our division. He had such a great year. But handling Tavon was a good start for us, but the challenge week-in and week-out, there's going to be a somebody on the other team that's going to change your approach. This week obviously, it's Odell and Eli [Manning], so we'll have a plan obviously."

On the decision to go no-huddle on some third downs last week:

"We have some no-huddle packages that we can get to. Kirk's very comfortable doing that – all three of our quarterbacks are, obviously. It's something to try to pick up the tempo a little bit, maybe limit a defensive coordinator's ability to get to some of his fastballs -- in no-huddle, you call fastballs – but it didn't really hurt Coach [Gregg] Williams. He still had some of his blitzes dialed up. I think it's just a good way to keep the tempo up and Kirk feels very comfortable doing that. He can to the play at the line of scrimmage. It gives him a lot of time. You get to the line of scrimmage, it leaves you 25-30 seconds to diagnose what the coverage is or what the blitz might be or how to set your protection and Kirk does a good job with it."

On G Shawn Lauvao:

"He's doing good. We're doing some different type of runs with him pulling a little bit more. He's showing his athleticism. That's probably one of the knocks on him was his athleticism. Coming in here he was more of power-type, phone booth-type offensive guard. But he's showing his versatility this year, pulling and doing a great job. Protection's been excellent. He and Trent on the same side are two big powerful men. Then you go on the right side, Morgan [Moses] and Brandon [Scherff], they're powerful in their own right. Overall I think Shawn is doing an excellent job. That offensive line's anchored. [C] Kory Lichtensteiger had an outstanding game. He's getting to the second level effortlessly, did some great things in the running game. Overall that offensive group is doing an excellent job. To maintain what we're trying to do, it's going to be a great challenge for them week in and week out to keep it up."

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