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Quotes: Jay Gruden (9.25.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On Rashad Ross' 101-yard kickoff return for touchdown:

"It was good to see. He obviously showed the speed and burst that we thought we saw, obviously. When he hits it and he gets some open space, man, he is something to deal with. A couple of guys had some angles on him, but he outran the angles. That's definitely a pleasant surprise for us."   

 On why he didn't use Ross more at receiver yesterday:

I think the other guys kind of… we've had Andre [Roberts], Ryan Grant, obviously, in front of him, [Jamison] Crowder -- he [Ross] is kind of our – as far as working into the lineup – he's our fifth guy right now. You know, when DeSean [Jackson] comes back we'll try to figure out a way to keep him in the lineup. But, he got a few reps, he had a few catches in the game, but the guys in front of him earned the right to be out there."

 On CB DeAngelo Hall:

"He's going to go see a foot specialist and get it checked out. It's a grade-two partial tear. The specialist will review it. It'll take some time. We don't know if its surgery, if he needs surgery yet or not. The specialist will let him know. But right now, we're expecting at least three to four weeks, could be longer."

 On if he will continue to proceed as if Hall is a starter:

"Well, we have to rethink it right now because he is going to be out for a little while, at least. As far as a time table, we're not sure yet. It's important to get [Bashaud] Breeland, obviously back up to speed out there at corner.  We've got [Justin] Rogers coming back. We have some guys in house that we feel pretty good about, some guys on the practice squad that could be boosted up to the roster and we've got to get them ready."   

On RB Alfred Morris receiving limited carries yesterday:

"Well, the fourth quarter was the fourth quarter. Third quarter, we only had one drive in the third quarter. They held the ball for I think like eight minutes on their opening drive. So, he didn't get many opportunities in the second half obviously because of the score. We didn't have many offensive snaps there, and when we did, there was passing pretty much and that's Chris Thompson's role. First half, kind of the substitution pattern fell the way it did. You know, it was nothing against Alfred, it was just it was Matt Jones' turn on a couple of those reps and we gave him some carries.  We intend on splitting the reps up pretty good. Alfred should be the lead dog though. It just didn't work out that way. "   

On if he is concerned by RB Matt Jones' fumbles:

"Definitely you're concerned. You know, the two biggest traits in a back are durability and ball security, and he's proved to be pretty durable so far, but the ball security thing is an issue. We've got to get it corrected, and we're not going to shy away from giving him the ball, but Alfred will get the ball more, obviously, but when Matt Jones does get the ball, he's a force to be reckoned with, but he's got to protect the ball."

On the level of frustration on TE Jordan Reed's pass interference penalties:

"Yeah, he was running a little spot route – supposed to be about four or five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. He saw the linebacker coming at him, and when he did he kind of froze, and got a natural pick on the linebacker. It looked like it was a planned pick, but it really wasn't. Jordan could've done a little better job, get a little bit more depth, show hands to the quarterback. But that play's run often in football and it's very seldom called. Unfortunately, we got called for it. Was it justified? I don't know. We'll have to see. I'll send it in and get it checked out. He's frustrated, but, you know, we could've done a better job with the execution on that play."

 On if it's hard discussing that play with Reed since the pick wasn't designed:

"Yeah, it's hard. It's hard. The design of the play was to have a natural pick, and when he goes in there five yards and sits it down and the linebacker covering Chris Thompson man-to-man has got to run and cover the wheel route, you're going to have Jordan there, you're going to have the safety that's covering Jordan there, and the linebacker covering Chris Thompson's got to go underneath all that mess and we should have a great look. But unfortunately, the guy ran into Jordan and it got called. We've just got to coach them up better. It's a good concept, but just we got caught."

On his level of concern about QB Kirk Cousins' interceptions:

"Well, we'll have to see. You know, he's thrown some interceptions in the past – I guess his first year he came in as a backup role, and came in as a backup role again – and now we're letting him be the starter here, and he's going to have to play through some of these pitfalls, so to speak. We're hoping that he does. We're hoping that a more mature Kirk Cousins will bounce back from these performances. You know, he did some great things in the game – no question about it – but there were some plays that he needs to make to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League, and he will make. We've just got to have some patience, understand that there are going to be some rough times with a young quarterback, but he's also got to understand he can't put his team at risk and protect the ball a little bit better. But moving forward we're going to see how it plays out – we're hoping he has a big bounce-back game against Philadelphia, and recovers like good quarterbacks do."

On how long he can live with the interceptions:

"Well, it's only been three games and he threw no picks in the second game. He threw two against Miami. One was an unfortunate deal where Jordan broke off the route, the other was a great play by the safety or the corner. And then last week he threw a timing route to Pierre and the corner made a heck of a play and the second one was just unfounded – he should have never thrown the ball across the body like that on first-and-10 in the red zone area, fringe. We're just going to have to continue to harp on him and coach him up and there's too many good things going on with Kirk and his progression for us to pull the plug right now because he threw an interception or two. But he's got to be aware, he's got to protect the football, as does Matt Jones, as does the rest of our football team for us to have a chance. We're minus-5 in turnover ratio right now, and I'm surprised we've won a game at minus-5. We've got to make sure we do a better job."

On if he plans to make any changes to personnel to help special teams:

"We'd like to get some consistency from a player standpoint out there. Unfortunately, we've had to, very similar to last year, we had a pretty good group to start the year and then we had a bunch of injuries. We had guys come in off the practice squad and backups and new guys in key roles over there. We've already lost quite a bit of pretty good special teams players unfortunately. Guys have had to step up. [Terrance] Plummer's a great example. He was on our practice squad not too long ago, he was activated; now he's our starting wingman on the punt and gave up a blocked punt and that holding call. Guys like that, that are on our practice squad, that are in our building that are practicing, they've got to be ready obviously because these injuries are hitting us hard right now. And we've got to coach them up to be ready so when they're number's called then they're out there in crucial situations, they've got to be fundamentally sound. And right now we have not been so we've got to do a better job as a staff to get these guys ready to go. And when the players are out there, they've got to make sure they're ready to go. So, it kind of works hand in hand. But we've got to get some consistency most importantly from a player standpoint so we have the same guy out there Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, instead of changing every dang week."

On WR DeSean Jackson:

"He's doing a little bit of jogging. He'll be doing some light jogging. I think his progress is coming along pretty good. For a guy who runs a 4.25 to get him back to that, probably going to take some time, but knowing DeSean, he's got a chance to be back sooner than we think. He's pretty optimistic about how it's healing right now. So we just have to wait and see."

On injuries:

"Shawn Lauvao has a lateral sprain of his left ankle. He had swelling this morning, some strength loss, I think he's got a chance to miss a little bit of time. That's probably our biggest concern… [Josh] LeRibeus strained his calf, he'll be day-to-day. When he gets back here he'll get treatment over the weekend. When we practice Monday, we'll see where he's at. He'll probably miss Monday, hopefully be back Wednesday. Tom Compton's strain, he had no problems in the game, so he's OK. [Kory] Lichtensteiger's finger was OK. Morgan Moses had a right knee, mild MCL sprain and an elbow hyper extension sprain. He braced them both up and played. He's a tough guy. The biggest concern obviously is Lauvao."

On the depth of the offensive line:

"We had three backup linemen yesterday. Usually we have two. Most teams do dress seven lineman in a football game. That's why Tom Compton is a valuable guy because he can both guards, both tackles and some tight end. [Josh] LeRibeus, obviously he plays both guards and center. When he went down, we were holding on for dear life because we didn't have another center. That's something that we might have to look at. Spencer Long, he can play some center, he can play some guard, so he'll be ready to jump in there at left guard. Arie Kouandjio… We have some good depth on the offensive line. Obviously you never want to lose anybody but we still have Kouandjio who is ready to play, Spencer Long is ready to play, Compton is here, obviously [Ty] Nsekhe is still here. So we have nine pretty good bodies."

 On what mistakes bothered him the most yesterday:

"What bothers me the most is we did nothing to recover. We gave ourselves no momentum shift. They just kept piling up. Defensively we didn't do anything to create a turnover to get some momentum back. Special teams we got a kick return with about three minutes to go in the game but it was too late. Offensively obviously we tried to get some things going but never really could. The best way to recover from poor penalties or turnovers is to make some things happen on your side of the ball. We just never did that. That's the most frustrating [thing]. We've got to do a good job of being resilient as far as bad things are going to happen the other team gets paid and they're going to make some plays. That's a heck of a football team over there. They're well coached. They're disciplined. They're going to make their plays. When they do we've got to make sure we bounce back and make our lion share of plays. We just didn't make enough or didn't make hardly any that changed the course of the football game, unfortunately."

 On what he can try to improve more – giveaways on offense or takeaways on defense:

"Both. We practice the heck out of it. We preach it. We talk about it. But going out there and getting them is another thing obviously. It's not that easy. As far as creating turnovers it's about people flying to the football, getting it out, having secure tackles and then the second or third guy – usually fumbles are caused by the second or third guy coming to the tackle and ripping it out. And then obviously rushing the quarterback and disguising our coverages where the quarterback is a little unsure or unsettled where we can make him hold the ball that extra count, maybe get [Ryan] Kerrigan or [Trent] Murphy or Preston Smith around the corner to knock the ball out of his hands or make him throw an errant pass where we can get some interceptions. Tip some balls at the line of scrimmage. Get your hands up if he's throwing it quick. Talk about they didn't take many five-step drops, they were all coming out quick. Well, we need to get our hands up and tip some balls. You know they got a tipped interception on us the other day. Those are things that we can do and obviously Randy Jordan, Ike Hilliard anybody who touches the ball works ball security every day. And that's something we can continue to work on. As far as quarterback's throwing picks, that's going through your progressions and getting the ball out, making accurate throws and good decisions. It's easier said than done but we're going to demand it."

 On WR Andre Roberts:

"I think he's probably a little down that he's had some drops. He's had I think two or three drops already this season. That's uncharacteristic of Andre. We expect more out of Andre but he has done some good things, especially in the running game. He's headed up on people, safeties blocking for our backs which is a very important part… Our offensive line, our receivers so far have done an excellent job as far as blocking safeties and corners, sometimes even linebackers and defensive ends. There are some good things that he's done but obviously he is a wide receiver and wide receivers should not drop that many balls. He's already had three too many, so that's something that'll be addressed and talked about. He came in here, he's frustrated but he's going to work his tail off he said and get himself ready for the last 13 games."

On WR Jamison Crowder:

"I think just seeing him out there, getting him out there and seeing the comfort level that he has on game day… You know, it's easy in practice sometimes but you get out in the game and there's hand signals, there's audibles and things like that, you have got to see how he adjusts on the fly and he did a great job. Like I said, I think it was last week after his injury, it kind of set him back a little bit but I said as the season progresses you're going to see more and more and more of Jamison Crowder."

On if DE Kedric Golston broke his hand last night:

"Yes. His fourth metatarsal… is fractured. He played with a little cast on it. He's limited but he'll be OK."

On if CB Justin Rogers and LB Perry Riley, Jr. will be available next week:

"Justin, he'll be day to day. We'll see how he does when we get back here. We have practice on Monday. He's improving, no question about it, but we have to wait and see how he's running. Same exact thing with Perry. You know, he's making progress but those things are tender and we'll just take it slow. Get him in Monday, see how's he's running around a little bit, Tuesday we'll be off and we'll get back here Wednesday and hopefully he'll be able to practice then."

On if there is anything preventing Morris from playing more:

"Oh, no, Alfred's fine. Alfred's fine. He's a good player for us and it's just unfortunate how it worked out the number of plays that he played, but situationally it was unique game unfortunately. We were playing a lot of catch up there. Catching balls out of the backfield and running routes is really not his forte. He's more of a 'In the I-formation, running outside zone, inside zone and all that stuff.' We just didn't have that many opportunities to give him the ball unfortunately. It has to change in the coming weeks for us to have a chance. I look at the stats and see how many times we threw it and how many times we ran it. If I wasn't there and I just saw the stats, I would've told you we lost. It's important for us to have the balance and he's got to be a big part of our football team. We didn't do a very good job of getting him involved."

On how the Giants QB Eli Manning neutralized the defensive line:

"Yeah, the quick game, getting the ball out of his hands quick. I don't know how many balls he threw over five yards, but it wasn't many. He threw the deep ball late to Rueben Randle for a touchdown, but most of his balls were '1-2-3, ball's gone,' sometimes one step and the ball's gone. Then the next one is obviously being accurate and keeping their team in positive down and distances. And that's it. It's hard to get home when he's getting the ball out so quick and when we did have some opportunities to rush him, we just didn't get there. It was very uncharacteristic of some of our rushers. [Jason] Hatcher didn't have his best game and [Ryan] Kerrigan had a couple of opportunities and couldn't get home and we just didn't get there. So, definitely a point of emphasis for us to try to manufacture some pressure somehow against these good quarterbacks otherwise they'll pick us apart like Eli did."

On if Jackson could be available to play against Philly:

"I think there's a chance. We'll have to wait and see. Like I said, he's a unique human being in a lot of ways; that was a compliment [laughter]. He's working very hard with the trainer and we'll just wait and see. We'll get back here Monday. He's going to have good treatments Saturday and Sunday then when we get back here Monday, we'll see how he's jogging around a little bit. And then Tuesday we'll be off and Wednesday we'll see where he's at. I know he's champing at the bit to get back, but we've got to be smart with him. You know, those hamstrings are tricky. He's got to be full-go for him to go."

On what he wants the players to do after a Thursday game:

"I think the biggest thing is we had them come in today and get a workout in and watch the film so we could correct the mistakes and make sure we got some of the fundamental things corrected and moving forward, put this game behind us. The biggest thing is to get their bodies healthy. These Sunday-Thursday games are not easy on football players, especially some of the veteran guys. They're beat up already and then you have to play on a Thursday night. They need the rest, so it's very important for them to get away for a couple of days with their families, get their minds refreshed but also making sure they come in here and get the necessary treatment. So we come back here Monday, we'll have a brief, brisk practice, get their sweat up, another day off Tuesday and then be ready to go for Philly on Wednesday."

On CB Bashaud Breeland:

"He's in a tough situation, Ol' Bree. We love the way he plays and his competitive nature. He missed a lot of time in training camp and then he came back and he was suspended for a game. Then he came back here again and he had to play corner. Then he came back this week, we were getting him ready to play nickel the whole game and then D-Hall went out and then he had to play corner again. He's moving around a lot for a young football player. We want to try to get him situated in a spot where he can really develop and grow. Sometimes you put too much on these guys' plate at a young age and they struggle a little bit. He struggled a little bit last night. He's a very tough minded guy. He's going to learn from this and he's going to come out and compete like this never happened and he's going to challenge receivers and he's going to be a good player for us for a long time. He's just got to get this one out of his mind, focus in on playing corner now that D-Hall is out for a little bit, stay out there and he'll play better because of it."

On his concern for Riley, Jr.:

"We were concerned. We went in there with only three linebackers active, and that's a little scary situation right there. But we're concerned a little bit. Like I said, he's improved, and we're just going to have to re-evaluate him throughout the week. It's a calf strain and it's hard to gauge when it's going to be full go again. We've just got to keep getting him treatment and see how he progresses. That's the only thing we can do."

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