Head Coach Jay Gruden
On Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry's style and enthusiasm:
"I worked with him in Tampa a little bit. He was a position coach in Tampa, so I got to know him and see his coaching style there. But as a coordinator, I haven't been around him. He was a coordinator in Detroit, obviously. But I know him as a coach and I know what kind of energy and passion he has for the game. That's just his identity. That's who he is."
On if cornerback DeAngelo Hall had a setback:
"No, he's had no setback. We're just part of the protocol. We just want to make sure he's going through the right rehab steps and the process. We want to make sure that thing's a hundred percent. I think training camp's a good start for him to get rolling, start the individual drills in training camp, start some team drills in training camp. Right now, it's about to continuing the rehab process to make sure that thing's a hundred percent."
On tackle Trent Williams:
"You know, Trent had that ankle issue a little bit last year at the end of last year. He tried to go in the Pro Bowl, obviously couldn't go. In the offseason, he did some things in Phase 1, and just felt like it was a little sore. So he's just going to take some time off and rehab it. We're going to make sure he's right for training camp because we don't want that thing to be good one week and bad the next week. We want to make sure we get that thing fully strengthened so he's good to go for training camp."
On tight end Jordan Reed:
"Same with Jordan, really. He had a little process – it wasn't a scope. He's had some nagging soreness with that knee. This is a time where we get a chance for them to work out in the weight room still, build their upper body strength but make sure the things that really make their money – Jordan needs legs, man. He needs to have those things a hundred percent. We're going to make sure he's right for training camp."
On wide receiver DeSean Jackson's absence last week:
"They have lives. This is a major part of what they do. Obviously, we'd loved everyone to be here, 100 percent. I don't know how many teams have a hundred percent, but I think we've had great participation overall from top to bottom of our roster. He missed a little bit of time, but he had reasons for it. I trust the fact that when he does come back – and he has come back – that he'll be in great shape. He's a veteran guy. He knows the system. He's an extremely intelligent person. I would have loved to have had him here, but it's his choice not to be here. He came back, he looks like he is in great shape. He didn't miss a beat."
On the decision to release Chris Chester:
"Chris Chester gave us some great time, man. He's a great person and he played really hard for us. He did everything right, but it was just unfortunate. We just decided to go in a different direction in both cases. I think the emergence of – we're hoping Spencer Long [emerges]. We drafted [Arie] Kouandjio. We have [Josh] LeRibeus in town. They're in-house ready. We have some guards I think that can fill in and play. It was just a matter of we thought it was time to move on from those two players. Nothing but positive things to say about them, but I wish him nothing but the best in Atlanta."
On Josh LeRibeus seeing additional time at center:
"It's important. It really is, because that's one thing that we're missing with Chris [Chester]. If something were to happen to Kory [Lichtensteiger] in a game, Chris was our backup center. So we have to train another guy to be a center and Josh is taking the right steps to do that. We'll have some backup centers in-house if something were to happen long-term, but it's important on gameday that we have a backup center. Right now, Josh is working hard at it. Spencer Long is also working at it. We have to have that covered."
On quarterback Robert Griffin III's development since the end of last year:
"I think he's taking the right steps. It's still OTAs. Nobody's sitting on all that good stuff. We are getting some great looks from our defense. We're in shorts. We're getting some good full-speed looks. There's no contact obviously, but the timing, the rhythm of your offense still has to be intact. The defense hustling and getting to their zone drops has to be sound in what you're doing. Decisions have to be made. He's going through the process, re-learning everything, studying, going through the right progressions, making a mistake here and there, but we're learning. All of us are learning about each other and trying to do right because this is a different defense than we're used to seeing than we're accustomed to in OTAs. We're learning as an offensive group. We're learning about Joe Barry's scheme. They're learning about our scheme. But overall, I think all three quarterbacks have done some good things. All three of them, as you always do, have some plays they wish they had back, but you're learning from them, you're continuing to coach them, and they're getting more and more reps and more and more confidence, which is good."
On guard Spencer Long:
"He's a big man. He's tough and he's smart. I think he missed a lot of the season at the University of Nebraska his senior year. Coming back last year it was important for him to slowly get into it. I think having a year under his belt, knowing the system, I think the confidence coming into Year 2, we feel good about his progress. We feel good about [Arie] Kouandjio playing at the University of Alabama, doing some really good things, obviously (Shawn) Lauvao's doing some good things at left guard. We feel good about the guard spot; it's just a matter of making sure these young guys continue to develop, and Coach [Bill] Callahan is the best at doing that."
On if Long is a better fit for the power running scheme compared to zone scheme:
"We're going to do both. We're not going to abandon the outside zone. Alfred Morris is a great outside zone runner. He's a great zone runner. I think the ability to do a little bit of both is very, very important to keep defenses off-balance. Spencer is a very powerful man and very good for the power running game, the gap-style blocking, but he also has some great movement skills. That's what drew us to him in the first place because when we drafted him, we were an outside zone team here in the past and we wanted to try to get to more gap-style, and we thought he could do both, which is what drew us to him."
On linebacker Preston Smith:
"Yeah, he's doing good. You know, for defense it's really not fair for these guys because we're telling them to fly to the football but there's no contact, you know what I mean? Keep everybody up. So you really can't see the violence in his hands that you'd like to see right now, but for the most part from learning what he's supposed to do, being where he's supposed to be, with the ability to move around, you can see him work his hands and be able to bend his hips or turn his hips and all that stuff. He's done some good things. You know, he's learning like all these rookies are. We're throwing a lot at these guys for a reason. You know, this is the time to challenge them mentality, see what they can do physically, how they can handle it, how they can transfer from the classroom to the field and see which ones will be ready quicker. Preston's showing signs that he's a very intelligent person, No. 1, and he can translate what he learns in the classroom out here. But when we get the pads on, that will be the true test for an outside linebacker/defensive end."
On running back Matt Jones:
"He's a rookie, you get excited about what he can do. When you see him out in space he does some really good things. And, again, for a running back like Matt who is a downhill power runner, it's hard to really see what he can do in shorts. I had to tell him a couple times out in space, he was trying to lower his shoulder and run over people and I'm like, 'No, stay up and run and keep your head up and let the guys tag off of you.' But he's doing a good job. He's still learning the protection rules and all that good stuff. He's going to make his mistakes but for the most part I think he's a guy that takes coaching and has done a good job."
On if Jackson's chemistry with the quarterbacks will improve in his second season in Washington:
"We hope so. You know, I think you need to have stability at the quarterback position. Obviously, everybody would like to have it. Unfortunately with Robert's injury and then Kirk [Cousins] had an opportunity and we brought Colt [McCoy] in and then back to Robert and then we went back to Colt and then back to Robert. You know, we would like to have stability. The receivers want stability, and that's very important. I feel good about all three quarterbacks honestly and their progression. But we do need to settle on one – it would be nice to settle on one. So it will have a positive influence on the receivers if we can settle on one so they can get the continuity and feel good about where they are going and all that. Really when you're talking about schematics of an offense, you're talking about route discipline and all that stuff. It shouldn't matter. They should be where they're supposed to be and the ball should be delivered on time, no matter who it is and that's what we're trying to get the consistency of the position so the receivers feel good about where they're going and they're going to get the ball."
On linebacker Trent Murphy:
"When you're looking at practice and you watch practice film, you look for guys that jump out on the screen at you, guys that are making plays and you feel their presence and Trent Murphy is one of them. He's bigger, he's stronger, he's rushing the passer extremely well, he's getting off the ball very well right now. I think I'm expecting him to make the biggest jump from first year to second year on our football team because not only is he bigger but he knows the position. He's athletic, and when you put on some extra bulk and strength, it's just going to give him more… He's already a smart football player with great instincts. Now you add the extra bulk and we expect big things from him this year."
On the tight end group outside of Reed:
"Logan [Paulsen] has done some good things, he's one of those guys that is going to do exactly what you want. He's strong. People always say, 'Hey, you guys have got to run the ball, run the ball,' but you have got to have a tight end that can block, not only at the point of attack but the backside and Logan right now is our best blocker. It's good to have him for sure. Niles [Paul] has put on some extra weight also. He's stronger. You know, he's a converted wide received for goodness sakes and he's busted his tail to get himself ready for the tight end spot. He's stronger; he's one of our most explosive players in the weight room, done some great things. So those two guys have really done some good things. And then the young guys are all trying to step up and find their niche. We have some young guys that are not used to being in the line and trying to block, you know? When you're trying to create and identity running the ball, not many tight ends in college football now a days are doing that. So we're trying to groom some other guys to do it. But we have some prospects that are looking good, but those top two guys I mentioned are doing well."
On the depth chart at quarterback behind Griffin:
"We're mixing those guys up. Colt's running with the twos, so is Kirk. So we're flipping them around. We're making sure they get equal reps so we get a good look at them and really those two guys have been excellent. I'll tell you what, they're not happy with their role but they understand it and they're just continuing to work and they both know that they deserve a chance to play and they want a chance to play but their also waiting their turn while helping Robert whatever way they can. Those are two great guys to have on your football team and I would feel I have no problems letting either one of them be two or three. We've just got to let it play out though."
On if he is settled in trying to find one quarterback:
"Oh, yeah. I mean, we still have got to play games and all that stuff. We have announced Robert as the starter obviously and we're going to go from there."
Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry
On his enthusiasm on the field:
"That's kind of my personality. I'm very hands-on, I'm very enthusiastic. But I think that's obviously my style and the way I coach. That's also… I'm kind of that way in the hallways during the day at work. That's just who I am. I'm very hands-on."
On players commenting that they believe his system is more aggressive than last year's system:
"We're aggressive. I would absolutely say that. It's hard to do a lot in OTAs right now, just because of the rules, we can't really do a lot. We're really stressing effort. We're really stressing playing fast, playing with good fundamentals, having our knees bent, sprinting to the ball, things like that. In OTAs, when you can't do a lot of the physical stuff, we're going to be physical with our effort and playing really fast and playing really hard. So, yes, it is something we'll stress and will continue to stress."
On linebacker Preston Smith:
"I think Scot McCloughan and Bruce Allen and Coach Gruden [and] our whole scouting staff, I think we had a very successful free agency. We brought some new pieces in here, obviously, and the draft is no different. I think they did a great job, and to get Preston where we got him, we were very excited. But he is a good, young, talented kid, and I'm sure his head is spinning a little bit right now, like most rookies. But he comes to work every day and he's doing a great job, and after – what's today? – five OTAs, I'm really excited with where he's at."
On if he is looking to move players between safety and cornerback:
"Well, no. Corners are corners. Safeties are safeties. We ask, respectively, both sets – both our corners and our safeties – we ask them to do a lot. We ask them to blitz, we ask them to cover, we ask them to play zone coverage, we ask them to defend the run. So, yes, they're interchangeable in that sense, but no – our corners are going to play corner and our safeties are going to play safety."
On how the players are picking up his system:
"It's a process, but the way we have the offseason set up, it's in phases. So we have Phase 1, which is a series of meetings. We have Phase 2, which is meetings and then we actually get to get out on the field a little bit with the guys. And then obviously Phase 3 is the OTAs. So we tried to install everything with them in Phase 1, then go back and re-install with them in Phase 2. So this is really the third time that it's been installed with them. But it's brand new. It's a different language. From system to system, that's the biggest difference is the terminology. What guys have maybe been considering apples, now we're calling it oranges and they've got to change it over in their head a little bit. So it's just the terminology, but, like I said, I love where we are at right now."
On the development of cornerback David Amerson:
"One thing that you're going to get with me, guys, is that I'm a 'look through the windshield' guy. I'm never going to look in the rearview mirror. So, David and every other player, I've been around them for two months and that's what I'm judging everything on. He's been outstanding in everything that he's done so far. He's been here the entire offseason, he's been great in the meeting room, taking notes and learning it. Again, after five practices, I'm very happy with where he is at. Now, I want him to continue to develop, no question about it, because he's a young, talented kid. There is no doubt about it. Where he is at right now, I am pleased with his progress, no doubt."
On getting players lined up correctly in multiple fronts:
"It's definitely a process, and we're in the fifth OTA of the offseason. We have good plays during the day and we have bad plays during the day, but that's what we're here for – we're teachers. That's the No. 1 thing that as a coach you have got to do, you have got to teach. It's definitely a process, but like I said, there is a lot more good out there right now than bad and I'm very happy with where we are at as a unit."
On if there was any consideration to changing the front to a 4-3:
"Not with me. I think we're going to have the ability to be multiple and jump in and out of 4-3 fronts, 3-4 fronts. We're structurally based out of a 3-4, there's no doubt about it. I wouldn't go as far as saying -- it's kind of the trendy word to say 'hybrid' these days – but I wouldn't go that far. But we are very multiple. We're going to give you a bunch of different looks when we are in our base group and when we are in our sub groups."
On the defensive staff:
"It's really been good. I couldn't be more pleased with the staff that Jay has put together. To get a guy like Perry Fewell, who has unbelievable experience and I've got all the respect in the world for, we've gotten to be very close over the last 15 years. Robb Akey, who has been a head coach before and was a defensive coordinator at Washington State, so what he brings to the table also is very impressive. You guys all know Kirk Olivadotti. We got to be very good friends over the years being linebacker coaches, so I have a chance to work with him. And we have two young coaches that I think are outstanding in Chad Grimm and Aubrey Pleasant. I love our staff. I love where we're at. Just like players, they have got to learn the new system also, and it hasn't been much of an offseason this year for us because we've been having in-season-like hours, but they've done a great job and I couldn't be more pleased with the staff."
On mixing new faces and returning players on defense:
"I don't want to say that's never an issue, but it hasn't been an issue with us. I think it's all in our approach. I think the No. 1 thing, again back to Scot and his scouting staff, is we've not only brought in good football players, we've brought in good guys, good character guys. I think that's important when you bring guys into the locker room. You want good football players, but you want good people and we've done that. The character on this team is outstanding. There are going to be ups and downs in a season, and that's when you really need those character guys. That's when you need veteran leadership. I think at each group we really have great veteran leadership. You've got a guy like Jason Hatcher with the front, you've got a guy like Ryan Kerrigan with the linebackers, you've got a guy like Dashon Goldson and DeAngelo Hall in the back end. That's what you want. You want great players, but you want great players with great character and we got that."
On if any individuals have stood out during OTAs:
"You know what, I wouldn't single out one specific guy. The great thing about OTAs for me is that we've got 90 guys on our roster right now, and the way we divvy up practice – everyone gets… if we have a 12-play period, everybody gets equal amount of work. The first group gets four plays, the second group gets four plays and the third group gets four plays. So I'm happy with a bunch of guys, I really am. I think a bunch of guys are stepping up. I think a bunch of veterans are showing their leadership. I think a bunch of the young guys are stepping up, competing for a position on this team. I wouldn't single one individual out. I think as a group, as a unit, we're doing really good."
On what excited him to come to Washington beyond the opportunity to be a coordinator:
"I've been fortunate to be in this league for a long time, and when you think of the Washington Redskins, the history, the tradition, the Super Bowl trophies right when you walk in the building, that's exciting. I think every team, every organization goes through ups and downs, but just the chance to be able to come in here and work with a Bruce Allen, work with a Scot McCloughan, work for a Jay Gruden, that's exciting. I don't know if you guys realize this, but as an outsider coming in and coming here to play the Washington Redskins over the years, this is an unbelievable place as far as the talent, from a town, a fan base. It's unbelievably rich in tradition, and I think that's the most exciting thing is being able to come here and be a part of that."
On if he was concerned he wouldn't get another chance as a coordinator after his time in Detroit:
"Oh, sure, but again… absolutely. That was a major concern of mine because I do – selfishly, individually – I do have high aspirations for myself. So, yes, that was a concern, but like I said and I'll repeat myself, I'll say it many times, I'm a 'look forward' guy. I'm never going to look behind me. I learned from that. I became a better coach walking out of that situation, and I think I learned from it and became a better coach seven years later."
On when he expects cornerback DeAngelo Hall to return to the field:
"When he is 100 percent healthy and cleared ready to go. I have no idea when that is going to be. I know the little bit of what he was able to do in Phase 2 with us exceeded my expectations. So, again, it says 'Defensive Coordinator' on my business card, not 'M.D.' So I have no idea when that magic day is going to be, but I do know he's progressing great. The leadership that he's been showing with not practicing, I've really been impressed with DeAngelo. He's been in every single meeting for the last six weeks. He's taking notes. He's a phenomenal leader. I've really, really been pleasantly surprised with D-Hall with that. He's really impressed me with his leadership role. But we'll eventually get him on the field, whenever that is is when he'll be 100 percent ready to go."
On comparing Defensive Backs Coach Perry Fewell to Raheem Morris and if Fewell is a disciplinarian:
"Oh, sure. That's the thing that people don't realize is Perry was a defensive coordinator for nine years, but before that, Perry was an unbelievable secondary coach. [He] had great success in Jacksonville and St. Louis and Chicago, very accomplished as a secondary coach. So, Raheem is one of my best friends in life, so I don't want to ever compare the two but I think both in their own right are both great secondary coaches, but Perry's style – I would say that. Perry is no-nonsense, great teacher. And again, I think he has an unbelievable wealth of knowledge that he is going to be able to bring to that DB room and it's definitely showed – at least in the first five practices."