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Quotes: Jay Gruden And Joe Barry (10.01.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"DeAngelo Hall obviously did not participate, he is out. DeSean Jackson did not participate. Perry Riley did not participate. Chris Culliver did not participate, knee inflammation. [Kedric] Golston was limited. Full was Josh LeRibeus, Kory Lichtensteiger, Colt McCoy and Morgan Moses. 

On his level of concern with CB Chris Culliver:

"Anytime a guy doesn't practice on Thursday there is a level of concern there. We are confident that he will feel better tomorrow. He was just a little sore today, a little knee inflammation. Hopefully it clears up by tomorrow."

On if the team will bring in another cornerback:

"No"

On the reason for practicing outdoors:

"Yeah, it wasn't torrential rain pour, rainstorm. But I thought it was important for our guys to get used to their shoes, make sure their shoes are what they want to wear. Obviously the gloves... I want to see the quarterbacks throw a wet ball, just see how we handled it in general. It could be a lot worse out there on Sunday. It may not rain at all, we don't know yet. I thought it was beneficial to all our guys. It was good tempo today. It was good to see our quarterbacks throw it and our receivers catch it in the rain."

On if he will consider keeping practice outdoors tomorrow:

"No, probably not. I think tomorrow it is supposed to rain pretty hard. I think we'll go inside tomorrow. We got good work in today."

On working on ball security with RB Matt Jones in the rain:

"That's the other reason we went out there today. Wet balls were out there and it's going to be important that we concentrate on the ball in the rain or the sun, it doesn't matter. Wet balls are different holding them than they are dry balls. It was good for him to get some touches and carries. They just have to be extra cautious with the ball. He runs so hard sometimes he puts the ball in harm's way. We've got to make sure that… we don't want him to run any softer or more passive, but he's got to understand ball security against this football team and a weather game like this is going to be very, very important."

On if WR DeSean Jackson is out for Sunday:

"Not officially out yet. We'll see. Weirder things have happened but obviously he hasn't practiced in a while and that's a concern. You like to have your receivers and quarterbacks get some work during the week. He is a special football player and if he says he can go, there's a chance he could go. We'll see."

On what he would like to see from the pass rush this week:

"More of it. More opportunities, number one, more pass rush obviously. That's the key thing is we have to give our defensive line a chance to rush the passer. It's up to them also and the linebackers to stop the run on the early downs and get them into some third-and-longs so we can rush the quarterback with four or five, maybe six guys. We always talk about the importance of stopping the run and it is every week. But if we want to rush the passer, we're going to have to stop the run. They have a nice running game with three very good running backs. They're going to try and run it on us obviously. How we stop the run will be how the game goes. How we run the ball will be how the game goes. Whoever runs the ball better, whoever stops the run better, probably wins this football game."

On the Eagles' ability to limit sacks:

"Yeah, they get it out quick. And they have some good, quick receivers. They run the ball effectively. Sam [Bradford] does a nice job of avoiding sacks. It all works in concert when you don't give up sacks. You're getting the ball out of your hands quick and you're throwing it away when you need to throw it away. Kirk's done very good also; he's only given up four. I think both quarterbacks have done a good job of avoiding the negative-play sacks."

On the quarterback-center exchange:

"Again, all the ball handling drills were good to get out here today in the rain. We didn't have any center exchanges today but you're right that's the toughest thing. Shotgun, under center, in the rain, punt, catching the punt, getting the punt snapped, field goal, all that stuff. All the ball handlers have to get used to it. They have to get used to whatever gloves they're going to wear. So it's good to get it out there today but we didn't have any issues today."

On the decision to promote CB Quinton Dunbar instead of CB Deshazor Everett:

"It was close between those two. We like both of them, we really do. Dunbar, I think he has displayed some man-to-man skills that we like. He's a little bit longer, a little bit faster. Deshazor could be pulled up soon obviously if Culliver has more issues. So we'll have to wait and see. I think both of them are very good prospects. We had to choose one and we just picked the longer, little bit faster guy for special teams also."

On the Eagles' offensive line:

"I think, like I said yesterday, it's just a matter of guys getting used to being in there playing together. I think that's the case with a lot of teams early in the season when you have a lot of turnover. The teams that are playing well have the same offensive lineman. Obviously they are familiar with each other and the blocking schemes and the terminology and stuff and the angles. I think just learning through new offensive line, the calls, I think they're fighting through the same issues we are from time-to-time. They improved last week. They had over 100 yards rushing. Ryan Mathews had an excellent game running the football, [Darren] Sproles had a couple hits. They're going to get better as the season goes on. They're a very dangerous, three-headed monster at running back. It's something that we are very aware of, no doubt."

On LB Mason Foster:

"He's a veteran guy who knows football and has played a lot of football. I think he's started 50 games in his career. He's a solid linebacker. We needed some linebacker depth with Perry's issue. Last week we got lucky. We only dressed three linebackers and one was a rookie free agent, [Terrance] Plummer. We needed another inside backer to play in case something happened to Keenan [Robinson] or [Will] Compton. A veteran guy like that that's on the streets that can come in and help us not only on defense in a pinch but also on special teams. He's done a lot of work on special teams and is going to be an asset for us in that role, especially on punt protection. It was a no-brainer for us."

On if a rainy game would play into the team's run-first identity:

"I think that running football teams like to play in the rain, I guess. We like to think of ourselves as a little bit of both. It can benefit us. They're a running team also. I know that they like to run the ball also, so it could benefit them. It's just a matter of the different tempos. They go faster than we go. I don't mind running some clock and breaking the huddle, getting our stance and pounding people. I don't mind that at all. We have the ability to go fast also. I think the team that doesn't turn the ball over, the team that plays well on special teams will probably win this football game. Running the football will be very, very important. Controlling the clock, keeping your defense fresh will be very, very important. The recipe that we had against the Rams was that. We played good defense, got off the field on third down. On offense, we were able to keep the clock moving, run the ball, convert on third down and got a victory. Against the Giants was the exact opposite. I'm sure the Eagles' success last week was due to their running game also."

On if he puts more emphasis on this game because it is both at home and in the division:

"Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's a home game, number one, and then you add the fact that it's a division game, those are two obviously high priorities for us. For us to win the division, we need to take care of our home games and we also need to win our division games obviously. It's the Philadelphia Eagles, who is a rival for us. There's a lot of reasons for us to want to play and play well and have a sense of urgency this week. It's only Week 4, but it is a very important game. All these games count in a big way when you're at Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week11. As far as the importance of the games moving on, this one is, the next one is always the most important one but when you're looking at a schedule, your home division games are very, very important."

Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry

On if the defense will take more chances to create more turnovers or if they will just improve upon what they are already doing:

"I think it's a little bit of both. But I'm a firm believer too that takeaways come in droves and you don't know when they're going to happen, you don't know when they're going to come. But it's something that we preach every single day. We practice and stress it every single day and they'll come. They'll come. I'm a firm believer also there's not some make-believe call that you can call to create a turnover. It's our job as defenders to take the ball away. We don't call them 'turnovers.' We call them 'takeaways.' We're not taking the ball away right now. Now sometimes, obviously, within the call, if there's a breakdown on their part, sometimes takeaways happen a little bit more easier, but no, I don't think there's some magic call that you can call to create a turnover. It's our job as defenders no matter if we're rushing three, four, five or six, whether we're playing man or zone or zero, takeaways are our duty to take the ball away."

On if the turnover in the secondary affects how much risk he would consider taking:

"Why, what's going on with the secondary? [Laughter]… No. Like I said, I've talked about this a few times up here with you guys, we take the approach of 'next man up.' So, we're not going to have wholesale changes or all of the sudden do different things. I told you before we don't have backups. We have starters in waiting. When a starter gets banged up and can't go, it's the next man's responsibility to step up and step in with that group of 11 men and function as a unit. No, we're going to keep doing what we do and do what we believe in. That's playing hard, playing fast, and again, keep tackling, keep stressing takeaways. We're not going to change anything that we're doing."

On how the defensive line can put more pressure on Eagles QB Sam Bradford and their offensive line:

"I think the — and I'm not making excuses — I think we've pressured the quarterback fairly well. You look at the Miami game, you look at the St. Louis game — the St. Louis game was a big point of getting [Nick] Foles off the spot. Now, you look at the final stat sheet from a sack standpoint, it wasn't where you wanted but we affected the quarterback. I think Eli [Manning] did a great job on Thursday night, getting the ball out, quick one-two-three throws, which is going to be hard to pressure when the ball's getting out of his hand. But no, I'd tell you, our whole D-line room would tell you, 'They're greedy. We're greedy. We want to sack the quarterback. We want to get after the quarterback.' We've got to affect the quarterback. Ultimately affecting the quarterback is by sacking him, but if we can pressure him, if we can hit him, if we can get him off his spot, if we can make him uncomfortable, that's all I care about."

On LB Ryan Kerrigan's performance last Thursday against the Giants:

"You know what, I think, again, Ryan is his own toughest critic. He is extremely hard on himself and he knows that and wants to play better and by playing better [I mean] from a statistical standpoint. Ryan Kerrigan plays his ass off every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday, no matter when it is. He practices his butt off every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday for us out on this field. So, from an effort standpoint, from a 'want-to,' from a trying standpoint, Ryan Kerrigan's fine. He's going to, again, if he's going to keep doing what he's doing, he's going to be fine."

On LB Will Compton's performance last Thursday against the Giants:

"I thought Will stepped in and did a great job in Perry's [LB Perry Riley, Jr.'s] absence. Again the mantra that we've tried to build is, 'You're not a backup, you're a starter in waiting.' Perry went down. Will stepped up and I thought he did a fine job for us."

On if it is possible to have a roster that is better at producing takeaways:

"Yeah, but again… sure. I think you can argue that, but we're not going to change our mentality no matter what starting 11 – what guys – we dress. We stress turnovers on a daily basis, and again, we use the term, we've got to 'take the ball away.' We have to physically take the ball away whether we're punching the ball out, hammering the ball out, raking the ball out, if the ball's in the air, we've got to go find a way to get the ball when the ball's in the air. So, yeah, again, I don't care what 11 guys are out there. We're stressing it the same way and we're preaching it the same way that's it's our job as defensive players to go take the ball away."

On if the team's approach to turnovers is being stressed:

"Oh, yeah, I think we're attempting to do it. Like I said, we're not going to change what we're doing as far as the approach that we are taking. The players have bought into it. If you guys were able to stay out on the practice field with us as practice goes on, it's something that not only the coaches are talking about but the players are talking about not just right now in Week 4, it's been that way back in OTAs. Takeaways, as you guys know, they change the game. Turnover margin is huge in the National Football League. It's something that is stressed and talked about and practiced. We're going to keep doing it and they'll come. "

On still rotating defensive players against an up-tempo offense:

"That's the whole theory behind it. It limits your rotation, when you do rotate, you have got to rotate with what we refer to as urgency. Guys have got to run on and run off. It's not one of those things where you can tap out and jog on and jog off. That's the whole theory behind the up-tempo. The one benefit that we have is that when they sub, we can sub. If they don't sub and we want to sub, that's the challenge with it. That's something that we've presented to our guys. We actually prepared for that the Miami week, they didn't get into any of that. It's something that we spent a bunch of time in the offseason practicing and talking about and coming up with a system for just thinking that Miami was going to do the same thing to us. It's definitely something that you have to be very, very conscientious of because if you're not, they can bite you."

On if not having a significant time of possession advantage was a factor in Thursday's game:

"Maybe, if it would have been drastic. I think it was, what were they 31, we were 29, is that what it was? I think time of possession is huge. I'm a firm believer that the best defense we can play is sitting over on the sideline drinking Gatorade. There's no doubt. Of course, when you have those drastic spikes in time of possession, as defensive coaches, you love those games where we possess the ball for 41 minutes and we have only got to play defense for 19. Those are great. If it would have been a huge difference, I would maybe sense that, but I don't think that was a big deal. We still played well on third down. We got off the field on third down, which is always huge. It was right about even. But no, I'm totally for us winning the time of possession battle."

On if he uses the term 'takeaways' instead of 'turnovers' to stress that it's in their control:

"Well, sure. I think it's obviously your chances of hitting the quarterback and sacking him when you go zero coverage and you blitz seven people, of course your odds of taking the ball away probably go up. That's a reward, but there's a bunch of risks that go with that also. That's where I'm a firm believer that there's no, 'OK, on my call sheet, we need a takeaway so I'm going to call this.' We've got to have the mindset no matter what the heck we call, we're always ball-aware. Our job is to take that dang ball away and get it back for our offense. We have got to do a better job of that right now."

On if Bradford gets the ball out quick:

"I think he does. He does. Most quarterbacks in this day and age, they're going to get rid of the ball. Philly does a great job of getting the backs out of the backfield. They've got a guy like Sproles that can catch the ball. They're not waiting around, they're getting the ball out. I think the key thing is, when you do have that perfect coverage called and there is nowhere for the ball to go and that quarterback has to hold the ball, whether he is trying to get rid of the ball or not, that's when we always talk about the DBs winning the one-on-one coverage, well we put just as much emphasis on our D-linemen winning the one-on-one blocks. Maybe one guy is getting double-teamed on the line of scrimmage but there might be three or four other guys that have one-on-one blocks. We've got to cash in and win the one-on-one pass rush just like we've got to win the one-on-one coverage."

On CB Quinton Dunbar's growth:

"The number one thing, you guys have seen all him just walking by him, he has traits in the sense that he is a big, 6-2, long-armed kid. He really can run. He's a phenomenal athlete. He can change direction. From the minute we moved him, he's shown daily improvement. Not weekly or monthly improvement, he's shown daily improvement. He's just a kid that's eager and hungry. Like I said, I think the thing that really gives him his chance is simply his physical traits that he has. He's a big, long kid that can run. Those are good places to start when you're talking about an NFL corner."

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