July 30, 2015
Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center – Richmond, Va.
Head Coach Jay Gruden
On his goals for the first practice:
"Well, just continue what we're doing. It's an extension of what we've been putting in through OTAs from last year, getting the new guys up to speed on what we're doing, and trying to mesh as a football team, number one. Along the way, trying to find our top 53 guys for the regular season. So there's a lot to do, a lot of people to look at, but we feel like we have the talent out there that it should be great competition across the board and also implementing our system, no doubt."
On free agent Junior Galette:
"Well, we're going to get a physical on him and then go from there. We'll get a chance to talk to him. He'll meet with Scot [McCloughan], he'll meet with myself and then we'll make a determination on where we go from there."
On DeAngelo Hall and the competition at cornerback:
"The competition in that room and DeAngelo makes it very strong, a strong room. He's a great leader back there and we lost a lot when we lost DeAngelo last year. A veteran cornerback of his stature and his experience is a very valuable asset to have. You know, he was voted captain right away and then we lose him very early. It was a big loss for us and to have him back, we just have got to make sure we monitor where he's at and don't push him too hard. He's the type of guy that's going to want to take every rep. We just want to make sure we get him full-go and get him ready for Week 1, but that room is very strong. You've got [David] Amerson with some experience, you've got [Bashaud] Breeland who came out strong last year. Obviously we have [Chris] Culliver from San Francisco. He's a known commodity in this league and DeAngelo adds to the mix. We drafted a kid in the sixth round so we have some good players back there."
On Hall saying he expects to line up with the first team in practice:
"He's well-documented at how good he is. He had a bad injury, no question about it. He's done everything right to get back. And I feel like with his experience, what he's put on tape in his career, his veteran leadership, he deserves a right to be knocked off. And he's going to be our starting cornerback right now then until somebody knocks him off. And it's going be hard to do because he's a very experienced guy, very smart guy and very savvy guy, and guys like that are hard to find but we do have some people who are breathing down his neck, for sure. Breeland wants it. Amerson got a taste of being a starter, he wants to start. Obviously Culliver's here, so we have four guys with some good experience and are going to push the envelope, but DeAngelo's a very good corner."
On safety Duke Ihenacho and the position battle at that safety position:
"We're going to go out there and let them play, Duke's done a good job so far and those guys are going to line up and see what happens. We got a lot of candidates out there, strong safety, free safety, and the good thing about that position is they're able to intermingle a little bit. Some of them can be in the box, they can in the hole, they can both play the hashes and play two-deep, they can play the quarters obviously. So we've got a lot of versatility out there with some experienced guys and it'll be a good test for all of them."
On tight end Jordan Reed:
"He's a great weapon for us. We just have got to keep him healthy. He's got to continue to get better as a blocker, number one, but as far as the passing game is concerned, he's a threat, no doubt. He can run the option routes, the choice routes on the inside. He can line up on the outside and create mismatch problems for safeties or linebackers. So, he's a big part of our offense when he's healthy. We just have to try to do a good job of keeping him healthy. He's got to do a good job of maintaining his strength and point-of-attack blocking and all of that so he can be a well-rounded tight end. As far as a pass-catching tight end, he's up there with the tops in the league, we just have got to keep him healthy and obviously keep building his blocking strength."
On judging character when evaluating free agents:
"We judge it on an individual basis. And it's something that Scot [McCloughan], myself and Bruce [Allen] and the defensive staff will all talk about. Obviously, he's had some issues in the past but we like to draw our own conclusions about every individual that we bring in to this building, and we'll go from there. It's very early right now, and I haven't had a chance to talk to him at all. So until I do, I won't draw any conclusions on what's happened to him in the past."
On tackle Morgan Moses:
"Morgan says he feels good. He's come a long way from when he hurt it [his foot]. He's done everything right in the rehab process. Larry [Hess] has done a good job with him, and Morgan has done a good job with getting that thing right. He looks good out here. He's gained a few pounds and he's a guy that's not going to go down easily. He's going to compete for both tackle spots. We expect him to really make a big jump from year one to year two. A lot of these rookies come into the NFL and it's a heck of a lot different than what they're used to. There's a lot more they have to learn and a lot more on their plate. We're hoping he really can take it to the next level this year and become a heck of a tackle for us. We like Morgan a lot. We just hope he stays healthy."
On assessing the outside linebacker position opposite Ryan Kerrigan:
"It's very early at training camp and we like competition in all spots, but Trent Murphy has really done an excellent job. In OTAs, he probably had about 15 sacks – would-have-been sacks – if we let the whistle blow. He's really put on some weight. He's stronger, he looks a little quicker, and he's got great knowledge of the system. He's a very smart player. He's one of those guys, you get him and he's like a puppy – he just gets in the weight room, he's going to get stronger and stronger and he's going to become an angry dog here before too long. Trent is going to be a tough guy to get out of that lineup. He plays hard, he's a physical guy, he's long, and he can move around quite a bit. And Preston [Smith], we're excited about what he can do. We've got some young guys that played a lot last year that had to play when [Brian] Orakpo got hurt, and then Trent got hurt. So those guys will also compete, but we like where Trent is at right now."
Quarterback Robert Griffin III
On if he feels prepared today after the offseason:
"I think everybody came prepared and did a great job with their offseason workouts, have their minds right. We're excited. This is what we train for, this is what what we prepare for, so we're excited about it."
On if there is temptation to "overplay the position" rather than manage the game:
"You always let the game come to you. You can't worry about what other people say – that's not who you play for. You play for your teammates, your coaches and your city. That's all I've been focused on. All I can do is do what I can do to be the best player for this team and help this team win, so that's my focus and nothing else."
On if injuries or mental challenges have been harder to overcome:
"The injuries have definitely been harder to overcome. Those freak injuries happen for a reason, I don't know what it is. It's not anything that you can really prepare for but you've got to take it when it comes. My goal is to not let those happen. I didn't want to tear my ACL, definitely didn't want to dislocate my ankle. It's not something that you wish for or hope for, so when they do arise it's something that God is trying to show you to make you stronger. He takes you through these valleys so when you hit your peaks you're ready for it."
On what he has learned from having gone through previous training camps:
"It's just experience. There's nothing I can say as far as 'it's this or that.' This is like the first day of school for a lot of us. We get to see each other again, get to go out there, play, practice together, compete every single day. That's all you can ask for, an opportunity to play this game at the highest level. And whatever it is that you do it for, you get a chance to put on tape."
On the main difference between his rookie season and now:
"I don't know. It's probably a combination of a lot of things. Different offense, new coach, new philosophies, injuries — just things happen. My focus now is to not worry about the past, focus on the future. The future started today in the walkthrough. We're getting ready to go so we can practice every day to go out there and prove it on the field."
On his performance in minicamp and if it gave him a boost mentally:
"I'm great mentally – I don't know what you guys are talking about [laughter]. I mean, that was a combination of everything that had happened the entire offseason. I think everybody has been extremely sharp. Coming into the second year of the offense it's a little easier knowing what to expect and what to go through. We're building, we're not just learning the offense now. It wasn't necessarily all me and me being sharp, it was my guys being where they needed to be, us blocking up front and that's what happens. You can put good things on tape and have great days when everybody is working together and that's what we're working towards – to make sure we're more consistent."
On what he wants to improve:
"That's for me and the coaches and all of us to work on, not for me to broadcast to the world. Just know I'm working."
On his mental approach this offseason:
"I think it is something that you do every year. My man here was saying that we've had some changes to our offense – different coaches, different philosophies – and that's something that you have to learn and know what your coach wants out of you, what he expects on certain plays and certain downs and distances. I think that's something I've been able to really hone in on and lock in on as far as that, and then the fundamentals of the game – just trying to make sure you get better and better every single day."
On if an emphasis on the run and the play-action could help him this year:
"Did Jay [Gruden] say we're going to emphasize the run? [Reporter responds affirmatively] Then that's what we're going to do [laughter]. Remember, Jay said that. My thing is as long as the threat of the run is there it makes the play-action a lot easier. So, I look forward to establishing that threat, not only myself but heavy dosages of Alfred [Morris]. Our line will be ready for that and we'll be ready for all the play-actions and all of that stuff off of it. Coach is never going to pin himself in a corner and say that's all that we're going to do, but we look forward to it… We just want to be successful. When you have to drop back and pass, you drop back and pass. You can stay within your offense, whatever fabric that coach wants it to be, then that's what you do. So like I said, I don't know what he's going to run, I just know we're going to be successful. That's all I care about."
On how the young players can help the offense:
"I mean, we've got some talented skill guys at the forefront, and those younger guys are going to help whenever they can. They're very talented. It's not a matter of talent, it's a matter of knowledge and what they know. The faster they know it, the quicker they can show it on tape and prove it to the coaches, the quicker they'll be on the field. I don't think you can go wrong with having all those guys in the mix."
On becoming a father and how his perspective has changed:
"It's crazy. Having a baby girl now, it made it really tough to leave to come to training camp, but it makes you focus in even that much more. Just when you think you can't do something more, God shows you something and shows that you can put a little more effort into it. Everything I do is for my family, it's for this team so to be able to come here and play this game, if anything a baby allows you to look at the world in a different way and not really stress about the little things as much. I was changing diapers and rocking babies to sleep all offseason – aside from training, of course – but it's fun. I enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing them again but right now it's time for Daddy to go to work."
On if he will have to think about deciding when and when not to run:
"I'm going to play football. That's all I've got to say for that. It's about playing the game, playing the game you know how to play, and I know when I'm at my best and that's what I'll do."
On if he and Head Coach Jay Gruden are learning and adapting to each other's strengths:
"Yeah, I mean that's part of the growth of the team and growing together as a quarterback and head coach. But I can tell you now, whatever Jay wants to run we're going to run and that's what we're going to be successful at. I've bought in, the guys are bought in, so there's nothing much I can really say there."
On how optimistic he is after the additions this offseason: "I mean, I'm always optimistic. I think if you're not thinking about the ultimate goal in football every time you step on that field in winning a Super Bowl then you've already failed. So, that's always our goal. Whether people believe it or not, it doesn't matter. We have to believe it. We have to prove it and that's what everybody's focus has been. No one is working for second place or third place. Everybody wants to get first. So, that's every team's optimal goal and that's what we're looking at. But, we know we have to take care of day one before we can get to there."* *