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Quotes: Jay Gruden And Sean McVay (10.02.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On the injury report:

"DeAngelo Hall will be out. DeSean Jackson will be out. Perry Riley will be out. Chris Culliver is questionable. Kedric Golston, questionable. Josh LeRibeus is questionable. And [Kory] Lichtensteiger, [Colt] McCoy and [Morgan] Moses are probable."

On CB Chris Culliver's knee:

"You know what, he's got just some soreness down there. I don't know if it's wear-and-tear or what it is. Just a little sore, we're taking it easy on him trying to get that thing right for Sunday. I feel I'm optimistic but you never know. It's up to him and how he feels if the trainers can get him well."

On his level of comfort with the remaining secondary:

"Quinton Dunbar and obviously [Bashaud] Breeland, so the good thing is [Will] Blackmon's played a lot of football in his day and knows how to play the position and has played it. It just hurts your depth, who you're going to. Dunbar hasn't played a lot of football, obviously. If we have to get somebody else up, ready tomorrow or the next day – or tomorrow, we'd have to get somebody up by tomorrow – so depth is a concern there obviously, but we're hoping that he [Culliver] goes."

On if CB Will Blackmon's familiarity with Redskins Defensive Backs Coach Perry Fewell helps:

"It helps a little bit, helps that he's played. He's played in big games and made big plays in big games. He's a confident guy and he's a smart guy. That's what helps. He's got some talent. He's already played nickel. He's already played dime. He's already played corner. He's actually played a little safety, too. He's only been here about 12 days. He's done an excellent job, but football players are football players and he's definitely a football player that can adjust to just about anything and plays with a high level, high IQ, every time he's out there. He's an asset for us."

On how he anticipates LB Mason Foster being used on Sunday:

"He's another one. He comes in off the street and picks up the system quickly. He can help on special teams without a doubt. And if something happens to [Will] Compton, knock on wood, or Keenan [Robinson], he's got a chance to get some reps and he's ready to go."

On if WR DeSean Jackson's return is still on schedule:

"I don't really deal with schedules on hamstrings. I think it's just a matter of how they progress and they gradually progress. [Head Athletic Trainer] Larry [Hess] is very good at what he does and DeSean is working out very hard to get that thing right. But as far as your progression from slowly starting to jog to picking up your speed to full sprint, that can take two weeks, three weeks, eight weeks – just depends."

On WR Rashad Ross' progression:

"He's been excellent. He's one of the guys that turned our head in training camp, obviously. He's continued to do some good things for us. Obviously returned a kick last week, had a couple catches. He's doing a good job."

On if he could see Ross being incorporated more into the offense:

"I could see him being a little bit more incorporated. We'll have to wait and see. Pierre [Garçon] is holding it down fort at the one spot. Then you've got Ryan [Grant], you've got Andre [Roberts] and then you've got Jamison [Crowder], who's playing the slot. So, the big thing is keeping him fresh but throwing him out there with the speed that he has, he's a good blocker also in the run game. I think his comfort level in the system is night-and-day from where it was last year from where he was last year when he was trying out for the team. His progression is excellent. We have no problem with him in a game any time."

On if Ross could be used as more than just a deep threat:

"Oh, yeah, no question. He showed in preseason. He ran slants. He ran every route. He caught every route he ran — in-breaking routes, out-breaking routes, caught a go-ball. He's got the route tree pretty much down where he can be effective, just a matter of getting out there and lining up in the right spots and doing everything exactly right which he's come, like I said, light years from last year. [Receivers Coach] Ike [Hilliard] has done an excellent job with him. I have no problem putting Ross in the game any time."

On how difficult it has been for him to put players on Injured Reserve:

"Yeah, they're real hard. I was looking at our IR list and our inactive list and that's a pretty good team. It's unfortunate. We've been hit pretty hard early. That's a major level of concern but these other guys have got to step up obviously and they have. But they are tough decisions to make and you just have to make them. There's no way around it because if you keep so many guys that are inactive that can't play, you have nowhere to turn as far as getting people up for your 46-man roster. So, we've had to make some tough decisions, and decisions that we've felt were, number one, were in the best interest of the player, like [Martrell] Spaight's concussion we felt was in the best interest of the player. He needed a lot of time to get over this one. Same thing with [Justin] Rogers. We're just doing what we have to do and go from there."

On if Jamison Crowder and Andre Roberts are pushing each other for the slot receiver role:

"They're pushing each quite well. Like I've said, you'll see as the season goes on, Jamison will get a lot more touches and more opportunities."

On LB Martrell Spaight's concussion:

"Well, he had symptoms. He's in the concussion protocol. They're doing what they do in that system and he's doing everything by the book and he's slowly but surely recovering. But the big thing, like I said, with a linebacker, we've got to make sure his symptoms are gone before he takes part in meetings even. Being on IR, he can still participate in meetings, but he hasn't been able to yet, and he will, hopefully soon."

On when he expects CB DeAngelo Hall to return to practice:

"I think the initial thing was 3-4 weeks."

 Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On if he looks at doing something different after losses or stresses simply doing things better:

"It's funny, because we did get a little off-schedule; if you look at it, really, our first 38 play we kind of were able to maintain that balance that we want, where we had 20 passes and 18 runs. That was including third downs where you're obviously more inclined to throw the football. We were more efficient than what we thought. I think the key thing to remember as we're getting through the course of a game is even if we're only getting three or four yards, those calls get you on track to where you're in those third-and-manageables. I thought we actually were more efficient in the run than it probably felt like. Then by the time we have 38 plays, once we have our second turnover, we ended up having to get into a two-minute mode. Really half of our plays ended up being where you're a majority passing in a two-minute situation. I think it's analyzing each week, but when we are able to stay on schedule like we were those first two weeks – run the football and have your actions tie off of that – that's an ideal situation to be in for us."

On how the Eagles are able to stop the run:

"They have got a great front and what they do is they do a lot of movement. Coach [Bill] Davis does an excellent job of mixing up their alignments and different things. They run a lot of movement internally that ends up messing with a lot of your combinations, especially in the zone game. They've got some special players inside. Fletcher Cox is a guy that is a really good player, you notice [Connor] Barwin. They've got a handful of guys and inside linebackers that can run. So I think it's a credit to both the scheme and the players that they have why they're so efficient at defending the run."

On if staying committed to the running game means living with small gains in order to create chances for bigger runs:

"Absolutely, that's always something that you want to remind yourself of – stay patient and stay committed to that. Our linemen have done an excellent job up front handling the different fronts and things in these first three weeks that we've seen. That's been something that has been a strength when we are able to stay on-schedule. So that would be ideal and you've got to consistently remind yourself of that for sure."

On if QB Kirk Cousins can gain confidence from his performance last year against Philadelphia:

"Absolutely, any time that you prepare for a game and it's against an opponent that you see on a regular basis twice a year, we're watching that film a lot. I think any time you see yourself have success and do some good things, it gives you confidence. I think one of the big things that was very beneficial for us was we created a lot of big plays in that game. We hit an 80-plus yarder to DeSean. Roy Helu goes for 50-plus on a screen. We hit a 35-plus-yard pass to Niles Paul. Those are the things that we're looking to do is to be able to create some bigger plays so you don't feel like it's got to be 10 to 12 to 15 [play] drives every single time. Defenses are so good and your margin for error is so limited when you're not able to create some of those explosives."

On the plan at left guard:

"I believe that whatever Jay [Gruden] said is exactly what we're going to follow through with [laughter]… We feel very confident in Spencer [Long] and Arie [Kouandjio]. Those guys have rotated reps and I think it's something that we'll see based on once we get to Sunday who we feel gives us the best chance to compete and play at a high level. But it's a great challenge. Like we mentioned earlier, they've got a bunch of players that they rotate inside. They move Cox back-and-forth, [Cedric] Thornton's been an active player. Whoever it is that ends up playing has a great challenge against a very strong front. We'll see how those guys do on Sunday."

On if it is a challenge for C Kory Lichtensteiger and T Trent Williams with the uncertainty at left guard:

"Absolutely, it ends up being a big challenge because any time you lose a guy like Shawn Lauvao, Trent's very comfortable in combination with him and so is Kory. So you bring somebody new into the mix, that's why you look at how important all five of those guys being able to play together are to be able to develop that continuity and that rapport with each other. We're hoping the reps that they got this week will allow Spencer or Arie to step in and allow them to feel comfortable. It's certainly tough to be able to replace a veteran player like Shawn who those guys have a lot of experience playing with."

On Quinton Dunbar making the switch from wide receiver to cornerback:

"What an impressive thing and story that is. He comes in as a receiver, down-the-line guy, has great speed, he's still raw at the position. Then you end up transitioning him over to corner and you can immediately see the length and the natural skills that he had. He's a real confident kid. He's got a great demeanor about himself. He's always one of those guys that always disrupts our practices with his ability to get hands on the receivers, disrupt releases and he's got that length where he can turn and run and he's fluid in transition. I've been very impressed with him. That transition is a not a normal thing by any stretch. But all I've seen him do is continue to get better and better as he's played DB and I'm really happy for him."

On how much the weather affects the game plan:

"I think you always have to be ready to adjust to the elements. If it is going to be one of those games where it's extremely rainy, obviously, you have to be smart with when you do throw the football and looking for some high-percentage plays. That's one of those deals that you always have a contingency plan in place. The weather to me, I look on it one second and then the next second it tells me a totally different thing, so we've got to be ready for a couple different scenarios that could play out."

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