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Quotes: Jay Gruden And Sean McVay (11.06.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening statement:

"[Bashaud] Breeland, hamstring, was limited. He'll be questionable. [Jason] Hatcher was full. He's probable. [Kory] Lichtensteiger was limited. He'll be questionable. Anthony McCoy was full. He's probable. Chris Culliver did not participate. He's questionable. DeAngelo Hall was limited. He's questionable. DeSean Jackson was limited. He's questionable. Ryan Kerrigan was limited. He's questionable. Josh LeRibeus was full. [He's] probable. Perry Riley, Jr. was full. [He's] probable. Limited was Keenan Robinson. He's questionable. Full was Chris Thompson. He's probable. Full was Quinton Dunbar. He's probable."

On CB Chris Culliver:

"It's the same thing. It's just a matter of he was a little sore today and wanted to take a day."

On C Kory Lichtensteiger:

"You know, he's made a little bit [of progress], but I think this is something that really is going to come down to the wire with Kory as far as his strength, how he feels, talking with the trainers and all that stuff come Sunday afternoon about 11:30. We'll probably make a determination on him."

On if he has to monitor play counts for players like Culliver and WR DeSean Jackson if they return:

"Yeah, I think so. I think you have to monitor that and that's why we'll dress four or five corners, possibly, or five wide receivers and make sure everybody's fresh when they're in there, linebackers included and safeties. I think that's going to be how the game's going with DeSean and Chris if they do play, and guys that haven't played in a while, we'd like to get as many reps as they can, but if they are tired, we will have plenty of backups for them."

On if he feels the team is healthier than it has been in a while:

"Yeah, it does. It's just not quite healthy. You have so many question marks on a Friday afternoon getting ready to play a game, you wish they were all probables and full strength, but some of them aren't. And that's pro football nowadays. I think a lot of teams are going through this, not just us. But we have to find our most healthy 46 guys. That's the most important thing we're trying to do. Players have got to be honest with us and we've got to be honest with what we see on practice tape and how they're feeling come Sunday morning and make our final determination. Tomorrow, we'll have a nice walkthrough and get a gauge on some of them. We'll make a final decision Sunday about 11:30."

On if he has seen CB Bashaud Breeland increase his workload during the last couple of days:

"He did a little bit more today and did some more things, so that's good to see. It's positive on him, but, you know, again, we'll see how he feels tomorrow morning. He'll come in get some treatment right now, get some treatment in the morning. We'll have a walkthrough; get some more treatment. Then, we'll find out what he can do Saturday or Sunday morning"

On why the energy level was so high for a Friday:

"I think people get excited getting ready to play, man. Obviously, it's a great opportunity for us. Guys feel the energy from some of the guys who have been out, like you said. They're excited for this great chance to play in Foxborough. It was a good practice today, good effort, good intensity like you said and hopefully it carries over."

On if the Patriots do a better job than any team of changing their game plans for different opponents:

"They do a good job of that. They're defending champions for a reason and had that much success over the last how-many years because they do a good job exploiting match ups and having good game plan week in and week out and having a consistent plan. They can hurt you a lot of different ways. They have the greatest quarterback, but they can hurt you by handing the ball off to [LeGarrette] Blount or whoever they have back there in the backfield over the last five or six years. They can throw it with the play-action. They have great balance offensively. Defensively, they do a great job of giving you different looks — three-man, four-man, two-man, five-man rushes. They can double certain people. They do a good job of keeping you off-balance on both sides of the ball. And their special teams is obviously excellent. Not a lot of weaknesses over there, but it's just a matter of going out and playing and giving it our best shot."

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On sticking with the running game to setup other parts of the offense:

"Yeah, it definitely does make it more difficult. I think every single game dictates a different approach and philosophy. Certainly we always talk about, 'You always want to be able to run the football and be balanced,' but ultimately our goal as an offense is, 'How can we put points on the board?' You look at the game last week, I thought there were some good run looks that we had. Being down 24-0 did dictate a little bit different approach in terms of feeling like we still had the ability to run it, but wanted to be a little bit more geared to the pass. We were able to get some of those play-actions and some of those movements on first and second down where they were still honoring it, but we were able to have some success. So, you know, we certainly looked at that hard over the bye week. That's something that we're going to always want to be able to do. I think our guys are conscientious. We've shown in phases that we can run the ball well and we're going to continue to work at that. We're optimistic that we'll hopefully be able to do that this week against a great team."

On what he learned from self-scouting:

"Well, what you really try to look at is that you try to evaluate your players in your scheme. When defensive coordinators and coaches look at you, what are they preparing for? We want to make sure that we stay balanced in what we're doing, giving some similar looks and having some different things off of that. It was a great chance for us to self-scout and kind of evaluate our personnel and allow us to have a plan moving forward for these last nine games."

On if the Patriots are the hardest team to figure out pre-snap because of their pre-snap movement:

"They do a great job presenting different looks. They've got some versatile guys up front that they both can be rushers. They can play in coverage. I think [New England Patriots Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Matt] Patricia and [New England Patriots Head Coach] Coach [Bill] Belichick do an excellent job utilizing their personnel to create favorable matchups, so I would definitely say they are one of the more difficult defenses to prepare in that regard."

On the balance between focusing on themselves and focusing on the Patriots:

"Well, I think each week, you have a preparation and an approach based on what that defense presents. Certainly, we have a lot of respect for who they are, but, you know, we focus on executing to the best of our ability based on what those looks are. We have a lot of confidence in our players that if they play up to their ability that they'll have some success."

On what WR DeSean Jackson can open up for the offense:

"Well, he can open up everything because I think he gives you the ability to run underneath, intermediate and some things down the field where he's able to stretch coverage. Any time you're able to get a player like him back – if that's what ends up happening on Sunday – it opens up some options because he can do a little bit of everything. We'll look to see if he's playing if we'll be able to utilize those things."

On the importance of having a player like Jackson available against the Patriots:

"I think certainly any game you always want your full arsenal of weapons. When you go against an excellent team like this, you'd love to have DeSean Jackson. If we're able to get him, we'll be excited to have him. We have a lot of confidence in those guys that would be playing in his place. I think Ryan Grant's done a nice job stepping in. We have a lot of confidence in Andre Roberts, obviously Jamison Crowder. We know what Pierre [Garçon] is capable of doing. So if he isn't able to go, I think we've been able to develop some nice depth at that position where we feel like we can do some different things and still have our offense. Obviously DeSean gives you a different element because of his elite trait with his ability to stretch the field. We have a lot of confidence in all of our wide receivers."

On what makes Jackson such a dynamic player:

"I think he's one of those guys that he times well but he also has functional speed. He's got a great ability to track the ball down the field and for a smaller guy he plays big when the ball is in the air. That was the thing I was most impressed getting around him. When he sees that ball, he has the ability to change his acceleration, go get it and maybe go track down some balls that look like we overthrew him and then he finds a way to go get it. The one play that stands out to me is you look at the play that he makes against Seattle last year where Kirk threw him about a 50-yard ball down the left sideline. He's got Earl Thomas and [Byron] Maxwell playing right underneath him and he accelerates through both of those guys. I think he's got a rare ability to track the ball down the field and really you see that acceleration when the ball is in the air."

On how much Jackson playing could change the Patriots' coverages:

"Well, it's going to be predicated on how they decide they want to defend us. I think there's definitely something where they'll probably account for him but we'll always have to have a plan and a contingency plan in place to adjust. I certainly think that having a player of his caliber back out there makes you honor him and be aware of where he's at and Jordan [Reed] and the Pierres and all those guys. It definitely adds a dynamic to us that hopefully he'll help out."

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