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Quotes: Jay Gruden And Sean McVay (9.18.15)

Head Coach Jay Gruden

On injuries:

"DeSean Jackson did not participate, obviously. Terrance Knighton was limited, he'll be questionable. Justin Rogers did not participate, he'll be out for this ballgame. [Martrell] Spaight, concussion, did not participate. Tom Compton was limited, he's questionable. DeAngelo Hall was full, he's probable. Kory Lichtensteiger was full. Trent Williams was full. Jackson Jeffcoat was full. And Jordan Reed was limited, he'll be questionable."

On if both LB Martrell Spaight and CB Justin Rogers are officially out for Sunday's game:

"Yes."

On TE Jordan Reed's quad:

"It's a muscle, so there's always concern there. He did some good things today so we have reason for hope."

On the factors he weighs when considering punting or kicking to Rams WR Tavon Austin:

"It's game-plan specific, but obviously you want to give him as limited amount of touches as you can. He's going to get his on offense. We can't control that but we can control what he gets on special teams. That's something we've talked about in the special teams meetings that Tress Way is very aware of. We have our plan going into this game to try to limit his touches, that's for sure – his quality touches, I should say."

On if teams still work on angled punting and if it could be used in certain situations:

"Yeah, it's still worked on. It's still not a guarantee. They still have to…  It's not that easy otherwise everybody would do it. There's a chance that it goes off the side of your foot and it goes right down the middle of the field, but it is something that is worked on quite frequently here and other places, I'm sure."

On if coaches always want to see how young quarterbacks immediately respond to adversity:

"Well, you want the immediate response, no question because usually when you throw a pick, the momentum has shifted to the other team and it's our job as football players and coaches to try to get that momentum back on our side. Momentum is a key force in football games — professional football, college, in sports in general. When you shift the momentum one side by throwing an interception or fumbling it, it's our job as a defense or special teams or an offense to get the momentum back on our side. So it's important to get your head out of your rear end if you do throw one and get back on the field and make some positive things happen for your football team so we get back on track."

On if he is confident that T Tom Compton and TE Anthony McCoy can help in the run game:

"I am. I'm confident. Actually, I'm confident in all our guys, man. Whoever's suiting up, I'm confident in, there's no doubt. I know it's going to be a great challenge obviously, but I have total faith in whoever's playing — the two tight ends or the three tight ends, the seven linemen, whoever it is, whether it's [Ty] Nsekhe, whether it's Compton, I feel pretty good about all those guys battling and competing. They've shown they can do it throughout training camp and obviously against Miami, they did a fine job. We're looking for improvement obviously, but confidence is not the issue, it's just going out and actually doing it."

On if WR Pierre Garçon's physicality sets the tone for the offense:

"It does. You preach tough football players and when your wide receiver is one of the toughest players on your football team, it sends a good signal to everybody. He's a guy that'll block. He's a guy that'll go over-the-middle, be fearless and run after the catch. Every part of Pierre's game is what you're looking for in a wide receiver — his toughness, his willingness to do the little things to make the team better. He's human, though. He does get frustrated at times if he's not feeling like he's helping the football team as much as he thinks he should, but I'm all about trying to get him involved in this offense, no question about it. You'd love to run the ball, run the ball, but it's also important to get him involved because he is a game changer if we can get him the quality touches like we did last year."

On S Trenton Robinson having to juggle both defense and special teams on Sunday:

"We'll have to keep an eye on him. If it's a key punt, he's going to have to go out there. We had a talk about it today. He might have to play a lot of snaps. He's going to have to drink a lot of water and some Gatorade or whatever the heck he drinks. So, it's just a matter of you have to do what you're asked and you have to dig down deep. He is a key member of our [special] teams and he is a key member now of our defense. But we have other guys that we're working there to try to take some heat off Trenton."

On if WR Rashad Ross will return kickoffs:

"Rashad Ross is going to be up and one of his strengths as a player being up is special teams. In kickoff return, I think he's excellent at it. So, I'm expecting to see him on a kickoff return, that's for sure. Chris Thompson did a nice job. He had one return for 35 yards. That's good, man. If he ends his season with one return for 35 yards, that's a hell of an average. But, we'll see, we'll see. I like Ross and obviously if something happens, Chris will be ready to roll."

On if LB Terrance Plummer could be called up from the practice squad:

"We'll talk about that when I'm done here. But, obviously we'd like to go into the game with four inside linebackers, so that's a probability that that happens."

On if he wants his team to be tough like the Rams:

"Well, I don't know. I think if you look at their defense, they do play extremely fast and physical and they do run to the ball. They're a very active defense. They're well coached, no question about it. You're a hell of a coach when you have got the players that he has out there also. They've got a great combination. They've got a great coaching staff and obviously great, talented players. Their defense is good. As far as what I want ours, we won't emulate anybody. We want to be our own people. We're trying to grind on our guys, be a consistent, competitive group with a great desire to win and that's what we're doing here."

On K Dustin Hopkins' progress in practice:

"He had a good day yesterday and didn't kick much today. Obviously he kicked off a few, but he looks fine. Like I said it before with a lot of players, a lot of them look good on the practice field in warmups and all that stuff, but we'll see when it really counts. And that's something we'll find out. But, obviously we have confidence in him also."

On WR Jamison Crowder:

"Jamison looks good. And you're right, when you have the injury that he had, as a player you're afraid to just let it go. I think he's feeling a lot more confident and he is starting to let it go out there. You could see him go get some deep balls both as a scout team receiver and obviously as a starting receiver in some of our nickel packages or our three-receiver sets. We have high expectations for Jamison. I think he's going to be the type of player that's going to get better and better as the season goes on. He may not be as productive early, but I think as the season goes on he's going to be more and more of a factor."

Offensive Coordinator Sean McVay

On if he has seen a difference in the Rams' defense since last year:

"They're obviously a great defense. I have got a lot of respect for Coach [Gregg] Williams. He does an excellent job of getting everything coordinated. They are very similar from what we've seen in the preseason and the first game — very aggressive, they've got a great front four, and backers that can run and excellent in the secondary — so we know it's a great challenge for us and one that we're excited to see how we do."

On how tough it is to run the ball on the Rams:

"It's very difficult. There is a lot of movement. There is a lot of pressures on first and second down. They do a good job mixing it up on the back end. Anytime that you have a front that has as many moving pieces with the type of players that they do have at those spots, it presents a big challenge for us."

On TE Derek Carrier:

"I'll tell you what, I was very impressed with Derek Carrier. For the amount of snaps he played, for the amount of time that he's been here, he exceeded my expectations. With what we asked him to do, he did an excellent job last week and I think we're looking to see if he can build on that performance and do a better job as we move forward."

On the matchups on the offensive line this week:

"Well, it's a little bit than last week where Miami's defensive line played sides. You know [Robert] Quinn is going to be on our left side going against Trent [Williams] and they're going to play Chris Long on their right and then usually [Aaron] Donald is the three-technique when they play an over defense. It kind of depends on how you set the front with where the tight end aligns and how they decide which fronts they want to play and then where Donald aligns. But he'll be lined up against both Brandon [Scherff] and Shawn [Lauvao] and [Michael] Brockers is a very good player that typically plays their shade. Those guys move around inside, so all three of our players inside need to expect to go against him." 

On if it is more difficult to wear down the Rams' defensive line because of their depth:

"There's no question about it, Chris. They do a great job where they bring in their second-team guys and they're starting caliber players. They go very deep on the defensive front and they do a good job of rotating those guys in and out. Ideally, you'd like to be able to try and wear guys down and be able to sustain the run game and stay ahead of the chains, but against the front that does have as much depth, it does make it a little bit more difficult."

On getting speedy wide receivers involved to keep the Rams' defense honest:

"Anytime that you miss a DeSean Jackson where he does have the ability to stretch the defenses different than most guys around the league, it presents a little bit more challenges. But I think we've got to do a good job kind of mixing in when we take our shots and keeping them honest. They're an aggressive defense that for the most part when you plan some of those personnel groupings with two backs and a tight end or two tight ends and two wide receivers, you're going to get some aggressive fronts where they want to play seven- and eight-man fronts. We've got to do a good job picking our spots and making them be honest with what they're doing on the back end and hopefully get some plays down the field."

On if the short passing game will continue be used to keep the ball moving if defenses focus on the run:

"Yeah, I think in the first half we were able to sustain some drives. Really when you look at the second half, I think we did a poor job of taking ourselves out of position, you know, where we're jumping offsides, we're having self-inflicted wounds that we certainly can't afford to have. But our quick passing game is always going to be priority because I think it's something that we have receivers that can separate quickly on the perimeter. I think Kirk [Cousins] does an excellent job in that. So, I think just kind of giving a flow and a feel for the game, that's always something that you want it to be a part. How much of a part of it is kind of predicated as you go throughout the course of a game."

On if he noticed a change in QB Kirk Cousins' resiliency last week:

"Yeah, Mike. One of those things that he was able to face a little bit of adversity in the Baltimore game, and just like when he had the early pick that was kind of an unfortunate situation where I didn't really put him in a great spot there, I didn't sense any blink. It was the same exact thing the other day. He knows those are situations where we've got to be smarter with the football and just take it underneath or throw it away and let's punt the ball and get ourselves a fresh set of downs when our defense comes back. But, he responded, had some great throws on that next drive when we were able to sustain a long drive and score a touchdown. So, I think you are seeing a more resilient guy that handles adversity better for sure."* *

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