Gone Camping: Jay Gruden Meets the Press

Gone Camping: Jay Gruden Meets the Press

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Gone Camping: Jay Gruden Meets the Press


RICHMOND, Va — The start of Washington Redskins 2019-20 season officially got under way with Jay Gruden’s first press conference of training camp.

It started with questions about Trent Williams, but those in attendance and anyone watching online was able to see the funny side of Coach Gruden as well.

Our photo albums from practice will start tomorrow but for now let me stop typing and get to the stuff that matters.

Head Coach Jay Gruden

Opening Statement:

“Right now we have on PUP [Physically Unable to Perform] we have Jordan Brailford will start on PUP, Danny Johnson on PUP, Alex Smith on PUP, and on NFI [Non-Football Injury] will be RB Bryce Love. Everybody else is ready to go.”

On T Trent Williams absence:

“He’s not here yet. No. I haven’t talked to him personally, yet. I’m really concentrating on guys that are here right now. We know how we feel about Trent, how important he is to this football team and we expect him here sooner [rather] than later.”

On taking Williams’ absence personally:

“Right now there are some things that he has to work out individually and personally – with his agent, professionally – whatever that may be. I don’t take anything personal in this business, for sure. I love Trent, I love what he has done for this franchise and this team, but we expect him back soon.”

On Williams holding out:

“I don’t know. That’s something I’m not in talks with.”


On adjusting to Williams’ absence:

“I think it can affect practice… we have to adjust. We’ve learned the hard way over the last couple of years –we have to adjust – we’ve got to get guys ready to play. It’s no different whether he gets injured or what have you, we have to get guys ready to play. It’s a great opportunity for other guys, Geron Christian; it’s a great opportunity for him. Great opportunity for Ereck Flowers, play some more tackle and play some guard, a great opportunity for Wes Martin to get more reps at guard. Some of these absences is another person’s opportunity, and those guys will take advantage of it.”

On the depth at the tackle position:

“Not concerned at all right now. We have maybe 86, 85 healthy bodies right now – most I’ve had since I’ve been here. We have a lot of guys to look at, a lot of work to be done. So, competition will be great at every position, and we don’t expect any drop off when some players are not here. We expect other guys to step up and perform.”

On the offensive linemen’s conditioning:

“Brandon Scherff looks amazing. He’s in great shape, best shape of his life. Chase [Roullier] looks great. Morgan Moses came in unbelievable shape, down to 328 [pounds]. Best shape of his career, in my opinion. I feel good about those guys and the rest of those guys, Wes Martin for being a rookie, and the rest of the guys have done a good job on coming in shape. They ran really well.”


On the pressure to win:

“I think that this is the greatest coaching job in pro sports and it is an honor to be the head coach of the Redskins and with that comes great expectations, and we haven’t lived up to them the past couple of years. Performance is king and our record these last two years we were 7-9. In the National Football League, you got to win to keep your job, and we have to get it turned around. [Owner, Dan M.] Mr. Synder and [Team President] Bruce [Allen] have given me a great opportunity to coach this franchise for five years, going on six, and I have every intention to believe, every reason to believe, we have a great football team and we are onto something special here.”

On coaching training camp differently than previous years:

“Not at all, not at all, every year you have something different up your sleeve you have to adjust to from a performance standpoint, a preparation standpoint, but for the most part, its business as usual. Expectations are high; we expect great things out of each individual player, and as a team we expect them to come together at this time in Richmond to become what we want to be as quickly as we can, and find out our best 53 guys and get ready for Philadelphia.”

On the timing in releasing LB Mason Foster:

“I think there is no real good timing to release a player like that. He was a good player for us, a great player for us, led the team in tackles, but we feel really good about the youth that we have at linebacker. Adding [Jon] Bostic helped out a lot, but we also have Shaun Dion [Hamilton], Josh Harvey-Clemons, Cole Holcomb, we thought he had excellent OTA session. Marquis Flowers showed great athletic ability and speed. We got BJ Blunt as a free agent we liked from McNeese State. So, we feel good about the linebacker depth we have right now.”


On CB Josh Norman jumping over a bull:

“I knew the bull wouldn’t hit him; he avoids contact. (Laughter) Just kidding, Josh. Josh is a man of the world. Josh has experienced more things in his life at his young age than most people have in their whole life. Obviously, we wouldn’t recommend that for our players and we want them to keep out of harm’s way. Josh is a unique man, and he has done a lot of great work other than jumping over bulls. He has done a lot of charitable work that people don’t know about and great things for the community. I applaud Josh and the way he lives his life.”


On transitioning some of the cornerbacks to safety:

“No, I think our safety spot is pretty good right now. I feel good about our safeties. I think the corners, you know you really have three corners, you have nickels too. Most of the time you’re in 11 personnel anyway and have three corners on the field. We have those guys that’s competing, and that is going to be great competition. [We added] DRC [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] as a free agent. Fabian [Moreau] progress has been outstanding, getting [Quinton] Dunbar back healthy and Josh obviously being here. [Greg] Stroman has done some great things. Obviously, Jimmy Moreland has shown great promise in camp. Deion [Harris] has done some good things at training camp working as a rookie free agent, North Dakota, South Dakota, one of the Dakotas, has done some great things. I coached his son, or his dad, in the Arena League. We have a good group of guys and the competition is going to be great there as well.”

On taking T Trent Williams absence personally:

“Not at all, no, I don’t take anything personally; you can’t take anything personal in this line of work. It’s not personal right now. It is the first day of training camp and there are some things we just have to go through. It’s business at this point. Like I said, ‘I expect him to come back.’ Hope is not a word I am not going to use. I expect him to come back. He understands what this franchise has done for him. He understands what he’s done for this franchise. Hopefully, we get him back soon. I just said hope.”

On T Ereck Flowers:

“We brought Ereck Flowers in here to be an offensive lineman. The initial idea was to play him at guard, but also understanding that he has the ability to play at both right and left tackle. He has never played guard and we’re going to try to transform into guard. If need be we can put him back outside at tackle, no problem. He has learned both of them already through the OTA process. We will just wait and see where we are at. Having him at left tackle [or] having Wes Martin at left guard is not a bad thing, having him at left guard and having Geron Christian at left tackle is not a bad thing. We have other… Timon Parris is coming in here to compete, so we have some other guys to look at it as well.”

On the offensive line chemistry:

“You want all your guys. You want guys that are going to want to play against Philadelphia to get as many reps together as they possibly can, that’s for sure. That’s very important, so hopefully, that will be the case.”

On RB Derrius Guice, T Geron Christian Jr., and C Chase Roullier injuries:

“All clear.”

On Guice’s hamstring:

“He tweaked his [hamstring] a little bit in a workout after practice in one of the OTA sessions. It was not that big of a deal though. In a couple of weeks, he’ll be fine. He’s been running and training the last couple of weeks before training camp here today. He’s been working with the trainers and got it back, so he’s in good shape.”


On if Guice will be limited during training camp:


On if QB Colt McCoy will be limited during training camp:

“No. We are going to let him roll.”

On front office communication with T Trent Williams:

“I’m sure that has taken place, yes.”

On if he is bothered by answering questions about Williams:

“No not at all, it’s my job. I think eventually we’ll get it done, right now we’re just going to wait and see how it pans out but Trent knows how we feel about him, how I feel about him, how this team feels about him; that’s a given.”

On if he noticed motivation in WR Josh Doctson in offseason: 

“He had a great OTA, mandatory mini-camp, he did a good job. You know he has a great command of the offense, playing more confident, attacking the football. Yes.”


On changing his approach to training camp:

“You have to change, in some regard whether it’s a practice session, times your practicing, amount of time you’ve put on third down, red zone, what have you, no-huddle. Schematically, there are some things we’re going to do a little bit differently offensively and defensively. We’re going to have different players at different positions; so we’re going to be a different football team and we have to adjust to the players that we have. So, we will be different and we do have to adjust to make some changes.”

On the value and length of training camp:

“You can never have too many practices. You have to get ready for a game. We have limitations on how many [practices] we can have. We have a mandatory day off. We have a mandatory walkthrough in the afternoon. So we need to work. There’s a lot of different situations in football that we need to prepare for. Personnel groups, third down, red zone, short yardage, goal line, three tight end sets, four tight end sets, one tight end sets, four-receiver sets, five-receiver sets. There’s a lot to prepare for and the only way you can prepare, legitimately, is going out and letting the guys see it and make reactions. We can make adjustments on tape; to get the plays on tape, and make the necessary adjustments, and then to evaluate our players. How do you evaluate a player? How do you make cuts if you don’t get these guys out here to practice? So, we have to give these guys opportunities to make teams. We have 86 guys out here trying their butts off to make a team and if we don’t give them a legitimate chance to make a play to make a team, that’s unfair to them. To be fair to every player we have on this roster, we got to give them some looks, give them some reps, and it also helps our team get prepared for Philadelphia.”


On QB Alex Smith:

“It’s on Alex right now. Alex is on PUP. Our job is to do everything we can to get him right. His job is to come in here and help in any way he feels fit to do so. So if it’s in meeting, helping out our young quarterbacks… he’s got Case Keenum who’s never been in the system, Colt [McCoy] has been here for a while, but he’s hasn’t had many starting games and obviously, Dwayne [Haskins] is a rookie. So, having his influence and his leadership in that quarterback room will be beneficial. But the most important thing for me, and for this organization, is for Alex to get well. So, if he needs to take time and do some rehab, or what have you, then he is free to do that. I know that he wants to be a part of this and help out in any way that he can.”

On the quarterback competition:

“[Philadelphia Eagles] is not too far away but we have time though. We need to give these guys ample opportunity at every position: outside linebacker, inside linebacker, safety, corner, receivers, running backs, tight ends, linemen. We got to give these guys opportunities to make plays and see which one is the best. It might come down to the wire. It might come down to Saturday before the Philly game. Who knows, but I feel confident in every one of our quarterbacks. They have a skill set that is beneficial to help this team win games. It comes down to which one will give us the best chance to win week one against a division rival.”

On even repetitions for quarterbacks:

“Yes. It will be close.”

On what he is looking for in a starting quarterback:

“It’s always about consistency, making plays, having a great command of the offense. Leadership. Accuracy. Decision making. Fundamentals in the pocket. Ball security. Accuracy.”


On Defensive Quality Control Coach Kyshoen Jarret:

“Kyshoen has been great. Obviously we had high hopes for him as a player. He played corner, nickel, and safety all as a rookie, so we knew when the injury happened, he needed to be in football – he had a passion for it. It was just a matter of him making the decision that this was the road he wanted to take. We welcome him with open arms. He’s going be a great, great football coach and will climb the ladder very, very fast to position coach, defensive coordinator, and probably a head football coach very soon. He’s got a great head on his shoulders and has great rapport with the players. As far as Virginia Tech, every guy we’ve had so far has been good. Adonis [Alexander], [Greg] Stroman, and [Tim] Settle have been good for us. They come from a tough program. They run a good ship over there and we’ve had success with those guys.”

On LB Montez Sweat’s status: 

“He’s full go, he’s fast, big, and in good shape.”

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